Apr 26, 2011

Baking With the CWA. Memories of Mrs S.

I have to say, this 5 day long weekend has been an extremely productive one.

Granted, the weather has been miserable but when you've yet another whole day devoted to doing whatever you like, it's a pleasure to wake up early to the sound of rain on your roof.  It may be dark and gloomy outside but when you've got a favourite scented candle burning (Jo Malone's Grapefruit because the actual fruit are pretty dismal in Sydney at the moment and I miss my daily quadrants of breakfast citrus), a CWA cookbook (thank you again, A Farmer's Wife) and time on your side, the possibilities are endless.

My project this morning was to whip up a couple of things for a work afternoon tea tomorrow.  Full points to me for resisting the temptation of popping down to the Westfields down the road from work and buying things on my lunch break tomorrow.  CWA recipes are the next best thing.  They're easy, always work and involve readily available ingredients.  There are also helpful hints from the women who've submitted the recipes.  Some slices work particularly well when one is catering for the shearing team on your property and other recipes have had great success at a competitive level.  I'm an evidence based woman, the CWA know what they're talking about.

My first recipe, Ginger Nut Bites was a melt and mix, no bake affair.  I was being a bit tricksy and using my last package of Griffin's Ginger Nuts from New Zealand.  In the ANZAC spirit in lieu of actual ANZAC biscuits.

Those cute webbed feet....

Which ended up providing excellent photo opportunities for my kiwi bird stuffed toy that Mr SSG gave me last year.  Here we are blitzing the ginger nuts for before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

Okay, they don't look terribly attractive in this photo but they taste way above their weight.  Sorry, that should have been something about 'punching' and 'above weight' but I think these terms apply more to human romantic relationships.  Whatever.  Anyway, the combination of condensed milk, ginger nuts, sultanas and vanilla moves the earth.  Oh dear.  The references just keep on keeping on.  They were delicious.  Amazingly, they tasted like coconut coated cheesecake.  Without the effort of beating full fat cream cheese.

In the spirit of the CWA and not letting anything go to waste, I found a use for the rest of my can of 100% Australian dairy condensed milk.  I went back to my Asian roots and made my tea with it instead of fresh UHT skim milk (if there is one peril of a 5 day long weekend it is that the shops are shut just when you need more fresh milk).   I believe I made a very basic version of Hong Kong milk tea.  Or tea tarik as those from Singapore or Malaysia may call it.

Then it was time to bake my second afternoon tea option - cornflake biscuits, or Crispies as the CWA call them.

I love a good biscuit dough.  Especially when the butter and sugar have been properly creamed beforehand.

Then it was more dropping and rolling.

The Ginger Nut Bites were doing well in the fridge.  I didn't even eat any more of them for breakfast.

While the biscuits were baking, I caught up on my reality TV.

I'm all in awe of Dannii Minogue again.  She just works so hard and is so down to earth.  She was my favourite Young Talent Timer back in the day.  And when was Emma on Home and Away.  And when she sang 'This Is It'.  She looks so happy with her life right now and her partner seems such a good and sensible man.  I was so in awe I googled her dress label, Project D.  Then I remembered all the stuff I bought at Zara yesterday.

The Crispies!  They bring back great memories from my childhood in Perth.  The first time I had them was when our neighbour across the road Mrs S made them for us and gave my mum the recipe in her elegantly spidery handwriting.  Mrs S stands for everything the CWA hold near and dear, and then some.  She's the kind of lady my bosses in Perth would respectfully call a 'Dalkeith matron'.  Tough yet fair and always respected.  She didn't bat an eyelid at the way her suburb changed with all the new families that moved in down her street.  She made new friends, tried new foods and traditions and gave good advice.  Especially the fact that morning dew makes whites whiter on the Hills hoist.  It's my excuse to Mr SSG for leaving the washing out on the line overnight.  Mrs S went to our wedding in fact and had a lovely time.

Well, that's about it from me.  I'm so well rested.  It might just be about time to get back to work tomorrow. 

Have a lovely evening.


  1. I have got to stop reading your blog when I am hungry ha ha - looks excellent!


  2. So glad you have been worshipping at the CWA altar this weekend.

    I loved your story of Mrs S - The Farmer's grandmother was the quintessential Dalkeith (or Peppie Grove in this case) Matron after she left the farm. She was a truly amazing woman.

    It sounds like you have had a lovely weekend.

    Take care.

    PS - Am jealous about the Zara shopping. May have to fly to Zydney sometime.

  3. I love Dani too!! Her clothing line is AMAZING!!

    Monique xx


  4. Oh your sweets look amazing. Lucky workmates. I want to see Zara and Dannii's clothing line.
    In the spirit of Easter I made chocolate hot cross bun pudding. It'd be remiss of me to start eating healthy on the last day of the LWE. I used runny Lindt eggs too. And I will eat it for breaky too. You are a bad influence.

  5. Lovely baking bits SSG! And what show is Dannii on now? Although I haven't watched much tv over the break I must admit :)

  6. Lorraine: it's called Dannii Minogue: Style Queen, on Arena.

    AFW: yes, come to Zydney. Will arrange for a giant Z on the bridge if not AFW :-P

    SSG xxx

  7. How hot-to-trot is Dannii's boyfriend?! I love her too. She's done so well over in the UK and has made such a good name for herself. You should check out the Piers Morgan interview she did on You Tube. It'll make you love her even more! xx

  8. Condensed milk is such a treat.

    "elegantly spidery handwriting" --> I can practically see it in my head.


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