I’m really proud and excited to be the first contributor to the talented Sally Robinson’s Democratic Cookbook. I share my story of when I first fell in love with baking. From Banana Bread to Macarons shows my baking journey from first realising I could bake well to mastering the tricky French Patisserie delight of a macaron.
The idea behind the ( currently online) cookbook is that cooking is for everyone. Cooking happens in real life not just in the stylised versions of life we are shown on cookery programmes where everything is perfect and clothes always stay spotless!
I met Sally through twitter when she was was studying for her masters in food photography. A project exploring people’s relationship with food. When we met we realised we got on well and shared a love of food. We also believe that everyone should and could enjoy wonderful, delicious food. I talked to her lots about what food means to me. I come from a foodie family who often express our love for each other through sharing meals. We have even run our own family bake off with parents, children, aunties and uncles competing with each other to win the prize for best hot cross bun. We made a visiting aunt and cousin do the blind judging- just like the judging in the technical challenge of The Great British Bake Off
I talked to Sally about my baking journey: how I had come to baking when I was off work with depression. I see baking as a wonderfully therapeutic activity. I am truly mindful when I am baking . I concentrate on the flavours and the tasks required for that magical alchemy which turns eggs, flour butter,sugar and seasonal fruit into cake heaven. I feel very lucky to be able to do this for my livelihood baking seasonal food for parties & events
I’ve started teaching baking as I believe that everyone has the capacity to perform this magic. They just need to build up their confidence and skills. The banana bread recipe in the democratic cookbook is one I taught in my first family baking class at GetCooking! school in Leeds.
My classes focus on baking with seasonal fruit, herbs & flowers. Using local seasonal produce is so important to me. Fruit and vegetables taste so much better when in season and not travelled: good for us and good for the planet. My Bake the Seasons classes are for all ages and all levels of ability as I believe everyone has something to learn. I aim to inspire people to bake with the wonderful produce that’s growing around them. I often take traditional recipes and give them a seasonal twist or research for fantastic recipes to help people learn new skills on their baking journey
I’m doing more baking classes at GetCooking! Leeds so keep an eye on their website . If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about my classes, receive special offers and recipes then please join my mailing list and get one of the recipes featured in my initial taster classes. Choose from Lemon Balm drizzle cake or Rhubarb & ginger sandwich cake.