There is something deliciously decadent about biting into a cream-filled, home-baked biscuit. It brings to mind nostalgic feelings of grandmothers and tea parties.
Growing up and spending a lot of time at her Nan and Pop’s farm, Raelene Bates recalls tins in the cupboard were always full with biscuits and slices and the smell of home cooking would often waft from the kitchen.
“There was always something because she had shearers to feed, and she had seven children so there’s always people, grandkids popping into the house,” she said.
Baking is second nature for Miss Bates now, and something she enjoys – a perfect stress relief.
“We grew up that things were made, a Monte Carlo biscuit was a luxury, we didnt get bought biscuits we always baked,” she said.
“I’ve always loved it, baking’s always just been something I’ve enjoyed for relaxation, I’m very lucky to be able to do something I enjoy and relax with [for a job].”
In the world of cooking, there are two types of people – those who follow the recipe precisely and those who use it as more of a guide.
Miss Bates said she is definitely the former.
“My family used to laugh when I would weight the chocolate biscuits years ago, but it’s come into it’s fore now because you know exactly how many biscuits you’re getting in a batch and all the biscuits look the same,” she laughs.
Even so, Miss Bates said she still has bad days in the kitchen and not everything turns out as the perfect product you see in the window.
“Occasionally I’ll put a post up [on Facebook] just to show we’re not all perfect, I think people need to see that just because they see all the pretty things it doesn't mean everything works out all the time,” she said.
Looking at the wonderful cakes she produces, it might be natural to assume Miss Bates loves cakes as much as her clients do, but not so.
What people are going to find really odd is that I actually don't eat cake.Raelene Bates
“What people are going to find really odd is that I actually don't eat cake,” she said.
“My favourite things are the raspberry meringue clouds I make, I love meringue.”
For Miss Bates, cookbooks are her shoes, she is addicted and sneaks new acquisitions into the house or the shop where she will pretend they have been all along.
Miss Bates’ business, Delicious Little Things, started five years ago at the Evandale Market, then moved to the Harvest Market, and now operates from a small shop front on Charles Street, which is open Wednesday to Friday over winter.
She also caters for events, holds high tea every second Sunday and makes cakes to order. Her small mobile food van often brings a little jazz to weddings, and can still be found at Harvest Market in Launceston on Saturdays.