Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Remember the jam?

Sil and Alix made 90 jars in one weekend alone

Sil and Alix made 90 jars in one weekend alone

For months now, members of the Sydney City Branch of the Country Women’s Association have been making jam, marmalade, chutney and relish.

In one weekend alone Silvana and Alix made 90 jars of zucchini pickle; eggplant, orange & coriander chutney; apple, date and ginger chutney; and tomato and passionfruit jam. bottling

One jar from every batch is tasted

One jar from every batch was tasted

The CWA in Australia has a fearsome reputation for strict standards when it comes to cooking.

Standards are exceptionally high so every batch has to be tasted before it can be accepted for sale.

My pear and ginger chutney was politely rejected (I don’t blame them, it was bland) but at least my blood orange marmalade got the tick of approval.

Hours of work went on in kitchens across Sydney as individual members concocted different recipes, from Gabrielle’s zesty raspberry and lime jam to Jessica’s bloody mary relish.

We’re not a big group yet somehow, over the course of two or three months, we produced over 1,200 jars.

labellingLabelling that whole lot on one day was an exercise in military precision, although you’d never think so to look at this raggle-taggle bunch of us, hard at work in Alix’s parents’ basement garage.labelling again

It’s important to have fun while you work. We certainly did.

Jen's Xmas decorationsIt was all leading up to one night – last night – at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum in Sydney, where all those jars of jam and many other goodies beside (like Jen’s hand-made Christmas decorations) went on sale to the public.

I was meant to be there, was looking forward  to the fun of selling and to buying up big and giving CC a surprise gift of his favourite marmalade, with my name on the label.

Alas it wasn’t to be. I was confined to bed, grounded by a throat infection and hideous cough that would have alarmed any shoppers and sent them scuttling off to someone else’s stall.

The CWA stall was mobbed

The CWA stall was mobbed

But the good news was they sold out. Every single jar was sold, plus lots of merchandise, which meant heaps of $$ raised for charity.

And this morning I had an email from Steph, a fellow CWA member, who wrote, “I just had the most divine marmalade on my toast this morning.”

And she sent this picture. See that jar on the top right? I made that!

Image 1

So thank you Steph and I’m sorry I wasn’t there.

Huge congratulations to all the hard-working members of the Sydney City branch, especially president Silvana and fellow organiser Alix, and to everyone who helped make it possible.

If you want to find out more about the Sydney City branch of the Country Women’s Association check out their Facebook page here, where you can see more of their great photos.


CC took this shot of the board outside the ever sensible Mr Christmas’ hardware shop yesterday. Until I stop coughing I think I’m going to have to follow his advice.




8 comments on “Remember the jam?

  1. Eliza Waters
    December 18, 2015

    Glad it was a great success and I hope you are feeling better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nantubre
    December 18, 2015

    YUM! Sounds like something I would have loved.
    And Praying for a quick recovery.


  3. triciandaisy
    December 18, 2015

    You have all been very busy, looks good.Hope you feel better soon


  4. Sherry
    December 19, 2015

    I’m so happy for you…….Merry Christmas,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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This entry was posted on December 18, 2015 by and tagged , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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