Like many people I’m trying to de-plastic as much as possible – of course it isn’t always possible. However, the other day I saw some tins of Christmas biscuits reduced and I decided I would buy them for the tins as well as the contents. Actual cake tins – tins in which to keep as opposed to baking cakes are really quite expensive so I figured I would get biscuits with a free tin, or a tin with free biscuits. Perfect. Then yesterday I saw an enormous square cake tin, with a cake inside it; it was an Italian cake, rather like a panettone in texture and flavour but a different shape and with big sugar crystals and almonds on top… I had to buy it for a bargain price, didn’t I?! I discovered after I got it home that it is a colomba di Pasqua, an Easter dove cake, and that the sugar on top is sugar pearls.
This got me thinking about cake tins from when I was a child at home – and they were all tins, there wasn’t the ubiquitous plastic then. There were two tins that I remember, one was for cakes – sponges, chocolate cake, fruit cake etc, the other was for biscuits, cookies (actually melting moments) Viennese shortbread – all home-made. There may have been another tin for pastry like jam tarts or mince-pies, or they may have gone in the tin for biscuits. Very little was thrown away, and I remember enjoying slightly stale things from the tin which no fussy child would eat these days… I particularly like stale mince-pies and stale melting moments… I was a peculiar child!
I guess that like me, mum got the tins originally with biscuits inside them – and that would have been a gift not something she bought as she did all her own baking. Or maybe she bought them at a jumble sale, I don’t remember! One of them was a reddy marron colour with painted flowers on the top, pale green leaves and white and red petals, and maybe some blue or some brown for contrast. For a long time I had it and I also kept home-baked stuff in it. I think eventually it went rusty along the bottom and it was thrown out.
Now I have my newly acquired biscuit and cake tins, I’ll think of mum every time I use them!