A real family favourite
frying either - “every chef’s programme, they wheel in this machine, but at home, you do it on the cooker and it’s dangerous” - b ut she gets her fill of chips when she goes out (“usually other people’s”), and cooks oven chips at home for her five grandchildren when they visit, which makes her own children admonish her with an “Oh Granny!”.
Her grandchildren appear in the BBC Two series, Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites. Her 12-year-old twin granddaughters, Abby and Grace, make biscuits, while her grandsons are put to work on a pasta bake.
“I’ve learned you don’t have two stirring at the same time! I gave them their own jobs, I said, ‘You make sauce, you cook the pasta’, so they’re separate, because boys will be boys!”
Food and family have always gone together for Berry, who married husband Paul in 1966 and had three children, Thomas, Annabel and William, who sadly died when he was just 19.
“I’m very lucky to have family and there’s nothing better than cooking with children – there’s no happier way of keeping children amused than teaching them,” she says. “Our grandchildren can all use knives, they can all use a potato peeler to do Parmesan and things like that. If you teach them the right way, that’s much better than saying you can’t use a knife, isn’t it?”
For all her TV success over the years, including most recently with The Great British Bake Off, Berry still likes to think of herself as a “family cook, with all the problems that everyone else has”.
“I’ve had failures – I’ve used salt instead of sugar, I’ve had cakes going down in the middle, but that’s good, because then we can commiserate!”
As for her absolute favourite meal, she loves nothing more than a nice