Blog Post
I Love Entertaining People

Hello readers !  –  Monday morning and feeling a bit worse for wear.  I knew October was going to be a busy month but oh my goodness.  Since we last spoke two weeks ago I have been cake judging in Camber Sands at The Sun summer party, speaking at a Probus charity event in Scunthorpe, demonstrating at the Cake and Bake show in London, teaching, demonstrating and entertaining in The Wirral and after dinner speaking in support of the Scarborough Hospice in East Yorkshire.

I absolutely love the interaction with people, particularly when they tell me they feel inspired to get the oven on to get baking !

The events themselves are not tiring but the travelling certainly is.  I think the only solution is a private jet !!

I wonder sometimes how many of my readers are engaged on social media.  Obviously I have my website and from time to time I look at how many “hits” it has.  Interestingly, the night I made an appearance on Extra Slice around 2000 people then took a look at my website – the power of television is amazing.

Social media is a strange one for me.  Part of me wonders what the obsession is with gathering followers, likes and favourites when the real fun is actually meeting people, chatting, making them laugh, showing them some baking or cooking short cut or skill ..

Social media on the other hand is engaging with people who often you’ve never met but who presumably want to engage with you or be a “friend”.

I had never had anything to do with social media before Bake Off as I considered it a young person’s pastime but as all of my baking palls were “on it” – I decided to join the club.  Twitter was my first account followed by Instagram and then Facebook.  Disappointingly, and for what reason I have no idea – I have encountered unpleasant and even hateful comments.  Why oh why ??

Admittedly there are people who have been on the TV who I used to say I don’t like.  I try not to comment now because for one reason I have never met them and secondly I believe hurtful comments can and do cause more harm and upset than people often believe.

Social media has also a very positive element and one which I embrace and is the reason I continue to be engaged.

I have already mentioned I was at the Cake and Bake Show in London on Friday last week.  I had three sessions.  10.30am in the Baking Classroom, 12.30 A Slice of Advice and 3.45pm The Super Theatre.  I had decided to demonstrate pastry making to my audiences and I had full theatres for both events and the smile on everyone’s face and laughs in all the right places had me thinking we were having a good time.

What was A Slice of Advice ?   This was a one hour session, relaxed, informal with no particular structure other than people were able to come over and offer their baking problems or simply come over for a chat.  Well, I took myself over to the comfy corner, ready to take a seat next to a gentleman who I presumed was either waiting for me or just taking the weight off his feet.  The show was packed by the way.

Anyway, I sat down and then people plucked up the courage to come and sit alongside and pose their baking problems and issues.  The gentleman then addressed me with a lovely smile and said “Hi Nancy – I’m Andrew”.

He needed to say no more.  I knew immediately who he was.  Andrew is my No 1 fan.  When I first joined Twitter two years ago Andrew would always interact with photos I uploaded and then when I started to write this blog 18 months ago he is a regular reader.  He uses my recipes, follows my progress and is what I would describe as a “lovely chap”.   My Slice of Advice on Friday ended up being a fabulous chatter between six keen bakers.  One lovely girl said she didn’t have the confidence to ask a question when part of an audience but felt able to air all her baking problems and issues in our select little group.  She then waited back stage for me after my final demonstration and had bought me a little gift as a thank you.

This is what my Bake Off success is about !  –  it is engaging with people, being approachable, sorting out problems (if I can) but most of all meeting new friends.

My recipe this time is a real favourite of mine and I promise is packed with flavour.  As I demonstrated pastry recently I am posting my seasonal recipe for Mushroom and Goats Cheese bites and don’t be afraid to use bought puff pastry to make things quicker and easier.  These are great as a lunch snack, nibbles before a meal and finger or party food.

Thank you everyone x

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