Monday, December 23, 2019

Gingerbread for Christmas: remembering Harvey

In the weekend I decided to make gingerbread. I think it's the first time I've made it since 2010. Unlike Christmas cake, it's really easy to make, and you can bake it as close to Christmas as you like.
       This morning I took some as a small thank-you to shopkeepers in Marsden Village who have been so kind and helpful to me this year, and indeed every year since Harvey and I first moved here in 2007. There was still plenty left over for me, my son and our visitors.
        Nine years ago, on 9 December 2010, I posted about making it for Harvey and gave the recipe, which came via our friend Beth Hill.

In The Colour of Food, I described Harvey finishing off my 2010 batch on what would later prove to be his last day at home:
By the Wednesday before Christmas we had had so many visitors that there wasn’t much gingerbread left in the tin. I cut it up carefully and put it out for that afternoon’s arrivals, then went out to finish the shopping, knowing Harvey was well looked after. When I came home there were three small pieces left – his visitors had enjoyed it, but he hadn’t had any. I sat down with him for a late cup of tea and he asked for a piece, then the second and the third. I watched him eat with astonished delight.
That evening he had a fall and was taken to hospital. At first he seemed to have recovered well, but by the next day he was much weaker. He died early in the morning of Saturday 25 December.

I'm really pleased I managed to make it again this year.