I have been working on my show entries which are to be delivered Friday morning and it occurred to me that, having entered several shows, I have learnt a few things along the way. Some dos and don’ts if you like. I call it ‘The Getting of Shisdom’.
DO pick a slice recipe (or two in this case) that will cut very easily without crumbling. The requirement with slice (every show is different, of course!) is to cut the pieces into 6 cm x 4 cm or 5 cm x 3 cm. I’m pretty good with a ruler however Anzac Slice with Choc Chips is never going to cooperate. Too crumbly! Pick a cakey (can that be a word?) type slice that will cut up very nicely and not look like crap (delicious crap) on the plate.
DON’T eat all of the pecans because you are going to need them for the Plan B slice. Too late! A trip into town will now be required.
DON’T stress about getting the size of the slice perfectly correct. Good stress however stress all the same. It’s just a show after all.
DON’T enter the slice class in the cookery section in the first place. Problem solved!
DO remember to take the lining out from around the fruit cake (carefully) while it is still hot. I made this mistake for the Cooma show. I allowed the cake to cool and when I removed the lining, most of the outside of the cake went with it. It still tasted delicious however I no longer had an entry and I didn’t have a backup.
DO have a backup if you have entered the fruit cake class. Refer to previous point. I did a double batch of fruit this time which has been soaking in rum for nearly a month. One to practice eating and one for the show.
DO make sure you have rum in the cupboard before starting to cut up the fruit for the fruit cake. B1 and B2 have a taste for it.
DO attend the judging at least once. It’s an experience if nothing else. A lot of the show judges, as it turns out, don’t like the ASC* fruit cake due to the spices and a lot of them don’t like chocolate. It may be an age thing however who doesn’t like chocolate whatever your dosage???
DON’T leave your very first fruit cake attempt on the bench to cool when you have an ants problem. Guess what? They LOVE fruit cake. You WILL shed tears and probably want to beat up the nearest person.
DO take your eggs and butter out of the fridge hours before you want to start cooking. Apart from the fact they need to be at room temperature, creaming butter straight out of the fridge may test your relationship with your mix master or beaters.
DON’T eat all of your cake/ slice fails. They may not be show worthy however they are still delicious and my expanding derriere does not need further encouragement.
DO make it clear to all in residence which of your masterpieces is off limits. A slice out out of the sultana cake does not make a show winner or even a place taker. I’m thinking a ‘Highly Commended’ is probably off the cards as well.
DON’T try new recipes the day before you have to deliver your entries. BAD idea! It’s up there with trying a new recipe on dinner guests.
DO make sure you have two or more 20 cm round tins. I had forgotten that I had given one to B1 or B2 when they were setting up house.
DON’T bring wine o’clock forward an hour (because you’re tired and simply can’t go on) knowing you still have 3 or 4 more cakes to make as you know it will all be over and mean more to do tomorrow!
DO have dinner in the slow cooker (Mmm…Osso Bucco and Cous Cous) because after a day of cooking and sampling, feeding people is not even on the radar. You are not hungry!
DO finally remember that you will wash up 14,000 times because you’re anal and not prepared to put certain things in the dishwasher. Fire truck, fire truck, fire truck….
There you have it. My show wisdom, aka, shisdom. Enjoy!
P.S. *ASC is the fruit cake recipe you make if you are wanting to advance to regional and state competition….which I am not.
Mrs D x