With the CWA's history dating back to the 1920s, its members have a long and well-established reputation for being wonderful cooks. The traditions of the CWA are reflected in the recipes in Country Women's Association Country Classics: Over 400 Favourite Recipes. CWA members were asked to contribute their classic country recipes. The recipes are time-honoured and use easily obtained ingredients to make nutritious food.
Mrs Pat Punch, chairman of the show catering committee of the CWA of Victoria
We've been associated with the Royal Melbourne Show since 1935 but we built the annex back in 1954. We bake the scones today in the same green enamel Federal Gas Oven that was used back then. We have 24 ladies come down to help out for the whole 11 days and we all stay at the CWA club. It's like a family: there is great camaraderie between us all. We love sitting down for dinner and having a chat about the day and all the funny things that have happened. Yes, it is a big commitment but we love it, and we raise a lot of money.
8 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 250°C and grease baking trays.
Add the cream to the sifted flour and salt with enough milk to mix to a soft dough. Roll out and cut into a decent size. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
When cooked, brush tops and bottoms with melted butter. It removes any flour and helps to keep them nice and soft.
Heather Gilmour, North Star, NSW
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 cup self-raising flour
2 cups plain flour
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm round tin or a loaf tin.
Boil sultanas in ½ cup water. Allow to cool before starting cake.
For cake, cream butter and sugar.
Dissolve cornflour in ½ cup water then add to mixture slowly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Sift flours together and rub a little through the cooled sultanas. Add remainder of flour to egg mixture. Stir in sultanas. Bake for about an hour.
Edna's sponge sandwich
Edna Thomson, Delungra, NSW
1 teaspoon butter
4 tablespoons hot water
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour two 18cm tins.
Dissolve butter in water that is hot enough to just melt it.
Beat egg whites until fluffy but not too stiff. Add yolks one at a time, then gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is thick and smooth. Sift flour and baking powder 5 times then lightly fold into mixture. Add the water and dissolved butter.
Cook in prepared tins for 25 minutes. Fill with jam and/or whipped cream.
Moist banana cake
CWA of Victoria
1 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¾ cup chopped pecan nuts
lemon icing (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a cake tin.
Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup, add eggs and mashed banana. Add sifted flour, ginger and pecans.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. When cold, ice with lemon icing.
Miriam Stackhouse, Yarram, Victoria
3 large oranges
1 large lemon
10 cups water
3 large apples
Slice oranges and lemon very finely and cover with 8 cups of water. Leave overnight, then put on to boil until cooked.
Peel, core and slice apples and cook in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, until well cooked. Add apples to orange mixture and cook all fast, then add sugar. Boil until a little will gel on a saucer.
This is an edited extract from Country Women's Association Country Classics: Over 400 Favourite Recipes, published by Viking, RRP $45.