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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Tribute To A Special Mum

Posted: May 8, 2006
by: T.Alexander

We have a new guest writer here at Delicious Destinations. His name is Robert Jackson and he will share his ideas about international food, culture & entertaining from his home & business in the UK. You will learn more about Robert next week, but for now he has graciously written a Mother's Day post from a lovely UK perspective. The post is dedicated to his very own special Mum, Agnes Florence Jackson. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Fond memories of my own, dear mother…………

Agnes Florence Jackson

1918 – 1978

…….ahhh, the smell of home baking! Even after all these years, I can still smell the glorious aroma of a perfect Victoria Sandwich, a moist Madeira Cake or a rich Dundee cake, and even feel the tingling sense of anticipation as I wait for that first slice!

Yes, I can still remember it all! Years may pass, but memories never fail!

I grew up in a very modest home – money was always short, BUT, the larder (not refrigerator – too early for one of those!) was always full! Bursting with freshly shot game hanging on a hook (to this day, I’m not sure how that was acquired as we lived in the centre of a large city!) There was always freshly baked bread, a big dish of butter, home made jams & preserves, seasonal vegetables and a plump chicken ready for plucking, all out of our very own  allotment (a sort of “shared garden” for home growing if you lacked the space).

We never went hungry.

And so this was where my fascination for all things food was born – at the kitchen table! Precariously perched on a stool, my legs dangling, I would watch my Mum with fascination & admiration as she needed the dough, or whisked the egg whites to perfection. Sometimes, she would even let me “help” – a little stirring perhaps, with what seemed to me to be a GIANT wooden spoon!

And Christmas, oh how I remember those festive occasions. Presents & Christmas decorations were a little thin on the ground, but for Christmas Day Lunch, the table was bursting! Succulent turkey, a Christmas pudding matured for six months, and rich juicy home made mincemeat oozing with brandy & rum.

No, we never went hungry………..and we always ate very well! Food came first in our household, the bills, came later!

And Mother’s Day? Guess what, Mum was always busy in the kitchen, even on this special day..........she wasn’t going to let us go hungry, whatever day it was!

Although in truth, as I grew a little wiser and just a little “savvy” in the kitchen, she did eventually get to put her feet up – and I was free to experiment – and still……..we never went hungry!

So this is where my passion for food all started – from my very dear Mum, Agnes. So to her, on this special Mother’s Day, I say THANK YOU!

So here now, I would like to share with you one of our true family favourites – Madeira Cake. This light, buttery and moist cake makes a perfect treat for afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. And IF you’re lucky enough, and there’s some left over (!!), it keeps well in an airtight container for at least a week.



6oz butter, at room temperature

6oz caster sugar

3 large eggs

9oz self-raising flour

Approx. 3 tbsp full-cream milk

1 lemon, finely grated zest only

1-2 thin pieces of candied citron or lemon peel, to decorate


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C Gas mark 4. Grease a 7inch round, deep sided cake tin, line the base and sides with greaseproof paper and grease the paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture curdling.

3. Sift the flour and gently fold in, with enough milk to give a mixture that falls slowly from the spoon. Fold in the lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.

4. Place the candied peel on top of the cake and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a warm skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


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