Soul Food

I’m a big believer that the making, baking and sharing of food is good for both the mind and soul.

When I need to relax, I bake. The mindless (or perhaps mindfulness!) act of following a familiar recipe provides me with space to park my emotions and focus on creating something beautiful… or, if not wholly beautiful, at least tasty! It’s a soothing and reassuring process, much like re-reading a favourite book, or visiting your Grandmother’s house.

Therefore, it is conceivably not surprising that the act of eating these favourite bakes with loved ones is an uplifting process also. All of our major life events incorporate food and baked goods at the heart of their traditions; weddings with their many tiered cakes, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs at Easter time, mince pies and steamed puddings to celebrate Christmas, birthday cakes, christening cakes – the list goes on and on. There’s something comforting about knowing which baked good is to be anticipated at each event. It delivers a warm combination of order and clarity, tradition and nostalgia.

The passing down of family recipes can be a bonding process. Knowing that your mum’s mum’s mum used to add 5 egg whites instead of 4 in her version of meringue, which then went on to win first prize at the village fete in 1963, might just nudge you into giving her method a go. Recipes can also remind you of a person, and give you that warm and fuzzy glow. Scottish tablet (fudge), for example, reminds me of my Grandfather who used to regularly make large quantities of the stuff after he retired. He would fill several large rectangular ice cream tubs with each batch, which would take numerous months to eat, and have to be handed out to various family members and friends in order to “use it up”. But we loved it.

Food, to me, is also a way of offering a token of gratitude, support or condolence. It’s often easier to express that you’re there for someone in edible form, rather than fumbling over your words or offering uncomfortable hugs. (This may be particularly pertinent for us British folk!) However, others may just class me as “a feeder”! So to the lady who I awkwardly gave a cheese and salad sandwich when she crashed her car on my street, to my sister who I presented with lopsided blue cupcakes after the birth of her first son (I had waited until after the birth to find out if I should pipe pink or blue icing), and to the friend whose fridge I filled with lasagne and sweet treats in time for their return from hospital; apologies if it was a bit much, I just wanted to show you I cared.

 

#sharing #warmandfuzzy #feeder #cake #baking #Scotland #Aberdeenshire #Easydoughsy

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