The Healing Power of Baking



My mother was an excellent cook and she always baked on Saturdays. Although our 1960’s kitchen was small and lacking in modern style worktops, the twin tub washing machine cover, the flap of the 60’s dresser and the top of the fridge were transformed into baking tables.

Mum taught my three younger sisters and I to cook and bake, and every Saturday the kitchen tops would overflow with Coffee and Walnut Cake, Scones, Pancakes, Apple pie…

Sadly, Mum died aged just 42, on 15 February 1970, three weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday. My sisters were aged 13 and 11 – the youngest being twins.

She had left our home on Valentine’s night on a stretcher. Her last words to us children were, “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”


Although overwhelmed by grief, we continued to bake every Saturday; I found it incredibly therapeutic.

I still bake on Saturdays in her memory.

One of my regular recipes is Old Fashioned Treacle Scone.


500g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

250g natural yogurt or buttermilk

200g black treacle (similar to molasses)

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp powdered cloves

1 tsp powdered cinnamon

4 tablespoons soya or almond milk or cows milk.


  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add beaten eggs
  • Place treacle and milk in a saucepan on a low heat – to melt gently
  • Add liquid to bowl and mix well.

It should now look like this:


  • Add a handful of flour to your bowl
  • Rub your hands with flour
  • Gently knead your mix on a board
  • Create a round, and cut a cross shape with a knife
  • Place on a lightly floured baking tray.


Bake at 200 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

Turn out onto a clean, dry tea towel and wrap the bread to preserve a soft crust.

Serve with or without butter.


Nutritional qualities of black treacle

Black treacle is very high in beneficial nutrients including:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.


  1. I’m sorry, that you lost your Mom so early in just so important age, Brigid.
    I like, that you continue is her spirit with the baking at Saturdays. I have a question for you, do you mean rye flour, when you write black treachle? I can’t find a translation for this.
    Your baking look very good.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brigid your mum will be busy baking all those beautiful tasty recipes again, and as she said she “Will see you all Tomorrow”. She will keep her promise to you. It is just that time as we know it is not the same time as those who have passed through that mighty gate know it.
    My dear Irish mother was also a great baker and one of these fine days there will be a great feast.xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is treacle what we would call molasses I wonder? How sad to lose your mother so young. What a wonderful legacy she left when she taught you to bake. I have many happy memories of me learning to cook at my mother’s side. She baked nearly every day when I was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brigid, how heart breaking. She was so young, and so were you. If no one is really gone until they are forgotten, sharing these recipes will ensure you mum lives on. For me there is no greater tribute than remembering someone for something uniquely them, be it a saying, a recipe or shared time together and you have elegantly combined two of those precious things. Paul X


  5. I remember you losing your mother from reading your book. I remember thinking that I always thought I got a bum rap at losing mine when I was 41 but realize I was really lucky to have her as long as I did.
    However, whereas, my mother was a great sewing teacher, her cooking skills were not that proficient. If fact, she would pay me an allowance in the summer if I would cook the family meals because cooking was something that I loved. So she did pass on the love of me doing something I enjoyed by putting up with all the exotic things I wanted to make. All those years ago Scones seemed very exotic to a kid in the Mid-West and I made them regularly (still have the recipe I used). Michael and I do enjoy a good scone and I will have to try this recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A terrible tragedy for you all to have lost your mom at such an early age, Brigid. When my mom was having chemotherapy a few years ago, the oncologist told me that they use baking as a therapy for cancer patients because it is relaxing and makes you feel so good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was so saddened to read of the loss of your mother when you and your siblings were all t such tender ages. As children we never even think of losing our parents, for we are so very sure that they’ll live forever.

    But how wonderful it is that you honour her by keeping up her tradition of a special baking day every Saturday.

    These scones look incredible. I think I might just have to try this one Daisies. Black Treacle is recommended for people who are anemic – my doctor told me (I live with anemia and am continually on iron tablets), so maybe this would be an enjoyable way to help that!

    Beautiful post Daisies.
    Sending love, his Valentines Day ❤ ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How sad that you lost your mum so young but what a wondeful legacy and memories she has left for you..This was how I learnt from my mum and my grandmother so lovely to have memories isn’t it? Hugs Brigid x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brigid, a loving tribute to your mother and her love of baking. How touching that you continue to bake on Saturdays … and I imagine she is by your side. I’m so saddened to learn of the loss of your mother so young.

    The treacle scone looks delicious and not at all like the normal scones! I’m printing this out to have a go. I never knew about treacle being so healthy and full of nutrients – just love learning something new each day!

    Happy (& poignant )Baking this and every Saturday. hugs xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loosing your mum so young must have been so tough. I love that you still think of her when you bake. I have a similar feeling when I bake as I always remember my Nan; especially baking treacle tart or her special mince pies. It’s wonderful to have these memories isn’t it? This recipe looks yumm. Thank you for sharing. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Brigid. This post made me both so happy and so sad. Happy that your mom gave you a lifetime of memories and gifts through her Saturday baking with you and your sisters, and sad that your time with her ended far too soon. I love it that you still bake on Saturdays in her honor. That’s lovely. Thanks for the recipe. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a wonderful legacy your mother left for you Brigid. But so young! My heart did a flip when I read those words. I’m sure memories of her and her wonderful skills fill your own kitchen now. Happy baking 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful post Brigid– so thankful you have those sweet memories of your mother. And I agree baking is theraputic for all of us– warm the house and a way of nurturing those around us. It’s good. Thank you for the lovely heartfelt post. xox

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a lovely post, Brigid. Happy memories of Saturday baking with your mum and sisters. I’m so sorry she passed away at such a young age, but I’m sure she’s very proud of you for carrying on the tradition of Saturday baking. Happy baking to you, and thank you for sharing that recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Brigid…it warms my heart to read that you still bake on Saturdays to keep her memory alive…my Mom makes delicious soup at least once a week and there is always a tub for me to bring home…she is still with me but a tear came to my eye as I washed her latest tub, what loving gestures our mothers bestow on us, they are priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Brigid, Hugs to you. I think it is a beautiful tribute to your mum and a beautiful way to kerp her in your heart, and all those fond memories of cooking with her and your sisters. I think such activities bring a family together , and those moment are precious to stay in the heart for ever. It those moments that make a family a family. I feel at least. I think your mum is wonderful for bring you all together like that at a young age. I too have always been with mum in the kitchen and still am. My Dad passed away -it will be 25 years in april. Daddy and all of us would help in the kitchen. Dad and would garden together, thats why i find it hard to garden sometimes, i randomly start crying whilst gardening .

    A beautiful post and cooking is healing. I do treasure my moments with mum all of them.

    Hugs to you Brigid. Be proud of yourself i sm sure your mum would be too. Love bella

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I’m so sorry that you lost your mum so young, and expect much of the emotional burden to be strong fell on you. How lovely that you continue to bake in her memory. I love the sound of your scones!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Goodness. I was sad, then a little relieved. Must have been dreadful, truly. Time I suspect does not heal as such but deliver a little more understanding of life and loves and people and humanity and thank goodness we have cooking and baking to help us through.

    Liked by 1 person

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