Monday, 1 October 2012

Clevedon Cup Cakes & My First Bit Of Fundraising

Yesterday I went on a cupcake making course to Clevedon. It was a treat to myself that I also got for Annabel last Christmas and my Mum got for my sister as a gift.
I'll be honest, I (along with a few others) wondered, due to my fascination/obsession with the topic what I had left to know on the subject.The answer is.... still quite a lot, which kind of renewed my interest and left me keen to keep learning more - it was a fantastic course!

We rocked on up ready for a full day and soon met Dianne (an absolutely hilarious woman from South Wales, who gave us her entire life story, barely stopping for breath for a good 15 minutes). We heard about how she was a reluctant apprentice for "the only baker in the village" as a teenager, the 3 types of wedding cakes she'd made for her brother throughout the 3 decades that he'd found new wives, the 6 kids she'd had before she changed her gender preference in a partner, the cakes she commissioned for her civil partnership and her hatred of compilation CDs if they weren't made by her. Then it was over to us to say who we were and to give an overview of our "baking background" and "baking audience" - starting with me! Yikes!

The group were, as Dianne had predicted, a real mixture who ranged from saying "I've never made a cake" to "My next step is a food hygiene course to try and make a living out of this".
I guess I was somewhere in the middle, although it was obvious I was "a keener" as I proudly spoke of my Kitchenaid and all the cake books I'd already spotted on her bookshelves. I couldn't wait to get started; this woman/cake guru will be able to answer every cupcake query I've had I thought - and she was!
And these were the finished results...

En route home I called into Rhian's house hoping to offload a few, and her Mum, who was there having a cup of tea, absolutely insisted on paying me a £1 to have one. I persisted in trying to decline the money but when she'd left, a £1 was still sat on the table.

A couple of months ago my 92 year old Grandad passed away. He'd been blessed with good health for the majority of his life but a few years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimers and it was sad to see the person we knew fade away. I have a pretty small family and for that reason I haven't had to deal with grief in my adult life until now. It felt a bit wrong to feel sad when 92 is such a good age to achieve, but losing my last grandparent was a hard thing to get my head around. With so many people living longer and with dementia set to challenge a huge part of the population, I recognised that my Grandad, having children and Grandchildren who loved him, was one of the lucky ones. He was always so grateful for the life he'd had and, despite being alone for more than 30 years after my Nan died, he absolutely refused to do anything other than live in the moment. We were lucky to have him around for so long and lucky that research had meant medication was available to slow the onset of the symptoms. And for that reason, I'd been thinking about how I could fund raise for Alzheimers research. Then yesterday all my ideas just seemed to click together...!

I picked up the pound coin from Rhian's coffee table and declared to her that that would be the first step towards making a lot more...!

Then I took the remaining cakes to work and for the first time sold my baking to my colleagues.
I'm nervous about "going public" on here about my big fund raising idea yet but am really excited about it and have given myself lots of time to achieve it! I've so many friends in Bristol always willing to lend a hand to a wacky and inspiring project so I'm confident I won't need to worry about pulling it off when the time comes.
It is after all, as my Grandad liked to say "nice to be nice!"

Watch this space and the details of my "big project" will unfold over the next few months...

In the meantime, if you want to make roses like these....

or make icing embellishments like these...

or make impressions in your icing like this...

The fair cake online shop sells a lot of the stuff you'll need...

Or maybe take a trip to Clevedon and do a course...?

I apologise for my lack of detail explaining the process of rose-making and icing cutting but I have to get moving as I'm off to the pub to meet Nic to discuss my "Big Project"

J :)

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