The Tractor Factor

One of our friends, and her farming family, organised a Tractor Run as a fundraiser for Marie Curie yesterday. She had asked me a long time ago if I would bake for the occasion and I had offered to add shortbread, cheese straws, coffee cake and chocolate brownies to her buffet . If I am honest, I had no real interest in the vintage tractors that were driving around the local area, but I was happy to bake for the good cause and to support our friend’s initiative. So I have been baking for he last few evenings and mornings and storing the baking on the dining room table. We had a small crisis yesterday morning when the dogs broke into the dining room , while I was relaxing in the bath, and they knocked my tub of cheese straws to the floor and they had eaten half of them before I caught them in the act! I had an hour before we were due to set off so I dashed off to buy more eggs and I created a new batch of welly boot shaped cheese straws, while my husband gave Joshua his breakfast. They cooked and cooled just in time but we set off, leaving the kitchen looking like a bomb had gone off in there.

When we arrived, we added my home produce to the heaving table of food and it was quite a spread laid on for the tractor drivers, of which there were 37, and viewing visitors like ourselves. The tractors were already on their drive around when we arrived, so we could relax in the barn where it was all being held and enjoyed a very welcome cup of tea. The local fire engine arrived, which was a big hit with the children present, we watched as they climbed abroad the fire engine and sounded the siren. Joshua dragged me over to the smaller fire truck as he also wanted to join in. My husband helped him climb the steps and Joshua beamed as he sat inside, the same as the children he had watched. The firemen were so kind and helpful to him, it was a real highlight of the day. They showed us the equipment on board so it was a fun and educational experience too. Reluctantly Joshua got out to allow some more children in, but he dragged me over again later for a second go, he had enjoyed it that much.

On the horizon we could see the tractor parade on their way back to the farm, so we prepared the buffet, removing all the tops of containers and it looked like a real feast. I went outside to watch the tractors arrive and having said I was not that interested in farm machinery, I found myself excited to see the majestic sight and I joined in with the cheers as they approached. I stood on a hill to get a better view and my husband held onto Joshua on the side of the driveway, and he too enjoyed the loud spectacle in front of him. Once they were all parked up in the farmyard, it was quite a sight as farmers of all ages came into the barn to eat. They were hungry after their two hour parade so the drivers had first go at the buffet and then us spectators tucked in. There was plenty of buffet food then homemade cake to go around. Joshua only really ate crisps and cake, but he was very happy amongst the crowd, while my husband and I returned to the buffet time and time again. I got great satisfaction too from seeing my baking being enjoyed, as children tucked into my shortbread tractors and my coffee cake was devoured appreciatively. After the food, there was also a raffle but none of our tickets won any of the prizes.

It was a well organised, fun event – much more fun for me and Joshua than I expected, as I knew my husband was fascinated by vintage tractors . Joshua’s thumbs ups to the farmers and firemen were reciprocated, even if some of the children were confused by him, but it was nonetheless a great opportunity for him to wander around and mingle. I understand that it raised around £1500 for the Marie Curie charity too so it was a huge success all round.

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