The Beach Hut

The Beach Hut

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


With Easter just round the corner I thought I'd post another short blog about some of the delights my Dad used to make.  

Dad didn’t just bake he was an expert cake decorator as well and every evening he would be out in the kitchen decorating wedding cakes.  The sweet smell of the Royal Icing filled the kitchen as he modelled two-inch-high swans and created tiers of semi-circular loops to hang around the edge of the cake.  Mixed with the distinctive almond smell of the marzipan that he used to make tiny rose petals as well as the base for the icing, the smell was like heaven and I often crept out into the kitchen on a Sunday evening to watch.  I’d watch until Sing Something Simple came on the radio which would be my cue to leave for something more exciting on the television. 

We loved biscuits in our house and our favourites were chocolate digestives.  Ours were made by Dad who would cover our plain digestives in a thick layer of melted chocolate which he then left to cool and set on greaseproof paper.  I remember picking out the biscuits which had the most drips of chocolate over the edge.  At Easter it was chocolate eggs and Easter Bunnies, or rather Easter Rabbits – there was no baby talk in our house.  One Easter my sister and I had a big Easter Egg each, decorated with delicate, brightly coloured, handmade crystal flowers.  Was I happy?  Well, no actually.  I mean, there weren’t even any chocolate buttons inside.  It was completely hollow; such a disappointment.  What an ungrateful child I was!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cream Cakes

When I was growing up my best friend was Joy.  Joy’s father, worked for a wholesale butcher and dinner at her house always meant great big portions of meat.  I remember listening to her parents discussing what meat they would need over Christmas; a turkey, a leg of pork and beef brisket.  “Will that do, or should we have some ham as well?” her mum asked.  In my house meat was strictly rationed, we had a turkey at Christmas and that lasted for a week. 

My own Dad was a baker and when I was little he started work very early every morning in the bakery of a local department store, making bread and cakes for the restaurant.  What this meant for us kids was that we invariably had cream cakes for tea; the day’s leftovers.  I was the envy of many of my friends and I often invited Joy home to tea.  Joy loved a cream cake.  I, on the other hand, hated cream.  The sight of thick, white, whipped cream on a lip would quite make me heave.   My favourite was always an iced bun, commonly called a Sticky Willy, but we didn’t do common in my house.  Even Spotted Dick was called Spotted Dog at home.   I first saw the name Spotted Dick on the school canteen menu.  "Is that the same as Spotted Dog?" I asked my friends.