The Particular Sadness (And Joy!) of Lemon Cake (And Mother’s Day!)

Lemon cake

Last week, we endured the eighth anniversary of my Mam’s passing. She passed away three days shy of my Dad’s third anniversary. It’s a week I dread every year. Anniversaries are a strange business, I don’t miss my Mam more on those days because it’s not possible to physically miss her anymore than I already miss her. But anniversaries have a horrible way of moving very slowly and it’s difficult to not watch the clock turning through the day and remembering each and every event that happened during the worst day of your life. My Mam passed away very suddenly the week before Mother’s Day, I was living in Edinburgh and had bought the gift to post over, sheepskin lined slippers; slippers my flat mate had to return to the shop for me when I flew home. Consumed with grief, I flew home for good not long after.

While browsing through Nigella Lawson’s ‘Feast’ this morning I came across this paragraph which summed the feeling of grief up perfectly: ‘It takes time even to begin to accept someone’s becoming part of a memory bank rather than a living-breathing person: the immediate loss is entirely shockingly physical; their smell, the feel of them. They are not in the next room: they are gone.”

Mary berry lemon cake, afternoon tea

However, I am fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law who considers her daughters-in-law, her daughters. She is always ready to offer advice, but only when asked and carefully considers her response in the off chance that it may offend. Although recently when she was supposed to be admiring our baby in a scan photo, she did say our baby had a pointy nose, “just like you”. Excuse me, I have a cute button nose! Yes, baby! We are having a baby, so this time next year, I will be celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother rather than a daughter, although it will be a bittersweet experience without my Mam with me to celebrate her first grandchild, I know that, as always she will be with me in spirit. A reminder that life is ever changing.

I am nearly half way along in the pregnancy now and want to eat every scone in a five mile radius of my ever expanding person. What does this mean? Girl? Boy? Scone-baby?

Bourbon ale brown bread

Lemon cake recipe from Mary Berry.

The title of the post is a nod towards the awful book of the same name but also in a nod towards a very sad looking but extremely tasty cake. It’s a little unusual as it involves boiling two lemons before blending into a pulp, half of the pulp is added to the cake batter and the remainder to the mascarpone icing. I had my friends over for a late lunch and afternoon tea today and we all loved this cake. We also loved this goats cheese, onion and potato tart and bourbon ale brown bread. For our afternoon tea we had mini vanilla scones with softly whipped cream and raspberry jam, jaffa biscuit cake and the sad looking lemon cake. We put the world to rights drinking tea from my Mam’s china cups, a reminder that life is ever changing….

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16 Responses to The Particular Sadness (And Joy!) of Lemon Cake (And Mother’s Day!)

  1. Magda says:

    Great news Adrienne. Life is scary, life is beautiful. Tell me what cake and when you need and I’m at your service, as I mentioned on Twitter I don’t have experience at scones, but anything else, I’m there.
    In case of emergency, have you tried cookies called Jeżyki? biscuits, with hazelnuts, rice crisps, carmel and covered with chocolate. There are different versions. Perfect for indulging not only during pregnancy ;)
    I would advise every girl to pick her mother-in-law wisely, mine is lovely, I couldn’t have imagine better one and it makes life so much easier, so if you have a girl say that to her.
    And you have lovely nose Adrienne :)

  2. Caroline@Bibliocook says:

    I’ve just read that book! Very intriguing premise. So delighted with your news, will be thinking of you. And scone baby :)

  3. Rosemarie Mullin says:

    Thrilled to wake up to such lovely news Adrienne! Congrats to you & Greig. I was at my nieces 18th birthday so only seeing this this morning. I hope you have a lovely day today. Having dinner here for my mother in law so need to get a move on & stop sniffling ;)

    • Adrienne says:

      Thanks for your good wishes Rosemarie! Sounds like you have a busy day ahead of you, hope you get some time to relax x

  4. Congratulations Adrienne. Enjoy the scones :)

  5. Skinny Doll says:

    Congratulations!! Beautiful post xxx

  6. Katherine says:

    What a lovely post. Hope you are feeling well. I’m sure your mammy would be delighted her cups are being put to good use.

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