Food & drink

Why I bake on Saturdays

If the smiles on my children’s faces, eyeing up my latest offering is not reason enough, I thought I would share why I decided to start baking on Saturdays.

Chocolate victoria sponge
This Saturday’s chocolate victoria sponge.

Growing up my parent’s worked in the food industry, every Saturday. I would spend my Saturday’s with my nan, she gave me her undivided attention for the time we were together, playing games, spending time in the garden, simple pleasures and never a soft play centre or cinema visit.

One of the things I have very fond memories of was baking together. My nan and I would make cream horns, victoria sponges and fairy cakes. We would sit down together and enjoy the fruits of our labour, always up the table, always in the afternoon and always talking together in a calm way, sometimes my grandad would join us. Over the years, I learnt all her tricks and today I still recall these memories when I sit with a cuppa and slide of homemade cake.

My nan is of the generation who cooked all the meals she ate. Home cooking was the norm, fast food wasn’t available with the convenience it is today, childhood obesity wasn’t at the rate it is today.

And whilst my latest chocolate sponge cake isn’t going to help in the fight against childhood obesity. My husband and I got into a bad habit of every weekend visiting a coffee shop and buying the kids snacks and treats, it was expensive and the kids had no idea how or where their food was made and the list of ‘e’ numbers made me feel a little uncomfortable.

So I am reconnecting with food. I am cooking. Cakes on Saturday, a roast on Sunday, a mid-week stew. Less jars, ready meals and takeaways. I am trying to be a good role model, show my children where our food comes from, encouraging them to be more adventurous. I am not perfect, there are winners (last week’s courgette cake) and losers (tough and slightly burnt lamb stew), the 80:20 rule definitely applies.

I recently read that children who have family routines and rituals have an increased sense of identity, belonging and feel a greater sense of security. I am hoping our weekly baked treat will create the same fond memories for them as they grow up that I have enjoyed. If they can name a few more fruit and vegetables I am trying to get into them, all the better.


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