Hairnets on, dressed all in white we look like snowmen. ‘We’re making Christmas, my darling, right here!’ with a twist of her wrist, softly squeezing, she conjures delicate lines of green icing as holly leaves appear on the blank face of the cake.
M-E-R-R-Y C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. I’m in charge of the lettering. It’s easier than the holly but harder than the edging.
‘Me, your grandmother, her mother before her and her mother before that. Your Aunt Nell, Auntie Jeanie, Great Aunt Eleanor – all the way back, eleven women, five generations. Including you.’ Mum comes round my side of the counter, wraps her arm around my shoulder applying the same gentle pressure she does to a full piping bag.
We reach the last order of the day and she takes the sherry bottle from behind the plastic tubs of glacé cherries and mixed peel. She pours what is left into two mugs and passes one to me as she admires my handiwork.
‘You’re a fine piper, my girl, and a fine baker!’ She’s being kind, my mum.
She makes my Christmas.
|Photo credit: Mink via Flickr|