09 June 2013

a first


Open Garden Squares weekend has turned out to be quite demanding. The Spring Fair at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park required some serious baking and a few hours of dedicated cake cutting on Saturday morning.  It was a good warm up session for an afternoon at the wonderful Abbey Gardens Vintage Garden Party where I was judging the Victoria Sponge competition. See how I just dropped that in as if it was something I did everyday? When did I manage to develop the demeanour of someone who knows about sponges when really I'm more of a fruit cake type? Perhaps it's the pearls...which I wore of course,.


Back to Abbey Gardens. I love Abbey Gardens - the long narrow beds filled to bursting with hearty brassicas and artichokes, the patches of poppies, the espaliered trees, the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the honesty stall where you can buy healthy little plantlets. And yesterday, nestled at the back of the cake stall, four Victoria Sponges waiting to be judged. Such a responsibility. 


It turned out not to be too onerous a task with a clear winner - a firm, moist sponge, easy to cut, a light dusting of icing sugar, enough raspberry jam without overwhelming the sponge. The winner was delighted with her rosette, as were the runners up and there was a round of applause for all.

When all the clapping was over, I settled down for a piece of cake.  Rhubarb, as it happens.

9 comments:

VP said...

Fabulous! Foe me judging Victoria sponges is forever linked with Calendar Girls. I'm sure none of your entrants resorted to the M&S version, but what a responsibility. I'm seriously impressed with your invitation to be the Judge.

I've always wanted to visit London's Open Squares weekend, so it's lovely to have had your insight into what they have to offer :)

rusty duck said...

Hi, just found you via the Bloggers Cut. I'd agree with VP too. Judging a cake competition, an activity fraught with danger if ever there was one.

60 going on 16 said...

Yes, it was the pearls, without a doubt. And pearls, of course, have to be worn otherwise they lose their lustre . . .

Jane Housham said...

How idyllic.
I've just spotted the cake in your photo with the strawberries and daisies! Less is probably more with the Victoria sandwich, I suspect.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'd have thought a bullet-proof vest might be handier than pearls , if you're going to take up cake judging regularly .
But it all sounds like a lovely afternoon and I'd like to see Abbey Gardens next time I'm over .
There was an article in our daily paper this morning about how , because of the crisis , Amsterdam's abandoned building sites are being gradually colonised by rabbits ... and local residents growing vegetables ( presumably much to the rabbits' delight ! )

Liz said...

Ooh, you've stepped into the world of competitive baking (though it sounds as if everyone was happy with the results and there were no tears or fisticuffs). Love the pearls.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I think pearls are probably obligatory when judging cakes of any kind ;)

I like the sound of rhubarb cake!

Stacey @ bakercourt said...

Look at the food stories behind you! How gloriously colourful.

colleen said...

The food stories look amazing, don't they. What a marvel Lydia is. I think my tomtoes are there at the top. I also saw the wonderful blackbird with a mouthful of worms and lots of other food beauty.