Tuesday, 31 December 2013

“Heaven, I’m in heaven ....”

Ivy made our fabulous wedding cake
Christmas always has a tinge of sadness when there’s a well loved family member no longer around to celebrate the festive season. And so it was this year for us, when Grandma Abson’s niece, Ivy, passed away in early December 2013, aged 88.
Ivy followed in our great family tradition of baking. She would bake countless Christmas Cakes for family, friends and neighbours, all liberally laced with brandy, adopting the family method of letting her hand slip.  But her prowess extended well beyond producing tasty cakes, puddings, pastries and pies. She followed various cake decorating courses assiduously to develop her skills and became very proficient in sugar craft cake decorating and design, producing numerous wedding cakes with great artistry.
Ivy and Ron’s wedding 1950 
But as well as her culinary expertise, I’ll always remember Ivy for her great sense of fun in everything she did.  She loved dancing and was an ardent  'Strictly' fan, having spent her younger days travelling from her home in Manchester to enjoy the dancing spectacle at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. It hit just the right note when we heard Frank Sinatra singing Dancing Cheek to Cheek'  as we remembered her with much affection at her funeral. So, I’m dedicating this post to Ivy and raising a toast of celebration (a glass of your favourite Chablis) and thanks for her long life. We’ll miss you! I bet you’re baking cakes up there in cake heaven.
Ivy celebrates Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012
And, just a final note to the end of the year, in the grand tradition of family baking, I’m delighted to say that Ivy has passed her skills down the generations onto granddaughter, Rachel, who now also excels in cake making and decorating. Long live home baking! 
Rachel’s cake for Kieran’s 21st birthday 

Happy New Year. Let the baking continue!

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