It’s important that you get to know some of your fellow bakers so we asked Liz, one of our newer members a few questions about how she found out about the Village Bakers and her experience of coming to her first Sunday Social.
VB: How did you find out about the Village Bakers?
Liz: I picked up a leaflet at the LGBT Foundation. It was Spring 2018, I was finishing my Masters and I was finally starting to understand and embrace my queerness. I started trying to put myself out there in Manchester and try new things – I tried about ten social groups in two weeks! – but the Bakers was the one that I stuck with.
VB: What made you come along to the first meeting?
Liz: I always loved baking with my mum, but since being at Uni with more limited baking equipment and ingredients, I had done less of it and was inspired to try again.
VB: How did you feel after your first meeting?
Liz: I felt really happy and welcomed – and in awe of some of the group members’ baking talents! They made the Bake Off showstoppers look tame!
VB: What made you come back?
Liz: Everyone was incredibly chilled out and friendly, the Molly House was comfortable and quiet and made a refreshing change to the louder Village venues I’d visited, and a lunch spread provided by passionate bakers… need I say more?
VB: How would you describe your baking skills/expertise?
Liz: I feel very confident baking with my mum by my side, but on my own I am taking it a little at a time. In the year and a half that I have been attending the Bakers, my confidence has grown so much; I created a Fabulous Forest Fruits Loaf for the 2019 Great Village Bake Off and was so proud of it, especially when the lovely celebrity judge Howard Middleton praised it!
VB: What’s your favourite thing to bake and why?
Liz: I like making my mum’s fool proof muffin batter and adding new variations: dark chocolate and raspberry, apple and cinnamon – the possibilities are endless! Blondies are also close to my heart and were the first thing I ever brought to the Bakers – I love anything gooey, and like adding peanut butter for a bit of saltiness.
VB: What’s your least favourite thing to bake and why?
Liz: I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like baking, but there are techniques I haven’t tried yet that scare me slightly, like delicate chocolate work, fudge, toffee and spun sugar – they seem hard, but I hope to give them a go!
VB: Is there anything you’d like to try and bake?
Liz: As a veggie I am really interested in trying some savoury bakes that don’t rely on meat – maybe cheese muffins or scones, or something with onions and mushrooms. I have stuck with sweet so far apart from the odd quiche, but am ready to branch out!
VB: What other hobbies or interests do you have other than baking?
Liz: I write poetry and am working on a novel for young adults; I perform spoken word at open-mic nights around Manchester, and recently went on a writing retreat near Hebden Bridge that was very peaceful and empowering. I am also currently having singing lessons, which I love.
VB: What would you say to anyone that was thinking of coming to a meeting?
Liz: Don’t worry about being new, as you will be warmly welcomed, and there are often newcomers; also, don’t worry about baking the first time if you are stressed, as it is fine to donate instead. You don’t have to do a super-fancy bake – simple is fine! My early attempts were very ordinary and were still devoured! Please give the Bakers a try; I am so thankful I did. As I went from being at Uni to starting my job, the Bakers has been a constant and I always love spending time with everyone and catching up.
Here’s Liz with Howard and her Forest Fruit Loaf
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