Regional Shows are the last bastion of home baking and preserving. Recipes for traditional cakes, slices, scones, puddings, biscuits, pickles, relishes, jams and marmalades are put to the test by Country Women’s Association judges at Agricultural Shows and in town halls the country over. Traditionally the domain of seasoned home cooks, a new dawn is rising in the world of competitive cookery with men, children and women bereft of any prior baking and preserving experience putting their grandmother’s recipes for pumpkin scones and choko pickles through their paces.
Dean’s chocolate cake, my plate of four scones and marble cake.
Last weekend was The Newcastle Show and I entered the cookery and jam competition for the first time. The categories I entered were plain scones (plate of 4), marble cake (round, not iced), strawberry jam and traditional orange marmalade. I persuaded my husband, Dean, to have a go at the chocolate cake in the men’s section for which a recipe is provided. I had woken early last Friday morning, the first show day and the day all entries are to be submitted, to bake my batch of scones.