Updated: Sep 6, 2018
Food has been central to my family for as long as I can remember. Food is what we do - we eat, we cook, we share recipes and dinner plans and new ingredients. Being from a Northern Irish family, and growing up in Glasgow, I think it was inevitable, as the folks of NI and Glasgow share feeding as a way to show love.
My Grandpa always requested a "wee something" alongside a cup of coffee. Whenever we went to my Grandma's house, we were presented with a barrage of buns, cakes, muffins, biscuits, cupcakes, pastries, pancakes, cookies, scones, tarts, and, of course (it being Northern Ireland), traybakes. My Grandma would then, entirely without irony, poke you in the belly and suggest you were "putting on the beef".
My own parents, in contrast, have hardly a sweet tooth between them. My brother and I ate whatever my parents did for dinner from as early as I remember, occasionally lamenting that we didn't get to eat chicken nuggets, like normal children. But dessert was never really a feature of our evening meals. Maybe my whole baking obsession is me making up for lost time...
I Bake When I Have Feelings
I can't really remember when I started baking. I think it's so much a part of my life now, that it's hard to imagine a time without it. But in the last couple of years, it's become much more important to me. I do think baking is a great way to show someone you care about them, and I've certainly been doing my best to fatten up my husband. And honestly, it's been a tough couple of years, so baking has been a lifeline.
With cooking, I find it can easily become a bit of a chore, since it's pretty much a necessity, and it's also something you don't have to focus on too much (I'm a throw it all together with a vague glance at a recipe kind of cook).
Baking, on the other hand, requires focus, and measuring, and timing, and generally, a bit less wandering off and getting distracted. Which is great for those of us who are chronic over thinkers. In the last year or two my health has become something that takes up more time and thought than just making sure I occasionally eat something green, and creating a new cake, that I can then share with the folks who are supporting me, is a great stress reliever. It's also something I can do sitting down, or in stages, over time with breaks when I need them, which means it gets an A-plus on the activities with chronic pain scale.
After a while it became the obvious next step to set up my little business. I love getting the opportunity to make something special, and many of my cakes have been designed specifically for family and friends based on something I know they love to eat. I love making things for foodies like me and my family, who like something a bit different, and not the usual sugar-coma inducing, icing-heavy, cakes that are more about making it look like a shoe or a teddy or a dinosaur. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not what I do. I'm all about EATING.