All summer long I baked. Fresh apron with long ties bound to my waist locked in knots . All summer long I baked cupcakes and tea bracks, coffee, chocolate, coconut, cherry cakes oh and bakewell tarts too, cookies galore. Custard creams and brownies and blondies and cranberry treats, tortes, almond swirls, carrot muffins, gluten free, no dairy, all dairy, full sugar, 70% and counting.
All summer I perfected glaze, piped oozing concoctions better than ever before. Pinched salt with aplomb, confidently measured teaspoons of baking powder, gratings of zest and slid the small steel knife through stiff, wrinkled vanilla pod veins until my fingernails bruised with sweetness.
I baked scones with sleep still lodged in my eyes. Poured warmed treacle from the tin with enviable accuracy. Swirled it in viscous loops and watched it reluctantly drown into buttermilk bubbles.
All that summer I bent into the groaning furnace until my face prickled with tiny lines, blueberry squiggles that could not be bleached formed on my skin as I watched the boss grow fat from too much cake at midnight and spoil with the takings counted with relish in her fat soft paws, farting herself into amnesia over who had made it for her .Who had bent herself into the bowl, become the worn spoon guaranteed to deepen the splintering wood at each laboured mix.
These days I see her about doing the rounds, her face a cream filled pudding bowl of satisfaction. The food critics call her brilliant. Never seen anything like it, they say. Innovative. Brilliant. Unforgettable. Revolutionary.
That summer I baked myself into a floury ghost who slipped through the sieve of someone else’s name. The persistent stirring, the whisking and the pouring of what by Fall had quickly curdled into glutinous lumps behind the local, fresh, home produced, organic door.
Friendly, honest food guaranteed.