Hello, fellow foodies! I’m Pauline – mother, blogger, cooking enthusiast, and perpetual eater.
As a young girl. My favourite day of the year was the school bake sale. I’d save up for months before. When the date was announced, I’d crack my piggy bank open ready to try out everyones tasty treats.
My mother was never much of a baker, she was usually too busy with work to fuss with cakes. So it made the bake sale all the better. Walking through the hall sampling fudge brownies, red velvet cupcakes and lemon drizzle squares made me want to be the mother who made the very best baked goodies.
Now that I’m older and my sweet tooth has given in a little, my palate is broader than just muffins and cookies. I try to make healthy meals tasty and exciting for my kids and husband. It’s satisfying to hear a chorus of ‘mmmm yum’ coming from the dining room – especially when I’ve packed their plates with a medley of veggies!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my transition from my childhood love of sweet baked goods to my very grown-up health conscious meal planning, it’s how to find a balance without having to sacrifice anything!
From Cheffing to Blogging…
I worked in kitchens in my late teens and during university. At that time, without any good experience, you had to choose between retail and hospitality. Given my pre-existing love for cooking, the choice was pretty easy for me. I started out as a kitchen porter scrubbing up pots and pans. I made it right the way up to being a sous chef. During that time, I made tons of friends and learned so many wonderful techniques that I still use today.
However, working in a kitchen was missing something for me. One thing they never tell aspiring cooks when they enter a commercial kitchen, is how different it is to cooking at home. When you work in any kitchen, you never get to take a dish from start to finish. You never get the satisfaction of knowing whatever you send out to guests is cooked to perfection. You’re only ever responsible for one little part of the dish.
You might be chopping up veg for the broth, seasoning the side orders or adding garnish to desserts, but you’ll never be doing it all. Working in a kitchen means you have to play a small role in putting out a large amount of food. That just isn’t my style!
I respect professional chefs a lot. The hours are too long, the kitchen is too hot, and the pressure to get everything perfect is a lot to deal with day-to-day. If you’re a pro chef reading this, I take my hat off to you. You work incredibly hard – but it’s not for me.
Maybe I am a big fish in a small pond, a neurotic perfectionist and a bit of a control freak, but, I take great pride in my cooking. I know that every little batch of cupcakes I make are delicious and beautiful. Every breakfast is bright and bold. Every meal is hearty and wholesome.
There’s nobody else for me to shift the blame to if they aren’t – except maybe the kids if they were keen to lend a hand with cracking eggs or sifting flour. I put tons of love into everything I make and I hope it shows to anyone who gets to sample any of it.
When I decided that working in a kitchen just wasn’t for me, my biggest regret was that I’d never get to share my food with other people (except for at the kid’s bake sales, of course). It’s lovely to cook for family, perhaps even more rewarding than cooking for two hundred covers per night. However, it’s also nice to share your cooking with people who’ve never seen it before. So, as you might’ve guessed, this blog is my way of doing that!
Here, I have total control of what I want to make and how I want to make it. But, I still get to share it with all you lovely people. I hope that when people visit my blog, they feel inspired to cook up not just my recipes, but make up their own too. I try to offer as much advice about how to tweak and twist recipes without the cake failing to rise! To me, cooking is a very personal experience. If we all just work strictly to someone else’s recipe, we’ll be baking the same old boring things forever.
I encourage you all to deviate from the recipes, try out something new! One of the most exciting parts of having this blog, is receiving emails telling me that one of my posts inspired someone to cook up something brand new. Keep honing your cookery skills and striving to make the best bits at the bake sale.