Bake Off

coconut macaroonsI have long observed that the entire rural economy, more or less, runs on tray bakes. The village choir, for instance, got a much better turnout after the first session, when someone suggested we break for tea and home baking half way through and volunteered to bring the home baking. We don’t get anything like as much singing done, but we’re about the only choir in the area with equal numbers of men and women, and I’m sure the tray bakes have something to do with it…

Despite this, it’s taken me a while to put two and two together and use the tray bake to my own nefarious ends. Last summer our local cycling campaign started to run summer rides and while they did pretty well for the first time, attendance was fairly patchy. This year we were hampered by the fact that the park where we meet up is being renovated, closing the popular cupcake cafe that we were using for our post ride debriefing. I decided that if we were to introduce novice cyclists to the full spectrum of bike riding culture, cake had to play a part so on the first weekend I got up early and made some macaroons. They seemed to go down well, so the weekend after I turned up with coconut and cherry flapjacks. As the summer has worn on, the numbers turning up have not just held up, but risen, leading to a bit of a ‘family hold back’ moment when we had more riders than cakes (rock buns, since you ask – we were visiting a stone circle) and I have had to up the quantities.

So far, so good, but I fear I may have unleashed a bit of a monster here. One of my fellow ride leaders has just emailed deliberating on what baking she is going to bring (butterfly cakes, seeing as we’re heading to the aviation museum?). I probably should just relax and let her do the work this weekend – but I’ve got rather used to a spot of baking on a Saturday morning, not to mention eating up the leftovers during the rest of the weekend. So I emailed back saying I’d bring biscuits too. ‘Let the bake off commence’ she replied…

I have heard of entire book groups having to be wound up because the catering got rather competitive.* I’ve a feeling that next year’s summer rides might end up the same way. It should be good for the numbers turning out … but it might end up cancelling out any health gains. And I’m going to have to raise my baking game.

*NB if your book group has reached this stage and you’d like a real live author to attend, I’m free…

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5 Responses to Bake Off

  1. John Gibson says:

    Please send me one.
    John

  2. Charles says:

    I am going fishing, salmon fishing since you ask. Well I had to tell someone apart from my wife, who is resolutely unimpressed….

  3. Charles says:

    By the way what do you bake in during the summer, the Rayburn is off?

  4. Flighty says:

    I think that all such activities should have an incentive such as cakes to look forward to. As for it becoming over competitive though I’m lost for words! xx

  5. disgruntled says:

    @John – long gone I’m afraid!
    @Charles – enjoy it! (and we bake on the boring old electric oven in the summer)
    @Flighty – it’s amazing what people will compete over, given the chance

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