It's been a hectic week. I came home from being away two days before the show. I entered my preserves the day I got back along with my daughter's photographic entries as they were due that day. I walked away without the usual excitement and anticipation that I usually get as the show approaches. I'm not too sure what is going on with me, but I simply didn't feel that chirpy.
The day before the show all the baking and fresh produce were due. The day came and went and I ended up making my usual carrot cake, one batch of muffins and a cherry cake. Every year the Country Women's Association put out a recipe that has to made according to their instructions and this year was the cherry cake. Last year was a pumpkin and date cake and my dear son was the winner! He decided to take on his mum and he won. Gosh that brings back fond memories. That was so much fun. Happily I got second but I was delighted to be pipped by The Borb. Since he has been working full-time this year (relentlessly saving for his overseas trip), he was too tired to make the cherry cake so it was up to me to hopefully nab a ribbon this year.
I was really happy with the cake when I took it out of the oven. However after I upturned it and peeled away the paper, the baking paper had literally taken a small chunk from the side of the cake in one corner. Oh dear. Never mind. I still entered it as taste does count and I have to say it tasted absolutely delicious. I didn't get upset or anything. In years gone by I probably would have raced to produce another one but quite frankly I am over all that stress and pursuit of perfection. It is what it is.
With two hours left before entries were due, I decided that was it for me. No scones, no chocolate cake, no biscuits this year. I just didn't feel like it.
In the last two hours I quickly dashed out to the citrus trees and collected the entries for oranges, mandarins and lemons when hubby came home. He went around the yard and collected a "variety of produce from one garden" to put into that class. His custard apple looked spectacular sitting proudly among the other fruits in the box.
Off to the grounds we went and we dropped off all our stuff.
Sweet Orange Marmalade
This is the one I wanted! Really wanted. I didn't have my usual cumquat marmalade in this year so as defending champ in the marmalade section, this one meant the most to me. For some reason the marmalade class draws the highest number of entries, so I am elated with my sweet Orange Marmalade for bringing home the bacon. Phew.
Brandied Lime Marmalade
I made Brandied Lime Marmalade after Linda at Bellavista brought this recipe to my attention. I am happy to say that it received a High Achievement, so I hope you are as pleased as I am Linda. Two ribbons in the one class; that is special.
Strawberry and Apple Jam
I am really fond of my Strawberry And Apple Jam, so I was delighted to see it amongst the placegetters.
It looks like changing the two cups of malt vinegar to one cup malt and one cup white vinegar worked. My Tomato Relish had a lovely reddish colour and not the usual dark brown. The chunks of tomato and onion were evenly cut and it tasted gorgeous. I'm glad the judge thought so too.
Lilly Pilly Jelly
I didn't have much Lilly Pilly Jelly left. I put my remaining two small jars in the fridge and it seemed to change the structure of the jelly as it was much runnier than previously. I decided to reboil the jelly so this I did as gently as possible. Unfortunately it didn't tighten up that much but worse still there were heaps of tiny air bubbles throughout the jelly. I bottled it and almost didn't bother to enter but last minute I changed my mind. I was shocked to see it get a ribbon.
I entered five preserves and I came away with five prizes. How could I not be pleased?
Carrot Cake usually attracts quite a few entries and this year was no different. I love this cake with a scattering of walnuts and sultanas. This cake is firm and yet so soft and moist inside.
Cherry Cake cooked the CWA's way.
Well now that is a surprise! Considering the cake was flawed with losing one of it's corners I was delighted to see it gain a second place. This cake section had the highest number of entries so I felt very lucky to get that result.
White Chocolate and Macadamia Muffins
Another surprise. My goodness it has been a successful day indeed. All I wanted was a good result in my marmalade and jam entries really. I thought anything else would be a bonus. I hope it doesn't appear too indulgent or selfish on my part posting these results. Since I made it clear quite a few posts ago that I would be making these for the show, I felt it fitting to share the outcomes with you. I would love to celebrate with you. Make yourself a cup of tea and please help yourself to a muffin.
White Chocolate and Macadamia Muffins
adapted from The Australian's Women Weekly
300gm self raising flour
150gm caster sugar
140gm white chocolate Bits
75g chopped raw, unsalted macadamias
60g melted butter
1 egg, beaten
Grease your muffin pan. Sift dry ingredients into large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake in moderately hot oven for about fifteen minutes.
I should quickly mention hubby did rather well too. For his efforts in the fresh produce section, he came home with two seconds and two thirds.
I have saved the best for last. My daughter's photography surpassed all our expectations. We were absolutely blown away as she took out places in every category she entered, in one class she took first, second and third. There is a limit of three entries per class and in three classes she entered the maximum limit. Overall she put in thirteen photographs and she won ten prizes. Four firsts, two seconds and four thirds. Amazing!!!
And she sold one for fifty dollars.
And she won the grand champion ribbon in photography.
And she won the overall pavillion champion in visual arts.
And she received a beautiful clock trophy for Champion Fine Arts Exhibitor.
And she was awarded vouchers to enlarge or produce prints to the value of seven hundred dollars.
Oh my goodness. I still cannot fathom her success. I am an insanely proud mother and I am totally thrilled for her. It has been a very, very, very good day.
Here are some of Nicole's entries.
At eighteen years of age she has an exciting and promising future. Thanks for bearing with this overbearing mother and as they say at the end of the show; that's all folks.