As some of you may know, the last few months have seen my mother slipping away from us as she slowly lost her battle to cancer. I always thought that at least with cancer, you have time to say your good-byes. But as it turned out, we didn’t. The illness abruptly claimed her consciousness months before it claimed her life last Sunday.
My sister and I spent most of that day sitting at my mother’s bedside; just taking a break to feed children and get some fresh air at lunchtime.
And I baked. I made scones. I haven’t made them in a while, because I have no patience for rubbing in the butter.
But I was in a quiet space while I was doing it last Sunday, reflecting on how it had been my mother who had taught me how to make scones.
I hadn’t done much baking with her, and when we did it was only in my early childhood.
I distinctly remember the sound of her wedding ring tapping against the side of a sieve as we made a chocolate cake together. Then the wedding ring was removed, and life got caught up in the struggles of single parenting. There wasn’t the space to bake cakes anymore.
But we were fortunate in that for the past few years, my mother lived on our property, and became my children’s beloved “Dodo”. Not pronouced like the ill-fated bird, but rather like gogo (the o makes an aw sound), the Zulu word for grandmother that my son couldn’t pronouce. So he called her Dodo, and it stuck.
She was such an energetic, fun-loving grandmother.
Most of the photos we have of her are with the kids – usually doing crazy things.
And she baked scones with them too.
So, I’m going to choose to remember those times, and celebrate her life, rather than her passing.
Recipe by Tea, Cake & Create
Pre-heat the oven to 200’C
Grease a baking tray and dust with flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tbs caster sugar
60g butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
+ extra flour for dusting
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Gently rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten egg and most of the milk. Mix to form a soft dough. Add more milk if necessary.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with flour.
Roll out until approx. 4cm thick.
Cut into rounds.
Place on a baking tray and bake at 200’C for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown.
We’ll miss you Dodo.