Baking {out of my comfort zone} at Malham Show

Malham Show

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to experience new, exciting things. I received a tweet a fortnight ago asking if I would like to do a baking demonstration at one of the agricultural shows up in North Yorkshire.

I was staying down in the midlands at my brother’s at the time, the thought of baking to an audience was rather terrifying. I mulled it over, do I really want to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers?

I’m a wallflower really, I can’t remember ever having to talk in front of complete strangers.

I checked the date and it fitted perfectly with our house-sitting movements, we were due up in the area to house sit the day after the show. What would I bake? Nothing complicated or time-consuming that’s for sure, something I could bake naturally and confidently. Had I decided to say yes?

Malham Show

I’d love to say I replied with fame-hungry glee. I nervously said I would do it, so long as it was an early slot before the show got really busy. Wah, throwing myself into the deep end….

I thought I’d be really nervous on the run up to it, but remarkably I remained chilled {I get super stressed before photographing weddings, on the few times I’ve done it}.

I’d decided what to bake and even printed out the recipe so I could hand it out. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it, I figured strangers were easier than expectant people who I knew, I didn’t want a fan club for my first time!

Malham Show

The request had come from a local community project, Settle Festival’s Circus of Food, the wonder-that-is social media had brought us together. Circus of Food have a mobile demonstration trailer, fitted with commercial catering equipment and audio/visual technology.

The event I’d been requested for was Malham Show. We arrived an hour before I was due on stage and met the guys, Mark and Al. Happily we knew Al well, it was good to have a friendly, familiar face.

Malham Show

As I got my ingredients ready and got mic’d up, a little audience started to gather, there was no backing out of it now!

After a little introduction I launched into my bake, rubbing butter into flour while chatting to a group of strangers in raincoats, well that is certainly a new experience.

I baked my Blueberry Crumble Slices, I figured they were one of the safest options, easy, fun and foolproof. Heading into the audience

After the bake went into the oven, Al went round handing out a batch of the crumble slices I’d made the previous evening.

Everyone in the audience got to try some and I followed behind with the recipe print out which everyone, kindly, gratefully accepted.

Back on stage, we had a little chat about our house sitting, my baking and our travels. The time passed really quickly, and I didn’t do to badly on the whole, Al and Mark bantered with me as not many questions came from the audience. 

I’m sure all that effortless patter comes with practice and experience.

After a tidy up I stayed for the next demonstration, Mark was smoking some chicken fillets in a biscuit tin and I photographed it for him.

We then ventured out into the show and had a good look round.

The exhibits tent was fascinating, how creative people are! There were tables of sponge cakes, fruit pies, vegetables, crafts, all vying for a prize. Each category had a number of entries, the winners and runner ups were marked with tickets.

It was left for us to guess what merited a winning item, although some were obvious such as the enormous leeks on the vegetable table.


There was plenty to see outside of the tents, we watched the dry stone wall competition for a bit then grabbed some lunch from a pie stall.

There was a game being played on the event circle, two lines of competitors were throwing eggs to each other, as the distance got wider, the more likely the eggs exploded on being caught.

There definitely seemed to be a technique to winning this game. We admired the sheep and cattle, some had already won their rosettes, later some were being paraded around the event field.

It had been a great day out and I’d enjoyed being part of the show in my own little way. It was fun to experience a local community event from the inside. I’d learnt that I could step out of my comfort zone and come out of it richer. Would I do it again? Maybe……..


Circus of Food or on Twitter @circusoffood

Malham Show
By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

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15 Responses

  1. bakeaffairs says:

    That sounds so exciting, what a great experience!

  2. Love this line: “I launched into my bake, rubbing butter into flour while chatting to a group of strangers in raincoats”. Well done for doing it, sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and it sounds as though it was a great experience. I absolutely love local shows like this:)

  3. Good on you for doing this! Looks like a great day.

  4. Holly says:

    Wow that is amazing! Well done! I have only this year been to my first country shows and have loved them, they’re great fun and I bet you were awesome to watch! Let me know when you’re booked for a Cheshire one 😉

  5. Sarah says:

    Arrgh, good on you for doing this! I’m such a sweaty, red-faced wreck when it comes to public speaking.

    • I was somewhat concerned that I might be, I’m a blusher! Tons of CC cream and foundation subdued that! But seriously, I think that because I was doing something I felt confident doing, the activity of baking, made the world of difference.

  6. margaret hodgson says:

    AND next time there will be faces that you know – we’re all so proud of you – well done Rachel xx

  7. Mark Dale says:

    You were great !! You’re booked for the next one !!!

  8. Dave Rowley says:

    Congrats! So glad it went well! Next stop – your own TV series. I will watch it…