Last night was very exciting for me. I gave my first talk at a Women’s Institute (WI) meeting. The WI is an inspirational organisation, created in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and to help feed people during the first world war, its main aims now are to inspire women through access to educational opportunities, developing new skills and campaigning on issues that matter to them.
My first experience of a WI meeting could not have been with a more wonderful group; Norbury WI. They were very welcoming and kind. The group meets at Norbury Village Hall, near Bishop’s Castle in South Shropshire. A fantastic new village hall with great facilities, including a catering kitchen . The evening was very well attended with about thirty ladies gathered. I had prepared a couple of batches each of Shropshire Butter Buns and Chelsea Buns to share with everyone. As they ran through their agenda I baked the buns. When my turn came I spoke to them about how and why I created Veg Patch Kitchen and my hopes for the business as it develops. I then showed them how to fold a butter bun, with the help of two very lovely volunteers, and then how to make your enriched dough into chelsea buns. There were plenty of questions about the bread making process, which was fantastic, as nothing strikes fear more into the heart of a speaker than a lack of questions.
As an introduction to the world of the WI I could not have asked for better.
So, thank you to the women of Norbury WI for giving me the opportunity to speak to them about my passion for teaching others the pleasure of baking. It was a great experience.