Dear Diary – Page 47 (Early 1960’s – Cake Baking)

I became interested in baking at this time (around 15 years old) and so my Mum used to include me in the process whenever she was baking.

I seem to recall doing a pretty good job with pies but the climax of my culinary delights career (and also its downfall) was during an afternoon while Mum was at work.

I wanted to bake a really nice big cake as a surprise, and it certainly was! I cannot remember what it was called, but the recipe called for 12 eggs. Eggs were quite expensive at that time (I found out later).

Getting all the ingredients together I could only find 11 eggs but thought nothing of it, after all, what difference could 1 egg make?

It all seemed to be coming together rather well and, when the oven reached the required temperature, “I bunged it in” (my Mum’s terminology)! After the necessary cooking time, I opened the oven door and there, in all its glory, was this perfectly shaped cake! Mum had shown me that to check whether it was properly cooked, I just gently insert a knife into it and when withdrawing it, look for any uncooked cake mixture on the knife blade.

I inserted the knife, and after a brief escape of steam, my cake collapsed completely! There was nothing remaining that could be remotely passed off as a cake and so it was an unmitigated disaster!

Mum’s immediate reaction was “How many eggs did you use? What on earth were you making? You used up all my eggs?”

Perhaps I forgot to separate the eggs?

*****

On one Saturday while Dad was at work, Frances (she was then around 10) and I were playing outside the house. The game ended with her chasing me. I ran into the house through the kitchen door and quickly shut it behind me with the intention of stopping Frances from coming in! The kitchen door had 3 glass panels in it. When she reached the door, her solution to me stopping her from coming in was to simply kick the door. Unfortunately, she kicked a glass panel and broke it. That was the end of that game and also the end of our pocket money for a couple of weeks.

For some reason, which I have never understood, Dad did not lose his temper over the incident. I can only assume that Mum somehow intervened.

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14 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 47 (Early 1960’s – Cake Baking)

  1. Perhaps you were making an Angel Food cake. That’s the only cake I know of that takes so many eggs. I remember my Mom making it. It was my Grandpa’s favorite and became one of my favorites. I can imagine your face when the cake sunk and yes for Angel Food cake the eggs need separated. 🙂

    I had to laugh about you and your sister for a very similar thing happened to my brother and sister. They were playing outside and he was chasing her, she ran inside and shut the door fast and his hands went right through the glass.
    One of those stories that just keep coming up at every family gathering. 🙂

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  2. Hi, Colin! Lovely post — and I’m happy to get back to your blog, too. I just got your message via my website and I’ll be getting back to you soon on that (I’m playing “catch up” as fast as I can — going out of town for a week will do that! lol). Anyway, glad to see that you’re still blogging! I’m easing back into C-Dog & Company, but I also have another blog — yep, I started another! — of my creative writing at Big Promises, Little Results. Talk to you, via email, soon! 🙂

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    • Hi Himali: I was in our local store a few years ago now, and a mother and daughter (maybe 8-10 years old) were ahead of me in the “baking aisle”. The daughter suddenly turned to her mother with such excitement “Mummy … we don’t have to buy cakes any more! Look ….we can make them!” She was pointing to a box of pre-mixed cake ingredients. My immediate thought was how sad that the little girl had never been introduced to home made cakes, and saw a pre-mix as a revelation. Doesn’t anybody bake “from scratch” any more (except in my home!)?

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  3. I always remember the lovely smells of baking. Just in the same way you get the smell of frying bacon. Didn’t get to do much cooking when I was young but I got to lick out the mixing bowls. My own dad was a very gentle guy. Got a good smacked behind when I went too much over the line. But not often.

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    • Interesting re the smack. General mistakes, carelessness, mischief etc was generally handled by a verbal reprimand. Anything else was an over-reaction on my Dad’s part. This was no doubt fueled by the fact that his pride interfered with his common sense! I don’t think that he ever “mellowed” with age!

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  4. My first attempt at cooking was taking boiled eggs and toast in to Mum and Dad one morning. The eggs were raw as I’d only ‘cooked’ them for 3 minutes without letting the water boil first, and the tea was cold as I’d found it in the tea pot. The toast was OK though. Piggybacking on your entry has triggered some memories for a similar post. 🙂

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    • Hi Ameena: My Dad had a violent temper (ref. Dear Diary – Page 6 and Page 24) and made no allowance for “us kids”. Our Mum intervened whenever possible. As for baking? No. I am quite happy preparing meals (a necessary skill from many years ago) but I have always had a partner that is more than willing to take care of any baking. 🙂

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