Once upon a time, in a kitchen not far from here, I had a different life. I used to bake cakes for a living, supplying around ten different shops and cafes and anyone who wanted a personal cake for a special occasion. I once estimated that I baked over two hundred large cakes a week. Over a year, that equates to about 10,500 cakes, and as I did this for over three years, you can see that a lot of eggs came through my front door, leaving as something quite different at the end of the day.
When I hung up my apron about five years ago, it took me over a year to be able to face my food mixer again. It sadly sat behind closed doors, hankering after the days when it churned out perfect cake mix day after day. Unfortunately, the only time my food mixer comes out these days is for a good cause. I don't mean the children's birthdays or Sunday teas, as these occasions are what Marks and Spencer sell Colin the Caterpillar Cakes for, but I do like to get baking when there is something worth doing it for.
This week, it's for Macmillan Cancer Support, and its mahoosive coffee morning which they do each year.
Baking cakes is always a problem for me. I am unable to bake just one, being so ingrained in the baking of six at a time. This might explain why I found myself surrounded by cakes yesterday afternoon. One of the guys from work had requested a coffee and walnut cake (my signature cake don't you know) so I hadn't just made a simple cake. Oh no, I have made something not far off the size of a bicycle wheel. It will probably be too heavy to carry into work on my own, so I am considering whether it might be feasible to take a wheel barrow or sack trolley in with me today to transport it from the car.
And then there are the fairy cakes. One dozen? Don't be silly. There are over fifty, some of which the husband tucked into last night, and then there were a few kept back for daughter number one. Notwithstanding all of that, there is enough cake to feed the whole of Binland. Twice over.
I hope that we will raise a sizeable amount for Macmillan. They do a damn fine job, and there's nothing better than stuffing your gob with cake, and spluttering through the walnuts and icing that you are 'Doing it for a Good Cause'. If only the waistband on my trousers were that understanding.
I can almost sense it shaking its head in disbelief, preparing itself for the sudden assault on its elasticity with a shout of 'Brace! Brace! Brace!' and hoping that the cake hogging will be balanced up tomorrow with a celery only day. But that is the whole bloody trouble with cake. Once you have had a slice, the game's not over till the plate is empty. I am considering inventing an oral version of the chastity belt to avoid even the smallest slice.
Duct tape might just swing it...