Hello, fabulous Bakers!
Just like that, summer has turned to autumn – it has felt very quick. Many of us are facing tough times and uncertainty this winter – please know that we are sending you our warmest wishes. Our Bakers community is always here with chat, cake and cosiness.
Coming up – Halloween, Bake Off, and Christmas dinner
We have some fab events on the way, with something for everyone. It would be lovely to see you there.
On Saturday 29th October, we have our Halloween drinks, starting at the Molly House – learn more here, and bring your spookiest outfit!
On 13th November, we have our legendary Bake Off, hosted by the fabulous Misty Chance and judged by our friend and Bake Off star, Howard Middleton. It is also our 10th Birthday, so the theme is “10”, with two categories for beginners, and the Showstopper! If you would like to bake up a storm, please register here.
Our final event of the year is Christmas Dinner on Sunday 11th December at Tariff and Dale. Check out the menu here, and be sure to book your tickets and give your food choices by 27th November.
Read on for our Autumn Newsletter, with our rainbow of photos from the Manchester Pride Parade and Didsbury Pride, a gallery of brilliant bakes, some proud poetry, and an interview with talented baker and artist, Jensen.
See you soon, and keep baking!
What we’ve been up to
We were overjoyed to be walking in the Manchester Pride Parade again! This year, we had the pleasure of a number of first-time walkers, and we debuted t-shirts, aprons and banners with our shiny new logo. Everyone looked amazing, and the atmosphere was amazing.
We arrived at Didsbury Pride equipped with our tombola, bunting and lots of bakes! Thank you to everyone who came to say hello. We had some lovely chats, and welcomed new bakers to the fold – what a fab day.
We have had a great time at our summer and autumn socials, with excellent company and a wide range of tasty creations – from lemon cake to cheese scones, tiramisu to rainbow cookies. Here are some of our bakes:
For this Poetry Corner, I just had to write about my experience walking in the Manchester Pride Parade with Bakers! I was staying in Yorkshire the week before, so it was a scramble to get back to Manchester on time, but I am so glad I did. I hope you enjoy my poem.
On the sixth day – Elizabeth Gibson
I woke at dawn in Hebden Bridge,
hugged goodbye, then into the cab,
through the hills to meet a train full
of laughter and plans and rainbows.
To the Castlefield Bowl, still early,
where I found my people: chef hats,
aprons, giant donuts, proud dogs.
I pulled on my new cupcake t-shirt.
I accepted a huge rainbow flag,
learnt to lift, carry, move, and dance
with it, with so many of my friends,
so many hands reaching for ours.
They begged for stickers, called,
‘We love cake!’, and envied our hats.
After, I flopped, in a coffee shop,
‘Bake, bring, share’ across my back.
Today was about sharing it all:
the sky, sun, voices supporting us,
full and sweet. I will finally go home,
feeling sleepy, but so, so strong.
Meet the Bakers
Jensen always impresses with his bakes, bringing the same creativity and technique honed in his work as a Games Artist, and he was a wonderful part of our Pride march this year. It was really nice to learn more about Jensen, as we chatted focaccia, VB birthdays, and baking tips.
VB: How long have you been part of Village Bakers, and what inspired you to join?
Jensen: I joined quite a few years back – possibly around 2015, but took a break for a few years. I joined because I wanted to meet like-minded folk who shared my love of food and this group sounded perfect for that!
VB: What is your fondest Village Bakers memory?
Jensen: It was the Village Bakers’ 6th Birthday – It was such a big turn out and the amount of bakes was amazing. There was also a pass-the-parcel game where I won a copy of “How to Squeeze a Lemon” which is full of useful kitchen tips!
VB: How did you find the experience of walking with VB at the Manchester Pride Parade?
Jensen: It’s really fun, I had only participated once before in Manchester Pride Parade and that was back in 2017 as a volunteer. I overthought it all and the idea of all eyes on me was daunting; however, the energy of the Parade definitely rubbed off on me and whilst walking. I got to wave a big rainbow flag too – not something that happens every day.
VB: What do you enjoy most about baking?
Jensen: Pushing myself to learn something new! It’s also a great way to use up so many leftover ingredients!
VB: What is your signature bake?
Jensen: Depends who you ask. I’ve started to really like baking Focaccia! My housemates ate them quite quickly; however, I also like spending time with my niece and nephew making scones as my mum loves them.
VB: What other hobbies and passions do you have?
Jensen: I like video games (eagerly waiting for Advance Wars Reboot Camp on the Switch), visiting the gym for those endorphins, and art. I spend a lot of time painting and drawing things for my job as a Games Artist.
VB: What advice would you give to new or nervous bakers?
Jensen: Make sure to read the recipe before you start, and familiarise yourself with the basic ingredients such as self-raising vs plain flour, and butter. Once you learn the basic fundamentals, it’s pretty therapeutic.
A selection of Jensen’s amazing bakes!