The quaint and the beautiful. #FlavoursomeTuesdays


Years ago, when we did not have cake shops luring us with designer cakes, my mum would bake cakes for our birthdays. I know, many mums did so. And, for those mums, who baked in spite of not being some hot-shot bakers, in spite of not owning some high-end ovens, to those mums, loads of love from me.

Take a bow, ladies! You are the best!

Back then, birthdays were simple, joyful, no-frills occasions, where friends would gather at my place, have cake and some yummy delights mum cooked to accompany the cake. We would eat, laugh and have fun – loads of unadulterated fun – and have a blast.

There weren’t any transactions taking place. Transactions, as in a give or take of gifts. They wouldn’t get any gifts for me, and I treated them to the delicacies mum prepared, that’s all. No return gifts.

And, yet, we enjoyed every bit of it.

The cake would be really really simple, and  the most delicious cake in the whole wide world. Mum baked it in an aluminium oven that had to be placed on a gas stove. Electric ovens were still unheard of. Unseen of, too, I am sure.

Mum would whisk the eggs and then the batter with her hand, for as long as it took. She knew how long she had to whisk so she would get a good, soft cake that rose  to a respectable height!

The icing on the cake was also a simple fare. Just icing sugar mixed in home-made cream, which she would then fill in a cone made out of..what did she use to make the cone, I wonder? But, she did decorate the cake using the icing. Flowers and leaves and a, “Happy Birthday” would complete the cake.

And, it would be the prettiest cake, ever!

Would you like to have a look at that oven? It must be about 40 years old, or so. Mum had planned on giving it away to the scrap dealer, but my dear sis-in-law pleaded with her  not to do so. Maybe she might use it, some day!

She sent me this picture last night.

That’s simplicity, at its best, isn’t it? Unfussy, modest, quaint, unostentatious…But, the cakes that got baked in it, were the world’s best cakes, that had LOVE written all over.

Thanks mum…Love, love, love!

And, the ovens we get today…

…nothing like the one above it.

This one’s mine. Have had it since some years, now. Have baked quite a lot of stuff in it – cakes, cookies, bread, too, all thanks to a cousin who patiently taught me the basics of baking, over the phone. Maybe, I will do a post on that some other time. But, one thing’s for sure…

The cakes I bake in this new-age, electric oven score badly when compared to the ones mum baked. She will chid me, for sure, if she reads this post. But, I have yet to taste a cake (from my oven) that tastes as heavenly as the one mum baked!

Mothers…they are the best, aren’t they? Everything they do…is!

That’s all from me for #FlavoursomeTuesdays this week.

Do visit my friends for their posts for #FlavoursomeTuesdays, here:



Would you like to share a story revolving around food? Story, memory, or a recipe, too…it’s all welcome if it talks about food!



Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

30 thoughts on “The quaint and the beautiful. #FlavoursomeTuesdays

      1. I still quarrel with my mum for not taking baking seriously and turning professional. But as she says, she likes to serve goodies at her own pace for people she care about .. which may not she says translate to others when they order and are demanding 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. My goodness that oven is so quaint. We had one too – those round electric ones. You reminded me of my mom’s cakes. She used to be a super star baker, until she started working and gave it up. She would do these glam cakes and cookies. We didn’t even have a fridge back then so she’d use ice cubes to keep the cream cold. And no whisk either. I remember my dad and we children taking turns creaming the butter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such a lovely post… My mom used to bake cake in a pressure cooker for my birthday…it used to be the softest and spongiest… For my son’s birthday I have to plan months in advance about the theme, decor, menu, return gifts, party games etc. But my mom never had to worry about all those yet she used to organise a perfect birthday for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mums all over the world ought to be awarded with the Super Mom Award, Balaka!
      How do they manage it all, with such ease and efficiency, I wonder! Maybe, we have complicated everything, and that’s what takes the happiness quotient out of it. Isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How true Shilpa. I too remember those home made cakes that taste all the better because they are made with love. Ihave never seen an oven like the one you have pictured but I’m sure the cakes it baked were fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were fantastic, Sunita! Mum has stopped baking in that oven now. She makes instant cakes using wheat flour, instead of maida, and a recipe my aunt shared with her. Those turn out great, too!


    1. I began baking just recently, doc. And, let me tell you, it is one de-stressing activity that can take your mind away from all your troubles. Maybe you could try out something simple that requires very little time.


  4. What a heart warming story and reminds me of the oven at home in those days. It was similar but it as electric with a glass top that used to get misty. I remember mum using a knitting needle to poke and test if the cake was done. My Mum had quite a few disasters with cake and we used to cover those with jam on our birthdays. We still laugh over those memories and how I picked up one recipe and started doing better than her.
    Thank you for this post and taking me back to my childhood 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never seen a stovetop oven like that. My Mom used an old style gas range with an oven she had to light, by hand, with a match. More than once she got burned doing that. And the generations before her, who baked using wood stoves. It isn’t the technology, it is the love, as you so elegantly point out!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This made me all nostalgic. Exactly the kind of birthdays we had. I HATE the concept of return gifts these days. I don’t understand why kids need to be given gifts to come to a party! We used to have no-fuss cakes and no-fuss parties and mom would delightfully throw these parties without a frown 🙂 Ah, that oven of mom’s looks wonderful. Hold them and cherish them, these memories and I am so glad you’re putting it all down here for people to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Shailaja…We, too, miss those no-fuss parties..the no-fuss life, in fact!
      Those memories are what keep us happy when the days get gloomy, or when you crave for the times gone by! 🙂


  7. I learnt baking on a similar looking oven when I was 13 years old. It was an electric one with a glass window in the lid on top- the glass had broken and I would use a steel plate to trap the hot air while the cake rose; I am still famous in my friend circle as the one who bakes cakes!!! 😉 Your post reminded me of that time in my life!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Shalz, I know you are a baker. So, it comes as no surprise that you could come up with that brilliant idea to use that oven!
      Would love to sample a baked delight from your oven someday!


  8. I never knew about gas ovens. I always thought that the round aluminum electric one was the ancient piece. My mother tried her hand at baking, once or twice and then she gave up for many reasons – power cut, too much effort, 50-50 chance how the cake will turn out. Then she decided she will make laddoos and gujiyas and anarses and katri but not a cake. You know about my cake baking sojourns since I advertise quite a lot at my deft at baking failures. Bas ek baar 4 saal pehle mere England ke kitchen main Swayam Mata Annapoorna avtarit hui thi to cup cakes achhe ban gaye the, pehli aur aakhri baar. Can you suggest why doesn’t Mata like my India wala kitchen? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha… are so funny, Anamika! That last “Mata Annapoorna..” wala dialogue cracked me!
      I think you ought to coax Mata to visit you in your Indian kitchen, too, once in a while!
      Cupcakes, as I have learnt, can be really easy to bake…You just need to get the timing right.
      DOn’t you worry, Anamika…slowly, but surely, Mata will be prasanna and grant you your wish..and bless you with culinary super powers, too! 😛


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