Having someone else’s cake and eating it

Today is Mothering Sunday. 

When I was a kid, this meant cake.  Not made by my mum – her two favourite things were Guinness and John Player Specials; you could scour every cook book by the Galloping Gourmet and you’d struggle to find any recipe combining both.

At my Balham church the vicar’s wife was on a par with Fanny Craddock (only without the scary make up); she would make simnel cake for people to take after the morning service.  I would always try that end-of-party-trick of asking if I could take a piece for my mum too?  I’m surprised I’ve never had to enrol in Weight Watchers.

The idea was that you were actually meant to take the cake home to your mum.  Mine would have been too engrossed with her latest Jean Plaidy novel, or still been in bed with “one of her heads”.  Throughout my formative years I was always thought my mum was some sort of hydra.

At my church I sang in the choir.  Although, I started late and was never a choir boy, therefore, I missed out on all those sixpences I could have earned singing at weddings, shillings at funerals and ten bob for an exorcism.  I did make up with this lack of earning by eating cake.  It would have been rude not to.

So, to all the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers out there, thank you, and just a small slice, please.

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