Women’s Institute County Show – Cake of the Week

Its typical isn’t it? As soon as I stop making cakes, I win an award for them. They always say that you should be relaxed about doing any sort of art/craft (whoever ‘they’ are!)

I’ve mentioned on here loads of times that I am involved with our local WI. Well aswell as being in your own WI, you are attached to your nearest Federation. Our is Lancashire Federation of WI’s and covers a massive area from almost Cumbria down to Liverpool. Loads of opportunities to get to know other WI members and get involved with masses of events. Every year, Lancashire Federation host a County Show (if you ever watched Kirty Alsopp’s Handmade Home you will know exactly the sort of thing I’m on about).

We made a decision to really push the County Show in our own WI. Its an ideal opportunity to see what other WI’s are creating and there was no pressure to win – there was even a novice category for some crafts if you have never entered before. I have to admit, I was keen to enter but the timing wasn’t great – I had only finished last week’s wedding cake 4 days before my entries had to be in. Not one to be deterred though, I gave it everything I had on the Monday – cakes going in the oven as I set out on the school pick-up was slightly stressful but luck was on my side as they didn’t burn.

I entered 2 categories, 5 individual mini cakes (decoration only to be judged) and Own Choice of Sugarcraft – we were allowed 2 entries into each category so I entered twice into the individual cakes.
We had to deliver the cakes to Garstang (about an hour journey from my house) on Tuesday morning – yep, the day that it rained a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. What a pleasant journey that was on the M6. Luckily, I had Karen, a lovely fellow WI member to keep me company and provide Tara with a running buffet en route, as we were also dropping off her Victoria Sponge (which looked delicious by the way!) We also were charged with delivering Kim’s Jam as she was on holiday (the pressure!)

A few of our members had delivered their other craft items on the Friday before, so we were looking forward to visiting the show the day after and on the Thursday, to see what they had created. We were so pleased to be entering, we want to show that we are a true part of the Lancashire Federation and also to support the ladies who have been so kind in welcoming us to the WI this past year.

The amazing news is that we did REALLY well! We had some 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd in both cake and craft categories. You can see some of the other entries in the photos below – and yes, I’ve been playing with the photos again – normal service will resume soon where I just bung the picture up!

Before we went to the show, we weren’t exactly sure of the rules of some of the categories so it was a bit of a gamble entering. From visiting the show, we now know so much more – wouldn’t say we were experts but we are a lot more knowledgable. Here’s what I learnt from the County Show:

  • Not all entries are perfect – lovely to see some uneven scones, some ‘slightly’ overdone edges
  • Not every entry will get comments from the judges – none of the cushions did :-(
  • Moulds are allowed on shortbread
  • All cakes  are displayed on paper plates
  • There will be so many more entries than you expect – over 2500 this year!
  • WI members are creatures of habit and race to the restaurant at 12pm dead on.
  • Bead work basically means jewellery
  • Triangle shaped scones are fine – 2nd place this year!

The pictures (clockwise from top left)

  • The Painting Category
  • 2nd place embroidery section goes to … my Mum!
  • Fabric Postcard by Tilly Mint Boutique
  • 1st place handicraft goes to … Cara Freckles
  • The knitted food category
  • Knitted Prawns!
  • Silk Painting by Deb
  • A Bag made from Bin Bags
  • The cushions category
  • A recycled hedgehog made from pages of a book
  • A Table of scones
  • A Table of Lemon Curd

I am going to put the linky up for Cake of the Week – I will do a round up of last week’s and this week’s entries next weekend. Don’t be shy about entering – its not a competition, you don’t have to have done a fantastic job even – just show off what you’ve been baking this week!

Casa Costello



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