My sweet Mummy is the world's BEST baker in my opinion, and my childhood is filled with warm, crafty memories of needlework, claywork and BAKING with Mother!
What could be more comforting?
I adore my mother for teaching me to cook before I could talk. She was a stay-at-home mum and she had her share of challenges when I was little, but she was AWESOME at nurturing the creative in me.
I guess when I grew up as a middle-class child of the 80s, I had that experience of 'homemaker' but with the promise of a bright future.
My mum's mum died when she was 12 of breast cancer, and I cannot IMAGINE how hard that was for her to deal with growing up. Luckily she had a Nana to take care of her and her two sisters, but I think she was, as the eldest, expected to be the mother figure for the two younger siblings.
My mum has always been such a wonderful, healthy influence for me in terms of food and the nurturing, loving and compassionate bonding vessel it can be between two human beings.
I have vivid memories of her allowing me and my little sis to make our Mr Men biscuits (we had bright orange Mr Men shaped cutters) out of her left over pastry dough. Obviously we were allowed to help with the pie pastry too (cold hands, not too much flour, not too little, careful with the rolling pin), but sometimes it was best left to Mum, especially when she made her amazing almond pastry which is IMPOSSIBLY difficult to roll without cracking.
I have such fond memories of creating lemon butterfly cakes, jam tarts, mince pies, Christmas cake....gosh, including the year we discovered a layer of fluffy green mould on the Christmas pudding on Christmas Eve... only to rush out and buy a respectable one for the day itself!
I could write forever and ever on this post. It makes me warm and calm inside.
So how come, if my mother made food so beautiful and good, did I get sick from the fear of eating at all?!
I will come back to that one.
For now I'm simply enjoying and savouring my memories of precious childhood years with my amazingly wonderful mother.
So the point of this post is finally coming....
My mother has clearly taught me to bake (as well as to cook very well).
So I guess I don't need her now, right?
Well when she and my Dad came up yesterday, she brought me a Dorset Apple Cake for my upcoming birthday, on the solemn promise that I would eat it promptly!
Oh, the love, and the memories, and the nurturing instinct that is baked into that cake. Of course, it tastes WONDERFUL, but it symbolises SO MUCH MORE. Never mind that my OH has eaten most of it so fast that I thought I had a plague of angry mice :-). He is another big fan of my mother's cooking.
I feel like I owe my mother an apology.
She pretty much stopped baking for me and my sister around the time we decided we were 'too fat' for her food.
I know that hurt her.
I know she didn't make batches of mince pies every Christmas just to freeze them for guests.
I know she was sad when she didn't make a Christmas cake or pudding any more because there was 'no point'.
Both my sister and I have had MAJOR issues with food.
She is still very very underweight and I guess still in denial.
I am well, will eat her food every Christmas and remember why it matters so much.
But it must be crushing as a mother to have that food rejected by your beautiful babies, hey?
My baby sister is getting married in the Spring and I hope, so badly, that she gains some weight so that she can have a period on her own without the aid of pills....why!? Because I know she wants a family and I know that I would love to be an Aunt again one day soon.
I know this post won't make that much sense to many, but to me it is my mother's arms around me, and that's good enough for now.
Many thanks for reading x