Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Keep Baking alive and start the conversation

Getting the low down on baking at home
One of the marvels of  spreading the word about Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking is that it takes me to all over the country. I’m doing book signings thanks to Waterstones, talks, baking parties and events such as afternoon teas and it’s often to raise funds for various charity causes. With Grandma Abson's blog, I had never imagined that people all over the world would read about her baking. I hope you are enjoying the anecdotes and recipes. I've picked out 5 common themes :

1. Baking cakes breaks down barriers. I’ve learnt that the smells and delights of home baking appeal to all generations : exited anticipation of baking with kids, student grub, thirty somethings who missed out on baking cakes at home, nostalgia among oldies for recipes long forgotten; baking is therapeutic and the taste of homemade cakes or biscuits always bring a smile.  
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 tell me that it’s the Grandma’s recipes work because they are easy to bake, have few ingredients and taste wonderful. 
Marmalade Spice Cake made with Gluten Free Flour
4. Then there’s the ‘health’ bit.  Grandma generally used much less sugar in her baking, so many of her recipes have tastes from spices 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. Many of you tell me you have recipes out there, written on scraps of papers, laying forgotten in cupboards and drawers, just like the ones in Grandma’s collection. So let's start sharing them, so we don’t lose this amazing legacy

 Last week, I met a presenter at a workshop 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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