Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Keep Baking alive…

Getting the low down on baking
One of the marvels of  spreading the word about Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking is that it takes me to all sorts of different places. I’m doing book signings thanks to lovely Waterstones, talks to groups, baking parties for ‘Hens’ and a ‘Boot Camp’, afternoon teas and it’s often to raise funds for worthy causes. And with this Grandma Abson blog, I can see that people all over the world are reading about her baking. I hope you are enjoying the anecdotes and the recipes. There are some common themes :

1. Baking breaks down barriers. I’ve quickly learnt that the smells and delights of home baking appeal to all generations and genders: baking with kids, student fare, thirty somethings who missed out on baking cakes at home; finding time to bake is theraputic, and the nostalgia amongst the oldies for recipes long forgotten, all bring a beam to faces of all ages when they taste homemade cakes or biscuits.  
Cupcakes? ... No ....Butterfly buns!
2. There are always fashions in baking. Grandma was an avid collector of recipes over her long life so ones from early days in service in the 1900s are quite different from those in the 1970s. Economic circumstances will have dictated which ingredients were available. I’m pretty sure Grandma would have been making cupcakes if she were around today! 
3. We all have our own favourite celebrity chefs but people often tell me that it’s the Grandma’s recipes work because they are simple, have few ingredients and taste wonderful. 
Marmalade Spice Cake made with Gluten Free Flour
4. Then there’s the ‘health’ bit.  Grandma used much less sugar in her baking, so many of her recipes have tastes from ingredients such as ginger or cinnamon and use natural sugars such as honey or dried fruits. When ingredients were scarce, recipes were created without eggs or dairy products. These are a forerunner of ‘free from’ style recipes for those with allergies. 
5. Finally, lots of you tell me you have recipes out there, written on scraps of papers, laying forgotten in cupboards and drawers, just like the ones from Grandma’s collection. So my plea is to start sharing them, so we don’t lose this amazing legacy

 Last week, I met a presenter at a workshop I went to in Manchester, UK about using Social Media in the community. You can find details at www.podnosh.com. What a fantastic way to get people helping each other by sharing expertise. I want to keep baking alive for many more generations to come by sharing our best baking tips and recipes on Grandma’s Blog – so join Grandma on Facebook and Twitter and let’s start the conversation!

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