Mother. (Episode 14).

23 08 2016

I’m not sure what prompted our discussion about cakes. Maybe it was the box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts laid out before us, all glazed, shiny and colourful. They were an impulse buy and we are Krispy Kreme novices, so the only way for us to find out about the different fillings within the doughnuts is to bite into one. Mothers first choice turned out to be loaded with chocolate cream. Mother doesn’t like chocolate cream so the barely eaten doughnut ended up squashed into a serviette soon destined for the bin. Her disappointment overcome we discussed the ghosts of tea times past- the scones, the rock cakes, the Battenburg and the privately owned small café’s we used to visit, my favourite being a small Italian cafe based in Soho. They accepted Luncheon vouchers which made my visits affordable and it was there I discovered cheese cake. Real Italian cheese cake, both sweet and savoury, peppered with sultana’s, dense, moist and very very tasty. I kept on about it so much that my mother sourced the recipe and the main ingredient, cheese curd, then went into production, two to three cheese cakes baked on average every week. When the family got tired of them mother would share them with the neighbours, their praise spurring her on to enrol in a continental cooking class – Madeline’s, Bakewells and fairy cakes soon giving way to upside down pineapple cake, Danish pastries, eclairs, and crunchy yet chewy meringues. Mother doesn’t bake cakes any more hence the doughnuts, which aren’t bad, but they will never fill the house with the warm sensual aroma’s of home baking. But the memories did for a while, whisking us back to Eltham in the early seventies, both ourselves and the neighbours putting on weight but nobody really worrying back then. ‘A little bit of what you fancy does you good,’ as my grandmother used to say. She lived to be 99 years old.

‘Another cup of tea mum’? No answer so I look up to see mother licking her fingers, and judging by the expression on her face her last choice had been a good one. A pink iced doughnut oozing with strawberry jam. Ummmh!

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