2020 – An interesting year!
I’m writing in the evening, as I often do after a day in the kitchen, accompanied by a cup of coffee and a small (well, smallish) piece of freshly baked brownie.
Today I’m sampling, again, the Christmas pudding Brownie that has been such a hit for the festive season, while contemplating the year that will forever stick in so many people’s minds. Do not get me wrong, dear reader, I am not melancholy, despite knowing only too well of the pain and suffering that 2020 has bought to so many of us. No, I am simply letting the year flick through my mind – from the beginning when my diary and order books were looking so healthy, to the latter part of March when the wedding industry simply toppled sideways and then onwards through the year. Many people I know had to dig that bit deeper for inspiration – finding new ways to connect with their customers with new products or services.
It goes without saying that for many people this year has been testing. Lockdown 1 reduced our daily lives to an almost unrecognisable version of before. Walking outdoors for a short amount of time became the ‘get out of jail,’ card that so many of us looked forward to. Everyday activities were instantly stopped, the roads were empty, and my social life came to an abrupt halt!
I must admit though, I did love the peace and quiet as the pause button was pressed.
The pandemic has bought many awful things to this world, but it has introduced a whole new way to stay connected – via the magic of Zoom!
Despite reservations, zooming has become part of everyday life. For me, I can hold client meetings on it, showing designs and drawings to my couples and then posting or delivering cake samples for them to try. I’ve also met many new contacts through on-line meetings and BNI.
I introduced ‘brownies by post’ to my range, which while being a big hit for my clients also allowed me some mental relaxation because I was able to retreat to the sanctity of my kitchen. Surrounded by the warm and comforting smell of baking I am always in my happy place.
A few of my clients did hold their weddings, but obviously on a reduced scale. Wedding cakes can be fairly huge affairs, with multi-layers, tons of frosting, flowers and the little figures perched on the top. However, with the reduced guest list, smaller ceremonies and a host of different venues – ranging from personal gardens, beaches and fields – couples don’t want to invest in a huge cake that few people are going to eat.
This allowed us to design smaller cakes and brownie stacks/towers that were used as the dessert for the meal – personally, I think this is a marvellous idea. So often my cakes get cut up into small pieces and taken home by very full guests. Us cake makers have always maintained that our cakes are the perfect accompaniment to coffee after the main course.
As the months have unfolded and the year has passed, I have found my own comfort in being able to send or deliver cakes and brownies to clients. Isolated birthdays and special occasions have been catered for in the safety of people’s homes and they’ve had a sweet treat to enjoy. Feedback from both customer and recipient inspires and encourages me to come up with more recipes and ideas for the future.
So, to other news
Looking forward, I have a very healthy-looking diary for wedding and occasion cakes throughout 2021 and orders for brownies keep my kitchen smelling incredible
You may not know this, but brownies go remarkably well with a cup of coffee or better still, a glass of red wine. The only real way to start or finish any weekend.
I’ve said this before, but it is a fact, that eating a brownie is like wrapping a soft, cashmere blanket around your shoulders. Now, just imagine eating the brownie whilst wrapped in the cashmere - I just don’t know how you could feel happier or more content.
It is thanks to you that I have remained working and I will be forever grateful and I wish you all a healthy and happy new year.
Next month: 2021 – you’d best be ready for us!