Among my friends and former colleagues, eight women have had breast cancer. Seven of those have recovered fully; all are still alive and living a full life. That is a remarkably positive statistic – a very different picture from 35 years ago when my mother was diagnosed with the illness (she died when I was 15).
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and, joining the usual fashion and beauty companies, landmarks around the country, including the Marble Arch fountains in London, have turned pink with a purpose: to make people stop and think about an illness that touches the lives of so many thousands of people.
The food world is in on the act, too, with companies such as Dualit producing limited-edition pink toasters in their classic retro style (above; £189.95). You can even buy pink pasta from Dell’Ugo – filled with a sweet-earthy-salty mix of beetroot and goat’s cheese – and very good it is too (below; £3.49 from Waitrose and Ocado).
For a long time delicious. magazine has been a supporter of the outstanding Breast Cancer Care. It’s a charity I feel strongly about – for obvious reasons. My friends wouldn’t be well and enjoying life had it not been for the tireless research into treatments, coupled with crucial support, much of which has come about through people like you and me raising funds.
Last night, the charity’s annual fashion show gave 22 women (and two men) the chance to model clothes on a catwalk in front of hundreds of people – a star-studded audience. The paparazzi were most interested in nabbing a shot of Lisa Snowdon’s new boyfriend, but it was the people who walked past the photographers unnoticed who were the most important.
On the catwalk: the smiles say it all…
The difference with the models on the BCC catwalk is that they’re all suffering from breast cancer, and the emotional boost they gained from being involved in the show was palpable. There were so many tales of hope and strength, each a reminder of how important it is to appreciate every good thing in life, however small. Moaning about the crammed morning commute to work or the Sky Box failing to record the Great British Bake Off suddenly seems inappropriate – crass, even.
Every year, delicious. magazine publishes a collection of recipes supporting the Breast Cancer Care Strawberry Tea Campaign, which encourages people to invite friends round to share home-made cake, with guests making donations towards the work of the charity… A great excuse to get baking. If you fancy hosting a tea, here are a few foolproof recipes to inspire you. But top of the must-bake list has to be the apple caramel layer cake below. It was the winning recipe created by reader Trisha Jones for a competition to raise awareness of Breast Cancer Care, and it graced the cover of delicious. magazine last autumn. It happens to be one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted…
Sticky, sweet-sharp and sooooo good: apple caramel layer cake