• Simon O'Donovan

Great British Bake Off

Last week's Cognitive Stimulation Therapy session focused on 'The Kitchen', because 'The Great British Bake Off' had started on Channel 4 again, hosted by Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandy Toksvig and Noel Fielding. (Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc hosted the show for the first seven series on BBC1.)

Before we started, we noted that Michael Jackson would have been 60 this week, had he lived. Later in the session we asked members what their favourite Michael Jackson song was and played a selection. Michael Jackson's nickname was? - THE KING OF POP His ranch was called? - NEVERLAND His chimp was called? - BUBBLES The group he had with his brothers was? - THE JACKSON FIVE Which company were they signed to? - MOTOWN RECORDS (LATER CHANGED NAME TO 'THE JACKSONS' WHEN THEY TRANSFERRED TO EPIC RECORDS) His hit song about a rat was called? - BEN His duets with Paul McCartney were? - SAY SAY SAY & THE GIRL IS MINE Michael had three children - Paris, Michael Joseph Jr and Prince Michael 11. The one he infamously held over a balcony (Prince Michael 11) he called? - BLANKET Which of his albums is the best selling by any artist of all time? - THRILLER His first solo single in 1971 was? - GOT TO BE THERE His 'Moondance' walk was associated with which song? - BILLIE JEAN Which clothing item was Michael associated with? - A WHITE (DIAMOND ENCRUSTED) GLOVE Where did The Jackson's grow up? - GARY, INDIANA What condition was Michael said to have had, which led to rumoured multiple plastic surgeries? - VITILIGO How much was his estate estimated to be worth at the time of his death in 2009? - $500m Before moving on to our main theme we also noted that this week Theresa May had been filmed dancing in Africa. We looked at some clips of her moves!

To start the main theme of this session, we asked: - Does anyone enjoy cooking or baking? - If so what are members' signature dishes? - What are people's favourite foods generally? Thinking about baking: - What are members' favourite cakes? - What about biscuits? - And bread? We listed as many cakes, biscuits and breads as we could on a whiteboard. According to Britain’s Top 10 Cakes are: 1. Chocolate Cake 2. Victoria Sponge 3. Black Forest Gateaux 4. Carrot Cake 5. Coffee & Walnut Cake 6. Battenburg Cake 7. Fruit Cake 8. Christmas Cake 9. Banana Cake 10. Angel Cake Newer flavours like lemon drizzle are also nudging into the list of the nation’s favourite bakes. As for the UK's favourite biscuits, list these as: 1. Chocolate Digestive 2. Chocolate Hobnob 3. Custard Cream 4. Shortbread 5. Jaffa Cake 6. Chocolate Chip Cookie 7. Digestive 8. Ginger Nut 9. Chocolate Bourbon 10. Chocolate Fingers 11. Rich Tea 12. Oreos 13. Malted Milk 14. Dark Chocolate Digestives 15. Jammie Dodgers 16. Plain Hobnobs 17. Fox's Creams 18. White Chocolate Chip Cookie 19. Nice 20. Viennese Creams As for breads, this is more difficult, as all superstores bake their own bread. However, state that Warburtons, Kingsmill and Hovis are the top selling branded products. At this point, we had a discussion about the growth of superstores and the death of the high street in our lifetime. Most agreed that for convenience's sake and access to free parking and shopping trolleys etc, superstore shopping was the easier option to visiting the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. The top superstores in the UK, by profit, according to are: 1. Tesco - £37.8bn 2. Sainsbury's - £27.9bn 3. Asda - £22.2bn 4. Morrison's - £17.3bn 5. John Lewis - £10.2bn 6. Aldi - £10bn 7. M&S - £9.6bn 8. Co-op - £9.5bn 9. Amazon - £8.8bn 10. Boots - £6.8bn Of course, not all these stores sell food products, but most do and some also sell all kinds of kitchen appliances and accessories. Before we moved on, we had a heated debate about the new carrier bag charge. All agreed the new charge had effected people's behaviour in the amount of bags purchased, which was generally viewed as a good thing as there is so much plastic waste in our environment. Next we thought about idioms to do with the kitchen and asked members to complete them: Too many cooks spoil - THE BROTH A watched pot - NEVER BOILS A woman's place is in - THE KITCHEN (controversial) Everything but the kitchen - SINK If you can't stand the heat, get out - OF THE KITCHEN Cooking on - GAS Cut and - DRIED Flash in the- PAN Hall baked - IDEA Living on a knife - EDGE Handed to you on a - PLATE Cook the - BOOKS Curry - FAVOUR Grill - SOMEONE Out of the frying pan into - THE FIRE Simmer - DOWN Turn up the - HEAT It’s no use crying over - SPILT MILK It all boils - DOWN TO Know your - ONIONS Piece of - CAKE Bring home the - BACON Cheap as - CHIPS It's not my cup - OF TEA He's got a finger in - EVERY PIE Have your cake and - EAT IT Take with a pinch - OF SALT

After this, we engaged in some reminiscence about life in the kitchen in our early lives. We looked at some images to guess at what items we used for and asked did anyone have one of these. Look at the photo album here Rolling pin - When was the last time anyone baked a pie using a rolling pin? Fridge with ice box - Remember the ice box would ice up and have to be defrosted. Kitchen cupboard/larder - There was one in every kitchen! Housecoat - My Nan was rarely out of hers! Mangle - Laundry would take a whole day! Twin tub - The kitchen would be full of steam! Drying rack - My Mum still has one of these! Kettle whistle - You can get an electric kettle which whistles now! China cup and saucer and teapot - A cup of tea was a real experience. Jelly mould - What was the difference between jelly and blancmange? Milk? Tea strainer - When was the last time someone had a cup of tea made with loose leaf? Jam jar and spoon - These were usually reserved for high tea with visitors. Egg slice, egg timer, lemon juicer, tongs - The tongs were for boiling pants on the stove! Flour tin - People would bake several times a week. Whisk - Whisking double cream into stiff peaks would take forever! Ice cream or mashed potato scoop - This reminded most people of school dinners. Apple corer - Still around today. Weighing scales - With pounds and ounces, of course. Salt and pepper pots - A few grains of rice would keep the salt dry. It was always white pepper! Gas cooker and grill - There were no extractor fans in those days! Measure spoons - A pinch of salt up to a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Marigold gloves and Belfast sink - Who wears gloves to wash up still? Pyrex dishes - Revolutionary at the time. Milk bottles, milk float - The birds would always have the cream. Potato peeler - Peeling spuds would take ages in our house with six kids! Griddle - A must for making Welsh cakes. Washing line - Gardens would be full of pants drying on a sunny wash day! Tupperware - So versatile, but with a taste of plastic! Outside toilet - Freezing cold in the winter. Remember Izal toilet paper? Chip pan - Dangerous things, but the chips tasted so much better then! Bone cutlery - Again, for use on high days and holidays. Pickle fork - Jabbing the pickles on Christmas day is a great memory. Sugar tongs - For sugar cubes, of course! Are there any other precious memories of being in your childhood kitchen that you would like to share? We thought about things which have really made life a lot easier in the kitchen. Here's a short list: Bread maker Microwave Dishwasher Tumble dryer Slow cooker Food processor Fridge/freezer Electric kettle/coffee maker Shopping home deliveries Other changes: Coal fire versus central heating Outside versus inside toilets Tin bath versus en suite bathrooms

Next, we looked at some YouTube videos and guessed at the following advertising slogans. (NB. The starred items have a YouTube video to play via this playlist ) REMEMBER THE ADVERTS Just choose a few of these, according to the time you have and who can remember them. Pear And Dean cinema intro. Everyone will remember this. Shake N Vac - PUT THE FRESHNESS BACK Smash - FOR MASH GET SMASH Cadburys Flake - ONLY THE CRUMBIEST FLAKIEST CHOCOLATE Yellow Pages - FLY FISHING BY J.R. HARTLEY British Telecom - IT'S YOU WE ANSWER TO Coca Cola - IT'S THE REAL THING Walls Cornetto -JUST ONE CORNETTO, GIVE IT TO ME PG Tips - IT'S THE TEA YOU CAN REALLY TASTE Nestle's Milkybar - THE MILKY BARS ARE ON ME Cadbury's Fruit and Nut - EVERYONE'S A FRUIT AND NUT CASE Fry's Turkish Delight - FULL OF EASTERN PROMISE Old Spice - THE MARK OF A MAN Fairy Liquid - FOR HANDS THAT DO DISHES CAN FEEL SOFT AS YOUR FACE Cadbury's Finger of Fudge - JUST ENOUGH TO GIVE YOUR KIDS A TREAT Whiskas Cat Food - EIGHT OUT OF TEN OWNERS PREFERRED IT Mars - A MARS A DAY HELPS YOU WORK REST AND PLAY Green Cross Code - STOP LOOK LISTEN Charlie Says - Can anyone make the Charlie sound? Cadbury's Creme Eggs - CAN'T RESIST THEM Birds Eye Fish Fingers - CAPTAIN BIRDSEYE Ready Brek - CENTRAL HEATING FOR KIDS Rice Krispies - SNAP CRACKLE AND POP Aquafresh - THREE IN ONE PROTECTION FOR YOUR FAMILY Bird's Angel Delight - THE MOST DELIGHTFUL TASTE AROUND Kellogg's Frosties - THEY'RE GREAT Milk Tray - ALL BECAUSE THE LADY LOVES MILK TRAY 999 - DIAL 999 FOR THE COASTGUARD Cinzano - SUFFUSED WITH HERBS AND SPICES FROM FOUR CONTINENTS Hovis - AS GOOD FOR YOU TODAY AS IT'S ALWAYS BEEN Marmite - MY MATE MARMITE Bird's Eye Potato Waffles - WAFFLY VERSATILE Ovaltine - HAS THERE EVER BEEN A BETTER WAY TO END THE DAY Mr Kipling - EXCEEDINGLY GOOD CAKES Baked Beans - BEANS MEANS HEINZ Opal Fruits - MADE TO MAKE YOUR MOUTH WATER Golden Wonder - THEY'RE JUNGLE FRESH Pepsi - LIPSMACKINTHIRSTQUENCHINACETASTINMOTIVATINGOODBUZZINCOOLTALKINHIGHWALKINFASTLIVINEVERGIVINCOOLFIZZIN

MUSIC QUIZ Spotify playlist link here Great British Bake Off - TV Theme Where does the presenter Sandi Toksvig come from? - DENMARK American Pie - Don McLean Ask members to name some pies. Make sure to include APPLE PIE, PUMPKIN PIE & PECAN PIE in the list. MacArthur Park - Richard Harris Who later had a hit with this record in 1978? - DONNA SUMMER If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked A Cake - Eileen Barton & The New Yorkers Ask members to list the ingredients of a Victoria Sponge? - 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 200g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 medium eggs 200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting about 6 tbsp raspberry jam 250ml double cream, whipped icing sugar, for dusting Sugar Baby Love - The Rubettes Ask members to list different types of sugar? - GRANULATED, CASTER, CANE, DEMERARA, MOLASSES AND CUBES OF COURSE Mould Old Dough - Lieutenant Pigeon What ingredient makes bread rise? - YEAST Sugar And Spice - The Searchers If little girls are made from sugar and spice and all things nice, what are little boys made of? - SLUGS AND SNAILS AND PUPPY DOG TAILS The Onion Song - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell What type of onions would you use in a salad? - GIBBONS (SPRING ONIONS) OR CHIVES What are some old wives tales about how to stop yourself from crying when peeling onions? - PUT A TEASPOON IN YOUR MOUTH, CHEW GUM, WEAR GOGGLES Sugar Sugar - The Archies Honey comes from bees. Where does Mapel Syrup come from? - SAP OF MAPLE TREES Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones True or false. Mick Jagger's new son is younger than his great grandson? - TRUE, HIS GREAT GRAND-DAUGHTER WAS BORN IN 2014, HIS SON WAS BORN IN DECEMBER 2016 Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino Listen carefully, what played love's sweet melody in this song? - THE WEEPING WILLOW TREE My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small Who sang the song 'On The Good Ship Lollipop'? - SHIRLEY TEMPLE (1934) How D'Ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning - Dean Martin & Helen O'Connell Ask members how they like their eggs? - HARD OR SOFT BOILED, FRIED, SCOTCH, OMELETTE, POACHED Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty Who lived at 221b Baker Street? - SHERLOCK HOLMES You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties - Jona Lewie What was Jona Lewie's hit Christmas classic? - STOP THE CAVALRY Ma Baker - Boney M Name either of Boney M's number one hits in the UK? - MARY'S BOY CHILD & BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON Make It With You - Bread Name the lead singer and songwriter with Bread? - DAVID GATES Don't You Want Me - The Human League Who was the lead singer with The Human League? - PHILIP OAKEY Moon River - Henry Mancini & Audrey Hepburn Name the film from which this song is taken? - BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S Yummy Yummy Yummy - Ohio Express Ask members to try and rub their tummies and pat their heads at the same time. Who can do it? I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) - Four Tops How many sides does a cube or dice have? - SIX A selection of Michael Jackson songs follows ... Can anyone do 'The Moonwalk' to Billie Jean?

ACTIVITY Have members bake a Granny's Victoria Sponge (BBC Food), if you have time and the facilities required. INGREDIENTS 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 200g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 medium eggs 200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting about 6 tbsp raspberry jam 250ml double cream, whipped icing sugar, for dusting METHOD 1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Grease and flour two 20cm sandwich tins. 2. Place 200g softened unsalted butter, 200g caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency. 3. Slowly beat in 4 medium eggs, one by one, then fold in 200g self-raising flour and mix well. 4. Divide the mix between the cake tins, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden brown. The cakes should spring back when gently pushed in the middle. 5. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely. 6. Spread about 6 tbsp raspberry jam onto one cake and top with 250ml whipped double cream. Sandwich the cakes together and dust with icing sugar. Alternatively, buy some ready make fairy cakes and icing sugar, food colouring, decorations etc and have members decorate their own cake. Have someone judge their efforts and a prize ready to hand for the best decorated cake. Or you could have the group pickle some onions in time for Christmas. Here a recipe from Sarsons. INGREDIENTS 600ml Sarsons Malt vinegar 500g small pickling onions 25g table salt 100g granulated sugar 10 peppercorns 2tsp mustard seeds 1tsp coriander seeds 2 bay leaves METHOD Put the onions in a large bowl and tip over a kettle of boiling water. Leave for 20 seconds then pour into a colander, return to the bowl and pour over lots of very cold water. The skins should now peel off very easily. Once peeled, layer in a bowl and sprinkle each layer with salt. Cover and leave overnight or up to 24hrs. Meanwhile pour the vinegar and sugar into a large saucepan with the peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves. Put the lid on the pan, bring to the boil then remove from the heat and set aside to allow the spices to infuse. The following day rinse the onions well and pat dry. Pack the onions into sterilised Kilner® Jars then use a jug to pour over the vinegar, including the mustard, peppercorns and bay, completely covering the onions. Seal and allow to mature for 6 weeks.

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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