23 Nov 2010

When will I, will be faaamous? Today?

OK it's time to let the cat out of the bag. The reason I was in London recently was to participate in a cookery competition run by Richmond Sausages. It was a bit of a shock to the system to get a phone call on Monday to say I stood a chance of winning £10k and then getting sent down to London from 'Oop North' only a few days later. In hindsight it was probably the best way for me to cope - if I'd had more time I probably got a whole lot more nervous and stressed.

The truth is - I'm not a very experienced cook. I'm proficient at the things I like and at recipes that have been handed down but it's more the love of it and the love of learning new techniques that allows me to get by. However, this competition did not strike me as the type of situation to 'get by'. I mean, I know it's not Masterchef or anything, but it was enough to stop me being able to eat properly for a week with nerves and I'm telling you now, that's just not me. I love my food...perhaps a little too much sometimes!

So off I went that Thursday after work (god bless my boss for being understanding and letting me have Friday off) on the train to the Big Smoke. I felt as though I had a massive secret from the world as I was hurrying to the hotel where I settled in for the night and tried not to panic.

We were collected from the hotel the next morning and put through hair and make up before doing a few photos and making sure we had all our ingredients. Then it began. I won't lie, I was absolutely cacking myself. I was also worried that I wouldn't get Take That tickets which were released that morning! Stressful times indeed! The ladies judging were James Martin's mum and Lesley Waters' mum who were both lovely. James and Lesley even popped along which was a surprise as none of us were expecting them to be there!!! I cooked a 'Sausage and Herby Dumpling Pie' (read 'yummy stodge'); Pam cooked 'Bangers Bolognaise'; Paul cooked 'Mustard, Apple and Sausage Tart' and David cooked 'Sausage and Stilton Potato Cakes'.

After we had cooked our dishes and the food had been photographed we waited while the judgement was made. The other contestants were awesome people, all of us wanted to win but it was great that nobody felt aggressively competitive - the balance of people was lovely and I couldn't have wished to meet better people. So the moment was finally here. They lined us up and announced that I was the winner! I honestly couldn't believe it. Not least because it would be a brilliant boost for my fiance and I being able to afford our first home!

You can see the pictures for yourself in Reveal magazine right now!!! My recipe (which is my grandma's recipe) is officially the UK's favourite sausage recipe!!!

P.S. Excuse the quality of the picture. It was off my phone, straight from the mag!

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