Wednesday, 24 October 2018


Have you come across this phrase? It refers to those short videos which keep popping up on the Internet [usually in a Facebook feed] where you see a recipe being prepared. Usually in speeded up time, very simple instructions - but with no sound, just overhead shots of the pans, the ingredients and the hands doing the preparation. [Guardian article Here]
It makes everything look so easy - clever fingers roll the dough and plait the pastry, and pipe the icing. And voila! Fabulous meals produced with apparently no fuss. And you can do it too. Except that you can't. Your 24 cakes are not perfectly matching, your feathered icing is too runny, your puff pastry is partly burnt, and your sprinkled garnish is in a clump on one side, not evenly spread...
We called on my Bro and SIL yesterday on our way back from a day out. Marion offered us freshly made scones. She apologised because "Mary Berry wouldn't pass these. They're a bit dense" Actually they were extremely tasty. 
Heaps better than the dry bicarb laden offering which I was served at a coffee shop in Dereham in the summer. That was part of a 'cream tea' allegedly. But my tea was served In a mug. I hoped for a cup and saucer, and possibly a teapot. Marion's tea and scones were much nicer. We told her not to apologise. 
I blame Bake-off**, and Hands&Pans. People feel that their baking just isn't good enough anymore. Sadly it seems that many people have given up, and feel inadequate in the kitchen. I freely admit to the most spectacular kitchen disasters. But I love my family and I keep trying [and they love me, and they still eat my meals - in between laughing] 
This is Elizabeth, born an ordinary Essex girl, she grew up and became the wife of a Fenland farmer. Then her husband became an MP, led the army, and ended up running the country. Yes, she's Oliver Cromwell's Mrs. After he died and Charles II was restored to the throne, a recipe book was published. "The Court and Kitchen of Elizabeth Cromwell"
The people who printed it failed in their aim of portraying her as a country bumpkin. Their attempt at satire misfired. And I'm glad. She was a loving, faithful wife, mother to nine children. I stood in her little kitchen in Ely and admired a woman who showed such courage and forbearance when her family life was turned totally upside down. Simple pies and nourishing breads nourish people more than high-faluting banquet fare. As it says in Proverbs 15, "better a dish of vegetables served with love than prime steak cooked with hate"
Do your best in the kitchen, serve it with love ... And don't worry about achieving perfection. 

** Can anyone explain why so many of Pru Leith's necklaces look like the "chunky beads threaded on shoelaces" which children make in the Nursery?? 


  1. I don't know why Briony was kicked off last night. The showstopper don't seem to have the same sense of adventure that they used to.It's all a little too 'staged' for me I'm afraid, though I like Sandi and Noel on the prog, even if they don't have that much to do!Those chunky necklaces probably cost a fortune each!!

  2. Hi, Angela! I think a lot of the tv cooking shows put people off cooking but I do watch the British baking show with Mary Berry. Have you see those gorgeous dessert pies on Facebook? They are works of art! I wouldn't want to cut one! I like making scones and sometimes they are better than others but honestly, they are better than what I can buy in a store.

  3. Nana Gogo thanks for your comment. I fully agree, but I'm not posting it just yet as it contains a spoiler about last night's Bake Off!

  4. I agree with you about Prue's necklaces! :-) I think The Bakeoff has encouraged people to at least try baking again but I do think that lot of the food programs are just "Food Porn" as we say here - much too complicated and containing all kinds of exotic ingredients.
    I have started baking again and even though its mostly quick loaves, scones & cookies - no one ever seems to refuse them! And my attitude to cooking is - if it all goes wrong and is inedible there is always the 30 minute pizza delivery from "Pizza Pizza" - a company so popular here that border guards have been known to ask for their phone number & jingle from those trying to cross the border as Canadians!

  5. I didn't know that that was what those videos were called! I love watching them and think, "How easy", but then, I never try making them! LOL. I have to admit I've never made scones, yet. Must try making them, one day.

  6. I didn't know that's what they are called! I.must confess I've always felt a bit of a baking disaster. When we did Home Economics at school, all my baking projects were a catastrophe! I rarely bake for that reason.


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