The Covid-19 lockdown in summer 2020 was a difficult time for everyone. But for Caversham schoolgirls Bessie (10) and her sister Milly (12) it was especially tough having to cope with home-schooling while also helping their mother, Hannah, care for their father Neil, who has young onset dementia. When things became fraught, Neil’s specialist dementia nurse suggested Bessie cook with Neil to keep occupied and help them get along. These baking activities soon blossomed into a creative family project and have turned into a new book, Bessie Bakes: Fond memories & fun recipes to support families affected by dementia by Hannah and Bessie Riches, to help raise money for Dementia UK.
The book is a collection of easy-to-make, well-loved cakes, biscuits, savoury dishes, sweet treats and memories. From scrumptious delights such as Raspberry Brownies and Malteser Tray Bake to well-known classics including Speedy Spice Cake and Shrewsbury Biscuits, Bessie Bakes has something for everyone to start creating their own new family memories.
Bessie’s book is published by Kingshill Books on 30 November 2020 and is due to launch at the Caversham Artisan & Farmer’s Market on Sunday 6 December (unless lockdown restrictions extend beyond 2 December, in which case the launch will be postponed).
To pre-order a copy of the book at the special price of £12.50 (incl. £2.50 P&P), visit the website bessiebakes.co.uk/. All profits from the sale of the book go to Dementia UK.
by Hannah Riches and Bessie Riches