Last week was a rather sad one. My beloved aunt Rhona passed away and we held her funeral. But we chose to celebrate her life rather than wallow, and what better way than to remember her than in cake?
No, not a funeral cake (although these do actually exist - click here to see more). To be honest, I'm not sure I could have summoned up an appetite for such a thing, especially the ones where open caskets have been replicated.
If you're wondering, this was the topper I made for her 80th birthday with her sitting in her best-loved green armchair*. I'd made some books for her to read (her favourite pastime). I'd actually had edible book covers ordered but they got held up in the post and arrived a day too late. When I phoned my aunt to see if she would like me to add them to the books, she told me she'd already eaten them! (I never asked whether she ate herself, mind.)
*There was a cake for this to go on but must've been eaten before I had a chance to get a camera out!
For me, this is what cakes should be about - delicious gifts which show someone how special they are by giving them something with personal touches. (In this instance, not only was Rhona surrounded by her books but she was also wearing the same outfit for the celebration.)
My aunt was a lovely person to have around and had the most fascinating stories. Years ago she wrote to Tolkien and actually had a few letters back. Sometimes she'd spend an entire winter researching an 18th century handle or a way of Roman knitting. It certainly meant I had a lot of creative scope over the years when making her birthday cakes.
But as for a funeral cake, although she might have chuckled, I'm not sure she would have wanted one. That said, she probably would have researched when the first one was made and delighted us all at dinner with the tale!
To read more about Rhona, please click here.