Husband plays the bagpipes in the local Pipe Band so for the duration of the summer most Saturdays are taken up with performances at assorted galas, village fetes and highland games. Usually the skirl of the pipes is too much for me but sometimes I tag along with boy and girl in tow. Today was one such occasion for the annual outing to the Glenbervie Amateur Hortus Club Summer Show. This is a quaint event in a stunning location with Glenbervie House providing a picturesque background.
In addition to the Horticultural and Industrial Exhibits the Summer Show comprises of an assortment of children's races (with prize money) a bouncy castle (only 20p for the whole afternoon!) bottle stall, tuck shop, teas, pipe band and and that's about it really! In all honesty the Band and and their entourage of families probably make up half of the crowd. My previous experience of competing at such an event as been confined to the Back Isle Farmers Society Flower Show and their now sadly defunct Seed and Root Show. Both me and my sister were successful in a number of classes much to the disgust of some of the older wifies who were somewhat aghast that their scones, pancakes and chutneys had lost out to a teenager. There was also another famous incident when my Dad inadvertently ate my sisters entry of peppermint creams. There were much tears.
The three tents at Glenbervie today encompassed Pot Plants, Cut Flowers, Floral Art, Fruit,Vegetables, Handicrafts, Jams, Jellies and Preserves, Baking and a Children's Section. Sadly the fruit and veg didn't have high entries probably due to our lack of summer. Admittedly my gardening efforts this year have been somewhat poor but I reckon my potatoes and rhubarb would have stood a chance. However my blackcurrants, gooseberries and apples could well have been in contention for the wooden spoon.
But it was the Baking and Preserves in the Industrial Tent that really took my interest. The first class being for Lemonade Scones following a prescribed recipe. Intriguing - but I reckon I could manage them. Next up was 3 oatcakes. Something I have never attempted but would love to try. Surely this is a skill that should have been passed down to me by my mother?! I could certainly give a fair try to the rest of this section - unfilled victoria sponge, fruit loaf, decorated cup cake, loaf using yeast, 3 empire biscuits, 2 raspberry buns, 1 individual sweet and 3 no bake cakes. Swiss milk tablet I'd have issues with. As a quine it really should be part of my repertoire but alas no. And as for 2 sausage rolls? I haven't made my own puff pastry since higher food and nutrition and I'm not about to desert Jus-Rol at this stage in my life.
Onwards to the preserves. First up Barbeque sauce. Can't stand the stuff so wouldn't bother! Rhubarb chutney I could do and I adore Lemon Curd but seldom make it as I have it eaten it as soon as it's set. Lime Marmalade could be a problem. My experience extends no further than MaMade. Apple Jelly I can do. I even have my own jelly bag and rustled up a batch of Spiced Apple Jelly last Autumn which went down very well as Christmas gifts. Onto the jams - Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackcurrant and Strawberry & Rhubarb. The latter I am definitely going to give a go with my rhubarb glut. Last but definitely not least Strawberry Vodka. This I must try! I think a strawberry picking expedition is in order.
After perusing all the exhibits I was rather enthused and decided that a la Kirsty Alsop I'd like to enter a few classes next year and run off with a wallet full of prizemoney and a clutch of trophies. Sadly my dreams were shattered when I discovered that in order to compete you need to live within 7 miles of Glenbervie. Alas I am 8 miles further removed.
But fear not, like Baldrick I have a cunning plan. Could someone please stir my jelly pan and check on my rock cakes whilst I go and look on www.aspc.co.uk