My mother didn’t love to cook, but there were a few things she made that we all looked forward to. Her hamburg pie, of course. And apple pie (although I don’t love apple pie from anyone’s kitchen). Fried haddock and fries. When I was young she also made bread. Teacakes – little circles of bread a bit smaller than your typical hamburger roll, brushed with butter on the top before going into the oven. One time, she showed me how to make them, let me help form the rolls. There seemed a special technique I just couldn’t get, but really it was just a matter of stretching the dough and patting it back together into a little cake. Mom wrapped her hand around each one as it was placed on the pan and smushed it together a bit more. A final hug. Even before they went into the oven, the smell was intoxicating. “The best way to eat a tea cake,” she told me, “is right out of the oven, with a bit of butter and a cup of tea. I’ll call you when they’re done.” She didn’t need to call me. I stayed close by, breathing in the toasted yeasty smell. We sat at the table together, and had “tea” even though it was too early for an official British teatime. She sipped her tea and me my milk and we oohed and aahed over the delicious bread. And we were both so ridiculously happy to be sitting there you would have thought it a great holiday. I don’t know what day it was. I don’t know why I was home alone with her. But my taste buds can remember the buttery teacakes still.