19 March 2012

Mother's Day & Mummy Second Hand Rose: Both full of love

Me and the beautiful Mummy Second Hand Rose-
Obviously I've grown a bit since then.
 I'm sure everyone in the UK knows that yesterday was Mother's Day. If you did not know this I'm sure you will now be getting daggers from your mum followed by the silent treatment and none of your favourite cakes she makes you, for at least two weeks.
Mother's Day is a different day around the world, so all of you non-Britain's take a big sigh of relief. Here the day always falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, but in a lot of countries it falls on the second Sunday of May. So why do we rush to the shops on the Sunday to get our Mum's some flowers and a card? Good old Tesco.

The first Mother's Days were actually celebrated before there was a Hallmark or WH Smith surprisingly and the origin of it can be traced back to the Ancient Greek festival dedicated to Rhea, Mother of the Gods. It was not until in the 1600's when it was actually called 'Mothering Sunday'. As Christianity spread through Europe the celebration evolved to honour both the 'Mother Church' and mothers. In the past it was a day when servants were encouraged to return home to spend time with their mothers and families, cue the Sunday Lunch argument over the last roast potato.

Now we give anything to our Mum's, mainly flowers (£3 Tulips from Sainsbury's, you beauty). Traditional gifts used to include a Mothering Cake, known as a Furmety. This cake was a mixture of wheat, milk, sugar and spices. Sadly Delia and her cookbook wasn't around in those days. In Nothern England and Scotland Carlings, pancakes were made. We are not talking about pancakes with Nutella in here, oh no were are talking about pancakes made of steeped peas fried in butter with pepper and salt, yeah I think I'll stick to lemon and sugar thanks.

In England trinkets were often given as gifts or special dishes were prepared. Simnel cake which now everyone associates with Easter, that and gorging on chocolate, was first created to mark the 4th Sunday in Lent, which was known as the Refreshment, Rose or Mothering Sunday. Young girls in service (think Upstairs Downstairs) were encouraged to bake and take one home to their mothers.

So even though it is celebrated on different days all across the world, it has always involved making or baking something special for your mum. And that's exactly what Mummy Second Hand Rose got, well it was attempted anyway. Mr. Boyfriend came over on Friday and whilst looking in bewilderment at how every time he comes over my clothes rail seems to get fuller, I gradually hinted that I needed his help to make a cake. Obviously he had no choice in the matter and he happily agreed, after a lot of eye lash batting and compliments about his strong muscles that would be perfect for cake baking.

So I got him to cut up 4 big cooking apples, he peeled them and cut them into tiny pieces. We put them in a bowl with lemon juice in to stop them going brown. Brown apple in a cake isn't very aesthetic, believe me Gregg Wallace would not be happy.
So if you haven't already guessed we were making an Apple Cake. Mummy SHR isn't really keen on fondant icing, so I couldn't really have my usual fun of cake decorating and getting icing sugar in my hair. So she handed me a recipe to make an Apple cake. I'm not usually a fan of fruit in cakes, blueberry muffins just aren't my cup of cake. But this is phenomenal! It's gooey and delicious right in the middle and tastes A-mazing, well that's when Mummy SHR makes it anyway.

With this cake I couldn't do my usual stick it all in the food processor whilst dancing to Absolute 60's, I had to do things separately and fold in the apples last, this is also where a man with muscles does come in handy ladies. So we put the cake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, eagerly waiting the result. After over an hour of Porridge and me trying to convince Mr.Boyfriend that no I haven't bought any more shoes, we took the cake out of the oven. I held it and he did the skewer test, so he slowly put it in the cake and then took it out to reveal no mixture on the skewer, yes it was cooked! I then had the job in convincing Mr.Boyfriend not to eat the cake straight out of the oven, a boyfriend with terrible indigestion isn't my ideal situation for a Friday night.

On Sunday when my Grandma came down, I put a purple ribbon around the cake and gave it to my Mum to cut up. It tasted so so good and was really gooey inside! Jasper my cat also liked it, which was obviously a huge relief, who needs Masterchef? It went down well and there is actually none left now, it hasn't even been cut for 24 hours and the cake tin is officially bare.

I made sure I cut a piece off for Mr.Boyfriend to have, I know that I would be in deep trouble if I forgot or 'accidentally' ate it all, but with continuous badgering texts reminding me its hard to forget. If anyone likes the look of the cake and fancies having a go at it, just ask me for the recipe and I will happily send it to you. But sadly I can't send Mr. Boyfriend along to cut up the apples for you, you will have to find your own Popeye.

Including the apple cake I clubbed together with my brother and sister for a present. Mummy SHR is an embroidery lover, so I made her a voucher, which we gave her for a course that she would like to go on sometime. I also decided to make her something because we both have a huge love of sewing, any excuse to get the sewing machine out. My Dad told me that she needed a new makeup bag, so I decided to make her one. After being told by him that she wants one about five inches wide and two inches high, I actually subtly checked with her and found out she wanted one about ten inches wide and 6 inches high. Honestly how do men expect us to get all our makeup into a tiny little bag, dearest father you have a lot to learn.

