Mary Berry

Mary, Mary, how contrary!  What were you thinking of?

Of course, it’s highly likely that Mary Berry’s recent comment may have been blown out of all proportion as is often the way with these things.

But, even so – really Mary?

There must have been some sniff of a truth in your words for it to have created the headline that it did.

By way of explanation, I refer to Mary Berry’s statement last week where she was quoted as saying ‘I have the edge on Delia Smith because I have children’ and suggesting that Delia Smith has missed out on the feedback of her offspring ‘because you don’t half get the truth’.

These kind of statements make me cringe.

What is it with these women?

So does the fact that Delia has never had a bun in the oven mean that she’s not quite complete in the kitchen department?

How so?

I’m sure matters of Delia’s womb have been in the public eye for scrutiny quite enough.  She will no doubt have had a lifetime of questioning from the curious.

Surely her tray bake should be left out of this.

I’m sure Delia has been on the receiving end of plenty of ‘truths’ throughout her career.  I doubt that she feels she has missed out on any at all.

Let me tell you Mary, having a child has done ABSOLUTELY nothing for my culinary skills.  Any parent will know that having crafted for hours in the kitchen, one is likely to receive little or no reward when it comes to kids and their eating habits.

If we use this feedback to influence our menu, we would all be on a diet of cupcakes and chocolate crispies.  It’s about as useful as feedback from a bitter colleague.

We have all slaved over our Annabel Karmel dishes when our children were babies, lovingly slopping them into ice cube trays for the freezer.  Little did we know they were going to be slopped back at us in a less than dignified way.

At a time when we probably could have done with giving our hair a bit of a schnizz or engaging with a grown up, we chose to prepare a meal for our tender ones.

Did that make me a better cook?   Absolutely bloody not!!!!  Just bitter and twisted at how liquidized sweet potato can traverse a kitchen and stain your only decent top.

This is not a practice from which to gather ‘truths’.

Having a fussy eater has done nothing to stop me serving up my ‘signature’ dishes.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

I’m more likely to amend my menu upon seeing an adult give my prized lamb dish the cold shoulder.

I always think its a low blow to bring someone’s inability to reproduce into a debate.  Likewise, ones’ choice not to have children.  When did our womb determine the quality of our pastry?

And when was baking ever based upon our ability or choice to parent?

Having had the good fortune to have one child, I feel embarrassed to hear comments such as ‘it’s because they haven’t got children’ or  ‘you don’t know what tiredness is if you haven’t got children’.  Really!!??

In my view, those without children do the absolute kindest of things.  Moreover, they also make fabulous meals and go to far more trouble than I ever would for my own.

They have a huge amount of time and love to give in a good way.  Because they want to and choose to and because they have huge hearts.


Mary Berry


Some of the dearest people to my heart have no children – whether that be by choice or circumstance.  They make the best of friends.

And shock horror, kids do get on their nerves too!!  Just like they get on ours.  And they are entitled to say so.  Just as I would.

And on the subject of food and dining.  If you ever see me in a restaurant with a load of kids, I urge you to sit as far away as you can without guilt or embarrassment (unless you really love kids!!!)  I do that too.  If I’m on a rare date with Iron Man, we will find the quietest table in order to talk about really boring stuff whisper sweet nothings to each other.

No offence to anyone but having got shot of our own delightful dolly for a few hours, we are always going to plump for avoidance.  No guilt or embarrassment whatsoever.

The assumption and implication that those without children aren’t quite the same as those with is quite simply arrogant, ignorant and misplaced.

As with all these things, it’s about context and I may have missed the joint point here – I’m sure you will tell me if that is the case.

I just can’t help thinking that this is a crepe step too far.

What say you?





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