Sunday, 17 June 2012

Show Time

We were late getting up to the show. By the time we arrived it was pouring with rain and many (people, tractors, animals!) were heading home early. We made straight for the Industrial Tent to escape the weather, and, of course, to see how our entries had fared.

On entering the tent the first things I noticed were the vegetable animals. Not a category any of us had entered, perhaps we'll have a go next year...

Next I spotted the photos...

There were two categories. I'd entered two photos in the landscape/flora section, and three in the people/animals section.

I was pretty gobsmacked to see I'd won 1st & 2nd, and 1st, 2nd & 3rd! The judge must have the same eye for a picture as I do.

Next up, the scones. I did get up early to make a new batch, and as far as I was concerned they were fine, but they were beaten by at least five other offerings and so didn't win anything. They're centre top in the above photo.

Now to my favourtite:- chocolate cake. I tweaked the recipe I'd used the previous year, iced it with a butter icing instead of a chocolate bar based one, used a square tin and...

 ...got first prize! Hurrah, my first ever baking win at the show.

The next category I'd entered was a new one for this year and involved some fancy decorating as well as just good baking. Normally I'm not too fussed about cake decoration - I'd rather have a plain looking but good tasting cake than one that looks great but disappoints on taste. I decided to try for a natural but elegant look and didn't want to just buy decorations so I sugar coated some (edible) flowers and leaves from the garden (viola flowers and mint leaves).

 Tada! I was ridiculously chuffed with how these looked.

 They also won first prize.

 Moving along...

My next entry involved using up more of the rhubarb glut from the garden...

...to make rhubarb shortbread earlier in the week which I'd then frozen. It didn't defrost terribly well - the topping became very sticky and gooey. It got a commended ticket (ie 5th place)

Next a fruit loaf. I always double up the recipe to make two loaves, one to keep. I forgot to double the number of eggs I used this time. I don't think that was the problem here though. My loaf (top centre) is too pale, I need a richer, fruitier recipe. No placing.

Tablet, first prize! I tweaked my trusty old recipe, it seemed to make a difference. Of course, the judging is all subjective and different people like different things. The judges seemed to be on my side this year.

More of the rhubarb I'd mentioned earlier.

 Jamming.

Highly commended (4th) for the rhubarb and ginger jam, and 1st prize for last September's bramble jelly.

When I saw these beautiful butterfly cushions for the canvas work category I reckoned they'd beat my orange tree cushion, but the judges seemed to think otherwise. Another 1st prize.

I had high hopes though for my turtle blanket and crescent moon shawl. There is no specific crochet category so they ended up in the "all other crafts" category. A third for the blanket and nothing for the shawl.

Tent interior view.

It was such a shame the weather was so bad. We had literally just arrived when the organisers started announcing the prizes so that everybody could get home early. I didn't really get a good look at all the other goodies in the tent, not to mention seeing a single sheep/cow/tractor/horse (or ice cream!). There's always next year...

So five baking/jam firsts, a few other mentions, plus all the photo prizes.

The first prizes are donated by various people, second prize is £2, and third is £1. The children like to win 2nd & 3rd as they like winning money. Talking of which...

A got 2nd prize for her owl which she made during our felt owl frenzy last December. Here it is with her ticket given pride of place on her noticebeard.

She also got a highly commended for her Olympic themed drawing.

This morning we had some left over scones with the newly opened rhubarb and ginger jam. Well, the other jams must have been fabulous because this jam is lovely, I think!

Something I didn't mention: each competitor's points are tallied up and the person with the most points wins the Challenge Cup...

Much to my surprise, this year it was me! I was only trying to beat my friends who'd also entered, I didn't think I'd end up winning the whole thing.

I had some chocolate cake to celebrate!

By the way, in taking baking photos in a messy kitchen and trying not to capture the mess, I've discovered that holding up the item and photographing it in macro mode with a flash makes the background nice and black which is good for highlighting the object.
And another thing... I'd not been looking forward to the bag-packing we were involved with on Saturday morning, but it turned out to be good fun. I had a great checkout operator, he was very popular with his customers and had an excellent line of patter. Over the whole day we raised over £700 thanks to the generous shoppers of M&S Braehead.  

24 comments:

Faith said...

