From early childhood my parents taught my sister and I the skills to be self-sufficent. From my father we were both taught how to grow and harvest things from the garden which ultimately led to me earning my living from gardening. My sister became a skilled plantswoman and, although she has never earnt money from it, now opens her garden to the public each year raising many hundreds of pounds for charity.
My mother was much more interested in being indoors running the home. She was always at her happiest when unexpected visitors arrived and were persuaded to stay for dinner. Somehow, from the depths of her larder (which was always bulging) she would rustle up enough food to feed the proverbial army. Just before she died two years ago, I asked her why she had been so ‘progressive’ teaching me, a boy in the 1950’s, to sew buttons and name tapes, amongst other things, on clothing. She looked somewhat surprised and puzzled at the question and, to my disillusionment, told me it was because she had hated doing them herself. Mothers!
That was not the case when it came to cooking and the three of us loved to bake and baste together so, that by the time I reached my teens, I was able to cook a complete meal from start to finish. At one of my mother’s dinner parties I remembered an amazing stack of ultra thin shortbreads, with layers of clotted cream and rasberries between each one. A final decoration of raspberries and icing sugar on top left an unshakeable image of culinary delight in my mind and one that I had intended to recreate for years.
More disappointment when Mother told me that I’d imagined it, that she’d never made anything like it and it would be impossible to create wafer like, plate sized shortbreads – if only because it would be impossible to lift or cut them without them breaking. I was determined to prove her wrong and, every so often, she would give me that look that mothers do when I told her of my latest failed attempt.
The photographs illustrate the procedure for my ‘wafer stack’
Finally, yesterday, I achieved success, albeit they were much smaller than planned. Now they are individual sized portions but perhaps better for that.
OOh worth the extra work tho!We have saying in our house "M.K.B darling!" a reminder when Mothers advice is being ignored 😀
There are only two rules in our house.#1 Mother is always right.#2 Should something be wrong, refer to rule number one. Can't live without shortbread.
Now that looks so Yummy! I feel like ,aking some shortbread now…you have inspired me.To fix the blogger comment problem- Whe you sign in, UNTICK the 'keep me signed in" box. It will mean that you'll have to sign in when you want to comment but it will resolve the problem.Maa
Many thanks for your comments Kath, Doc & Maa.Thanks also fot the advice with signing in, Maa. That does seem to have sorted the problem.Johnson
I want to see you try to make a stack of 3 or 4 shortbread biscuits next time…….I used to make them layered with cream and raspberries.
Janet – I had intended to but- I'm ashamed to say – I ate the remaining shortbreads before I had a chance.Tell me, did I get them thin enough and large enough? Any hints will be gratefully received!Johnson