Saturday 18 November 2017

A recipe that evokes true, sweet flavour of Christmas

I may never make Granny's Christmas cake, but reading her recipe brings her back, four years after her death, writes Sarah Caden

Sarah Caden's Granny Mary
Sarah Caden's Granny Mary

In my kitchen, on the bookshelf with the cook books, I have a scrapbook. Into its plastic pockets I insert pages torn from magazines, recipes for things that I may or may not make. Every now and then, I do a cull. A good percentage of the recipes are aspirational; composed of ingredients I will never buy; too elaborate for anyone with a job and two children; or food for the person I'd like to be but am not. I throw the meals that will never happen in the bin and try to keep only those that will become part of the repertoire.

There is one recipe I have yet to make, though I have had it for 15 years now. In all the culls, I have never discarded it and I never will.

It's not on glossy magazine paper. It's on orange card that may have been part of a folder one time, cut unevenly into a sort-of A4 size. On one side thick strips of masking tape hold in place a card addressed to me by my married name, which I rarely use. The handwriting is that of my granny, Mary, spidery and a bit shaky with old age, but undeniably hers.

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