My name is Frances. And I bake. A lot. I guess the title of my blog was probably a big clue.
I am a mother to three young children. They are my life; my everything.
I am also a teacher of English and History. After taking a break of almost ten years to be at home with my children, I returned to teaching in a secondary school for children with addition learning needs. I love teaching my subjects and I love teaching the kids in my school. I only teach three days a week and it’s not a permanent job.
I have been baking (and cooking) on my own since I was primary school age. I am self taught and figured if there was a recipe with instructions it was do-able. I have made decorated cakes for friends and family for the last thirty years. Delia Smith was an idol and I was inspired to pick up a piping bag after watching numerous members of the public getting in a right fankle (and yes, that is a Scottish word: look it up) on The Generation Game on TV. I was totally ahead of the salted caramel trend when, as an eight year old, I tried to make chocolates filled with chopped peanuts. Only, they were salted peanuts. Family, friends and neighbours have always been willing to taste test even the most unusual of creations.
Baking makes me happy. I get twitchy if I haven’t baked for a couple of days: I need to bake.
In the last five years I have really pushed myself (working within the time and financial constraints of life) and broadened my baking horizons. I continue to work on the principle that any bake is possible and have strived to master several cake and pastry classics whilst exploring the latest trends in decorating and incorporating flavours and ideas from innovative bakers from around the world.
Last year I took my first course: I spent a week learning how to make bread “the Bertinet way” at Richard Bertinet’s school in Bath. It was a dream come true and so inspiring and motivational. Bread has become a passion for me and, thankfully, my kids are very willing guinea pigs. And talking of guinea pigs, how could I now mention my fabulous colleagues that I teach with? They, very generously, allow me to share my latest bakes with them. 😉
Also willing to taste test and generally listen to me drone on about flavour and decorative ideas is my very loving and supportive partner. He has tirelessly supported and encouraged my passion for baking and my desire to create beautiful things to eat and to share with friends and family. He doesn’t skip a beat when I announce, out of the blue, and sometimes at a very unsociable hour, an idea that I have for a new cake.
I also like to play with photography, an interest inherited from my dear, late father. Food photography is a tricky business, so I just keep striving to capture what I’ve made as best I can. I have promised myself that one day I will take a course in digital photography so that I have some clue as to what I am doing: at the moment it’s all a bit of guess work and chance on the technical front, though I think I have a decent eye.
I love food, and the occasional glass of wine. So, I will share recipes for favourite savoury recipes from time to time too. I also like to share my experiences of restaurants and cafes, or even a new wine that I have discovered. I like to share other people’s culinary triumphs and photos and support new businesses that create delicious food.
I am no expert. Not by a long chalk. But I know what I like and can recognise quality and hard work. I see no point in not giving 100% to everything that I do. I have boundless enthusiasm for and an endless interest in all things culinary and will never stop trying to improve my skills in the kitchen. I hope that one day I can support my wee family with this passion for baking that only grows deeper and stronger as the years go by.
I hope you enjoy my blog.