Baking to feel fab is something the nation seems to have taken to heart with an average of 10 million viewers tuning into the Great British Bake Off. The plus side of baking is that you can lose yourself in the joys of conjuring up something delicious to eat and have fun expressing your creative side. I find that I lose track of time while I’m cooking which for me is a sign that I feel fab about that activity. On the down side, don’t ignore how much cake mixture you actually eat alongside the calorie count of the baked goodies you inhale!
The Depressed Cake Shop
Back in 2013 the BBC ran a piece on baking as therapy linked to the launch of the Depressed Cake Shop in the UK. This is a global community of bakers and makers committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness one grey cake at a time. Fast forward to June 2016 and the campaign is a finalist for the BBC’s best mental health project award. A great tribute to the power of baking to make people feel fab.
Touring vintage tearoom
My local village is setting up a social enterprise based on baking to generate a touring vintage tearoom. The tearoom will visit local shows, providing tea and cake baked by local bakers. The idea behind the scheme is to support mums who need to work flexible hours. The expertise of local senior bakers will help bring everything together. What a brilliantly simple idea to help people through baking to feel fab about their skills. Most of all, it will create a sense of community based on the joys of cake.
Furthermore, the launch was a fun social event as we tried to recreate the gorgeous cup cake decorations on display. The cakes were delicious and the presentations showed even the seasoned bakers a baking wrinkle or two. Lemon curd in your lemon drizzle cake mixture anyone?
Nostalgia and baking
Dr Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, studied the phenomenon of olfactory-evoked nostalgia for another article by the BBC.
“We found that the smell of baked goods was the number-one odour that made people nostalgic for their childhood,” he explains.
He found that the phenomenon occurs in two distinct situations – at times of political upheaval or during economic downturns. In times of difficulty or distress, targeting our sense of smell is the quickest way to alter our emotional state.
“I think that the resurgence of baking is an attempt to re-establish nostalgic feelings for the past when people feel safe and secure,” says Dr Hirsch.
Baking to feel fab
So whether it’s the smell of a sponge coming out of the oven, the therapeutic value of creating something or simply the joy of eating cake, which makes you get into the kitchen, let’s get baking to feel fab!