It’s a natural part of being human, enter a competition to prove that you are the best at something, right? Each year at Royal shows around the country the Country Women’s Association (CWA) hold cookery competitions covering various categories ranging from sponges to pickled vegetables. Most of the categories, as you would expect, are your classic Australian country fare and as such are judged using a secret set of strict criteria. Secret, because most of the judging for baked (perishable) goods happens behind closed doors and entrants are not given any verbal or written feedback in regard to their entries. There are certain things the cook with a bit of nous will know, a cake with air-pockets isn’t perfect, a scone that is blown out at the middle isn’t perfect, but for everything else you can be left a little in the dark.
I accept that this type of cookery is not for everyone, and this is no more evident when you look at the list of winners, it’s the same men and women each year, in some cases entire families. My desire to be “best-in-show” borders on fanatical come September, and there seems to be no abating. I think I’ve already marked extra categories up for next year.
Whilst there is an array of other things at the show to keep you and your children entertained, it’s not the same as it used to be when I was a young girl. Whilst I think my own children were mildly entertained, it’s very big and brash and there is only a small “smoke-free” family area. As you can imagine getting something of good value and taste is rare at the show, so I’d pack something to take with you.
But for me it’s all about the Competitive Cookery, so here I give you a photo essay of the “Best-in-Show”.
The Royal Show is held every September at the Royal Showgrounds in Ascot Vale. For further details and ticket prices go to the Royal Show website.