Saturday, 3 September 2011

My go at a village show...

Yep, one of those lovely villagy shows where people see who has the biggest marrow, the most spherical onions, the perkiest sweet peas, the most perpendicular tarts. That kind of thing. Oh, and the nicest cakes of course.
Having just moved to the area, I found out the village in which I now live was holding a 'village show', so I thought I'd try my luck! And boy, I think I'd need a lot of luck to impress these judges! Lots of lovely cakes on offer and I was the inexperienced newbie.

I mean the Rainford village show isn't like a lot of other vilage shows in the country, no, much more friendly by the sounds of it. But still, it's hard to know the un-spoken etiquette for these things isn't it?
The only info I was given for my chosen category, 'Domestic', was a choice of the following:
Banana Bread
Apple Pie
Victoria Sandwich
and that they had to be home-made and the judges decision was final. Right. well that wouldnt be too bad. I thought 'Hey, I'll do the old classic Victoria sandwich then!" and then I thought I'd do a bit of research on-line, you know, what they might be expecting and stuff. I heard all-sorts. "bicarb is frowned upon" "never use cream" "caster sugar is the preferred decoration" icing sugar is the preferred decoartion" "a doily should be used" "don't use a cake stand, it's showing off, they don't like that" ARRRGH! So then from what I suddenly thought would be a nice little thing to do totally stressed me out because I didn't want to end up a complete obvious failure when I pride myself on being an alright baker! I had visions of my cake sitting there, glaringly covered in the wrong type of sugar with a placard next to it saying "disappointing" LOL!

Anyway, after having a word with myself I just decided to get on with the following:

3 egg mix
Strawberry jam
No cream (though I do love cream in a victoria sandwich!!)
Icing sugar on top

Here's how it turned out:

Not great, and a bit boring to look at if you ask me. I think it needed to be a smidge thicker and with whipped cream in the middle. But hey ho, I had no idea what to expect and just wanted to experience entering.

I turned up on the day with my offering, paid my 20p entrance fee and laid my little 'beauty' for all to see:

Yeah, it's even worse here, right? Argh! And with the bloomin' great beast of a sandwich behind it too. I really did have no chance. Anyway, I came back after the judging and here was the table:

Mine is the first on the right, top row. To be fair, looking at them lined up like this I thought mine looked pretty alright in the end. Alas, no ranking. :( and from the looks of things they didn't even taste it. But then they didn't taste the winner either, but did some of the others. I don't get it? Am I being thick here?
Here are the winners:

1st Prize
So, it looks like caster sugar to decorate, a smaller tin, a thicker sponge and a lighter bake then? Errr, so I only got all of it wrong then?!

2nd Prize

Kinda looks like mine, but with caster sugar?

3rd Prize
Well, this just confuses me. It has cream (which I thought was a massive no-no at these things), it's massive, and has icing sugar on top (so obviously they don't mind which).

So there you have it, my first little competition, I didn't win anything but I loved doing it anyway! I'm going to enter a chutney and a couple of cakes of next year I think.

Just in case you're interested, here are some photos of the rest of the show.

The apple pies

The village hall

They are some seriously big cabbages.

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