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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Cream Horns Connecting the Generations

It was a day in February when I was stood in my parents' kitchen helping my mum put the finishing touches together for a family meal in honor of my birthday. The kitchen, although changed slightly from my childhood, is a familiar one and I can still move around it, reaching for the right drawer or cupboard to find whatever utensil I require. I can't remember what it was that made me open "that" drawer. You know the one, the one that every kitchen has. The one that contains all those useful but not daily used, oddly shaped, impossible to categorise or stack neatly utensils.

I would have pushed the drawer closed after retrieving whatever it was I needed except my daughter had her nose in it, fascinated by the array of odd and sometimes alarming looking utensils inside. They were things that my mum had collected over the years. Some dated from gifts from her wedding day, others she had bought and more still that she had inherited from her own parents or in-laws. She took delight in spending a few minutes with my daughter, holding up objects, asking her if she knew what it might be used for and then explaining or demonstrating it.

It just so happened that in this drawer were a neat stack of 6 metal cones which my mum explained were cream horn moulds. My daughter is, of course, an avid Great British Bake Off fan and had enjoyed watching the contestants making cream horns in the last series so her eyes lit up at this. "Here," my mum said to her, "have them, you are more likely to make cream horns than I am." She couldn't remember ever making cream horns herself and suspected she had inherited these from her father-in-law who was a pastry chef by trade.

Back home I chucked the moulds into my own version of "that" drawer, knowing it wouldn't be long before they were out again. Then, as Mother's Day approached I suggested to my daughter that I would enjoy a cream horn or two for that special day.

We looked up GBBO winner, Nadiya's recipe and bought some puff pastry, cream and mascarpone then on Mothering Sunday my daughter set about the task of making them. As we only had 6 moulds (and there are only 4 of us), we halved the recipe. We used bought puff pastry too as it is perfectly good and a lot less time consuming. I was required now and then for holding various things as they are a little fiddly but other than that my daughter got on with it on her own. She decided she didn't fancy the "mocha" aspect of the recipe so she splashed in some homemade raspberry cordial instead to have a raspberry cream filling.

I'm pleased to say that the end result was both delicious and beautiful and I am proud of my daughter's cooking skills and willingness to tackle a recipe. I emailed a photo of the cream horns to my mum and she too was impressed and said that my granddad would be very proud if he knew his great-granddaughter had used his moulds to create such a lovely Mother's Day gift for his granddaughter. Mother's Day is a special day to think about family members and these simple utensils, passed down the generations, made me feel a link to my family both present and past.

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