An Old Favourite

I’ve been working a few hours a week at the local corner store/supermarket. It’s hardly the dream job, but it’s a bit of cash coming in while I sort out my health and reorganise my life a bit. It’s also proving to be a great way of tidying up, because every week I bring home empty containers and old binders to furnish my office and craft area, or simply to fill with lemon curds and baked goodies.

Yesterday, while refilling and tidying the magazines I discovered this, and almost cried:

This is the book from which my mother made every one of our birthday cakes when my brother and I were kids. The train on the cover was made twice for my brother. I threw a tantrum the second time around because she’d told me the year before it was too much work to make again. I was a jerk of a kid.

Given that the cake was always my absolute favourite part of my birthday, to say I loved this book as a child would be an understatement. It was akin—in my 7-year-old mind—to a book of scriptures. So when I went searching for my very own copy a few years ago, I was horrified to discover that it was now out of print—replaced with a more modern version. I bought said modern version in defeat, only to promptly bury it in a box in disgust, and immediately laid claim to my mother’s original copy on her death. Jerk of an adult as well.

The modern version. Image via Melbourne Gastronome—another fan of the original version.

Now I have my own copy of the original I can retract my claim for my mother’s, and bask in the glory and joy that is the original and best. No need for sub-par ‘modern’ versions of my childhood dream cakes. My children (and hopefully grandchildren) will be privileged to the real deal Choo Choo Train Cake…as long as I can be bothered making it.

But seriously, if you have (or are planning to have) kids, can master basic cake decoration, and can get your hands on this book, buy it. It will be the best decision you ever make–you’ll be the cake hero and envy of every one of their friend’s mums.


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