So tomorrow my daughter is having a little party to say goodbye (or au revoir really) to her friends. She absolutely wanted: one chocolate cake, one vanilla cake, some cutout biscuits and some other bits and buyable-bobs. So today. I have been slaving away and have made some chocolate fairy cakes (vegan), a "vanilla" cake and some cutout biscuits, mainly butterflies.
It's sweet because she actually doesn't like any of that stuff to eat ("Yes I do Mummy they are really very delicious, I'm just not hungry" - nope she can't even finish a tiny heart buscuit) but knows that a proper party requires them (cf. Milly-Molly-Mandy, My Naughty Little Sister, etc.).
The plan was for me to ice these delectables tonight. Ho hum. I don't much feel like icing any more. We'll see. But I did want to say that I of course had my Mum on the phone twice today with questions first about cake-tin size and secondly about what to do if the toothpick comes out clean but the cake is still singing (put it back in for five minutes). When I was little, Mum always listened to cakes and bread coming out of the oven to see if they were singing. And so that is what I do too.
Earlier on I was trying to cream together sugar and butter for both the biscuits and the cake and both times my arm got very tired incredibly quickly and I had to have lots of breaks but I could remember my Mum creaming away just as fast, tirelessly, no pauses even. I asked her on the phone how she did it and the answer was that her Mum, my gran, used to pass a bowl of ingredients to my unsuspecting eleven year old future mother and say "cream this will you" or whatever. I must start doing that to my daughter soon so that I never have to buy a Kenwood and so that she doesn't either!!!!
And then, while I was quite unsuspectingly de-panning my cake, I carefully peeled the lining paper off the bottom and was hit with a wave of nostalgia. How many times had I watched my Mum peel off the bottom lining of a cake? The smell, the moistness of the paper, its wrinkleyness, the texture of the crumbs left on, the squidgey triangle made by folding up the circle to put in the bin. OK I pass for a fool but... next time I'll let my daughter peel off the lining.This is our local lake, the one we go to to feed the ducks. This Sunday it was half iced-oved. The first time I had seen it like that. The icing on the lake.