Chef Karen Wright on how she loves to encourage everyone to cook

As I have got older, I do have more time on my hands than I did when I had a young family, a job and other responsibilities to attend to.

Karen and her mum at an event in Wakefield
Karen and her mum at an event in Wakefield

Gone are the days when I had to set an alarm clock to begin each day of often chaotic activity. Of course, those days were also precious, and I look back on that section of my life with great pleasure and cherish the memories.

Now, although still busy, I find I have a little time each morning to be reflective and be thankful for what I have right now. Before I get out of bed each day, I run a quick mental list of all the things that I am grateful for, my list always starting with people.

This is how it runs, in no special order, but always includes my mum, my girls and their partners, my husband, my grandchildren, my wider family, my friends and all the people I interact with, both in person and on social media.

I was out and about in Wakefield recently. The first engagement was as a guest at Wakefield BID Awards held in Unity Hall. My mum came with me and we had a great time.

When we were sitting in the hall, she was telling me that when she was 18, which is 70 years ago, she danced in that room twice a week. I remember being taken there too, by my grandmother to see Father Christmas. That must have been 60 years ago!

On the Saturday I was working in The Ridings. Once again, the workshops I was hosting were fully booked. It was Halloween weekend and the children were making naan bread in the shape of ghosts.

It was a great success. I am sure the kids will go on to make their own naans now as it is such an easy recipe.

I love to encourage people of all ages to cook their own food. Of course, a takeaway can be enjoyed as a treat, but the joy of cooking and baking from scratch is a great skill to learn early in life.

If you want to try the naan yourself just mix 100g of self-raising flour, a bit of salt and about 80g of Greek yogurt together. Knead into a smooth ball, divide into two and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin.

Heat a frying pan and cook the naan on each side for a few minutes, brush with garlic oil, sprinkle of salt, squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs. Delicious!