“Oooh! Just like bought”

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”.

Vicky Sponge

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.



6 thoughts on ““Oooh! Just like bought”

  1. That could be me, I had an Aunt Winnie who used to bring flapjacks in a toffee tin to our days out in the pig van. My dad was a butcher and had the use of a Bedford van at weekends. It was washed out, rugs in, fireside chairs in, tubular folding chairs for us kids ( pre health and safety) and the red Roberts radio that played Frank Ifield and Nat King Cole… ship bought cakes were Kunzle Cakes. #happybruiseddays

  2. “Just like bought” might have been a compliment at one time, but now with all the fake ingredients (vivid yellow) I’d consider it an insult! Love your Vicky Sponge character, and Winnie and Jack sound delightful.

  3. I worked in a cake factory in the 70s and one of the workers used to have yellow arms. Need I say more. My Mum could never have been insulted bt Winnie, neither had it in their nature. Thanks for your kind comment.

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