Finding Comfort In All Things Sweet

By Jo Fuller

editsofjo.com

@editsofjo



In times of uncertainty and change, we reach for things that will bring us comfort, provide stability and establish some kind of control back into our lives.

Like so many others across the UK, I found myself being furloughed just after the lockdown was announced, which sparked a variety of emotions; relief and gratitude of avoiding potential redundancy, worry about feeling isolated and lonely, and a bubbling sense of excitement of a ten-week stretch of time ahead of me. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to turn to food for enjoyment, rather than simple necessity.ckdown has highlighted how much baking is an act of self-care - it gives you little treasured moments of reflection and mindfulness. As I’ve improved, it’s been something I’ve wanted to share with others and so baking has become a way of connecting with those outside my household. Throughout lockdown, I’ve been making a series of doorstep deliveries - dropping of baked goods in brown paper to loved ones around Edinburgh on foot. Baking for others has become a kind of labour of love - when you create something for loved ones you want it to be the absolute best it can be, not only in terms of deliciousness but also aesthetically so it reflects the love you’ve put into it.


Baking is something that has always been there in the background - I have early memories of sitting at the kitchen table ‘helping’ my mum to bake, by over-enthusiastically mixing a bowl of sugar and butter, half of which would end up on the walls and the remainder would eventually transform into especially rustic-looking rock cakes. I also have recollections of my grandad painstakingly filling jar after jar of delicious, sticky marmalade in his tiny kitchen. Whilst at uni, I baked what seemed like hundreds of trays of brownies for my hungry housemates who always had far more contact hours than I did. Since then, I’ve turned to baking when I’ve felt moments of loneliness or sadness - there’s something so therapeutic about baking that allows you to take your mind off everything else, focus on the ingredients in front of you and create something beautiful.


There’s not been one day since lockdown began that I haven’t baked something in some capacity. This has only grown since watching the much-loved film, Julie and Julia and feeling inspired to set myself my own challenge of baking my way through each recipe in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. I’ve barely made a dent in it yet but am loving getting to grips with sponges, breads, pastries and all things sweet! Lockdown has highlighted how much baking is an act of self-care - it gives you little treasured moments of reflection and mindfulness. As I’ve improved, it’s been something I’ve wanted to share with others and so baking has become a way of connecting with those outside my household. Throughout lockdown, I’ve been making a series of doorstep deliveries - dropping of baked goods in brown paper to loved ones around Edinburgh by foot. Baking for others has become a kind of labour of love - when you create something for loved ones you want it to be the absolute best it can be, not only in terms of deliciousness but also aesthetically so it reflects the love you’ve put into it.


Baking should be celebratory, bountiful and joyous - lockdown has shown me that it can be all these things and so much more. The act of making certain bakes can also stir memories - I can’t bake a fruitcake without thinking of my Nanny, who always brought around a square tin of Dundee Cake when she came over for a Sunday roast. In the same way, baking any form of cheesecake reminds me of my father who will always choose this as a dessert option if it’s on the menu and cinnamon toast, will forever make me think of my time working in a summer camp in America. Baking then, can be an act of nostalgia, an act of kindness, an act of joy, a form of therapy and ultimately for me, an act of comfort. Put simply, the lockdown has made baking a part of my everyday life and that has been such a blessing in what has been an upsetting and frightening time.