Cruella De Baker

I would like to start by wishing all my readers out there a Happy New Year even though bizzarley my hidden half of an Easter egg just launched itself at me from the top shelf of my baking cupboard which is it’s way of saying ‘for gods sake will you eat me before it’s Easter again’. This year I need to stop being a squirrel and hiding life (and chocolate) away in cupboards and boxes and actually begin to live it (maybe eat it) and that my dear readers scares the hell out of me.

A truly amazing article by the blog English Mum really struck a poignant cord with me. Her aim is to ensure that her 2012 is full of snapshots of family life together instead of wasting time and money on stuff that you will not remember even though you try. Try it out; what did you get for your Birthday last year? You can’t remember? Don’t feel bad neither can I. Now get out your photo’s from last years holiday can you tell me a memory from it? You can! Excellent then you need to read English Mum as she quite rightly shares with us that family experiences and snapshots will stay with us forever. The stuff we buy such as presents and all those little things we stress over will fade away. I am sure we all know this but it never hurts to have a good reminder and written kick up the ass as if anything 2011 has taught me is you never know what will happen.


2011 for me can only be best described as odd and certainly not one I would wish to repeat again. I don’t cope well with stressful situations as this results into a hasty retreat into my own little world where it is nice and safe. I started baking as I did not know how else to make a bad situation better and in true British fashion it was a choice of either tea or cake . I am crap at making tea and cake seemed to work in the short term. Essentially it kept me busy and busy is my coping method as then I do not need to deal with anything. At the beginning it was what I needed and I enjoyed baking as it truly made me happy buzzing around the kitchen. Somehow though I turned that little hobby into mass baking hsyteria and that turned me into…

In short I am the baking version of Cruella de Ville but instead of punishing puppies I punish my poor family who admittedly squeal like puppies when I growl at them and other times they bite back. Family, friends and life in general have been placed under a thick blanket of plain flour for the last 4- 5 months. Anyone who dares enter the kitchen on a weekend has been given choice words. I am embaressed to admit that I have turned a stress releasing hobby into a military exercise. Accompanying me on my missions are Sergeant Major Inner Perfectionist and she screams at me from the kitchen sidelines ‘drop and give me 20 more cupcakes you worthless baker’.


1. My blog is only meant to be a record and I don’t have to do it every waking second of the day as there is a life out there Jacqueline just not as you know it at the moment. So I will not be checking the statistics for my blog for one whole month. I am not supposed to care if people read it or not (inner voice alert: ‘oh yes you do’ followed by a chorus ‘oh no you don’t – feel free to join in the pantomime shenanigans if you wish). I want to just write and not worry about numbers.

2. I want to make memories and take more snapshots as my son is teenage and I truly want to make the most of it. So I will bake for fun and these outings but not to the extent that items get whipped out from my husband’s or son’s nose to be photographed just before they bite into them (my finger is still healing from the last time).

3. I will write as myself as up until now I have been afraid to fully be my real self online. You have been warned that in real life I wander off on random tangents all the time. Strangely I find most females can cope with this but my husband sadly not.

4. Complete a to do list page on my blog (thanks to CafeLula for this idea) with all my baking dreams. I adore lists (it’s a Virgo thing) and nothing makes the teacher control freak in me feel better than crossing through a completed task especially now as you can see I have found out how to cross stuff out (cue: crazed cackled laughter). This will reduce wasted time and energy as I endlessly amble up and down the corrdiors of pinterest, stumbleupon and foodgaker with wantant lust getting myself in a ‘what shall I bake’ and ‘I’ll never be as good as that’ tiz waz.

5. Stop beating myself up when baking fails. My path to baking wisdom is meant to be full of macaron sinkholes, oversized snowmen meringue willies and flat as you like cake . I need to deal with it, move on and laugh at it for god’s sake. I suppose laughing won’t cause me to pass wind loudly in public (god forbid) but if I laugh really hard I will be more concerned with my pelvic floor muscles and a quick sit down may be needed.

Have a good 2012, see what you want from it and go for it. Most of all keep safe, record your memories and do drop me a comment if you would like to as with all bloggers we appreciate all of them (except spammers) as it lets us know that there is someone else out there…


23 thoughts on “Cruella De Baker

  1. LOL!! That could almost have been written by me!!! Look forward to getting to know the ‘real’ you! You sound just like my cup of tea (or slice of cake!) Look forward to reading about all your adventures, success or failure. We learn by our mistakes :o) x

    • Thank you. It was a hard one to write but keeping to it so far but day one is always easy I guess. Hope things get easier for you in 2012. I made soup for tea tonight and focaccia for us all to share. Thank you for commenting as I have no idea if anyone had read it – not looking at numbers is hard.

  2. Great post! I agree with Nina – this sounds *almost* like me. you wont believe it but I only discovered the ‘stats’ button recently! I started the blog for myself and somehow it grew and took a life of its own. Its very easy to get caught up with it all and I used to feel the pressure to blog frequently. I worry that it’s not good enough or does not look fancy but then decided to be selfish and just post what i wanted, when i wanted. I do have a life apart from my blog and its meant to be a hobby, not a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my blog and the world it has introduced me to and am excited about more baking/blogging adventures in 2012 but on my terms. My motto ‘keep calm and bake cakes’ goes well with yours 🙂 We all have baking failures – we are human! I have burnt caramel on my blog (please dont look!) I think we really are the hardest on ourselves. So glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading all your posts. I feel so happy whenever anyone comments which is why one of my resolutions is to reply to everyone because if they took the time to comment, they deserve a reply. Right better stop now or you’ll be charged for extra space ha ha … Happy new year 2012!

    • Oh you do make me chuckle Ros! When the nights have been cold and dark and I have been stressing you usually pop up and say something to inspire me or make me laugh. You are one crazy baker. I am glad I started it even if only to meet you all. I like the idea of blogging on our own terms that sounds just right. Not long now until you can bake again and your cheesecake was to die for shame you are not closer I could have quite happily eaten a rather large slice! Sadly I just had to stare at it on my screen.

    • Thank you Laura I don’t think many people realise how much time it all takes unless they blog! But I have met some amazing people so I am so glad I started it just need to tone it down a little which is not easy for me as I am like a battery bunny most of the time.

  3. I really loved reading this and can identify with it and the comments left above too…you make some really good points and I need to follow your brilliant example. Leader! :-))
    Happy New Year! xxx

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