Judging at the local village show is a serious matter and not to be taken lightly. I can confirm this as I was called on to choose the winners in the photography classes at Calverley Horticultural Society’s show. Oh the responsibility of choosing between the fine photo of our glorious park and an excellent picture of the pub. But, decisions made, I left the hall and headed home for lunch, knowing that the time I crossed the threshold, it would be to see what judgement had been made on my own entries in the baking classes.
I’d submitted four entries following a baking frenzy, inspired by the start of the latest series of The Great British Bake-Off. Assembling my chocolate sandwich cake and trimming the sides, I could hear Paul Hollywood’s Liverpool twang..’a bit dry….uneven cakes…’ I nearly had a fit when I sprinkled the finishing touch of icing sugar only to see it cling to the holes I’d skewered to add the sugar syrup, ah well, I just scattered edible glitter, hoping the bling would be a distraction, I know it wouldn’t have got past Paul, but the local judge was kinder, I came second!
My sourdough loaf was a winner in the bread class, so I was pleased as punch. The fruit scones were disappointing, Paul would have been shaking his head, the words ‘soggy’ and ‘bottom’ may have been used and I would have to agree. As for the beetroot cake, well, all I can say is there’s a reason beetroot’s pickled and preserved and not a sought-after ingredient in confectionery. Even adding a fancy lattice icing wouldn’t have fooled Paul, I can just see his blue eyes losing their twinkle as he pronounced the brick, for that was indeed the texture, unfit for consumption.
That’s probably what did it for the show judge. After tasting the jams, chutneys, cupcakes, tea-loaves, Victoria sandwiches, chocolate cakes, scones, bread, butterfly buns and apple pies, he came to my beetroot cake, it….
According to my mate Bev, the show secretary, the poor judge groaned, rubbed his tummy, uttered an apology and headed home. Now no-one’s saying my beetroot cake was to blame, it could have been the chutney starter that did for him, or maybe the extra large slices of cake he took. Either way, he was having Alka Seltzer for tea. I bet that never happens to Paul Hollywood!