This morning I called in early to see my parents. They were sitting in bed reading The Times.. as they do every single morning, for as long as I can remember. We chattered about the recipes and I talked about the fact that I am thinking about Christmas recipes, in particular Christmas cake and pudding. My father smiled as he recalled my grandmothers cakes. It was my grandmother who taught me to bake.
People use to come from miles and miles away to order cakes off your grandmother he said. Christmas cakes, wedding cakes, christening cakes. She was renowned for her amazing fruit cakes. He told me that the making these cakes were a social occasion. Made before the invention of television. Oh yes - they could bake and gossip. No one was immune to the gossip.. and boy they could gossip.
Whilst Dad was lost in the memory of cake baking and a bunch of chattering aunties busy baking, my mum disappeared downstairs to reappear with an envelope. You might like this. There was spidery writing over an old yellowing envelope. I opened it gingerly, sitting on the end of my parents bed like a 7 year old girl again. Inside was treasure. My grandmothers Christmas cake and pudding recipe. She made this cake from the time she was married. Over 85 years ago. Tears prickled my eyes as my mother said you can keep it. Safe.
She sent me out into the stables to find my grandmothers original tins. So here I have it. The original recipes and the original tin still wrapped in brown paper and string that my grandmother tied on to stop the last cake she baked burning too quickly in an old fashioned oven. She died over 20 years ago.
Now I must decide if I can bear to untie the string she once tied on to clean up this tin to re use it as she once did.
I think I’ll sit and wait a while.
She would have told everyone, everyone about this book.
She would have been so proud.