Still out there I see…

Hello again. It has literally been years. I am not a very committed ‘blogger’ it has become fairly evident. I am not sure what should inhibit my ability to tap out a little inspiration each week but I think that a few years of challenge and change have been underway and perhaps now I am ready to be real with myself and you again. So let’s catch up.

Its December 2017, probably four years since my last post. I have found work, moved from part time to full time, held three different posts, struggled with my purpose in life, faced some incredibly challenging circumstances with my son, learned to love him a little bit more each day than I ever thought possible, moved house, gone on a travelling adventure with my sister, fallen in love with a dear friend, experienced the unmistakable surprise and joy of having them love me in return and begun the adventure of bringing our lives together.

That about sums it up! So when I started this blog my dear Nan had recently passed away and part of me wanted to write about her to feel connected to the legacy she left me and all the memories that I cherish. I was scared they would fade. This week I have been baking her mince pies and finally felt that I had achieved almost her standard of pastry and that she would have approved! Strange how each year that passes rather than fading her memory seems stronger and more compelling and I find ways to experience her love when I most need it. Homemade mince pies were a quintessential part of Christmas for us and I always preferred them to anything you can buy. And so my offerings have been met with a similar appreciative reception, my partner wolfing them down with glee. My son doesn’t like mince pies. This makes me a little sad but I will continue to make them until the memory becomes ingrained in his story and subliminally influences his palate!

The same goes for every meal I cook from scratch wanting to feed my family with love and warmth and goodness, hoping and believing that one day when he is grown up my boy will look back fondly on the meals that made his childhood.

And as family grows and different people become part of it we get a whole new season of memories to make and traditions to enjoy and yes, perhaps even Christmas will be magic again!IMG_2490

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Baking balmy

Fresh baked bread, mmm delicious!

Fresh baked bread, mmm delicious!

I love to bake. I make a terrible mess and almost always try to eat the food before it has cooled down leading to many a burnt mouth and dropped biscuits! I am not particularly fussy about what I bake and enjoy setting myself new challenges – next up is macaroons! I am a simple baker at heart and was taught the basics by my lovely Nan. Nan passed away last year and that has had a big impact on all of my family. She was kind of the heart and soul for us, the reason to gather together, the person at the centre. Baking is one way for me to feel connected to her still, I make things and think ‘I hope Nan would be proud of this’. Silly and a little sad but there it is, I wouldn’t love baking half as much if I didn’t have such poignant memories of making cakes and scones with my Nan, and watching her in the kitchen turning out massive roast dinners with perfect yorkshires and potatoes to die for. To this day not one person has been able to recreate Nan’s roast potatoes. I think there was a little touch of magic in every one, because even with Nan talking me through it step by step (they’re really not complicated!) they never ever tasted the same. It is one of those profoundly inexplicable things that a potato should hold such mystery and so unique a flavour so as to be unrecreatable (I know that is not a word!) by anyone other than Nan. She is the supreme cook against whom we all pale in comparison. I am forever indebted to her for instilling in me both love for and confidence in baking.

Here I will attempt to post pictures, recipes, trials and disasters for you to laugh at and enjoy from my own wee bakery (otherwise known as the world’s tiniest kitchen!)