Just before I left New Zealand, I sat down with my great Aunty Peggy who has over 60 years of baking experience.
It was a pleasure to sit down with her and hear her wise advice as she is the famous baker within the family. Being that she’s over eighty and not interested in technology and especially video’s, Aunty Peggy was reluctant to be on camera. But I think she’s a natural!
I adore her as we have had a long history of writing letters to each other and she is a wonderfully open person who has always supported people’s happiness in whatever path they wish to walk. She is a treasure I cannot imagine life without!
Here is a written summary of the interview for those with little time or bandwidth.
What first made you interested in baking?
“When the children were small you couldn’t buy cookies, so you had to make them. So I baked one day a week, every Thursday.” This was a day of baking that lasted for the whole week. With four growing kids I can imagine that involved a lot of baked goods in her kitchen.
Were there any disasters where you felt like giving up?
“No I never felt like giving up. I just practiced and practiced.”
Do you have a simple recipe you make that impresses people?
“Chocolate chip biscuits/cookies and caramel slice, whether you would call those simple I don’t know. Now my grandchildren want brownies.” Her baking jar can always be found with baked delights in them, most often is her famous chocolate chip cookies which led to my wide smile in the video – I relish biting into one of them when I visit her.
What is your favorite thing to bake?
“I don’t really have a favorite thing. I like baking anything from neenish tarts to fruitcake.” Her dedication at Christmastime to this tradition resulted in 14 fruitcakes last Christmas – made mostly from family and friends requests.
In all your years of experience, what is your best tip to give someone who is starting out in the kitchen?
“If it is baking, read the recipe and make sure that you have all the ingredients. It’s no good getting half way through and thinking ‘ohhh I don’t have the coconut.'”
Thanks to my lovely Aunty Peggy for her time and gracious answers.
Here is the interview in full: