Tangerine Clarke (Caribbean Life News) writes about the rum cake tradition and Carol Bishop-Carter’s creations, inspired by memories of Guyana.
Quarantine baking during the COVID-19 pandemic for Carol Bishop-Carter is more than just the urge to create Rum Cake while at home from her professional life, as a teacher, guidance counselor and mental health counselor, with the NYC Department of Education.
Instead, her inspiration comes from late grandmothers, Una Bishop and Violet Bovell, coupled with a passion to create her own secret recipe. Today, Carol’s Homemade Rum Cake is an established brand that is created with love, and precious memories of growing up in her homeland, Guyana.
The Walnut and Cherry Jubilee Rum Cake, is the first of a variety of flavors, created last August with the stamp of approval of friends and family, and now, customers, who are bombarding Carter’s social media platforms with orders for the delicacy.
The baker is soon to unveil a chocolate rum cake and a Cherry Jubilee Rum Cake, in tribute to her father, Rudy Bishop, founder of the Chronicle Atlantic Symphony Steel & Brass Orchestra. These flavors will celebrate the Christmas season, and her dad’s traditional musical show she grew up enjoying.
Carol recall those good old days, when her grandma Una Bishop sold Sweet Bread and Coconut Buns, and many years after, she has found herself in the kitchen turning out the cakes, putting a modern twist to the recipe to satisfy her customer.
The Foster Care Agency Counselor, who has worked with NYC Department of Education for a number of years, said, “Being on lock down at the starting of COVID-19 pandemic really helped me to sharpened my baking skills. I baked cakes occasionally, but never on this larger scale, turning out so many cakes,” said Carter, adding,” she has been baking weekly, to meet the demand for the rum cake.”
“Friends and family tasted my rum cake, and told me that I really should consider marketing it, because the taste is so’ yummy.’ I was very hesitant at first with that idea, but as time progressed I jumped on it and got started,” she shared. “Never in my wildest dream I thought I would be adding the name baker behind my name. As a child growing up, my beloved late grandmother Una Bishop used to tell me that I will someday follow in her footsteps.”
“She was a great baker. She used to bake and sell goodies for a number of years. Grandma Una never kept her earnings to herself. She gave back to many charities in the US and around the world, especially in her homeland, Guyana.
“Here I am today trying to continue where she left off. My late grandmother Violet Bovell was also a great baker. It’s safe to say now that the baking talent is really in my blood.” [. . .]