Weighing ingredients, preparing baking tins and getting everything ready for making the Christmas cakes this year, I thought of my Nan. Doing this was a huge event in her household, involving quite a few days of getting things together and I remember her feeling very pleased with herself when she'd got all the tins prepared and everything ready to go.
I don't give the gathering of all the good things a second thought and simply take a list down to Waitrose and put bags of dried fruit, almonds, boxes of eggs, butter, citrus fruits, the tin of black treacle and bottle of brandy in the trolley along with the normal weekly shop. But these things must have been so precious to a housewife such as her, managing on a meagre weekly budget.
No room for any risk of failure, every precaution must be taken to get all steps right to ensure the best possible outcome.
Not only that, it must have been such tiring work. Creaming the butter and sugar is hard work even with electrical help, and folding in of the flour and the fruit which had soaked overnight left me with an aching arm and huge admiration for women like my Nan who did it all without a thought.
I wonder what she wished for?