Thursday, August 1, 2013
I love this time of year! The weather is stunning, excitement's building and there's a buzz in the air - it's show time! I've carved out a bit of a tradition in the past few years, to enter both the local Pine Rivers Show, as well as the main event, The Royal Queensland Show, known as the Ekka. Show baking is in my blood - my great-grandfather was the president of the inaugural Coonalpyn Show (a tiny town 2 hours from Adelaide), my grandma went to that show (and entered plenty of categories) every year for 50 years! My mum has been entering the Pine Rivers Show for years, and my sisters also bake for their local shows in Dimboola and Bangalow.
Here's my entries from 2011 and the results, my only ever Ekka prize, and how I fared last year.
So this year, I was super excited to enter again...and I admit, I got a bit carried away. I was only going to enter a few categories...but as you can see above, I ended up with 12 entries! I'm turning into my mother!!!
Here's what I made, from left to right: lemon butter, strawberry jam, passionfruit butter, raspberry jam, cupcakes, marble cake, chocolate fudge, carrot cake, ginger nut biscuits, chocolate cake, tomato relish and peach chutney.
Part of the reason is because of this amazing device in the photo above (right). Yes, it is a Thermomix. No, unfortunately it's not mine. It belongs to my wonderful friend/neighbour Nikki, who encourages me to borrow it when she's at work. Well, thanks to this incredible machine, I was able to pump out lots of baking with very little effort!
It was also the first year that I've entered any jams/relishes/chutneys, as this is something I only started doing late last year. Some of my entries were already sitting in my pantry (that's the beauty of preserves!), so required no extra effort at all!
I'm also very proud to say that the show entries became a family affair this year. Last year, my husband Dean made a remark about entering his pikelets in the show. Now, a little known fact about Dean is that he is The Pikelet Master. Seriously, he makes the best pikelets ever! They are always light, fluffy, perfectly browned, they never stick, and taste delicious (especially with my home-made jam!) So, he stuck to his word and made his first ever show entry. Fingers crossed he gets a prize - I think they look pretty good!
I also decided it was time for Hope (3.5) and Jed (nearly 2), to make their show entry debuts. The Pine Rivers Show has a special category for kids below school age - the decorated arrowroot. So we got busy and here's the finished result:
I know! They're pretty talented! :-) (Hope's is on the right and it's a sad face - couldn't you tell?!? She told me it's a girl who's sad because she wants to wear her Angelina Ballerina tutu but she can't because it's on the line. Pretty much art imitating life!)