Perfect Day for a Cake Stall

Election days are not everybody’s cup of tea; cynicism can set in when people wonder if the best side will be elected, but the one thing that many can look forward to are the cake sales by enterprising P and Cs. Kids and community love them.

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baking Mum.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can;

Pat it and price it and mark it with profit,

Put it on the market for new chairs and books

Wow P and C Mums are fabulous cooks

The Murray Upper River State School cake bake was presented as well as any professional bakery, with cupcakes, mini date puddings, marble cake, chocolate cakes, coconut ices, marshmallow bunnies, biscuits, and toffees – all neatly organised, ingredient labelled, and priced. It looked pretty, creative and delectable as any high tea for a local gumboots Princess would.

This year’s innovation was iced coffee from one of the Mum’s new to the school, also a fabulous potter, who has seen this be successful elsewhere; it was perfect for a tropical humid day as she had hoped it would be (although the day was a bit cooler than the ultra humid one the day before.) Some still opted for the hot drinks. I like seeing innovation at any level of community activity.

Mum’s thinking outside of the envelope and not scared to put forward an idea in country settings are brilliant. First the P and C bake sale, then the world! Seriously the thought that goes into cake bakes could easily be put into enterprises to give women successful businesses in any arena; so you go for it Mums! Okay maybe a few Dad’s baked, so I better say thank you to any Dads who took the time to cook or mind children whilst mums went to sell cakes.

Also on offer were raffle tickets for the upcoming Easter eggs bonanza, and for a scratchy money tree – a plant covered with scratch to win tickets. Now I’ve never seen that before but what an interesting idea. I wonder how much that tree will net the winner. There were some plants with pretty pink flowers on sale as well.

The table was well placed, right outside the polling booth for the state election. I’m sure today these cake stalls are taking place all over the state, and the Cassowary Coast.

The cake stall is a happening place with parents and community stopping to chat, and feeling with that country warmth that you see in shows like A Country Practice and wonder ‘is that for real’ or just a myth.

It’s a time to talk gardening, and to my surprise the reinvention of Mum’s the world over returning to work after years of devotion to cake bakes, sports days tuckshop, sausage sizzles, and the basics of event management that could see many of them turn professional.

Maybe some will even compete on reality television cooking shows and become stars in the food industry.

First published ABC Open, March 2012.

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