…I’d’ve baked a cake.
Tonight, we went to the Treasury “Crate & Plate” competition – participants are asked to provide either a home-brewed beer (the “crate”) or home-baked food (the “plate”). The set up was for up to 50 people to judge the entries, made up of (i) the 20 participants in the 3 categories (beer, non-beer drinks, food); (ii) around 30 other judges who bought a judging ticket for $10; and (iii) other folk who could buy home-brewed beer for a nominal $1, and also all the usual refreshments provided by the Kai In The Sky staff canteen on the 14th floor of the Treasury building.
As well as the food provided by the contestants, there were also other nibbles – dips, cheese and nuts provided from the sale of tickets.
We entered one of my cakes, a Yorkshire Parkin from this recipe. As judges, Nicola and I got a free taste of two beers each. Unsurprisingly, Nicola left the majority of the beer tasting to me (she wrote “tastes ’orrible” in the comments box for all of them). Most of the contestants had opted for a lager-style beer, but one had gone for a wheat beer and another for an oatmeal stout. In the non-beer drink category there were two ginger beers, and one limoncello. In the food category that we entered, there were two chocolate-chip cookie entrants, a lemon meringue pie and a gingerbread man; and some savoury baked dishes – chicken curry vol-au-vents, pastry pies, and marmalade and cheese melba toasts.
We tasted, we drank, we judged. I attempted to sell my cake as an “Olde Family Recipe”, but admitted to anyone who asked that it was, in fact, someone else’s family. We chatted to various folk, about their products, and we talked of cabbages and kings. I seem to recall there was discussion of “dehydrated wine” at one point – handy for taking camping, on picnics etc; just add water!
Finally, the judging papers were handed in, the points totalled, and prizes awarded. I think that there was some Eurovision-style block voting going on between certain rivalrous factions and departments within the Treasury. That’s my reasoning for failing to win anything, at any rate, because clearly my cake was the bestest thing there! Nicola agrees with me so it must be true.