At Christmas my family and I met with the house members and shared a meal with them around the table. They commented favourably on the cakes I had made and I suggested that they might like to make some themselves. Given their cheerful agreement I took in my A4 file of saved recipes for cakes and desserts, and each house member chose a cake to his taste. Arash kicked off the process and following that I made good certain needed kitchen items.
We have not looked back since then. Whenever I visit the house on the Monday rota I get there earlier so as to make a start and try not to disrupt the work schedule or, if possible, the cooking of the evening meal.
I had expected that chocolate versions would be welcomed (my own choice) but cakes with fruit and sponges seem to be favoured. We have had the odd mishap. The ovens are temperamental and there seems to be variation in local knowledge of how they should be used. As a result a couple have had more than their fair share of carbon topping.
Mostly, the results have been very satisfying, as proven by the determination to cut into them as soon as possible after taking them out of the oven. The idea of cooling-off is not popular so the cakes tend to cut less easily. Within ten minutes they have usually despaired.
As a trustee and visitor to the house, the cooking gives me a relaxing time with each person and I value that. It offers the house members opportunities to extend practical language skills, to learn new cooking skills, to exercise an element of choice and to share something of which they can be proud with each other.