BAKING tips as well as recipes for a life looking after somebody have been made into a special leaflet dubbed The Carers Cook Book.
People from the Govan-based Glasgow South West Carers Organisation, who dedicate their lives to caring for their children, partners or other relatives, have put together recipes, rhymes and memories for the booklet.
Developed as part of an adult creative writing scheme run by Glasgow Life, stories include memories of a trip to buy penny sweets, a family recipe for Porter Cake, old-fashioned baking adverts as well as "A Recipe for Caring".
Single mum Nicola Kerr, 42, from Cardonald was one of the contributors.
She sent in a poem called a Christy Cake, which is not a baking recipe but a description of life with her son, Christy who has Downs Syndrome and autism.
It includes the lines, "An ounce of stubbornness; A slice of frustration; With a squeeze of patience; Half a cup of hope and a large tablespoon of laughter."
She said: "I just thought it was a really nice idea to get everybody involved and mention your kids.
"I thought the recipe was a good idea. You're talking about your life.
"I thought it was a good way to word it without being negative.
"It was good to put some positive things in there as well.
"I've told them I think they should get it made into a tea towel."
Nicola, 42, says the fortnightly Carers Group, "saved her life".
She used to juggle full-time work as a dental rep with looking after Christy, but when both her mum and dad, who used to help, became ill, she had to give up her job.
Back then she was too busy to go to the support group, but says now she couldn't do without it.
She said: "My dad fell seriously ill and it turned out he had broken ribs, and then my mum had to go for an operation and everything was happening at one time.
"I used to phone the carers group but I could never get to them.
"When all that happened I went along and the support was overwhelming.
"They are in the same position and they know what it's like.
"They give you strength and advice."
Christy was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome when he was born and autism when he was five.
He goes to Howford School in Crookston Road on the South Side and doesn't talk so uses Makaton, a way of communicating using signs and symbols, and also has a special iPad application.
He needs his mum to help him do everything, from getting dressed to eating.
And she fought a two-year battle to get the mobility car she now relies on to get him around.
She said: "It's hard but not as hard as trying to work full-time as well.
"I felt as if my life was a treadmill. It was get-set go and it didn't stop until you went to bed. I though 'I can't go on like this forever'
"I've got a good friend now who I met though the carers group and out kids are away together as well today.
"I'm a better mum - I'm calmer and so he's calmer as he responds to me."
Theresa Silva, 84, is another carer who contributed to the book.
She passed on her mum's Porter cake recipe, which she used to enjoy at home in Ireland.
Theresa, from Craigton, cares for her husband Bruno, 85, who has vascular dementia.
The former nurse has been looking after him for around seven years, and goes to a weekly carers group at Riverside Hall.
She said: "It's the company and there are good friend there to share your worries and woes with.
"The book is lovely and colourful and I really enjoyed doing it."
Gail Paterson, manager of Glasgow South West Carers' Centre which is run by charity Quarriers and is one of eight across the city, said: "Over the past few months carers at the group have been working on a Carers' Cook Book as part of an Adult Learning Creative Writing initiative delivered by Glasgow Life.
"They were supported by Julie Fraser from Glasgow Life and Shona Daly from the Carers' Centre to create a collection of recipes, rhymes and reminiscences which they hope will inspire carers and their families.
"Initially the idea of creative writing was daunting for some carers and they didn't think that they were 'creative'.
"However, Julie and Shona encouraged them and they were surprised at what they could achieve.
"The carers thoroughly enjoyed creating the Cook Book and everyone is very proud of the final product."
To contact the centre or to get a copy of the free booklet, call 0141 440 5316.