Good Advice

brown donut on stainless steel round plate
Image by Dessy Dimcheva on Unsplash

“I really don’t know about this.” I said. “I know I always bake for work events, and no-one ever complains, but this is going to be judged.”

Anna looked at me and shook her head.

“Yes, I know Nicki from accounts judges everything, but she’s been okay with everything I’ve brought in.”

Anna looked at the display of cakes in front of her.

“Nicki is always going to be nice to me because I sort out her printer for her.” I followed Anna’s gaze. “This is a village show, and it’s going to be judged by people who don’t know me. They all look a little…” I trailed off. “They look a little pathetic.”

Anna looked up at me in shock.

“They are nothing like you the ones you see in supermarkets. To be honest, I’m not sure what half of them are supposed to look like.”

Anna looked at the carefully crafted selection on the tray between us and then back up at me. She took a breath as she looked at my shelf of cookbooks, searching for words.

“Illustrations don’t count.” I said. “And I don’t even know who will be judging. They asked the vicar, but she couldn’t make it.”

Anna was studying the old fashioned seed cake but looked up, surprised.

“I know. I thought it was part of a vicar’s job to judge shows, but she has a Christening and two funerals.” I thought about what sort of day that meant. “Perhaps I should take some cakes round to cheer her up. I’ve loads left over. These are all the best ones.”

Anna looked over to the kitchen counter. I jumped to my feet.

“Sorry, I meant to get it earlier. Here’s a box for you and the men.” I brought back a large Tupperware cake box. “It should keep them going for a while. And this is for you.”

Anna’s face lit up as I handed over the small box of delicate macarons. They had turned out better than I had expected and it was great to give something to Anna. She had been there for me through thick and thin, and it was the least I could do.

“Don’t share these with the lads.” I said. I looked down at the assortment between us. The macarons were the stars of the selection, but the dainty coffee cakes and piped eclairs were also looking good. “Are you sure that it’s worth me entering?”

Anna sighed and shook her head as she took a delicate bite from a pink macaron. I watched bliss spread across her face.

“You’re not just saying that because you’re my friend, are you?” I asked anxiously. I caught Anna taking a surreptitious glance at the kitchen clock. I followed her gaze. “You’re going to be late!”

Anna crammed the last of the macaron into her mouth, scooped up her boxes, and raced for the door.

“Are you sure I should enter the show?” I shouted after her.

Anna turned around, her mouth full of macaron, and pointed firmly at the cakes on the table before dashing out of the door.

I looked at my cakes, took a deep breath and started packing them ready to take them down to the Village Hall, reassured by my friend. Good old Anna, she always knew exactly what to say.

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