I found some lovely cotton fabric with a purple rose pattern which I knew she would like and I used pink cotton for the lining. I vaguely followed several tutorials all mixed together online and did have a few problems with it, including raw seams, faulty zips and unpicked stitches. What is even more annoying is when you see people's comments that say they did it in half an hour, it gives you so much confidence! I managed to work it out in the end and I am very happy with the result. I added some purple and silver ribbon to the bag along with purple beads, silver heart beads and a sewn on flower.

I can't decide whether to do a tutorial for it, so please let me know if you would like one and I shall do it. I promise it will not be complicated or include words such as Hong Kong seams, pickering or overlaying. I am thinking of making some more of these for all my makeup, a girl can never have too many makeup bags can they? Mummy SHR was very happy with the result thankfully and gave her seal of approval of the making of it, trust me this women is a sewing queen if she says its good then its good. Beat that Simon Cowell.

So who is the infamous Mummy Second Hand Rose? Well she is the kindest, sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet. She has many skills which include running a lovely bath and tucking you into bed, it is an art. Along with that she is a great cook, we are spoilt with delicious homemade bread most weekends and in the summer she makes blackberry and apple jam which is my massive weakness. Her cakes taste so brilliant and her butter cream is to die for. Whether it is sunny or raining she is always in the garden growing beautiful flowers and gorgeous vegetables. Although I think 1200 tomatoes is a bit extreme, don't you Mum? She doesn't get too pleased when she has done some gardening in the raised bed and Jasper swaggers over there and leaves his contribution.

When my sister was younger she used to have her own Cake business. My sister is now in her late twenties (she will kill me for saying that!) so this was a pretty long time ago, but she hasn't lost the knack and has given me the passion for it. Every year when we were young we were made amazing birthday cakes ranging from Mickey Mouse to a horse in a stable.

 She also used to make wedding dresses for people that were beautiful, so when we were younger we were lucky to be made little outfits to wear. She is a sucker for a pretty little tea dress, so regularly I was adorned with bows and cute flowers. Mummy SHR learnt from her grandma when she was four to sew and since then she has self taught herself amazingly well and has now passed those skills down to me. Recently she has got into bag making which she is brilliant at and embroidery. Every night she sits in her little corner in the sitting room with her needle and thread embroidering tiny little stitches to produce something wonderful. You don't here a peep out of her for about two hours and practically have to drag her to bed.

She has always been a lovely person and a sucker for any cute animal or child. We used to have guinea pigs and rabbits hopping all over the garden increasing the population quite happily. At one point we had a rabbit called Nutmeg which had 13 babies, I know it makes you cross your legs just thinking about it. They were so small and some were quite lifeless, but oh no she wasn't prepared to lose them so she fed them throughout the night and tried to keep them warm, in the end we lost just two of them and they didn't go to bunny heaven without a fight. Now we only have our beloved Jasper, who always goes to her when he wants something because he knows she will give into him the quickest.

My Mum has been a rock in my life and I honestly could not manage it without her. I mean who else would give me those cuddles that instantly make me feel safe and help me when something has gone wrong with my sewing? She tells everyone all about my blog, even a stranger in the Pharmacy and is such a huge source of encouragement. She is retired now, so I get to spend a lot of time with her looking at cakes and swooning over beautiful dresses. So Mummy Second Hand Rose if you are reading this which I know you are, thanks for being such a lovely Mummy for nearly three decades and sharing your kindness and skills with me. I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day and even though we do bicker, I do love you with all my heart and wouldn't change you for the world. Can I have that Jimmy Choo bag now please?

Second Hand Rose


  1. Very sweet post!
    Your mom is lovely!
    And wow those cakes are amazing :)


  2. This post is ADORABLE. And the cakes look so good! The pictures are really cute, and the make up bag you made is soo nice! Your comment on my recent post made me giggle, you should see my bedroom wall! haha :)
    Lucy xxx

  3. another interesting read from you! :)
    your mom looks and sounds like an amazing woman! happy mother's day to her! :)

    <3, Mimi

  4. Great post hun!


  5. What a lovely mum you have - so talented too- I would love a horse in a stable cake!! And how cute were you?!!Yes, mother's day here is in May, usualy around my husband's birthday, so it is a BIG weekend. The MIL is coming up too, so I'd better get planning (once Easter and Twin's birthdays are out of the way.....) xxx

  6. Cool post, i really like your blog and found it from a comment you left on a another blog. Would you like to follow each other?
    If you have facebook, I would be really gratful if you like my page: http://www.facebook.com/newyorkdoll


  7. so cute and cool post dear!

  8. WOWEE! You and your mum look so alike, it's amazing! You're both incredibly dazzling pieces of female anatomy, if you don't mind me saying! And check you out... I think you must be the most perfect daughter on the planet! Love how much effort you went to for her, it's lovely! Xx

  9. loved it all and love the fact that you have such a dear relationship with your mum as well as I have with mine! like you more and more!


  10. cute blog dear..if u wish lets follow each other...http://cutepinknpurple.blogspot.co.uk/


I hope you have enjoyed my scribblings! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think, they will be repeated constantly to anyone who will listen! Don't forget to click the follow button and add me on Twitter @Second_HandRose and Instagram: second_handrose XxxX