She already questioned me on what I was going to do with her answers when I thought it was very simple and obvious. My mother’s name is Jaqueline D’Souza. People call her Jackie. She lives in Goa with my father and works at a bank. She’s worked for herself and her family ever since I can remember. I had this one person say to me: “I don’t know how mother’s can work when they have kids. That’s just wrong!” To them I will flip a big bird. Because what’s a mother if she can’t take care of her children the way she chooses? She has done it all without asking for the spotlight and as much as she’s going to hate being the subject of this post, she deserves it. Every mother does. Happy Mother’s Day, mama. Even though you don’t…sorry, try not to eat sweet things, cake is an indication of celebration and you need to be celebrated….from one million kilometres away….on this place we connect.
1) I’ve always wanted to ask this question so here it goes: What is your favourite colour?
2) Do you like when your children remember it’s Mother’s Day?
I am kind of embarrassed because I am not the kind of person who seeks attention. Also, I need to know you feel the way you do year round and not just that one day.
3) If you could eat a whole cake, which kind would you pick? (Please say Orange-cardamon!)
I would like a vanilla cake with ground almonds – just plain. Yummy!
4) What are your top 3 favourite vegetables?
Cauliflower, baked cherry tomatoes, green beans
5) How did you meet your husband (hi, father!) and how did you start having googly eyes for him?
Random visit to our house by husband. I guess he had to force me to make googly eyes at him. Persistent is what he was.
6) Did you re-gift your wedding presents?
I don’t remember. Maybe the common ones. Some I still have.
7) What made you do something so insane like have three children?
Put that down to not attending marriage formation courses!
8) Okay, what’s your favourite part about being a mother of three insane children?
Watching you all grow up into pretty lovely and talented girls (all on your own merits).
9) Do you read my blog?
Very avidly. I am disappointed when you don’t keep writing. I check on a daily basis for new updates.
10) Imagine yourself as a human fulfilling your own needs rather than the needs of 2 pesky children (not including me). What would be your greatest wish for yourself that you could fulfill in the blink of an eye?
I wish I was younger and didn’t have the health problem I have so I could travel a bit. I would love that.
11) I really don’t want to ask this questions but can you tell me some of your biggest regrets?
My greatest regret is not really listening to my mother (she probably was asking for just some comfort and companionship which I did not realise until it was too late). Second regret is that you live too far from us, and I miss having you around/home (but Matt is a good person, so I will take that back).
12) Can you overcome these regrets?
No. I just have to grin and bear it. Nothing can be done about it. Too much water under the bridge.
13) If yes, can I help? If no, can I help?
14) Do you believe in fate?
Yes. It’s inevitable.
15) What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Do I have any? My childhood was not very pleasant. But I do and always picture my dad waiting for me at the airport when I went there on holidays. And he did stand out above all the other people. In my mind, I still have that picture. He always dressed smart. There was this other one, my mum would take me to the market to shop (though I found it a pain, because she was always bargaining and never did buy me anything). There was this blue checkered dress with a matching sling bag that I really did want. As always, my mum never bought it for me. Later, there was this cousin of my dad’s, Aunty Phil, who gifted me the same dress on my birthday, and I was over the moon!
16) Tell me a wonderful story about Grandma from when you were growing up.
Grandma had this amazing talent to sew, crochet, knit, cook, etc. She was good at all she did. I never did pick up that from her. She stitched me this lovely pink dress with motifs and did up my hair for my birthday. Also for my First Holy Communion and Confirmation, she made me clothes. We never ate out because she always cooked at home.
17) You know she’s watching over you, right? She’s part of your DNA. You can’t escape her.
Yes, she will always be a part of me. She once told me she was relieved when I was born. Guess that’s why I don’t have a sister. I would have liked to have one, then I would not be so lonely.
18) Are these questions okay for you?
They make me want to cry! (Editor’s note: Oops)
19) Do you love your life?
I am content. I don’t think I would be comfortable being one of the rich and famous, or the other extreme. We are comfortable and that is enough.
20) Last of all, who’s your favourite daughter and why?
Why would you think that I have a favourite daughter? I don’t put anyone above the other, so there (you were hoping I would say you!!!!???) (Editor’s note: Yes)
Happy Mother’s Day, to you women who are crazy enough to parent living beings and do it oh-so-well. This cake’s for you!
I feel slightly proud of this recipe. I came up with it (FIRSTIES!) using the amazing cake ratio Beth shared on her latest blog post over at Local Milk. I am not much of a baking genius. I feel I get lucky a lot (wink wink) but I’m really trying to be a little more calculated with baking, a far cry from when I’d say “Hey! That looks like cake batter” and put it in the oven at some temperature I’d just Froogled. Googled. The cakes did not taste like diapers. They were amazing. Just don’t ask me what I put in them. Cake maths is a wonderful, magical thing so go read the very helpful link that gave birth to this cake.
