Thursday, 20 December 2012

The One With the Good Food Show

With less than a week to go before Christmas day I don't know about you but my mind turns to food.

To be fair it doesn't take much for my mind to turn to food, so when I had a day out with Lemon Cake Lady at The Good Food Show I was in heaven.

The Good Food Show at Olympia is an annual event and as it's in November it falls quite close to Lemon Cake Lady's birthday so we treated ourselves to a day out. We'd not been for a couple of years as we'd both been busy having babies so this year was a real bonus before Lemon Cake Boy 2 arrives in the new year.

It's a sheer riot of foodie delights. You can't move for cheese, meat, pickles, biscuits, beautiful cakes including wedding cakes, ideas where to go for afternoon tea in London and the most amazing meringues I've ever seen. 

Of course this year was the first year we'd been since we've both embraced social media and fancy, all singing, all dancing phones so it was picture taking, tweeting and Facebooking a go-go!

The other thing that attracted us to this particular day of the Good Food Show was the live demonstration of The Great British Bake Off.  Now we both love a bit of cake but, being ladies of a certain age, we both love a bit of Paul Hollywood more and we were more than a little excited at seeing him and the lovely Mary Berry in the flesh.

I am ashamed to say I was sitting on my hands for fear of rushing the stage and plunging them straight into him enriched dough and when Mary started to make something I turned to LCL and whispered

"I'm not taking this recipe in at all. She could be making a shit sandwich for I care I'm just watching him".

Sometimes I even shock myself but cake and piercing blue eyes are a heady mix! 

After watching the live demo on the stage we rushed clutching our How To Bake books by Mr Hollywood over to where they were being signed by the man himself. 

However, loads of other people, and by people I mean middle aged women, had the same idea and the queue snaked back and forth for quite some way. The security guards kept telling us that " From this point on you will not get your book signed. You're wasting your time" but we had a great view of Paul and Mary, as you can see from the photo, so we stayed and chanced our collective arms.

We were just about to play the LCL pregnancy card but as the consummative professionals they are, Paul and Mary smiled, chatted and signed the books with such efficiency that the security guards, dressed like the bouncers from Hale and Pace, had to eat their words and open the barrier for the rest of us to come through. 

You could literally smell the hormones in the room as a bunch of rampant women rushed towards the Hollywood brandishing books about buns, baps and crumpets! 

When the time came for us to get to the front of the queue, Lemon Cake Lady blushed like a school girl, couldn't look the "flirty flan maker" as she likes to call him directly in the eye and ended up chatting to Mary. I, usually never without a word or two, was suddenly lost for them as he signed my book apart from saying, 

"I really like The Great British Bake Off. It's really good."

Inspired! If Oscar Wilde were alive today he'd be quaking in his boots. 

Books inscribed we rushed off like two giggling teenagers, red of cheek and flushed all over. As LCL remarked she'd never queued up for an autograph for a boy band when she was a kid. What on earth was wrong with us? I even tweeted the picture of the actual inscription I was so overcome! 

Get a grip woman!

After all that excitement I needed a drink. As LCL is in her current condition I was drinking for two, so I hit the speciality gin stands where I chatted to a very pleasant lady from Brockmans gin who knew her stuff and explained the different intricacies of the blend of herbs and berries. This was the first time I've had gin and ginger ale but this gin really leans itself to that particular mixer more than tonic. They also had the most gothic stand of the whole exhibition and after behaving like a teenager earlier I was transported to my black eyeliner and tassel skirt sixth form days. 

Finally we visited Mr Huda's spice paste stand. I adore Indian food but getting take away can be expensive, not great for my weight nor my IBS! If I make it at home I can cut out the ghee, cream and control the spice.

I'd first met Mr Huda a month before at the Lincolnshire sausage festival where I bought a jar of Balti curry paste from him. Amazingly he recognised me and remembered some of pictures of my curries I'd tweeted.

I was so touched when he saw me and said hello and he's so passionate about his spice blends that you can't help but get enthused about Indian food when you chat to him.

His pastes are amazing, by far the best ones I've ever bought, and I got a Tikka Masala one at the show which I can't wait to try. 

After the show we headed a short walk to the Pizza Express on the corner for dinner. Yes amazingly after all those bites and samples we were hungry for a proper meal and we were also in need of a sit down. 

We'd both brought little individual cakes as presents for hubbies and boys, plus ourselves for the journey home.

They were packaged in cute little boxes and as we got all our parcels out on the train home, we checked them over. 

Here's what we found on the base of the box

After the amount I'd eaten that day and all the weight I must have put on my ever expanding backside and hips I couldn't have said it better myself....... 

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