Get you! You cleaned up good and proper! I can't believe how many prizes you got! Well done, best way to celebrate with cake!

Love the tip on photo taking, I always worry about all the clutter in the back of my pics as I don't have a Country Living style way with the housework.

Louise said...

You did very well at the show! Well done!

Louise said...

You did very well at the show! Well done!

itsjustperi said...

WOW, you swept the board... well done :-)

June said...

Many congratulations! I knew you'd win the photography!
June

topchelseagirl said...

Wow congratulations!

Peeriemoot said...

Oh wow, well done! Bet you've made some enemies in the SWRI though :-D.

That's a shame about the weather -an agricultural show in the pouring rain isn't a bundle of laughs!

Mereknits said...

Amazing wins, I would have given you a first for the shawl, I actually just pinned it on Pinterest so I think it is amazing. I bet you just had so much fun!
Hugs,
Meredith

Claire said...

CONGRATULATIONS Ann, how exciting to see all those winning tickets beside your makes........
Can't believe your turtle blanket didn't win first prize....whatever won first must've been pretty, jolly good!!
Love the viola on the cupcake it looks delicate and beautiful in all it's simplicity....you had that one in the bag.

Shame about the weather but otherwise what a cracker weekend.......and winning the Challenge Cup, woo hoo. If I were one of your competing friends I would give up now..!1......

Congrats to A on her prizes too. ......very encouraging and well done on the $700 raised that's fantastic...

Have a great week,

CLaire :}

Claire said...

CONGRATULATIONS Ann, how exciting to see all those winning tickets beside your makes........
Can't believe your turtle blanket didn't win first prize....whatever won first must've been pretty, jolly good!!
Love the viola on the cupcake it looks delicate and beautiful in all it's simplicity....you had that one in the bag.

Shame about the weather but otherwise what a cracker weekend.......and winning the Challenge Cup, woo hoo. If I were one of your competing friends I would give up now..!1......

Congrats to A on her prizes too. ......very encouraging and well done on the $700 raised that's fantastic...

Have a great week,

CLaire :}

Lesley said...

Wow! You deserve a pay-rise after so much success. Well done!

Chaotic Crafting said...

Congrats! How lovely to have so many wins! You are very inspiring. We have been going to our state fair for a few years now, and I always think of entering, but have not done so...maybe next year!

rockinloubylou said...

It's lovely to see your creativity being recognised. You are such an accomplished lady, with the orchestra, baking, making, etc. A deserving winner!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

An embarrassment of riches, well done you! Love the photographs that won, and I'm craving chocolate cake now :D

Gillian said...

Err...I think you cleaned up! Well done, what a fantastic result. Remind me never to enter a show against you. Loved the Olympic swimming drawing, very nice.

Sue said...

What a fabulous show! Gosh, I do wish I had one to enter. Love your photo entries -not surprised you won.

Thanks for the photo tip. I usually balance my chopping board on an upturned bowl against the window and photograph things with the macro lens on the board.

Rattling On said...

Well done! Giving Kirstie a run for her money there...

Toffeeapple said...

Good grief woman, is there no end to your talents? You'll probably scoop the lot next year, well done!

sue said...

Oh wow you are a craft show goddess, how marvellous, all your goodies look amazing. Congratulations!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Wow, well done! Your talents are obviously appreciated and the rewards are richly deserved.

Not only does that cake look delicious, its squareness stands out - and that's a mighty impressive icing job.

Those sugared pansies and mint leaves are beautiful.

A seems set to follow in your talented footsteps. Did she draw that fairy on her noticeboard? (It's very good.) And the Olympic drawing looks particularly inviting as we are sweating under a humid heat wave here. The swimmer looks full of joie-de-vivre.

Congratulations!

Jenny said...

I just caught up with the results, you did amazingly well. So rewarding to have confirmation that you make a good job of things. All that hard work paid off, you should be very proud of yourself.

Vintage Squirrel said...

FANTASTIC! What a stash of prizes, well done!

Vintage Squirrel said...

P.S Hope you are entering a photo into the Country File competition? Go on! GO ON! Feel sure you could get a photo on their calendar.

Beth said...

Congratulations on such great results! I'm especially pleased for you that your cushion did so well, perhaps I'll dig mine out and finally finish it ;) Well done. Bethx (the linen cat)

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