I have always been of the opinion that when life gives you lemons…make lemon meringue roulade (of course). Whenever I need a moment’s peace, a little inspiration, or let’s be totally honest, a snack, I get into the kitchen and bake. Combining two of my favourite things (well really three, if you include singing while you bake) – creativity and gastronomy – it gives me time to myself, a moment of calm, and it allows me to totally switch off from everything around me. It takes me to my happy place.
Baking takes me to that happy place. Whether it be to the thought of the place and people I am going to share my food with, or to a sweet memory in time. My Granny was an amazing cook, and although she passed away when I was very young, I always think of her when I’m in the kitchen. Although our time together was all too short, I always feel like she’s there when I’m cooking (maybe because I’m still using her old well-loved equipment or cooking up my version of one of her timeless recipes).
I love the fact that cooking is a process. It always starts with an idea and a handful of raw ingredients to bind together to create something lovely. No matter how classic or how off-piste you go, there is always an end result.
Food brings people together, and I love nothing more than watching people come together over something I have lovingly made and seeing them enjoy it. There is a joy in creating, whether it be bespoke creations for family and friends, special occasions, a themed bake, or just that hump day treat!
On a whim a couple of years ago I applied to the Great British Bake Off and to my surprise I got through to the final stages. I was flattered, although sadly for a number of reasons, I could not pursue the bake off dream, and so my bakes were (perhaps thankfully) saved from the scrutiny of Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Not wanting to shy away from a challenge though, I have been continually learning and trying to create my own ‘showstoppers’ for family and friends ever since, which are hopefully not quite so heavily critiqued!
I have learned from personal experience that sometimes parts of life can be overwhelming, and it is essential to press pause on it all sometimes. As with a recipe, life is all about balance, and taking time out is really important, to let your mind rest, and give it time to refresh and refuel. Baking allows me to take time out and release my creativity. Life is what you bake of it, so jump in the kitchen, turn the music up and get baking!
I’ll be sharing some tasty recipes here on the blog and some sweet snaps over on the gram – @hbakescakes