From my German Family Album I am running a series of online lectures beginning on September 9th linking the historical, the contemporar...
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Cake, Cake and More Cake
In the UK we have a TV programme called The Great British Bake Off. It's presented by Mary Berry (imagine Margaret Thatcher crossed with The Terminator but nice) and Paul Hollywood (housewives favourite, if you're the kind of housewife who likes them not so nice). There are two comedians who run around to no good effect.
And then there are the people who do the baking. They're lovely. And the stuff they make is, on the whole lovely. Last night they did extreme dough; so they made doughnuts and fruit breads. The basic upshot is that you come out of it desperate to bake cakes (or bread or doughnuts). It makes you hungry. And even when the cakes don't turn out right, then you can play one-upmanship and say well I could do better than that. Last night they made a Croatian version of potica, which is something my wife makes for Christmas every year. But hers is far better and truer and all the rest of it than any of the chocolate infested dreck they had on last night.
So you win both ways.
Which brings me to my last family themed book of the week, Lots of Cake by Laura Curran. This is a modest book which looks at her mother and the way she celebrates every festival possible. I like that idea.
So we see snippets from birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens and various fancy dress parties. The pictures are rough, but it has a touch of the KayLynn Deveney's about it with its emphasis on the small details and the contrast of warm interiors with the dreich exteriors.
There are arts and crafts, the painting of banners and the hanging up of bunting. There's dressing up; for Halloween and for other events. There's one where Curran's mother (I think) and two guests stand in leopard skin blouses and shirts. I've always wanted a leopard skin jacket (a gold lame jacket too) so that gave me a twinge of envy.
We see the baking, the recipes and we see the cakes. My favourite is definitely the one with RIP printed on it - is this a Wake Cake (does such a thing exist) or a Halloween Cake. It's a quiet book so though you see the cakes they are part of a broader household celebration, the events that are created by Curran's mother, the events that add so much to the lives of everybody around her.
Buy the Book Here