Autumn always seems to be associated with nostalgia for me - in particular, memories of being at primary school. Maybe it's because life can be simple and comforting when you are seven and the only problems I faced were a lost pump from my PE kit or that my handwriting was never going to be as neat as Pippa A's.
Something in the drizzly dampness of yesterday's weather reminded me of my primary school days. A world organised by labelled drawers and coat hooks and rooms which smelled of powder paint and pencil sharpenings. I loved cosy afternoons curled up on the carpet for story time and morning assemblies spent singing hymns in the hall with its parquet floor. I spent a few years inadvertently singing some of the hymns with the wrong words. Did anyone else think it was 'Handstand where ever you may be' or was that just me..?
A lot of my memories of baking around this age stem from time I spent with my Nan. We would go for a walk around Stalybridge and as a treat I would either get to spend some time and some pocket money in the little cake decorating shop on a side street off the Market Hall or we would go to Mellors bakers and my Nan would buy me a gingerbread man.
I loved the spicy, hard biscuit man with his chocolate dipped legs. I would always eat his feet first and leave his head until last - I don't know what that says about me... My love of gingerbread started there, but I wanted to create seasonal gingerbread biscuits that would seem a little out of the ordinary. I live near a park so squirrels tend to hop in and out of the gardens from time to time. The idea of a gingerbread squirrel was born and the rest they say, is history...