Memories of baking... and baking new memories...
When I was a child, my Mum always spent most of Saturday afternoon baking.
When we were very small, we loved to "help" and I can recall standing on a chair with plastic blue-and-white gingham style seat covers, at a drop leaf table stirring whatever it was with gusto, whilst my siblings did the same. Licking spoons (I never quite understood why I was meant to like raw cake mixture!) and squabbling over got to do what were all part of a deliciously untidy pattern of life.
By the time we were teens, helping wasn't fun any more, but, along with whichever friends happened to be round, we soon polished off each week's offerings. Butterfly cakes, fairy cakes, fruit buns, plain buns... these were staples, along side 'slicing' cakes such as coffee walnut, coconut, rich fruit, cherry (with properly distributed fruit) and Victoria sponge. Plain or cheese scones, the former often with homemade jam, the latter an excuse for butter rather than marge!
So, knowing I have folk round for 'tea and cake' later today, I decided to bake in her honour. Butterfly cakes are probably the only 'authentic' throw back but the others have the 'essence' of what she used to make.
Our school friends always said my Mum made the best cakes - alas, for us who had them every week, it was the tantalising bought cakes at their homes we craved! So, I also bought the one thing that my Mum craved whenever she thought of Scotland (which were available in Northampton, just beyond her budget at the time) - Tunnock Caramel Wafers.
It's been fun to bake (even if my kitchen now looks like my mum's did forty years ago!) and good to recall happy, uncomplicated family times.