I stumbled across Vanessa Kimbell on Twitter several months ago. There’s no other way to describe our meeting really. She was in the middle of writing a cook book (her first) and wanted guinea pigs to test her recipes. I jumped at the chance and I tried her rhubarb and elderflower cupcakes, which were amazing. As a thank you for testing, I was invited to the book launch of the finished book, ‘Prepped!’ in Northampton.
The day itself was lovely. Many of Vanessa’s friends and family turned out to support her, as did the ‘Prepperati’; us merry band of recipe testers. To show how lovely and generous these people are, they provided the cakes and biscuits on offer. My diet went out the window that day!
The book itself is fabulous (and yes, I am biased!). Vanessa takes simple ingredients and turns them into delicious creations in no time at all and it’s a really lovely book.
Is it possible to top a book launch? I had a go with a meeting of the ‘Clandestine Cake Club’ – a group of cake enthusiasts gathered in Kilburn to talk about, and more importantly eat cake and lots of it! I had made a slightly different version of my favourite cake and it didn’t go to plan. My kitchen was hot and time wasn’t on my side. I took the cake, still in its tin, across London and very nervously set up. If this wasn’t bad enough, there was a lady from Radio 4 interviewing me as she had hoped someone would turn up with a ‘cake disaster’ and mine was the closest she had! Whilst dieing inside, I had to give an explanation of what I was doing and why it hadn’t worked! I was mortified!
It turned out that my cake wasn’t a total disaster (it certainly tasted good) and friendships were struck amongst people who started the day with one shared topic (cake) and later found others.
Cake (and food) is a great way to get together with friends and people who become friends. And really, there are no disasters, not amongst friends.