I remember when I lived on my own, in total it was for five years; I often used to cook food from scratch. During my time in my flat, a good friend of mine had asked me what I wanted for my birthday; I told her I wanted scales traditional, old fashion style ones, where you put the weights on one side and the food on the other. This was more than enough to get me cooking! I loved it, I remember looking in the cook book and deciding to make spinach lasagne, why, I don’t really know, it just appealed to me, I bought all the ingredients, and then I followed carefully from the book how to make it. It looked and smelt fantastic! But when I tasted it I realized I didn’t like spinach!! I took it to my Mums and I asked her if she wanted some.... I told her she could throw the rest away, as “it was horrible,” Mum loved it and as she didn’t want to waste it, and over the next few days, ate the lot! It was for four to six people.
On another occasion I remember making jam donuts, they were an eye opener, for I always wondered how they got the lovely jam inside, and now I knew....
My speciality was Quiche Loraine, I didn’t need the scales for these for I had perfected making them, to a T and in the five years I lived at my flat alone, everyone got that for a meal except one couple. I always had the same question, when they had eaten it, “Where did you buy this lovely quiche from,” and my reply was always the same, “I made it.” Everyone had a hearty piece, with a large jacket potato with mayonnaise and sweet corn. The couple who didn’t have this was a very special couple they were my VIP’s their Daughter had been killed in the Lockerbie Disaster so I pulled out all the stops for them, I made for them bolognaise meat balls on a bed of boiled white rice, but to my horror when I went to check on the rice twenty minutes later, it was slush! I went into the Living Room and said, “I am really sorry, I will have to throw the rice away and start again,” the lovely lady said, “You will do no such thing, there are ten different ways to cook rice” (later on when I told this story to my friends one piped up, “And you found the 11th bless her, she did rescue it goodness knows how and their visit to my flat was a success. This lovely humble couple had bought me a gift, the Wife said, “I have bought you something I know you will have,” I said, “What’s that?” she replied you haven’t got one, a table” which was true, we all had our meals on our trays on our laps. My Husband and kids still eat on our trays on our laps now, the only time we don’t is Christ mas Day.
I digress (as usual) one of the workers said to me one day when I was telling another story, well on two separate occasions, “Can I have the short version!” And the same worker later on said on another day, “Get to the point!” it’s a good job I knew she said it in jest! I talk how I write; hence I have been in stacks of trouble at work with my Manager over the years, “Too much writing!” So I was more than glad to be told about this site, here on ABC tales I can let my hair down and write to my heart’s content!
So using my lovely scales, I decided one day to make a Dundee Cake. I went and bought all the lovely ingredients, and thoroughly enjoyed baking it. The following day a friend came to visit me; I didn’t know she was coming over, I said to her, “I have made a Dundee Cake, I would like you to give me your honest opinion of what you think of it,” she replied, “Before I taste it I need to let you know, my Grandma was a Dundee Cake Judge, for many years.” Oh dear, I thought ... as I cut her a slice of the lovely moist cake, I watch as she took a bite, then she said, “This is delicious, it has a perfect texture and taste,” I was shocked and said, “You’re not just saying that?” Hannah said, “You asked for my honest opinion, and I have given it, this Dundee Cake could win a competition.” I was chuffed.
The next day was Sunday; I went to my place of Worship and usually after the service there was always tea, coffee and biscuits. I went to the kitchen at the start of the service and said to the two brothers who I knew would be doing the light refreshments at the end (they were getting the cups ready at the hatch), I gave them the rest of the cake, for I only had a slice of it, as my aim was only to bake it, I said to them, “I made this myself, share it out for all, but do NOT tell anyone who made it!” They said, “OK.”
When everyone had finished their refreshments I went back to the kitchen to get my cake tin, I was about to ask, did anyone like the cake... but before I could say anything, they said to me, “Everyone, who had your cake returned and asked, ‘Who made this lovely cake?’ I said, “What did you tell them?” For back then, I was very, very shy and would have died of embarrassment, if they have come up to me with their compliments!! They said to them all, “We can’t tell you, we have been told not to say,” then one brother said, “People begged us!” But their replies were the same, “We have strict orders not to say who baked the cake.” So my secret was safe.
I only cooked once like that since I got married twenty years ago, and that was to make my speciality Quiche Lorraine, and that was for one of the kid’s birthday party. It was a BIG hit! I sold my lovely scales about fifteen years at a car boot. Individual, good ingredients are very expensive, so now I just buy cakes and food reduced from the supermarkets at the end of the day.....