A while back, whilst lunch time browsing in a charity shop, I found this recipe book. Nothing special but I recognised it immediately as one that my mum used to have. It is a proper 1970's cook book with no new-fangled techniques. When we cleared her house after she died, my sister and I wanted to keep all the "family" books but we were both moving house ourselves at the time and attempting to clear out rather than accumulate. Needless to say, a lot of childhood memories were passed on to new homes. Just for sentimentality reasons, I had to buy this book from the charity shop and the Golden Girl behind the till charged me just one English pound. Since then it has sat on my recipe book shelf, collecting dust, with me looking guiltily at it every time I walk past it. But I smile because it reminds me of Mum.
Jake is fascinated with baking at the moment but his attention span is next to zero thanks to his ADHD. He is a starter but not usually a completer, yet he is always full of enthusiasm. Baking is a good way to get him enthused about an end result because he's interested in the science of the combination of the ingredients and the praise he receives from us when we taste the finished product makes him glow.
He has nerded out over the book a lot recently, listening to the story behind it, browsing the recipes, wondering why he doesn't see cakes and bakes that are shown in the pictures. He wanted to make something so I told him to choose a few, we'd have a read through them together and get on with it.
Twenty quid lighter at Adsa and we had the ingredients (and piping bags/nozzles) to make a raspberry meringue and a lemon tart. I was thinking that these had better be stupendously good cakes for that price.
To make things even more nostalgic, I did actually manage to hang onto a great deal of baking equipment when we distributed Mum's belongings. I have lots of ceramic-ware, her old scales, her mixing bowl and a few other bits and pieces. I use them quite a lot because they feel... I don't know... comfortable.
So we have followed the original recipes and we've used the original techniques. We have made vanilla custard from scratch and created real meringues (that didn't dry out properly but that was our own timing issues). We have spend most of the day making two desserts that we probably could have bought for a quarter of the price whilst we were in Asda BUT there's been a little bit of Mother/Son time, a small amount of learning, the exercising of a lot of patience and some pretty yummy food created.