Blindness no barrier for this home baker
SHE’S featuring on TVNZ’s One News Good Sorts on Sunday night and rightly so – Rosemary Locke is a gem. Barely a moment goes by when she is not on the phone or lending a hand at one place or another.
Ms Locke has been blind since she was 21 after a hereditary condition, keratoconus, slowly deteriorated her sight. She now uses her guide dog Jazz, a purebred black Labrador, to get around.
She has become particularly well known for her date and rum, and carrot cakes, chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies which she bakes and gives away to the sick, the elderly, churches, community organisations and any other event that needs a bite to eat.
‘‘I am always being rung up for one thing or another,’’ she said. And cooking is never a problem for her.
‘‘I know where everything is in my pantry and my computer reads the recipes out loud,’’ she said. ‘‘I cook with my good old faithful scales and it is easy.’’
The scales are more than 100 years old and came from England in 1917 with her great grandmother.
‘‘I know the feel of each weight so if I need four ounces of butter or whatever, I just measure it up.’’
But Ms Locke said she rarely ate any baking because it disappeared out the door the moment it was cooked.
When she isn’t baking she likes to walk around town with Jazz.
‘‘He is just brilliant. We walk around Matamata and he just loves Espresso To Go,’’ she said.
‘‘It seems I am always drinking coffee in there – he won’t go past without stopping.’’
Mrs Locke has been involved in Red Puppy Day in Matamata for many years and often speaks at events for it; this year featuring on TV Central. After being on the local station she never imagined she would make it on to national television.
‘‘I got such a shock when Haydn Jones from One News rang to say I had been nominated. I nearly dropped the phone,’’ she said. ‘‘I told him there were far more interesting people than me but he wouldn’t take no for an answer.’’
She said they filmed for nearly five hours just to get the three-minute clip for the news.
‘‘Haydn took rather a liking to my kitchen scales and me knitting in front of the television,’’ she said.
And as usual, she sent him away with a variety of cakes, and a knitted cardigan and hat for his newborn baby.
National Blind Week is October 25 to 31.