Growing up, my mother was the only girl of five children, and as a teenager, her four brothers loved her weekly Saturday baking ritual. The aroma of freshly baked cakes lured them in at tea time, and like scavengers, they raided the 1970s Tupperware, leaving only crumbs.
When my mother married, she brought a big red cookbook with her, and as it happens, it was the only cookbook I remember seeing growing up. The book was a collection of recipes for home cooks, untitled and worn at the spine. I remember three recipes that were made on a loop in our house – carrot cake, Victoria sponge and coconut buns. Those pages were sticky and splattered from repeated use.
I vaguely remember our Saturday bakes, creaming margarine with a wooden spoon by hand as we didn’t have an electric beater. This was made all the more laborious as my mother always forgot to take the margarine out to soften before baking, and so the creaming felt like it took hours.