Meet the Bakers – 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

Top Image is Village Baker Liz with Howard Middleton, bottom image is the Forest Fruit Loaf baked by Liz

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