Mx Faker you make goooooood Cookies!

Anyone else not inherit any recipes? Grow up with a culinary and historical void where other people had comfort food and family histories?

I remember growing up and seeing family recipes everywhere; all my friends families had them! From polish cabbage rolls and Acadian met pies to Tartatin and Tea Biscuits! Recipes passed down from generation to generation.

They’re all over pop culture. Every sitcom or romcom had them so why didn’t my family have any?

I always felt really ripped off and disconnected from the womxn who came before me. My mom baked occasionally, but working full time and having 6 kids didn’t leave much leisure time. On top of being time poor her mother had died when she was very young and therefor she never had a chance to be handed down family knowledge.The memories I have of baking with my mom mostly involve reading recipes of ta bag of chocolate chips, porridge oats, or jar of peanut butter.

My auntie, my dads sister, baked almost constantly! She was amazing at it, but being a plus sized womxn in a family of fat-shamers there was always a tinge of sadness when we’d bake together. I think having been raised by a feeder incapable of showing genuine affection(my paternal grandmother is mean af) really took it’s tole. Complicated emotions and family trauma aside(lol not really you can’t escape them)… the vast majority of her recipes came from cookbooks… many of which with titles like ‘Eat, Drink, and be Skinny’. Family are wild like that, inheritiing generation trauma and having it layered like a fudge cake between new traumas! It’s no wonder I have a warped relationship with food, my body, and self image.

I remember being told about how great a baker my great Grandmother was, but where those recipes ended up I never knew.

The only source of anything resembling ‘family recipes’ in my life is a now greatly contested cookbook from the 1920’s. I say greatly contested because after my parents divorce the both claimed it belonged to them. My father claims it belonged to the aforementioned great grandmother, and my mother claims it belonged to her mother. I don’t believe either of them to be honest and I don’t really care who it belonged to as long as I can be sure I’ll be the one to inherit it… fingers crossed.

Last year I had my brother photograph a few of the recipes and email them to me. Molasses cookies and gingerbread to be specific. I think I’m the only one in the family ever to have used the book. It lives on a back shelf and gathers dust and that breaks my heart a little. I’ve made maybe a dozen recipes I’ve found in it’s 500+ pages which is barely scratching the surface. Having been written in the 1920’s much of them need updating or substitutions as they can be a bit dated and heavy on the LARD.

Contested Cookbooks aside I never really felt like I had inherited recipes. There’s no box of tattered slips of paper, with flowery hand writing from matriarchs past, stained with butter and egg, that I can finger through in times of need. I ‘d say I’m pinning for a romantic ideal… but I’ve seen them! They exist! In the kitchen cupboards of friends and chosen family, guarded and cared for and catalogued meticulously for generations to come.

It’s is just another way in which I feel unconnected to my past. I’ve always felt as if no one before me existed, not really, they were all just made up, there’s no proof they existed… even in my childhood these existential thoughts plagued me. Would I be forgotten or erased because of lack of care? Would no one guard my memory or care for what I left behind? I was a melancholy child for sure. We all live in a simulation anyway so whatever. Long live the matrix.

I don’t plan to have children, not biological ones anyway, but regardless I want to leave a collection of recipes behind. Foods I’ve poured love and time into to taste test and to master. I don’t want my tomb stone to read; Made Great Cookies… but I want it to be known that I did, in fact, make great cookies. So having picked up a pack of Nestle* chocolate chips from the isle of ‘American Specialty Food'(having thrown my better judgment and moral convictions aside for a taste of nostalgia) I got to baking.

I decided to try out a recipe from TASTY that did not disappoint. The recipe will need a few small tweeks, a bit more salt I think, and it might just go into the recipe log I’ve started to keep for future generations…

cookiesingrediants

What’s your ideal chocolate chip cookie? Is it chewy and gooey or crispy and crunchy? Milk or dark chocolate chip?

Where did you get the recipe? Family? Friends? A cookbook? The internet? Did you make it up?

Best served with milk or coffee?

cookiesplated

Since I’ve been trying to cut out as much dairy as possible from my diet I enjoyed my cookies with coconut milk and I’ve got to say it was a perfect pairing!

