I was given a challenge by my supervisor to find find something that would add balance to my life as I was feeling stale and surrounded by grief and loss. I was challenged to find something that was creative to remind me that life is beautiful, messy and ever changing. But for the past 3 months I was stuck for ideas. Then I watched Julie & Julia the movie and I thought wow, could I do something like that?? No! Not me! Never! I don’t like cooking – well not “real food” anyway like roasts, casseroles, vegetable dishes. How about gardening – no. Pottery – that wasn’t the right fit either. Something physical? maybe Iron Women – No No NO! Sigh. So what??
Then I started watching the Great British Bake Off. Light bulb moment. I like cake. My husband – known as the MOTH (Man of the House or as our favourite Short blonde pommy said Man Over The Hill) likes cake. And Pansy our pugenese loves cake. Maybe I could bake. Maybe I could be inspired by these talented home bakers – because lets face it they are inspiring. And anyway how many cakes, slices, biscuits could it possible be? Lots. There are lots! There are 11 wonderful, mouth drooling recipes for cake (available on the net) just from week 1 season 1 and the Great British Bake Off has been going for 8 seasons. As I said a lots!!
Currently I don’t bake. I don’t need to. The MOTH has women all over our neighbour hood baking for him. He provides freshly caught fish and our neighbours provide cake. A perfect match. I don’t even own a cake mixer. Well not quite true. My mother-in law brought me one as a wedding present 32 years ago. It rarely got used. I can count the times I used it on 1 hand. So couple of years ago I happily lent the mixer to a friend and it blew up! From lack of use, I suspect.
But something stuck in my mind. Niggling at me. Nagging at me.
You need to create!………………… You need to embrace life! …………….. Dam my supervisor!!.
So alright I give in (well for the time being). I am going to bake. I am going to start at the beginning. I will work my way through each book published for each season of the Great British Bake Off, beginning at Season 1. How long will this last – I have no idea. Unlike Julie I have no intention in completing this task in 1 year. I am certainly not going to bake every day – once a week at the most I suspect. I am not even sure if this current burst of enthusiasm will last more than a month or two. But I will start.
Starting meant buying a mixer – done – all new, shiny and black. Starting meant ordering Season 1 recipe book – done – still waiting for it to arrive from England. Starting means choosing the 1st cake to make – also done.
I will make the Chocolate Brownie Meringue Cale with Raspberry Cream created by Miranda Gore Brown. It looks divine.
So without the supervision of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry – but in the words of Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding – “Lets bake!”