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It is with great sadness that I report the death of Mr Ken Wood.

He died honourably, going out with a bang following the addition of flour to a triple batch of lemon drizzle cake.   He rallied enough to stutter and stumble on until the milk was poured in, listening to my prayers of pleading to just get to the end of the recipe.  Then his motor gave out with a crack and a puff of evil smoke.

I grew up with Mr Ken.  He first joined the family just after I was born.  He’s mixed my birthday cakes, fluffed my mother’s meringues to perfection, and accompanied me on my early baking experiments. He was good at pretty much anything, although he struggled with chelsea buns and chocolate mousse. On one memorable occasion he spectacularly spun a half-mixed banana milkshake all over my mother’s new kitchen curtains.  

One of the reasons I enjoyed baking with Mr Ken so much is that he was a link to the past.  My grandmother’s hands turned the same dial I did; my mother scraped the same bowl for mixture. My brother and I were given the bowl to scrape out following the creation of various doughs and mixes.  A rather disgustingly green flowery cover was made for him at one stage; sadly before he made it to the ApplePie household this went missing.

His final act was worth the sacrifice; a springy and sumptuous cake for Easter Sunday tea with friends.  Sadly, he won’t rise again. I will miss him.  There was something so comforting about the sound of his motor running.   Should I be very lucky, Mr Ken will at some point be replaced physically, but I suspect not emotionally, by Miss Kit Chenaid.  

I will bake on, as a memorial to Mr Ken Wood, a faithful kitchen and family friend.