A Bake to Remember: Search and Rescue Bake Sale on February the 3rd
– Freya Norley
I’m not a precise person. I laugh in the face of accurate measurements, grams and millilitres are guidelines, not rules, and the cake is baked when I want to eat it. My Bake-Off catchphrase?
“Eh, that’s about right.”
But, despite my devil-may-care attitude, I love baking. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at it. Hats off to the lazy summer afternoons, and the cosy winter mornings spent helping my mum bake muffins and mince pies, being taught how to make biscuits and crumble. Food brings people together. Sticky fingers, happy hearts.
So when there came a chance to bake some treats for a Bake Sale Fundraiser for Avon and Somerset Rescue, I thought, why not? What could go wrong?
My first challenge was deciding what to bake – a lot of the other bakers were making cupcakes and lemon cakes, praline bars and muffins. They all sounded delicious (and definitely were!) But what could I do? I was limited in my operation – alas I had no muffin tins or loaf pans. At that point I could barely keep track of my cutlery, let alone a menagerie of baking equipment.
So I thought, what do most people like? What’s popular? What’s pleasing? What’s easily eaten? And then it came to me, cookies! Simple, delicious and the perfect partner to the cups of coffee students seem to be welded to.
Oh, how naïve I was.
I thought I’d get fancy. I wanted the big gooey cookie experience, topped with some decorative icing. But, you will all know the siren calls of a bowl of sweet, sweet cookie dough. There’s a reason it’s a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Let me tell you, you will regret eating more than a couple of spoonful’s of it when you burn a tray of cookies and are scraping the bowl to make another batch with tears in your eyes.
Another calamity lay in the decoration. Who knew simple icing was so hard? They make it look easy peasy in Bake Off! And don’t get me started on food dye – it might just be the devil. Turns out dyeing icing is a delicate chemistry, and I failed the A-level.
In the end though, they all turned out okay. Yummy, even.
The next morning was the day of the charity bake sale, held in Commons. The sweets and treats were spread out over a red-topped table, decorated with a trendy light box and paper-chain signs. Manning the stall was a traffic cone, a pirate, and Minnie Mouse. (The bake sale had a fun and attention-grabbing silly costume theme that certainly worked in bringing more people to the stall.)
The bake sale started at 10, with prices ranging from around 50p to £2, and by the time I visited them at around 11, the selling was well underway, with many cakes already gone. People were even buying my cookies, and no incidences of poisoning from dodgy biscuits had been reported. Phew!
All in all, it was a fun and successful event, which raised £100 towards Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue to help with vital equipment costs.
Knowing that my cookies could potentially one day be involved in saving a life, well, that’s worth more than all the flour-covered hours I have.
– Freya Norley