Family life: Sunday visits, Ella Fitzgerald and chocolate salami cake
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Snapshot: Sunday visits to my aunts and uncles
This is a photo of my sister and me in Trafalgar Square, London, although there are no pigeons in the picture. It must have been taken in about 1957. I am the elder girl on the left, aged six or seven, and my sister was two or three. I distinctly remember the outfit I am wearing because it was scratchy navy wool, with a tight elasticated pleated skirt. Underneath would have been a fleecy liberty bodice with buttons, and a flimsy, full-length nylon petticoat. I liked the pockets (in which would have been an ironed white handkerchief, and perhaps gloves), and the new red Start-rite shoes.
My sister’s coat was also navy blue and her red shoes matched mine. Our gloves and hats indicate that it was Sunday and we were probably visiting my cousin Jane, who lived in a flat in Holborn. A visit to any cousin always required our best clothes. We used to play with our paper cutout dressing-up dollies, taking the clothes on and off the cardboard characters, all spread out on the red-and-blue patterned carpet. I think my young mother must have thought we were little dollies ourselves. I never went anywhere without a big bow firmly pinned into my hair (when I wasn’t wearing that hat), and my sister’s unruly black curls were never without slides, hairgrips and ribbons, all brightly coloured, and always matching every outfit.
Every Sunday afternoon in the 50s, it was a family ritual to visit our aunties and uncles. Some lived in places very far from our Ilford home, and seeing them required long drives to places such as Willesden or Edgware. If we visited the Holborn family, we were sometimes allowed to go for a walk unaccompanied by an adult, always with the streetwise cousin Jane, who was a year my senior. We used to play in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which was very quiet on Sundays. The best treat of all was to visit Lyons Corner House to listen to the orchestra.
In the houses of the various other aunties and uncles, I remember reading Batman comics, or playing “hunt the thimble” in the cold, quiet front room, which was never used, while the adults talked in the living room. Sometimes we all played “housey-housey”, and then my uncle Albert would reveal that he had hidden his new tape-recording machine under the table, and we would hoot with laughter as we listened to ourselves all over again.
I have 12 cousins and we all still keep in touch. Merrill Dresner
Playlist: Saying our last goodbye to Dad
Every Time We Say Goodbye by Ella Fitzgerald
“Every time we say goodbye, I die a little / Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little / Why the Gods above me, who must be in the know / Think so little of me, they allow you to go”
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Two years ago, my dad died to this song by Ella Fitzgerald. In the couple of years before that, he had lived with our family – and his dementia had joined us too. He came from his home in France because his doctor there was concerned by his bizarre behaviour and requests.
All Dad’s life he had sung through the fairly significant difficulties he was left to deal with – six children being one of many. He sang over breakfast, he sang as he cooked, and he sang as he came through the door at the end of the day. I think he sang to keep himself company. Life can’t have been easy for him – but one of the ways he, unwittingly, made it easier for us was to keep on singing.
After Dad came to live with us, he would drive us crazy by singing this song over and over again. We had a game with our kids where they had to sing another song for Grandad to latch on to, usually Mairzy Doats. Generally, we succeeded.
Eventually, Dad became too vulnerable even to live with us and we realised he needed to go into a care home. Two years ago, we were on our way – a week late – to celebrate Father’s Day with my husband, when we thought we would just drop by to tell Dad what we were up to. He was dying. Fortunately, one of my brothers managed to join me and spend some time with Dad. As we saw him slipping away, we put this song on. And he died. Marion Nash
We love to eat: Ani’s chocolate salami cake
300g packet of rich tea biscuits
10 tbsp cocoa powder
Five tbsp of sugar (any type really)
200ml boiling water
Crush the biscuits until they are in crumbs and small pieces. Then mix the cocoa powder and sugar together and pour in the boiling water. Mix until smooth. Add the crushed biscuits and mix into a soft, dough-like consistency.
Put the mixture on a large sheet of greaseproof paper and mould into a long sausage shape. Wrap the sausage up in the greaseproof paper and twist the ends to secure. Leave to set in the fridge. When set, cut into slices and serve. The Hungarian name for the cake is Csokis szalámi – chocolate salami. When you cut it into slices, you will understand why.
This recipe comes from Ani, an old friend of my mum’s. She worked for my mum’s parents when they lived in a small town in Romania during the 1950s and 60s. Ani is only a few years older than my mum and they became very close. My mum left Romania with her parents in 1970 to escape communism, but stayed friends with Ani.
Whenever Mum took my sister and me to visit Ani in Romania as children, we would have this cake. We absolutely loved it and called it Ani Cake.
My mum jokes that it probably came from a time when supplies in communist Romania were scarce and they had to make do with what they had. Coming from the west, my sister and I were used to chocolate and biscuits, but this kept us more than happy during our visits to see Ani.
I have found it very easy to adapt. I have added rum and raisins to the mix, and used chocolate rich tea biscuits, and a portion of amaretti biscuits mixed in with the rich tea biscuits. Lucy Fodor-Wynne
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via Art and design: Photography | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/20/sunday-visits-ella-fitzgerald-chocolate-salami Thanks for reading Jay
Posted on April 20, 2013, in Photography News and tagged Art and design: Photography | guardian.co.uk, arts, guardian, IFTTT, info, information, journal, news, newspaper, photo, photography. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.