Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Mary Berry: Recipe For Life

" Cakes are healthy too,
you just eat a small slice. "

Some of you have mentioned you find yourselves, at this time, unable to read anything too deep or heavy. I am finding that myself and have been reaching for books I can wrap around me like a comfy sweater. If you came to my house, you'd be most welcome to browse my bookshelves while the tea brewed. Since that's not possible, especially now, I'm dipping into my book collection with you in mind—looking for books I think you might enjoy and then sharing excerpts with you. Pressing my books into service is my small online contribution to helping create community in isolation.

Mary Berry's autobiography Recipe for Life is a wonderful read. Affectionately known by many as the Queen of Tarts, Mary co-starred the popular Great British Bake-Off series—a show I, and millions others, loved to watch.

From the opening line in the book 'In the words of my father, my birth caused no end of trouble', I was hooked. I read the stories and pored over the photos. The book became my bedtime reading for a season. It was a lovely way to relax, although I often had the urge to get up and bake something yummy after reading Mary's recipes. Her warmth and humour shine through as she gives us a peek into her her life, her family, and her career as a food writer. I especially enjoyed the glimpse of her British life and the landscape of growing up during the Second World War and coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s.

I loved these two little stories....

Mary recalls the time she and a good friend of hers went skiing in Switzerland one winter. They were young, single, and between jobs. One day on the ski lift, they met film star David Niven and ended up skiing with him for the day. According to Mary, 'he was just as handsome and charming as you would expect, a complete gentleman and an excellent skier as well'.

Mary also tells of the time she was invited to luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen. The call came from Buckingham Palace, and Mary thought her brother was playing a joke on her. But soon the invitation arrived in the mail to confirm it was not a joke. Mary, along with ten other guests, were taken into a dining room set with sparkling crystal and beautiful bouquets of flowers. Mary was seated next to Prince Philip, and though the Prince had never watched the Great Bake Off, he entertained her with his own BBQing experiences with game and stuffing it with haggis. The Queen's corgis remained in the dining room during lunch, and whenever they got too rambunctious, the Queen told them to be quiet.

A lovely book about a lovely woman. 

* * *

"I have a pair of Spanx rolled up in a drawer
for the day I eat one biscuit too many."

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful day.

Heart Hugs,


  1. This sounds like an enjoyable read. I am not surprised that Mary Berry found David Niven charming, handsome, and a gentleman. I recently watched him as a panel member on What's My Line. Yes, that old game show from long ago. He was so witty. Don't you think "Berry" is a wonderful surname for Mary or any baker?

    1. I agree, Berry seems a perfect last name for Mary, Queen of Cakes and Tarts. :)

  2. Dear Mary Berry, she is a British institution to whom we all look up! She is so calming, gentle and yet so very skilled.

  3. Brenda this certainly looks like a wonderful read...thank you so much for sharing a couple of excerpts...I bet the recipes are quite yummy. Hugs!

  4. I just watched Mary Berry for the first time at Christmas with my daughter. She seemed like a such a baking expert. Her name seems perfect for a baker.

  5. This sounds like a lovely book that I need to add to my "want to read" list. I always enjoyed Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off.

  6. Dorothy In PA6 May 2020 at 23:28

    Thanks for the introduction to Mary Berry. Her book does sound lovely.

    A pot of tea and a good book provide just the calm we need for these challenging times.

  7. Hi Brenda. You are doing a great job sending out good posts during this doggone pandemic. I'm always happy to see your posts in the feed. Stay well, my dear friend.

  8. thanks for the suggestions for reading, I've been looking at my book shelves for books I bought long ago and haven't read-found some good one on writing poetry!

  9. I could spend such a happy afternoon browsing through your books. I love Mary Berry as well.

  10. Oh I just love her. I am going to have to look this book up.

  11. That sounds like a delightful read, just the right kind of book for these days! Thank you for sharing your wonderful and varied collection of books with us . . . and letting us have a peek inside! I would love to share that cup of tea with you. :)


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo