MARY’S HAPPY HOUSE­HOLD

Wel­come to this ex­tract from my new book, Mary’s House­hold Tips & Tricks

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I’ve had a lot of time to gather tips about cook­ing and how to run a house. When I was 19, I took a two-year course in in­sti­tu­tional man­age­ment at a col­lege of do­mes­tic sci­ence. The fo­cus was on ca­ter­ing, but they also taught us house­wifery, as it was re­ferred to then. Our teacher Miss Neil­son used to sit us down and teach us the ba­sics: lay­ing the ta­ble, mak­ing beds and clean­ing loos, among other things. They might all sound like com­mon sense but I am very grate­ful to her for the knowl­edge she shared.

My mother was very fru­gal, some­thing that was es­pe­cially im­por­tant liv­ing through the war, and I learned a lot from her. Even with ra­tioning, we would have pud­ding on Satur­days – this was only be­cause my mother had said, ‘No pud­dings un­less you give up sugar in your tea.’

My fo­cus may have been on cook­ing but it has al­ways been cen­tred on the home. In my books and TV pro­grammes I am very keen to share tricks for pre­par­ing ahead or just mak­ing a recipe eas­ier – I’ve lost count of the num­ber of times I’ve writ­ten or spo­ken about warm­ing lemons to make them eas­ier to juice.

This book is a nat­u­ral fol­low- on, though it isn’t just made up of my mother’s tips or mine. It is a col­lec­tion of what I’ve learnt over the years along with all the help­ful hints that friends and fam­ily have im­parted to me. It is about help­ing you with life and guid­ing you through chores – not about cre­at­ing more work or telling you what you should do. Some of the tips may not mean any­thing to you, be­cause ev­ery­body’s needs are dif­fer­ent, but any­thing I sug­gest is in­cluded on the ba­sis that it might make life a lit­tle bit eas­ier!

TAKEN FROM MARY’S HOUSE­HOLD TIPS & TRICKS BY MARY BERRY AND LUCY YOUNG, SEE PAGE 34 FOR DE­TAILS PHO­TO­GRAPHS GEORGIA GLYNN SMITH IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS NILA AYE

RIGHT There is no sugar coat­ing it: clean­ing sounds bor­ing, but once you get down to it, it’s very re­ward­ing. What’s more, if it’s done prop­erly the re­sults will last. Take a mo­ment to stop and look at things that need a bit of at­ten­tion

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