If you have a mum anything like mine, you’ll be wanting to make her a cake this Sunday. I know most of us think our Mum is the best Mum going, but mine is as good as they come. I’m sure yours is lovely and all, it’s just that mine is The Best. Sorry, but facts are facts.
So, I’m baking cake this Mother’s Day. To celebrate her continuing to top the Mum charts and to show her how much I love her (yes, sorry, this one will get a bit soppy). Because there really is no better way to show someone your love than to cook for them is there? The time spent, the skills expended, the care taken to make it just so – something about the level of consideration required is touching in a way that a card in the post just isn’t.
In my case, a cake is also symbolic because Mum is a terrific baker. Not the fashionable sourdough-and-cronuts sort, but a proper suet-pastry-and-scones sort. Nothing flashy, but her technical knowledge is rock solid. She won the coveted Quiche Cup in the village show one year; though it turned out to be something of a double-edged sword because, whilst we enjoyed her glory (and the quiche), others narrowed their eyes and cultivated their rivalry. No, it’s never been the same since that spinach and pine nut quiche. But that’s the price you pay for good pastry, I suppose.
Anyway, the cake is a symbol of all she has taught me about baking. I have her to thank for my pernickety baking ways; my anxiety over suitably chilling ingredients, my drug-dealer precise scales, not to mention my encyclopaedic collection of biscuit cutters and tart tins (no, a 19cm tin will not do when the recipe calls for 22cm). Because Mum has taught me that you can’t just busk it with baking. My Dad is the busking sort of cook (see my Father’s Day blog). But with Mum, you stick to the rules – a good lesson to learn in the kitchen and a much needed tempering to my Father’s wing-it attitude.
So, cake. And not just a homemade cake. A home grown one too. This cake, which is a little odd, I don’t mind admitting, is made with home grown squash, thyme and sage and has a good dollop of feta and honey in the frosting. Trust me on this one. It’s sweet, moist and puddingy but not the sort of cake to set your teeth on edge. Which is, in my option the perfect sort of cake. And just the ticket for a perfect sort of Mum.