Our Claire has been baking…

As a kid, one of the things I used to love doing was making cakes. I loved the alchemy of it – the fact that you put all these ingredients together and put it in the oven where, all being well, it magically turned into a delicious cake. Sadly, baking isn’t something I’ve often done as an adult but this week was an exception as I decided to make some flapjacks.

With only four ingredients, there’s nothing simpler than flapjacks. But could I find my flapjack recipe? Could I heck! So thank goodness you don’t have to buy recipe books any more! One simple search on the internet and I discovered this Mary Berry recipe, which I made at the weekend. They turned out pretty well but have, I feel, too much sugar in them. So I will amend that next time.

That’s a beauty of baking – you can amend things to suit yourself. Sometimes, making things up as you go along – swapping one ingredient for another – is the best part about it. One example that comes to mind is when I made a mint choc sponge cake and didn’t have any mint essence. So, having a think what I could substitute instead, I thought of the mint choc sauce we put on our ice cream. It turned out great and my family really enjoyed it!

If you’re particularly creative, you might even come up with your own recipe. For example, one recipe I made up myself is the banana flapjack sandwich. For this you need two quantities of flapjack and a few bananas. You make your first quantity of flapjack then, whilst it’s cooling, you mash up the bananas and spread them thinly over the flapjack. Then you put your other quantity of flapjack in the oven and when it’s cooked, turn it out and spread it over the banana and flapjack mixture that’s been cooling. Then allow the whole thing to cool before serving. Once cooled, though, this needs to be eaten quickly before the banana goes off. So make sure you have the family around!

Which brings me to an ingredient to baking that doesn’t often get talked about – sharing it with others. Make no mistake, I can eat a whole cake by myself but it’s not as pleasurable as sharing it with others. I think that’s why the baking craze that took off in the wake of Great British Bake Off (which I watch religiously) has largely passed me by – I had no one to share my bakes with. It’s odd to think that I’ve denied myself something I enjoy but it also shows that baking is only half the pleasure. The other half is being generous and sharing it with others. This brings connection and fosters friendship and love. Whereas being selfish and keeping it all to yourself denies all of that.

This applies not just to baking but whenever you share something with others – even when it’s bad news. This is also true of WHISC’s Listening Ear service. They’re waiting to hear from you whether you’re going through good times or bad ones. So give them a call on 0151 707 1826 or, alternatively, leave a message on their Facebook page with your phone number and they will ring you back. There’s also many online activities you can take part in with WHISC from the comfort of your own home. So do have a look at the What’s On page of this website. Together, we will get through this.

WHISC are continuing to provide services for women.

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