Story telling from Australia
For months now, members of the Sydney City Branch of the Country Women’s Association have been making jam, marmalade, chutney and relish.
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.
It’s important to have fun while you work. We certainly did.
It 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.
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!
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.