In which I fail at the Royal Cornwall…again. June 9th CG

I know the Royal Cornwall Show is a fabulous occasion, I know it brings people together, I know it is a time when the county shows of its finest but for me it’s a time of dread. Each year, it looms over me until the awful letter comes home from school, the one inviting the children to take part in the honey cookery competition. Every year, the school invites the children to take part and every year the children choose to make the fudge. I could scream, I hate the honey fudge recipe. The children have taken to picking fudge, I am sure, just to see my reaction.

Now I know the purist (and the judges) amongst you will be exclaiming, “Surely, the children do the cooking?!” but if you think I’m letting primary school children boil and pour molten sugar you’ve got a screw loose. So what we will do this year will be what we have done every year; the boys will read the recipe, gather and measure the ingredients, tip them in and stir until it starts to heat up. At this point I will step in and ruin it. Every year I step in and ruin it. I don’t know how but each and every time something different occurs. Over the years, the boys have handed in black fudge, brittle fudge, fudge that couldn’t be broken with a toffee hammer, fudge that melted off the presentation plate and so on and these were the second or third attempts.

The boys love it, they get to eat the first failures and then proudly take in the mess that I have made of their cooking. As you might have guessed they have yet to win anything for fudge in 5 years. I should imagine that the judges look at the two plates of the sorriest looking fudge on record and comment that here are entries unsullied by the help of any adult. It would be funnier if it wasn’t so mortifying, I’m normally a decent cook but honey fudge is clearly my nemesis When it is the youngest boy’ final year I’m going to the fudge shop in Mevagissey and getting their finest honey fudge and putting it on a plate.

Thankfully the boys don’t have the hindrance of their mother for the other entries and have great fun making the school scarecrow, planting up flowers in unusual containers, making insect masks and various other entries. I love walking around the competition tents on the show day to see what all the various entries. If you’ve not popped into that tent before it’s really worth the time to see what the local schools have been up to. My one regret is that it only seems to be a handful of schools that take part each year. I understand the constraints on the time and resources of schools but a county show is a wonderful occasion for us all to see what each of us has been getting up to. If you do look in though please walk past the honey fudge table quickly.

This week I’ve been drinking Boddingtons strawberry cordial with tonic water ( gorgeous but I’m missing my wine) reading Wolf Hall which was hugely disappointing and listening to Linkin Park – Hands Held High seems to fit the blue skies at the moment. (the link includes bad language)

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