So it is only Sunday and I am already suffering from Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms !
Since having the PMR/GCA , and it's nasty side effects on my baking prowess, I have been living vicariously through the nightmares and triumphs in the tent and it provoked these questions .
Have the knowledgeable ( and perhaps occasionally floury) members on the forum found that baking is a great way to relieve their Pred induced Stress?
Or like me , since the illness are you constantly plagued with soggy bottoms and Paul Hollywood angering poor results?
I always loved baking and used it for a little relaxing "me" time that gave rewards to all before the pain .
I was called upon for my buns , cupcakes and seriously cool Birthday cake decorations
( a 6ft chocolate pirate ship complete with ticking crocodile and rigging my most famous creation)
Now, however, I find my efforts are a minefield of misshapen monsters with soggy bottoms.
Cakes , often rise in the wrong directions and if iced the tremors create illusions of the stuff of nightmares.
I don't have the lightness of touch anymore because of the joint pain and super hot Pred hands , so my pastry once floaty light is often so chewy it could be used to stop a leak in a ship.
Getting stuff in and out of the oven has become the work of a not -so- willing minion , and deciding when it is done has been returned to the job of a rather ropey timer , were in the past I used to be able to rely on my once sensitive sense of smell .
I could have fallen into a big bag of plain flour and wept at first , but then I discovered all was not lost , in fact I might have found a solution to some of my ills too.
Steroid Stress relief , your name is bread !!
Yes, bread , although I can only enjoy the gluten free versions myself has got me through the bad baking blues and is even helping relieve some of the pain in my wrists and hands too.
The one skill in baking that pays you back for pummeling away at the dough to work out those blues.
Armed with a comfy counter stool I can work away at a creation , oil on hands , using the kneading process not just to make a tasty treat but also work out all those stiff little pains in my hands and joints . Exercise those lower limbs and gently strengthen those arms making a batch of buns . And calm my anxious mind as I see my efforts double in size in the proving bag.
I still make the cakes and cookies too, from ingredients I can eat , so that I can get some food therapy for the Pred blues too without the same period of dreaded comfort eating!
I am not saying , it is all success, sometimes my daughter will get out a batch for me, look quietly for my response, and she often hears , " that looks how I feel" .
Because as all new or old bakers know, one of the things about baking is , the results often reflect your mood when your started.
The upside is I have learnt to be less precious about the results, if it tastes alright and did the job of giving me a bit of therapy it is a success.
Like with everything with PMR the best lesson we can have is not to sweat the small stuff, and get your fun were you can.
So despite the Soggy Bottoms , I will stick to the mixing bowl ( sometimes literally as well as figuratively , because I find that Baking still does me good.
There will still be tears , and nightmares , but with a bit of butter icing it will all come good in the end.
Although , I may have to start watching the repeats of GBBO on the telly when I can't face the kitchen until I have tapered of my TV drug of choice!
I would love to hear if any of you use your culinary skills to help with your mental and physical therapy .
Or , if you too have nightmare tales of squishy buns and soggy bottoms since your PMR or Pred took its toll. These will probably making any of us with cooking disasters feel better!
And if you have any recipes you could send us the links too we could all start our own version of Bake Off Extra Slice , and start posting our photos of our best and worst efforts to cheer up the day of our non baking friends.
The PMR/GCA Bakers Club , I can't wait to see the results .
Because even a soggy bottom can have a silver lining in this game.