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Cook Jane Bevan writes book Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen to nurture cooking in children inspired by her mum

A Kent caterer has used her mother as inspiration and written a book to nurture cooking in children.

Jane Bevan says before her mum Mary Rose Polden died when Jane was just 15, she taught her daughter to cook so the teenager could look after dad and brother.

Cook and children's author Jane Bevan (36816288)
Cook and children's author Jane Bevan (36816288)

It is a skill she cherished through her life and in tribute to her mum, she penned Cherry Bakewell - Stories from My Kitchen - forty years after her death.

She said: "Losing my mum to cancer at the age of 15 was extremely hard, losing all my confidence, growing up was difficult.

"Mary Rose Polden, the lovely lady that was my mum, taught me not only to cook, but so much about life. I looked after my dad and older brother, stepping into my mum’s shoes, so I had to know how to cook."

For the past 22 years the resident of Eythorne near Dover has been running her own catering business and she admits "I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my mum."

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The front cover of Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen by Jane Bevan (36816285)
The front cover of Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen by Jane Bevan (36816285)

Since being in lockdown, she has switched to doorstep deliveries, providing bakery, afternoon teas and buffet deliveries to those vulnerable people who can’t get out.

She has also supplied cakes for people whose birthdays have fallen within lockdown - helping to spread a smile.

Cherry Bakewell has seven short stories for children, each containing a recipe.

The recipe is printed at the end of the chapter, with some of the ingredients in red.

The children have to collect these red ingredients and try and guess a final secret recipe that Cherry Bakewell has left.

There is also a naughty character called Rickster Raccoon who gets into a lot of mischief.

llustrator Lara Kerem made the stories come to life.

Ms Bevan said: "She was the most patient and lovely lady and I couldn't have done it without her."

The author has also narrated it on YouTube in her bid to reach more people.

She added: "After the initial nerves, I really enjoyed it and had a bit of fun along the way, with appearances from Rickster Raccoon.

Mary Rose Polden who inspired Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen which Jane Bevan wrote to mark the 40th anniversary of her death (36816283)
Mary Rose Polden who inspired Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen which Jane Bevan wrote to mark the 40th anniversary of her death (36816283)

I wanted young children to experience the same nurturing my mum gave me and I want them to have fun whilst learning a vital life skill.

I will never forget what my mum did for me and now it’s my chance to give something back, and help kids the same way she helped me.

Cherry Bakewell - Stories from my Kitchen is available on Amazon at £8.75 and 10% of royalties will go to Cancer Research UK in memory of Mary.

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