Last year saw me getting to grips with home baking for the first time in many years. Even so I never did much baking in the past, that is pies, cakes, scones and such. I’ve done plenty of roasting though! Anyway the main reason for that has been the fact that I have been in full-time employment and all the baking was done by others not least of all E. I enjoy baking and I am getting plenty of opportunities these days to gain experience. I make mistakes of course but doesn’t everybody? Remember the adage ‘Those who never make mistakes never make anything’. I am in every way an amateur but I get better each time I bake. Today, Wednesday afternoon I decided to bake some more scones for a change. I hadn’t made scones for a couple of months and an Internet acquaintance, Jenny, a fellow blogger, asked me to share a scone recipe with her. I posted the recipe in a comment I made in answer to her request a few days ago (see ‘Winter draws on’. Jan 1). It is a recipe I have used previously though I used a method which differs slightly from that which I posted. This time I followed the recipe to the letter and found that things were not going according to the plan. I had to make adjustments along the way, basically adding more flour than that which was called for. I have always maintained that recipes are really only guides for us to use rather than something written in stone to strictly adhere to. Making adjustments requires knowledge of some degree of the ingredients and their effect in the recipe. Importantly ingredients must be added in a specific order for the recipe to work so adding extra ingredients at the wrong time can result in a catastrophe. Practice makes perfect or almost perfect in my case! At the very least my results are edible and at best are very enjoyable. I lean toward the latter more and more. There is something about home baking that ready-made products lack. My first attempt at making macaroons last week went sadly awry in that the macaroons all merged together to form a unified whole. The result was perfect as far as the taste was concerned but a slight departure from the recipe will need to be taken if my next attempt is to be better. As I said, recipes are merely for guidance. The weather on Wednesday afternoon had turned very wet, cold and windy and I was glad I was able to do the work in the garden the previous afternoon. My electrical work so far has been confined to the mornings which has left me with the afternoons free. Plenty of time for baking.