The Great Island Bake-off took place today in the Caladh Inn. What a fantastic day we had. We had Jo Wheatley who, along with a local chef, Alan MacRitchie, judged the cake entries.
In 2011, Jo won the BBC Great British Bake-off, and it was a delight to meet her in person.
Some of the cakes on display were simply stunning.
The Eoropie Tearoom site can be found online. Mrs Eoropie made some incredible cakes for display. I have never seen anything like them. The theme of her display was Afternoon Tea, and isn't this teapot and cup and saucer absolutely amazing. My photo actually doesn't do it justice. All the pieces also sat on a bed of iced lace. Some people have incredible talent.
Another of her cakes: Mad Hatter.
Can you imagine the skill, patience and time that goes into something like this. Really and truly, I take my hat off to her.
This had some lovely cakes, but I really loved the cake stand. It looks like an old one.... Isn't it gorgeous?
When we went to have our tea and cake, we just happened to sit right beside Jo herself.
I'm sure she was chuffed to bits to have Marina and I plonk ourselves beside her.
Dawn had been given Jo's cookbook for her birthday, so she was chuffed to have Jo sign the book.
By the way, Dawn says the book is full of fabulous, do-able and wonderfully tasty recipes, so if you're wondering whether to buy Jo Wheatley's book ... Go ahead!
Now for some of the entries ...
This was one of the cakes in the Showstopper category. It didn't win, but the detail on it was fabulous. There are some mighty talented, and incredibly patient folks out there.
The winner of the Showstopper category was ...
...this cake! I cannot find the superlatives to do this incredible piece of artwork justice! I wish my photos were better, so y'all would get some true idea of the beauty of this masterpiece.
Well done, Rebecca!
Another winner was ...
Rona! Rona won the Macaroon category.
Rona is also Marina's sister in law.
She is also the mother of one of the wee boys I'm gonna steal one of these days. If you think some of today's cakes were delicious, you ought to see her wee guy.
Adorable. Keep a tight reign on him, Rona!
And another winner, for her amazing Iced Fingers .... *drum roll please* .... was
Dawn! When her name was announced we ('we' being Marina - that's my wee sister ('wee' being true only in the sense of age. Nobody is more 'wee' than me. Unless they're under the age of twelve.), and some of
our her nutty friends, and myself) kept nice and quiet and simply clapped politely.
Here she is with her prizes, and with Jo and our own local chef, and judge for today, Alan MacRitchie.
Today, as I was spending time looking at cakes, bumping into folks I hadn't seen for years in some cases, having lots of yarns, enjoying cups of tea and cake, and generally having a lovely day, my mind began to wander ... as it is wont to do.
This past week, I've been reading a book on Gladys Aylward, an English lady who was a missionary to China during the 1930s and 40s. She faced so many hardships, and none greater than the terror and anguish faced when the Red Army swept through northern China in the late 1940s. How different my situation is. I live in a time of peace, on an island where there is plenty food, a temperate climate, very little crime, no fear. I get to enjoy days out with my daughters, my sister, friends. There was so much beauty on display today; so much friendship at the event; so much laughter going on, and I couldn't but thank God for His kind providence which placed me at this time in history, and in this place on the earth.
Truly, unto me the lines have fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16).