I was recently invited to give a short talk at the local Women's Institute about the Stamford Clandestine Cake Club. Last night, I stood up in front of 43 members of the Deeping St James WI and shared with them the joys of our cake club.
I gave a little history about the CCC – how Lynn Hill founded the group and how it has now grown exponentially due to her hard work, with nearly 200 clubs across the UK and internationally.
I amused the WI members with tales of teapot cakes, cakes eaten by the dog, and how we share our love of baking once a month in our underground society.
The ladies were fascinated to hear why we love the group so much – the sense of community that sharing a large cakes brings, as opposed to cupcakes or muffins.
I bust a lot of preconceptions about the CCC during my talk. Many women spoke to me afterwards and said they'd heard of the club, but were scared that it was competitive and that their humble cakes wouldn't meet our exacting standards. But I quickly banished their fears and explained that we're all just home bakers ourselves, with no element of judging or competition at all – just a mutual love of cake.
Several ladies flicked through the pages of the CCC book and hopefully I've got a few new members lined up.
I was incredibly nervous about the talk. Even though it was only to last 10 minutes, I had my bottle of Rescue Remedy close to hand... Standing right next to the boiling radiator in the hall (yes, even though it's the end of May, we still needed the heating on) wasn't the best idea – about two minutes in to the talk I had to jump across the hall with a red face as I was burning up! I was already blushing through nerves so I think I went an attractive shade of Red Velvet Cake!
The group were so welcoming and friendly, I am now inspired to join the WI, which I've been considering for a while anyway.
For more information about Clandestine Cake Clubs click here.
For more information about the Women's Institute click here.