Three really is a magic number, but sometimes it feels a little overlooked. I mean everyone likes a 'first' don't they? Nothing better. The Winner! The Original! The Pioneer! Second feels like a real achievement, having kept going and 'done it again', still pretty good compared to first. Third though, it's a bit like, okay, that's great. A kind of 'well done' but also a 'what's for tea' kind of celebration really. So, it may just be me, but today I am shouting it loud and cheering (for myself) as Fanny and I celebrate a terrific three years together. Aw. That's 'leather' in anniversary terms... Oh. Best move on.
Three years! You may not have been reading along from the very beginning (erm, but now I think of it, what not?), but that's a lot of weird and whacky recipes, a lot food colouring and a lot of mentions of poor, down-trodden assistants getting into hot water for not following instructions. That's probably where the leather comes in - a quick whack with a belt? It's also three years of learning new techniques, uncovering new flavour combinations and generally having a real laugh. Every day. That's not bad going is it? With Fanny watching over me. Every day. I don't think I've done anything deserving of a good belting. Yet.
I must distract Fanny's mind from leather. Fortunately Fanny has just the thing in mind for 'our' celebration - a three tired cake. Okay, so she's got her celebrations a little mixed up, but it's the thought that counts isn't it? She remembered! Her idea is to make a three tiered wedding cake, perfect for a June bride. She did love a good wedding, whether in June or not. She even had a fake one or two along the way, often more than one at the same time, and never really much clarity on who was married to whom, but we're not being judge-y today of all days, it's a day to celebrate.
Fanny suggests her tried and tested Christmas Cake (is it too early to mention?) for the three tiered triumph. We've made it before, together of course, but never in triplicate. Fanny informs us that the base layer is to be cut and eaten on the wedding day. The second layer should be stored away to celebrate the First Anniversary, or if we are more ambitious, and have blooming good storage, the Silver Wedding Anniversary. The Third and final tier is intended to celebrate the birth of the first child. I fear that Fanny may be waiting quite some time for that particular celebration. Maybe a sacrificial leathering is the best option after all.
So, it's a spicy, fruity, slightly boozy cake fest in June. Once all three cakes are mixed up and baked, Fanny urges us to move swiftly onto the decoration. Almond Paste followed by Royal Icing is essential as a starting point. She advises that it is best to practice decoration on an entirely irrelevant cake that you just happen to have lying around. This is what she makes Johnnie do. Poor Johnnie, it keeps him occupied. He decorates the bottom layer with stars. I, on the other hand, do not have any irrelevant cakes, or indeed any that hang about too long, but I am always applying the knowledge that wise old Fanny gives me. So I know cakes should be blue. Mix the two together and surely this is the ultimate Third Fanny-versary cake? The big question is, will we still be together for the next five years of Fanny Fun required to compete the Cookery Programme? Our next Fanny-versary is the much more suitable Fruit and Flowers, so don't be scared...