Family Baking

I am the baker in my family (shocking, I know!) but I got the flair from somewhere and I plan to pass it on too!

I don’t have kids and I’m not sure I want to have them any time in the future, so I will be passing on my baking knowledge to my nephews and niece where I can. But first, I want to talk about where I get my love of baking from. I have to admit I always thought it was from my grandmother on my dad’s side, she baked a lot as is pretty normal for that generation but she wouldn’t ever call herself a baker I don’t think. And then she told me about her father, my great grandfather. He died when my grandmother was very young so I never met him but she recently told me that he was the head pastry chef at Cumberland Hotel in London. Which was extremely exciting for me to find out! And not only that, he once constructed an 80lb scale sugar model of Westminster Abbey! She sent me photocopies of the article and photos and I will share them with you now

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The article reads: “This scale model of Westminster Abbey, made entirely from sugar, was awarded first prize and gold medal in the Pastry Village Section of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Exhibition, at Olympia, last month. Pastry-chef Charles Cloet, of the Cumberland Hotel (on left with M. Bregeon, Head Chef), made the model. It weighed 80lb. and took more than 250 hours- over a period of four months – to construct.”

 

 

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The model

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My great grandfather – Charles Cloet

Apologies for the slightly warped photos, I don’t have scanner! 

As you can imagine, it was a really amazing thing for me to discover, as I knew nothing about him before I found out about this. I did contact the hotel to see if I could get more information on him but unfortunately with so much time having passed and management changing multiple times they weren’t able to find anything. It’s great to have these photos though. My grandmother also told me about the “cake” he made her for her 2nd birthday – it was actually a shoe made entirely from chocolate and intricately decorating – she told me about how much she loved it and had tried to wear it! 

Now, I didn’t quite inherit the abilities my great grandfather had but I like to think I inherited my love for baking from him. And I hope to pass that on to my nephews and niece. Luckily my nephews do love to bake with me and were very excited when I was visiting this past weekend and asked them if they wanted to bake and decorate cookies with me! It was a lot of fun, messy but still very fun! We made some simple shortbread and then decorated them with icing and a whole variety of toppings! They actually did all the work, I just guided them and did the hot oven parts! Here are some photos of the fun:

Measuring

Measuring

Stirring the dough

Stirring the dough

Rolling the dough

Rolling the dough

Cutting out the cookies

Cutting out the cookies

Stirring the colouring into icing

Stirring the colouring into icing

Hard at working decorating the cookies

Hard at working decorating the cookies

And here are their decorated cookies

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And they jointly decorated these three for mummy, nanny and their stepdad (with all three decorating at once, they got a bit sprinkle happy!)

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The cookies were really yummy and everybody was very happy. We all had a lot of fun and I hope that they grow up learning to love baking! My eldest nephew, Jordon, told me that he wants to be a cook or baker so I hope he sticks with that idea, it would feel really great to know I helped grow that love! 

I actually have six nephews (yes, all of them belonging to one sister, she’s mad I swear) and a niece (belonging to my younger sister). The 3 younger nephews are too young to bake with me at the moment (one will be two next month and the twins are 8 months) and my niece wasn’t there this weekend. But I can’t not share some photos of them with you because they’re all such cute, beautiful kids and I love showing them off

My niece, Leah. She's 5

My niece, Leah. She’s 5

Logan, almost 2 years old.

Logan, almost 2 years old.

 

Carson, 8 months old and one of the twins

Carson, 8 months old and one of the twins

 

Carson again

Carson again (and grumpy just woke up from a nap Logan in the background haha)

Parker, the other twin

Parker, the other twin

Parker again

Parker again

Whew, there are a lot of photos in this post aren’t there? I only have a couple more to share with you now! 

I also hope to pass down my favourite recipes to them and future generations. Not only through this blog that I hope they will read one day, but also through a family cookbook that my sister’s bought me for my birthday this year. It’s a blank book that you fill in with all your family recipes and hopefully it’ll get passed down and more recipes added. I’ve only filled in a few so far!

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It’s a great present and I can’t wait to fill it in some more! I’ll also be adding some of my nan’s recipes to it soon! 

 

So, do the children in your life enjoy getting involved in the kitchen? And where do you think you got your love of being in the kitchen from? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this break from recipes to learn a little bit about where I get my baking skills from and how I hope to pass them on!

Have a great week everybody! 

10 comments

  1. Erika says:

    Your nephews and niece are adorable! I decided long ago I didn’t want kids and being an only child myself from a rather small family, unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity to bake with children and pass on some of my knowledge.

  2. Suzanne says:

    What a beautiful group of children. Really enjoyed the photo’s and the story of the Westminster Model in sugar, so cool your great grandfather helped put that together. It’s beautiful

  3. Tony diaz says:

    Hi Michelle lovely artic all to read about the sugar craft abbey m.bregeon was my grandfather I have the same newspaper clipping it’s very interesting to know about someone who worked with him
    Regards
    Tony diaz

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