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#BoldDailyThought Home Baking – Claire Calman


Living through a pandemic is not good for anyone’s stress levels….Usually, when I get stressed or anxious about something, I try to tell myself that I’m being ridiculous, or over-reacting, but when the whole country is struggling with a global crisis, that strategy isn’t much help.

One thing that always makes me feel better is baking. It soothes me. I think one reason is it’s so different from writing: Rather than having to work out every single element from scratch – characters, story, structure, tone, pace, dialogue etcetera – I can turn to a recipe. Even if I tweak the recipe, it gives me a reassuring template. I feel very calmed by the process of weighing my ingredients, following each step, and that lovely moment when I take it out of the oven and it looks good (or even adequate…).

I usually make rather healthy wholemeal bread, but at the weekend my son (aged 17) said, please, please, could we have some lovely, comforting, soft white bread and stop being so healthy all the time! So I did. I cannot even admit just how many slices I ate of it, slathered in butter and homemade (not by me) strawberry jam.

And the best thing about home-baking? Unlike writing, where I just keep rewriting and re-drafting and editing until I think it’s as good as I can get it, with baking, I accept that I’m just an amateur and that’s ok. Even when it’s not perfect, it’s still usually better than from a shop, and I haven’t had to trudge out in the cold to get it…

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