Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sad Cake Face

“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.” 
- John Keats

Have you ever been sad? Of course you have, everyone gets sad sometimes. But depression is a whole other ball game...

Mental Health charity Mind described depression as follows:
We often use the expression ‘I feel depressed’ when we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course. But, if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed in the medical sense of the term.

A few weeks ago I came across this article discussing whether baking can improve mental health - click click. I found it a really interesting read, and a lot of what it says makes sense. I LOVE being in the kitchen. It's a little bit of peace and solitude, even when everything else might be falling apart around you. That quiet calm you get when concentrating on creating something; being able to take your frustrations out while kneading a loaf of bread; the sense of achievement when a new experiment works - this is all very positive! Of course there are times when things go wrong, and sometimes this does drag your mood back down. But mostly it makes you more determined to get it right next time, to figure out what's gone wrong and fix it. Because in the kitchen, you can fix things. If something isn't working you can adapt it, play with it, see if there is another way to get your ingredients to do what you want.

This led me on to find Miss Cakehead's website about the pop-up event The Depressed Cake Shop.The idea behind it is basically to get a load of people all over the country to hold pop-up cake shops where everything is decorated in varying shades of grey. The point is to raise awareness for mental health issues, as it is estimated that 1 in 4 of us suffer from some sort of mental health issues, with around 1 in 10 people being affected by depression or anxiety at any one time. All the money raised will be donated to mental health charities - in Leeds it will be split between Inkwell and Dial House.Take a look at the Leeds Facebook event here - it will happen on Sunday 4th August in the Corn Exchange. Come on down and buy some cakes for a good cause! Take a look at the Facebook event here - Click Me.

I've been testing out some grey cakes over the past few weeks - these are the contenders so far for me to take on Sunday (I also have a couple more ideas in the pipeline):

Grey Brain Cupcakes
Grapefruit and Olive Oil mini-loaves
- a bittersweet taste for those bittersweet days
(recipe courtesy of Eats Well With Others,
found via Kathy Can Cook)

Various decorating tests (partly blue as I had some blue left over - will post about where that came from next time):


I hope you'll come along and see all our lovely grey cakes if you're in the Leeds area on Sunday. The whole point of the shop is to break taboos surrounding mental health. Even today it seems mental health issues are very hush-hush. They are often not discussed outright - or if they are, it is more often than not under an alias on a website or forum where no one knows you and your anonymity keeps you safe. It's a shame that in this day and age, when there are so many stressful situations around, we are all still so ashamed of our mental health. If you had an issue - would you feel you could discuss it with your friends, colleagues, family? If the answer is yes then brilliant, I admire your confidence, trust and openness.

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