Hey! I’m Irmgard Walsh, and today is the very first day of Downtown with Irmgard. I’ve started this blog with the hope of sharing a few delicious recipes, and maybe an adventure or two along the way.
The inspiration for this venture started out with making mini lemon meringues some three or four months ago with my little brother. David Bowie’s Starman was playing in the next room and we were standing at the kitchen counter, getting more lemon drizzle on us than the actual meringues, when James said “Why’d you listen to like… all that rock stuff, but do baking and things as well?”
To which I of course replied “because I want to..?”
“Oh” he said “I thought baking was a conservative thing. Or good baking, anyway”
I went away and thought about what James had said and it occurred to me that popular baking (or ‘good baking’ as he called it) had gotten into a much too cosy rut. We’re all familiar nowadays with kitchen exploration that goes beyond the microwave, the pride or panic of cooking for guests, fiddling around with grandmas best or fancy foreign delights. But why the stress? Why do we worry so much about the technicalities and the appearance of our cakes? Why the need to impress? Baking is great fun; it’s something to do on a Sunday that produces wondrous creations you and everyone in the vicinity of you can enjoy. It’s something to be proud of and something to work at. Outside of the firmly placed necessary nutrition from breakfast to tea, baking is the creation of deliciousness simply for the joy of it. James told me he thought “baking was a conservative thing”, and in terms of tradition he might be right, but I believe we should do away with the snobbery and rigidity that that implies.
In my eye good food is about bringing people together. It’s happiness in a meal or mouthful, no matter the look or the calorie content. It’s about both hard work and a thrown-togetherness that happens in every corner of the globe. Everyone can bake. Even those of us who listen to ‘all that rock stuff’, bless him.
Join me as I bake, taste, and explore beautiful food from the perspective of a liberal minded fiend with a spatula. There’s no institution to baking, only a person, a bunch of ingredients and a whole lot of determination. I suppose if you look at it that way then baking is rather punk rock after all.
express yourselves x