It is Summer Fete and Show time.
Up and down the country village greens and church halls are being turned into the most competitive arenas outside the Olympic Stadium.
A highlight of each childhood summer (you know, the ones that were always long and hot) was attending our local village show.
I was never able to enter certain categories. Mainly due to lack of key components. Such as Class 14: Welsh Mountain Pony Foal. I didn't have a single Welsh Mountain Pony Foal to enter. Would a 'My Little Pony' suffice, I'd be wondering despondently.
I really wished I could enter certain Classes. Novelty Dog Classes: Class 13: Dog with the Waggiest Tale was one I felt exceptionally saddened at missing out on. Imagine being the owner of the prizewinning Dog with the Waggiest Tail! The fame! The notoriety!
Instead I spent my entire summer planning my entries for the classes I could enter. Such as Children's Section: Class 6: Vegetable Animal. Each year I perfected my Crocodile Cucumber to find at least a dozen other Crocodile Cucumbers present; if only the internet existed when I was eight years old.
I'd meticulously design my Flower Arrangement in an Egg Cup (Class 10). Please bear in mind there is not a huge amount of room in an Egg Cup. It took infinite imagination, patience and a lot of luck to win first prize in this particular category.
Are you attending any shows or fetes this year? Entering any categories?
These Almond Bunting Biscuits are baked in honour of all entrants, winners and would be winners, if only they had a Welsh Mountain Pony Foal or Dog with a Waggy Tail...
350g plain flour
100g cold butter, diced
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g light soft brown sugar
1 large egg
75g golden syrup
2 tsps almond extract
Ready roll icing, assorted colours (approximately 1 kg in total)
Icing Sugar to decorate
1. Pop the flour, butter, bicarb and sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined. Tip into a mixing bowl
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, syrup and extract then add this mixture to the pulsed ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon then use your hands to knead together to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough securely in a piece of clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes
3. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the dough out on a floured surface and cut triangular shapes out, approximately 4 inch x 4 inch x 3 inch. Use a pencil end to make two holes for the bunting string at the top of each triangle. Place on a baking parchment lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. When you remove the biscuits from the oven and they remain warm use the pencil to re-establish the holes for the string as during the cooking process these will have closed slightly
4. Roll out the icing on a lightly icing sugar dusted surface and cut out triangular shapes the same size as the biscuits. Brush the cooled biscuits with a little water to stick the icing triangles down.
5. Cut small circles from left over icing to decorate the flags (I used the larger ends of piping nozzles), again brushing a little water on the circles to stick to the bunting biscuits
6. Thread through ribbon or string to finish
- These are lovely, delicious celebratory biscuits perfect for any summer do
- The original recipe, from Good Food Magazine June 2012 contained a little more sugar and were vanilla flavoured.
- It would of course look more authenticate if you did string the ribbon through the bunting, unlike lazy me throwing it on top of the biscuits!