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If you’ve been reading this blog for more than about five minutes, you’ll notice I bake intermittently, but often. (As I live alone, I don’t dare have a regular baking day or I’d eat all the results practically before they came out of the oven.)

Last weekend, my parents were over helping me to build (ok, ok, Dad was building) a shelter for my soon-to-arrive barbecue, and during a coffee break, Mum casually dropped into conversation that my great-grandfather and great-grandmother ran a bakery of their own from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Why this particular morsel of information has never come up before, I don’t know – but it would appear that Fred’s Bakery was the family business until it was sold sometime in the fifties.

This, to me, provides a perfect explanation for why I bake when I’m sad, and why my baking usually turns out relatively well; why it’s perfectly normal for me to have memorised several recipes which I can bake at a moment’s notice, even in a kitchen I’ve never used before; and why I’m so fiercely determined to work for myself – my family have had their own businesses for nearly a hundred years!

Baking is apparently in my genes
Chicken, tarragon & nutmeg pie, with added sweetcorn*