Friday, 23 December 2011

Melting Moments provoked nostalgia


Last week I made these with my little boy. He'd been asked to take in some biscuits at short notice. 'I think normal people just have packets of biscuits and crisps in their cupboards all the time' he told me, when I broke it to him that we didn't have any. I wonder who these normal people are and what it's like to be one of them: I want to see inside their cupboards (actually, I have. I think by my little boy's definition this would make own mother entirely normal, for she is prepared for any eventuality on the biscuit front). In the absence of normality in our own pantry, we decided to bake and a tub of glace cherries was our inspiration.

The moment I saw them for some reason I was transported straight back to arriving at my grandmother's house. When we were small she lived alone in a little row of terraced houses beneath the care of an enormous church whose bells chimed every quarter of an hour, even through the night. As we neared the end of our four hour car journey and drew closer to her house my insides would feel like they had butterflies in them as I imagined actually seeing her and being in her lovely little house which smelt of baking, furniture polish and grandmotherly goodness. I genuinely believe that she had butterflies too, because no matter how delayed our arrival was, as soon as our car pulled into her street, her front door would fly open and she would dance up and down in one of the half-pinnies from her huge collection and the moment our car doors were open she would gather me and my sister up and say over and over: hello my little poppets, hello my treasures, in her high-pitched, squeaky voice. And once inside, I knew that cooling on the baking rack there would be Melting Moments with glace cherries on top along with Crunch or Sog (her name for flapjack).


I must have made Melting Moments with her several times, for when my little boy had pressed them onto the baking tray and topped them with cherries, my chest felt tight with how deliciously familiar they looked, even in their unbaked state. We didn't make these using my grandmother's recipe, but found one on the internet as we were hurrying. I must ask her for a copy of her own recipe at Christmas. She no longer bakes, which makes me feel rather sad as for so long it defined her, but she does revert into that lively ball of wonderfulness the moment she's around my children and I can tell that my little boy feels the same way that I did as a child whenever he sees her.


Anyway, the cushion in these photographs is for her, made the day after the Melting Moments on the last day of the school term. I loved picking out the fabrics for it and piecing them together as I sorted through old memories of midnight feasts, playing horses on her Chesterfield, daubing talcum powder from a huge powder puff (deliciously exciting because we didn't have talcum powder at home) and snuggling to either side of her to listen to stories told from her head and then later, because we were essentially tasteless and she indulged this with wild abandon, racing to the television after bath time to watch Dallas and Dynasty by her side.


This will probably be my last post before Christmas, so I really want to thank you so much for reading this year. Thank you also to those lovelies who take the time out from the busyness of their own lives to leave comments, email photos and links to interesting things, buy my patterns and generally make sewing feel very much like a group activity.

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases,
Florence x

18 comments:

  1. What precious memories and how lovely to pass on to your little ones too. Do ask for her recipe so it doesn't get lost (so wish I had done that with my Grandma). Beautiful cushion.....Happy Christmas to you and yours xx

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  2. Happy Christmas Florence and thanks for a year of fantastic blogging. I started my crafting and sewing odyssey on 4th Jan this year when I took delivery of my first sewing machine. A day or 2 later I stumbled across your blog and have been following it ever since. It has been a constant inspiration to me. Keep up the good work and have a relaxing Happy Christmas!!!x

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  3. Such a lovely post, and it makes me all the more excited for my children to be visiting our parents next week. I have a tear or two in my eye - in a good way!

    Just wanted to thank you for the three bears sleeping bag pattern - I had held off making these for so long, but now I have and they are in fabrics that match my girls' own pillows and quilt, and I can hardly wait for them to open them! Gloriously straightforward - as are all your patterns.

    Happy Christmas!

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  4. My grandmother stopped baking for a while too, but she got back to it a couple of years ago after a heart procedure that gave her more energy. She keeps a very well-stocked "normal" biscuit tin as well, though, while I'm abnormal like you. Have a lovely Christmas! Looking forward to seeing all your secret crafting...

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  5. I can't remember eating melting moments since my mum used to make them in the 1970s. I also have no biscuits in the house because if I do they get eaten very quickly so it is simpler not to have them. Now concerned that I am not normal! Happy Christmas.

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  6. I love the memories with your Gran! Makes me remember all the happiness I used to have going to my grans house. Lots of yummy food & I loved getting into her painting supplies :)
    Have a blessed Christmas & enjoy all the special moments of friends & family! xo

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  7. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mrs. Teacakes, and thank you so much for your wonderful blog!

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  8. Ooh, I used to make these melting moments when I was little too! I remembered these a little while ago and asked my Mum where they came from. They turned out to be from a flour company freebie cook book 'BeRo'. I wonder if your Grandmother's came from the same book? It has loads of great traditional recipes in!

    Have a great Christmas!

    S x

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  9. A lovely post, Florence. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas: thankyou for a great blog year. The cushion is so pretty!

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  10. I hava recipe for a little biscuit that looks very similar to this. It comes from my great grandmother and we call them 'Ma's little cakes'. It reminds me of my grandmother so much too, because it was always her standby biscuit.

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  11. Such an evocative post!

    I hope you will ask your grandmother if you may share her recipe with your readers...I've never heard f these cookies, but I would love to try this recipe. Both my own grandmothers passed away when I was small, so I must rely on second-hand traditions in this regard :)

    Best wishes to you and yours, for a lovely holiday!

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  12. Such a lovely post - whenever I see a coconut haystack (which isn't often!) I remember my grandma, she was such a wonderful baker and I still miss her. Happy Christmas to you and your family x

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  13. Thanks you for sharing such wonderful memories. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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  14. What a lovely post, thank you. Makes me so nostalgic for my Grandmother.

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  15. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you and your family all the very best for 2012.

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  16. My mother has stopped baking now, so I must try all the harder as the baton passes to me with my own girls grown and beginning to talk about starting families themselves. Reading this brought back such happy memories of high teas with my own much loved Grandmother Eva ... and she had talcum powder and floral half pinnies too!
    Very belated Seasons' Greetings :D

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  17. ah melting moments...I can smell them from here! baking is so rich in memories...I still use my Granny's weighing scales and my daughter has just used them to make our Christmas cake...with Granny's recipe for marzipan laced with sherry!

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  18. Yes yes yes Bero biscuits
    http://www.be-ro.com/f_insp.htm
    My mum had the Bero recipe book and got one for me recently- it is soon becoming another flour dusted, margarine smudged version of hers! Not quite the same online.

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Florence x