- 125 gm all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground cardamom seeds, save the skins
- Zest of 1 orange
- 125 gm cane sugar
- 95 gm honey
- 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 extra-large egg (62.5 gm), at room temperature
- 62.5 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature and softened
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 stalks rhubarb, chopped
- Powdered cane sugar to sift on the top
- Orange slices to decorate
This cake was baked in a 9-inch circular cake tin. An 8-inch tin would work well too. Once you’re sure that your main ingredients (milk, eggs, butter) are at room temperature, you’re ready to begin.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix the ground cardamom seeds and the orange zest into the flour. The smells from this to-be-cake batter might make you want to stop and eat flour but I urge you to carry on. Next, mix in the sugar and honey until it’s well incorporated into the flour. It will be slightly lumpy owing to the honey but that will disappear when you whisk/beat it with the liquids.
In another bowl, whisk the egg and milk by hand. If you have a cake mixer, use it to mix in the butter with the egg-milk mix. If not you can use a hand blender (electric cake whisker, if that’s what you call it) and mix them until the butter is mostly all disappeared into the liquid. You can also use a whisk but it will take you a little longer. Keep aside for a quick run to make “cardamom tea”.
In a small pot, add about 1/4 cup of water and 3 cardamom pods + the used skins (if you saved them). Bring the water to a quick boil and then take it off the heat. Quickly put a lid over the pot and let it steep until the water is warm to the touch. Discard the pods and keep the water. With your hand blender on, pour this warm cardamom tea into the egg-milk mixture. Mix while pouring slowly. Once it’s in, pour the liquid into the large flour bowl and blend together the contents until they’re smooth.
Heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the cake tin and then line with parchment paper. You can also butter the parchment because it makes the cake less likely to stick to the tin and that’s a wonderful thing. Pour half the cake batter into the tin and then add the chopped rhubarb to it. Pour the last of the cake batter to the tin and then pop it in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. If you notice that the top of the cake is browning too fast and the cake has not cooked completely yet, cover the top with aluminium foil and keep baking in 5-minute installments, keeping a close watch on it.
Let the cake cool completely before taking it out of the tin. Dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar and add the sliced oranges on the top. Consume voraciously.
Hi Edlyn! Loved the candid interview!
Thanks, Tonella! I had a great subject.
julie rose says
Happy Mother’s Day to your mum too – she sounds a true gem. And the cake looks fab!
She is! I hope you’re doing well, Julie. Happy (belated) Mum’s Day to you too.
Praerna Kartha says
Love the interview!
And the orange cardamom combo — I may add a little ginger too, when I make it. Can’t, for the life me, remember what rhubarb tastes like. The one and only slice of rhubarb pie I’ve ever had was about 2 decades ago, but I’m sure it tastes wonderful in the cake!
And I am horrible at explaining how things taste. Some writer, I am. All I can say that it’s worth the hype. Unless your dog eat it. In that case, call poison control. I think I was inspired to bake (after forever) after looking at your last few cakes on Food-dee-dum. Thank you for that.
Praerna Kartha says
I love the way you write — rhubarb taste description or not. And thank you! I’m glad we can inspire each other from time to time. Keeps things real 🙂
As for the way rhubarb tastes, I’m sure a slice of rhubarb pie can be arranged by paying an exorbitant amount of money in Delhi. Or telling my mom to sneak a slice back home in her luggage next month!!
awesome read, edlyn. what a sweet tribute to your mother, and i loved each and every question you asked her! and this cake sounds so good – rhubarb and cardamom sounds super delicious together!
Thanks, m’lady! She is pretty special. I challenge you to gluten-free the cake up, if you want, of course 🙂
Its so interesting this post. Its like no list of questions to anyone can truly describe a life. So many regrets, so many ‘take-backsies’. But none worth going back and changing because I might not have been typing or reading this should those moments have never happened. One thing I do know, we can never ever repay our parents for what they have done for us. We can only do the best we can, and the rest is to pass the same legacy to our children.
Or to our puppy children! Does this mean you’re pregnant? Our parents are cool. I just can’t imagine a life without them.
Edlyn, this cake looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I’m game for cardamom anything, but with orange and rhubarb it sounds phenomenal. And your mother sounds like a real gem, too — her feelings about Mother’s Day are such a touchingly mother-like thing to say! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I loved reading it.
Thank you so much, Cynthia. That means a lot! Cake is always the best. My ma, oh I’m sure she’s like any other loving mother…understated but very appreciated. I feel happy to have this part of her on my blog since she’s always so supportive of me. Xo
Roanna Fernandes says
Oooh, I love this post and now I’m giggling at your comment in reply to Jane’s, LOL. Jacqueline sounds very warm and cuddly, as most mothers are known to be, I think my mother would have refused to indulge me by being part of such a cool interview like the one you’ve conducted here. Hehehe, it’s a really sweet, thoughtful post and I love the relationship you share with her… and your family in general. It reminds me of my family, in a way. Family is important, and it totally rocks. Parents are just the best, silly and sweet – cute and forever cuddly. I’m talking nonsense now but you know what I mean, I hope!