What it really means is that when you feel crap, and awful, and something happens deep inside you, something else has a switch flicked on and you find a way out of it. Be it reading, eating crisps, working tirelessly to create the new iPod or even opening a new shop. I’ve heard all four whilst trying to write this.
Now I’ve been feeling pretty terrible the last few weeks. Call it man flu, but nobody should be vomiting this much. Nobody should feel they can’t go to a lecture because they’ll cover the nice lecturer’s expensive Spanish shoes in chunder. I feel like I need 24 hours worth of sleep a day, and need a jolt up the arse to even think about working on projects – my brain just switches off.
But despite feeling like this, and writing this drastically before an emergency doctor’s appointment in a place that smells slightly like cat urine, I’ve kinda enjoyed the last few weeks. For one reason and one reason only: food.
Cooking and baking have really been my little way of escaping the phlegm and the unhealthy nature of my sorry state at the minute. And it also means that whatever is cooked cant be shared – result.
As those of you who have known me a little while, you’ll know that I adore cooking anyway, and I love being able to create something from pretty much nothing. But the last few weeks have allowed me to bake away the frustration of not being able to do the things I want to. And gave me an idea.
Now more shall become apparent very shortly, but I’ve decided, that in a similar sort of concept My Food Revolution was, I’m going to launch a baking blog. And a cookery one next year, too. And I’ve not been more excited for a project for a very, very long time.
The idea that baking is typically something a woman does is a stereotype that hasn’t been true for nearly half a century, if not longer. Baking is now cross-gender, cross-age, and thanks to programmes such as The Great British Bake-Off, most definitely is now something people aspire to be able to do. Luckily, I’ve baked my entire life – Ma isn’t bad, herself, and we were always told to get in the kitchen (or get out, depending on what mood she was in…) and learn to cook and bake.
However, those stereotypes still do, unfortunately, exist outside of the TV baking bubble. The final of this year’s Bake-Off was between three men, from two generations. And what I’d like to do is to try and kick that – to make baking accepted from all, by all, and with all. Because baking is one of those things that is shared.
Slicing a cake? You share it. Baking fairy cakes? You share them. Bread in the oven? You slice and share. Cheesecake? You share. Loaf cakes? You share. Mousse cakes? You share. Pastries? You share. Belgian buns? You share. Unless you’re me.
It’s like what I said previously – coffee is communal, as is baking. It’s something that can help bring a whole community together. But there is still that expectation that women bake it, and if a man has baked something good, the ripple of shock cascades through society. And that most certainly shouldn’t be the case.
So I’d like to try and get more blokes baking. And that starts with me. I’m going to be writing recipes and making really simple baking accessible to blokes of any cooking ability – from those who couldn’t tell you a spoon from a spatula, all the way up to those who make perfect croquembouche every single time. And I want you lot to take part too.
If you like it, bake it. I’ll be putting costs and difficulty ratings on each post, to show that it doesn’t take an awful lot of time, money, nor effort to create something spectacular. We can all do it; it’s just about finding out how.
Let’s get Blokes Baking.