Tonight was our WI annual meeting, and it has become our tradition to have a Victoria Sponge competition, the entries being served for refreshments in our break. There are two classes: traditonal (which must be made to an exact recipe, no variations) and modern – in which pretty much anything goes.
I always enter the modern category, and have tried so hard every year. One year I filled raspberries with raspberry gin, sealed them with dark chocolate and then used as the centre to a victoria sponge truffle. Another I did a vegan wheat free cake which used grated potato. It was much nicer than it sounds, and I christened it the King Edward. I also borrowed my Mum’s decorating idea one year, cutting a hole in the centre and then filling it with a jam jar full of garden flowers.
This year I thought I was in with a chance. I made a three tier sponge filled with raspberry, rose and rhubarb jam and buttercream. I piped the top with buttercream and then topped it with carnations (edible!) fresh raspberries and strawberries, macarons and meringues.
For the first year, we had first, second and third in each category, so I was really hopeful of placing somewhere.
The grown up in me knows it is the taking part, that there were lots of very talented bakers taking part…but the rest of me feels really gutted and gloomy. I tried hard. I was proud of my cake and hopeful. And now I feel…kind of rubbish.
I wish I could be a bit more adult about it…but I am also trying to be honest about my feelings these days. Have you ever stopped to think about how many times we ask how someone is, or are asked ourselves, and the answer is ‘fine thanks’….when sometimes we aren’t fine. Or you find out later the person who said ‘fine thanks’ to you had just lost their job, or had a shockingly bad morning, or was actually struggling with addiction or anxiety or depression?
Or maybe nothing as serious as those things…but ‘fine’ doesn’t really cover it, does it?
All that sounds more dramatic than it really is. I have been feeling a bit fragile of late, I tried hard, hoped, it didn’t come off as I hoped, and I feel a bit rubbish about it.
A storm in a teacup really. Tomorrow I will wake up feelimg better, I am sure. But just for now, please don’t offer me Victoria Sponge…