My Aunty Winnie was a cakemaker and a true Northerner. Whenever we moved house which was frequent, she’d turn up on the doorstep of the new house with a meat and potato pie. Her meat and potato pies were legendary, and delicious. Her husband, my Uncle Jack was a quiet kind of chap who would utter hardly a word. He’d had a career as a shop manager. Not a supermarket, they did not exist at the time, just a small grocery store. Whenever they came for tea, which was not that often, Jack would sit in the corner sucking on a pipe and saying very little. Winnie made up for it, chatting about everything and her conversation would be interspersed with ” Jack says: ” followed by his pearls of wisdom. We never got them from the horse’s mouth. My father whispered to me one time, ” Jack must do all his talking at home, says nothing here”. My father and him got on in a way, never actually saying anything to each other probably helped. Jack was a conciencous objector during the War so it was probably just as well that he kept quiet, as my father had had a trip through Normandy, France and Belgium that he’d not anticiptated when he joined.
My mother, whose cooking I loved and miss to this day, used to bake when Jack and Winnie were expected. Usually something quite simple like a jam sponge, and Winnie’s accolade was always the same. “Oh Dorothy, this is lovely” she’d say, then the ulitmate accolade: ” Just like bought”. My mother took it as a compliment which it was.
Recently I’ve had a conversation with my daughter about cakes. She, like me, loves the industrial cakes one can buy from the supermarket. The ones that say on the packaging: “Just like you’ve baked at home!” They aren’t but it’s odd that the two of us like them so much with their vivid yellow sponge and exact depth of of ‘buttercream’ and jam. They are nowhere near as good as the ones my mother made, but they do taste “Just like bought”.
This is Vicky Sponge
She’s one of my series of drawings of people with apt names, for more go and take a look at my site here As usual, thanks for dropping by my site and listening.