In October, Victoria Sponge Pease Pudding celebrates its fifth birthday. It seems funny for a blog to have its own birthday (October 22 if you’re planning on sending it a card), but I like to mark it in some way as, like blonde hair, a penchant for rom coms and a fan of kettle chips, it is a part of me. What began as a way to learn new skills such as putting together posts, photography, writing recipes and tying them to my thoughts became something wonderful. I was nominated for an award, I’ve managed to work with a couple of brands, met some wonderful people and raised money for charity all through baking.
Of course, there are always the parts of baking and blogging that go wrong or make you laugh or even have you crying down the phone to your mum because a gluten free cake broke when you took it out the tin. So in celebration of five years of lessons learned (and lessons I’m still learning), I thought I’d list just some of the things food bloggers tend to deal with on a daily basis.
1.You can sense a bad photography day immediately. You’re totally guilty of huffing because it’s actually a sunny day outside but the light is casting too many shadows for you to photograph your lemon meringue pie.
2. Your SD cards are filled with pictures of cakes, biscuits and pies, not people. That is what iPhones are for.
3. Similarly, you took three pictures on your boyfriend’s birthday, but 73 of the rocky road you made for your latest post.
4. You’re creeping ever closer to the limit of media you can upload to your WordPress account and wish you could restrain yourself to illustrate a cake post with one picture rather than 23.
5. A panic run to Sainsbury’s with flour in your hair in your best ‘loungewear’ (little mermaid pjs) has totally occurred at one point. It’s fine, it was 8am, you needed more cream cheese, breathe.
6. You’ll have cried over a cake. It’s a given.
7. You wish you had a more luxurious passion when you see beauty bloggers get sent expensive face creams to test and you open your blog inbox with an invite to review a small sachet of coconut oil.
8. Dear blog writer, Dear Victoria Sponge Pease Pudding, Dear Sponge have all featured as the top line in a generic email sent to you by a PR firm. Luckily there’s Twitter for this, so have a good laugh about it there.
9. Cooking or baking is no longer a cute thing to do with your other half. What’s that, you want to make pancakes together? You’re my commis now, yes chef?
10. Chocolate cakes are heavenly. Washing up bowls of chocolate cake mix are devilish.
11. You’ve totally panicked and tried to bring butter to room temperature quickly by balancing it on a radiator. You’ll also have regretted it.
12. You’d probably be more upset if someone stole your Kitchenaid than your phone.
13. Nothing breaks your heart more than a yolk splitting and, in slow motion, slipping into a perfect bowl of egg whites ready for making meringues. You’ve probably sobbed throwing them all out.
14. If someone bought you a bag of Valharona chocolate to play with as a present, you’d probably die of happiness.
15. On a Thursday morning, everyone will sidle up to you at work to ask your expert opinion on how The Great British Bake Off went last night. Hey there, star baker.
16. Someone has called you a star baker at least once.
17. Every year people ask if you’ve ever thought about entering The Great British Bake Off. Even if they’ve asked you every year for the last four years and even printed out an entry form for you.
18. Once Bake Off ends, people start asking if you’ll apply to Masterchef instead.
19. All your friends drunkenly ask you to make their wedding cake for them. Even though they’re not engaged. And single.
20. You have a dedicated baking cupboard with six bags of different flours, five types of sugars, 8 random biscuit cutters, 20-odd round cutters, an array of piping nozzles, a rainbow of gel food colouring and yet you can never find anything in it because it’s a total mess.
21. Your friends tag you in those Facebook videos of people baking literally anything with Nutella in it with a comment underneath asking ‘make me this please??’
22. You have to keep giving your bakes away to avoid eating a full sized bakewell tart on your own. Anyone who comes to visit goes away with a box of tupperware and your office love you for always bringing in the goodies.
23. You have approximately 18 different types, shapes and sizes of cake tins and yet, you never seem to have the right one for the task at hand.
24. The girls who work in Hobbycraft practically know your name. “Hi, just picking up more cake rods, green food colouring, a cake board, piping gel, treat bags and a glue gun because it was on sale, thanks.”
25. Someone asks if you can make meringues and your immediate response is ‘French, Swiss or Italian?’
26. A visit to a patisserie is half joy and half stopping the waitress to ask just how they get the mousse so light in their opéra cake because you want to recreate it at home for a post.
27. You drag your boyfriend to the prettiest patisserie on holiday and make him take pictures of you holding a box of weepingly expensive macarons or eclairs just because they’re beautiful and would make a nice blog picture.
28. Utter baking fails destroy you but make for hilarious anecdotes. Guys, remember that one time I made a custard tart, spilled the custard, stood in the custard, slipped in the custard, fell on the floor into the custard with the pie crust crashing on top of me? Good times.
29. After baking and shooting a giant cake filled with strawberries and cream for hours, you leave the slice you’ve artfully cut for a picture and instead eat instant noodles on the sofa watching Teen Mom.
30. No matter how hard you try, your most popular post will be something strange and obscure that has shot up the Google rankings inexplicably. You’re not mad about it, just confused.
31. When autumn arrives you get excited for pumpkin and apple recipes then remember the days get shorter and you have approximately three hours of daylight to make and shoot a recipe for a post. These are the days you learn how to bake FAST.
32. Someone has probably made a Master Baker joke at you. Oh, lol.
33. You have too many aprons. Like, five aprons. You have a favourite but you can’t tell anyone that because it would be weird. (it’s totally the wipe clean Cath Kidson one because hello, cake mix goes everywhere)
34. You are no longer asked if you will make a cake for a birthday/anniversary/event/raffle/bake sale. You just get to it.
35. Everyone you know is your biggest cheerleader and introduces you as being great at making cakes and bring your blog up on their phone to show to strangers. It’s a nice feeling.
All pictures from our holiday in Paris last year by Chris, because as a blogger boyfriend he puts up with a lot and deserves the credit