My friend Heather has asked me to make a cake for her sister Helen's birthday this weekend. We hummed and hah'd over which passion Helen would most like on her cake - her garden, her car or her kitchen and plumped for the kitchen. Heather sent me some photos of Helen's beautiful cream Aga in her kitchen decorated in hot pink and lime green and I came up with this cake. I'm not sure if fridge magnets really would stick to an Aga in real life, or if the top of the range is the best place to keep a vase of fresh flowers, but the great thing about the medium of cake is that it allows you a lot of artistic licence.
The cake is two 8" fruit cakes, dowelled and stacked, as it needed to serve 60. Heather is part of a large family. She is the youngest of five and has four children of her own, the eldest of whom is 15 (this seems ridiculous as it was only five minutes ago that we were 15 ourselves) and the youngest of whom is two and has the most beautiful head of auburn curls that you will ever see on a child.
Heather is my oldest friend (in terms of how long I've known her, not in terms of age. I have some friends who are MUCH older. Some are even in their mid 40s). We used to get the bus to school every day together and talk about boys, until Heather passed her driving test, at which point we would drive to school every day in a Nissan Cherry called Norman and talk about boys. Heather's family have also been very welcoming to me - some of my happiest teenage memories are of chipping off wallpaper in the Cheviots and listening to Paul Simon. Or drinking cider in Blyth park and wobbling back to Heather's house to stay the night.
Heather emigrated to Canada a couple of years back with her husband and children (it would have seemed rude not to take them) so I don't see her as much as I'd like to. She's back this summer and brought me a little present from Canada. I mentioned turtles in my blog from Toronto and complained that my Canadian family have been hiding them from me all my life. Finally I have my own bag. Thanks Heather! And happy birthday Helen!