And yet...whisper it...maybe there could be something even better than that old faithful recipe you've been making forever.
So over the past month I have been RADICAL and DARING and tried out some new versions of old favourites.
I had an early success with flapjacks: out went the recipe my Mum gave me when I left home (sorry Ma!) and in came the Peyton & Byrne version. The Peyton & Byrne recipe has dried fruit in it, and a high butter to syrup ratio, making them less good for your arteries, but kinder on your teeth. O, who doesn't normally like flapjacks, loved these ones.
Then I decided to try a bigger challenge - meatloaf. The recipe I've been baking since I was a teenager is one that a neighbour passed on to my Mum in the late 1970s. My brother and I loved it as children, and my children now love it too. It has hidden vegetables in it, succulent tender meat, and makes the whole house smell amazing while it bakes. I felt very emotionally attached to my old recipe and thought that there was very little that could rival it. But that recipe calls for both beef and pork, so when I only had beef but had already told my children and their friends that they were having meatloaf for tea, I had to look for another recipe.
I went for the one in the second Hairy Bikers Mum Knows Best book. I didn't think anything was going to come up to the standard of my inherited recipe, but this new one was a revelation - quicker to make, much less fatty without the additional pork, and just as tasty. The four children demolished the lot and asked for more.
And then I decided to mess around with that most sacred of old favourite recipes: fairy cakes. I read somewhere a while back that if you swap half the quantity of flour for custard powder in your usual recipe then it makes for a more vanillary, creamy sponge without altering the texture. And today I tried it.
I made autumn buns to use up the last of the unrefined icing sugar I bought in a fit of worthiness a couple of months ago. Unrefined icing sugar is not a good idea. It makes a murky, caramel-coloured icing that does not mix well with food colouring. But the shade of icing is vaguely autumnal so I added some autumn sprinkles and rather liked the end result.
And the addition of custard powder to the recipe was agreed by all to be A Very Good Thing. The buns were light and full of flavour. There aren't many of them left.
So what's next? Is nothing sacred? I still haven't found the nerve to mess around with my shortbread recipe, but perhaps I should.