*Nestle is a thoroughly evil company from stealing water to forced labour and much much more. I go out of my way to ensure I’m not giving them money or supporting them, but this time I caved, just once, because we can’t all be perfect all the time.

Kombucha much?

Maybe you’re like me and you’re a bit late in the game coming to the newly gentrified foods. First it was Quinoa then kale now kombucha! Seems companies can’t get enough of lesser known(to us white folks) foods to popularise and produce on a massive scale!

Because I’ve been struggling with my gut(thanks to a load of previously undiagnosed allergies) I’ve spent a load of time trying to find things to help. Probiotics came up time and time again in my searches, and while most of the products out there seem pretty dubious(again it seems like corporations jumping on a trend) I have found one or two that seemed legit! You won’t be surprised when I say I wanted to keep it OLD SCHOOL. Vintage is really a way of life and FERMENTED FOODS take that to a whole new level!

I am always suspicious of trends because if we’re being honest they’re usually all hype and no substance. This was my worry when it came to probiotics so in finding foods to add to my diet I have far more faith in traditional fermented foods than I would say … a probiotic yogurt!

After discovering (lets stop using that word white folks, it has this violent implications, finding out about something that has existed for ages is not a discovery and calling that gives yourself way to much credit and erases the people who DID discover/invent/create/originated it… just think of Columbus)Kimchi a few years ago when we visited Korea I knew I had one tasty food to fall back on… but I wanted more!

When it comes to food I am so greedy, I want to taste and try everything!

kombucha

Photo by me.

Trying to stick to my ‘Bake once a Week’ resolution. I missed last week, had too much on my plate and bad brain* got took up all my down time.

This week I wanted fruit to be the star of the show(since last bake was chocolate chip cookies). I also wanted to use an ingredient that was in season. Had to go with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is super nostalgic for me, my maternal grandfather grew a large patch in his back garden. His partner Beverly would make jams and pies and crisps and crumbles to feed the grandchildren and the neighbours.

I’ve been homesick lately. Summer in the city always gets me down. I’m an island girl and I miss the sea and the wilds most this time of year. I’ve also been reflecting on mortality, family relations, and legacy. So this bake was reflective of that.

I had never had a CRUMBLE until I moved to the UK. It was one of the first desserts I remember being served by my inlaws. I grew up on CRISPS which are essentially the same but with an crispy oat topping instead rather than the crumbly crumble topping.

crimble1

Recipe:

COMPOTE/FRUIT FILLING

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 450g strawberries
  • 450g rhubarb
  1. Preheat oven to 75F / 190C / Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut your fruit into chunks, I like mine big and rustic, and place in a bowl.
  3. Remember the fruit will soften and disintegrate when you cook it so bigger pieces make for better mouthfeel and be more substantial.
  4. Add lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, and cornflower to fruit and toss gently.
  5. Place fruit into a saucepan and heat on medium-low until fruit softens and sauce thickens.
  6. Pour compote into baking tray.

crumble2

CRUMBLE:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. Throw everything into a bowl and using a fork mash it all together until you get that lovely crumble.
  2. Scoop crumb topping onto the compote.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.

CRUMBLE3

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

 

 

 

 

Christmas promo stuff with Catfood Cakes.

 

Shown above are the Golden Gingerbread Cake, Peppermint Pop Cake, and Chocolate Wreath Cake, cupcakes are as follows; Chocolate Reindeer, festive Red Velvet(vegan option), Chocolate Candy Cane(vegan option), gluten free Chocolate Orange and Confetti Cake Christmas Tree.

You can order you cakes via the Catfood website. Visit their instagram or Facebook.

xmas postcard cupcakes

Cakes by Cat not for cats.

I’ve been working w/super sweet baker Cat of Cat Food Cakes; Cakes by Cat not for cats.

Shooting her cakes is such a treat!

You can visit Cat at the bakery on SATURDAYS ONLY; between 11-4(or until they sell out) you can visit and get cake by the slice or any of the other treats on offer. Through the week she’s busy baking Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten free, and Rainbow cakes for the masses.

You can book me by emailing gwendolynfaker@gmail.com.

You can also visit my website.