We were always convinced there wouldn't be enough left for us and clamoured as the spatula did its job too well for us. In the end there always was plenty for us to 'lick the bowl', scraping out with our teaspoons, but the draw of the cake mixture had us under her feet in the small space from the word go. She must have borne with us patiently enough, for a few years later I was proudly baking my own biscuits, drop scones and cakes, having absorbed the know-how over the years of impatiently waiting for the cake bowl to be handed over. Now my children are right there at my elbow in a frenzy of anticipation just the same - I have to do a little surreptitious scraping of my own before handing it over - I haven't grown out of wanting to lick the bowl yet!
My preference for baking cakes whenever I need to make our house feel homely, my opening the recipe book (mine is a file of plastic sleeves stuffed with pages of copied down recipes) even when I've made a recipe a thousand times before, have all been handed down directly from her... and we both make a pretty good cake!
This is part of the post I've been meaning to write for ages for Vanieljie Kitchen's Apples and Thyme blog event, which celebrates time spent in the kitchen with mothers and grandmothers.
What makes remembering my childhood poignant to me at the moment is that my father, Derek, is in hospital back in
Daddy, I've been sending you South African energy all day, looking at Table Mountain, sending you thoughts from the cricket field where your grandson was playing a match today: green grass; nine years olds shouting at each other to try for fours 'cos they're safer than sixes, you don't get caught; disappointment as he got caught for 1 run; triumph as he bowled a maiden over. I hope the distilled essence of it reached you, with the scent of a hot summer's day and the smell of cut grass, tall trees shading the edge of the field, the sides of