Saturday 9 April 2011

Poetry Saturday . . . A Boy's Song

Going Down Hill on a Bicycle:
A Boy's Song

~Henry Charles Beeching (1859-1919)

With lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.

Swifter and yet more swift,
Til the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry . . .
'O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.

'Is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy,
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!'

Say heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
'Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er,
Shall find wings waiting there.

I loved this poem. I may not be a boy, but I know how it feels to fly down a hill on my bicycle, feeling as free as a bird, and soaring like the wind . . . and while I read these words . . . I was back there again, in my childhood . . . if only for a moment.

Here's a tasty and quick supper dish that children of all ages just love. I know my kids always really enjoyed these. They are quite adaptable as well, using whatever ground meat you may have on hand, or even ground leftover meat. If you want you can top with some traditional taco toppings just before serving, such as salsa, sour cream, olives, spring onions. It's up to you! (Or pass them at the table!) Delicious.

*Taco Tarts*
Makes 12, serves 6 as a main course
(They also freeze well)
Printable Recipe

Kids love these, both the big and the small! They are very adaptable in that you can use ground beef, chicken or turkey. You can even use ground leftover cooked roast beef, chicken or pork!

1 pound of ground beef (ground chicken or ground turkey can also be used)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 each of a red and green pepper, trimmed and finely chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 package of taco seasoning mix
1 cup of Mexican mix shredded cheese (Or use strong cheddar or Monterrey Jack)

For the cups:
2 cups of plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup milk

Spray a large nonstick frying pan with oil spray and then add the ground beef, onions and peppers. Cook and stir until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the taco seasoning mix and proceed as per the packet instructions. While this is cooking and simmering away make the biscuit cups.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two round bladed knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk all at once and stir with a fork, just unil the dough forms a ball around the fork. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead about 14 times. Pat out 1/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 3 to 4 inch biscuit cutter.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 5. Press the biscuit rounds into one each of a 12 cup muffin tin, covering well up the sides and a bit over the top. Fill with the meat mixture.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer so that the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and serve.

Note - You can top with some salsa to serve, or a dollop of sour cream and some chopped spring onion. Use whatever strikes your fancy or nothing at all, depending on your family's tastes.

Over in The English Kitchen today, the World's Best Gingerbread Cake with a Spicy Lemon Sauce!


  1. Thank for that lovely poem Marie. I hadn't ever heard it. Having never been able to ride a bycicle I can only imagine what it must feel like and this poem certainly made me feel as if I was there riding with him !!
    Another beautiful day weatherwise ahead. do hope you are able to sit out in teh garden and enjoy soaking it all up...
    love Sybil x

  2. A wonderful and uplifting poem Marie! I too have never read it before. I remember when my grandson rode solo for the first time...what joy there was! That was until he cycled out of sight down the lane. He didn't know how to stop. lol
    Enjoy this good weather.
    Jeanie xxxxx

  3. The joys of being a child will never come again but the memories are wonderful! I hope your Saturday is a great one!


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