Is it weird that bread reminds me of her? Bread. There's comfort in a sliced loaf, something familiar. In that every piece, whatever the kind, whether it's dark and seeded or white and airy, it's kind of known. And that's what Mum is like. No matter where I am, where we are, what I ask, she stays the same. Sure, we all have off days, but somehow she manages to push that off-ness away, so that she can always do what's best for me. There's something unselfish about a slice of bread. Bread tastes good on it's own, it's a vehicle for sweet jam, or you can get a nourishing meal out of it when the loaf is wholemeal spelt. She is the most generous person I know. Generous is an under statement, I sometimes wonder if she knows how to think about herself. She'll go in the car for hours, driving unknown darkened highways in February sleet when buses leave us at airports. She's sat in the freezing car while we're at the gym, she has a long commute every day since she wanted us to reach school in half an hour. I always thank her, when she does something, but it's like thanking your piece of toast. You regret the words as soon as they come out of your mouth. The toast will never reply, but with Mum, the words are just inadequate.
When we fight, I cry, she hates it. Most of the time I'm not even upset because I care so much about what a actually led to the fight, but more because I hate the fight in the first place. She says everything because she knows it's the best for me. I wonder where she can find it - find the energy, the brain capacity to keep us all afloat. Every morning, she remembers things. Call your insurance, I've left money on the desk, don't forget a house key, I've called a taxi, there's stuff in the wash, but leave it, I'll sort it when I'm home. One breath. As I've grown up I've come to roll my eyes at that stereotypic 'super-mum' (super-mom?) image that's drawn everywhere. Why do they have to be yoga teachers wearing leggings, sipping kombucha in Venice Beach, while completing the school run and loading three washes? Or otherwise do they have to be single mothers who've adopted three abused kids and now have started a charity? Or must they wear power suits and killer heels, and have men shaking at board meetings? Why can't we just acknowledge those that are like my mum? They're the ones who make the world go round. No killer heels (anymore. I've seen her wedding photos) and god forbid the leggings and green juice. But here's the kid who's never gone to school without a cooked breakfast, never been the only one without a certain brand, been the only one to eat a homemade sandwich at lunch. And she never complained, never asked for the board room or the board walk, she ate her toast, fed us ours, we've laughed a lot.
She often thinks she's made mistakes as a parent, which I guess all mothers do. I'll never agree with her. I am my own person as much as I am hers. If she hadn't been the person who she is, we'd all have been left without a lifeline. The anchor of the rocky family ship; the lighthouse showing us where to go, the winds that pushed us in the right decision, the sails that drove us there. The captain, but also the navigator, probably feeling like the deckhand and the lookout. I'll never be able to thank her enough. What's a baguette without the seeds? Happy birthday Mum.
So yesterday was my mum's birthday. I think everyone struggles to find the right words and the right gifts for their mothers... you know them so well but in a way you wonder what they really need because they never say! I figured mine needed cake, so I put a few of her favourite things together and then this beauty emerged. There's a subtle exotic hint from nutmeg and cardamom, deepened by toasted pistachio. A combination of almond meal and brown rice flour keep the cake really light and with great structure for a gluten free cake. The frosting isn't very sweet, and if you're suspicious, doesn't taste overly coconutty at all. A little tropical, but pleasantly light and sticky, it's not the very thick type so doesn't distract from cake loveliness. It's a very simple but special cake, which I think is the way my mum would like it. I know she would've been happy with a wheat floury, butter filled cake, or none at all, but this is one of the few ways I can give to her, so there you have it. Hope you find a reason to make this one soon, it's not overly festive, but wouldn't be out of place on a holiday table. Enjoy the lights and cheer. Hugs xo
[kindred-recipe id="1816" title="cardamom + pistachio cake"]
ps. welcome to nutmeg and pear, shutterberry's new home. the change may seem strange and the URL possibly stranger, but I just thought that the focus of my blog had shifted from where I originally thought it would be, and that kind of feeling only comes with time. thanks for following along to the new site, I don't tend to commit to much, so let's see how this one goes! hopefully I'll update my 'about' page to explain the new URL a bit. I am in process of updating all the links, some may still lead to shutterberry, where I've set up a redirect.