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Catch Up – Part 2 – March 2012 (The Fortunate Life – A Year In the Life of a Farmer’s Wife)

January 22, 2013

The third story posted on The Fortunate Life (March 2012) was “Best In Show“.

It’s not unusual for me to have the occasional reality check and wonder if we have done the right thing coming back to the country. A week of bad weather, a dropped apple bin, dwindling cash flow with no fixed income and a bad crop can easily change your outlook. Happily there are then the successful harvest days, an amazing sunset accompanied by a bottle of local wine, and a walk through the orchard on a clear day which can allay one’s doubts and provide a clear picture of the future, even if it is only for a moment!
I am often left wondering however, even with my recent procreation, whether I have what it takes to be a farmer’s wife. A boost in the right direction came this week though with some surprising news.
Recently, after much convincing by my hubby and Dad, I finally decided to bite the bullet and enter a few of my preserves in a country show. This longstanding Australian tradition was once the domain of my grandmothers. Between the two of them, they won many ribbons at the Cowra and Marongla shows for their beautiful flowers and paintings. So I guess it was only fitting that i finally decided to enter something from my realm.
I started making preserves about three years ago. I had given it a go in my previous life and was quite interested in pursuing it further but had never had the chance until we had some large crops and fruit ripening before we could get it to our farmers’ markets. A good farmer’s wife will not tolerate waste! Somewhere in between planting and picking during the day, hitting the books and our website at night and travelling for our farmers’ markets on the weekend I managed to make a few pots of preserves. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have about twenty different varieties on my kitchen shelves. Some of which I have released to our farmers’ markets and local stores and others which I am still experimenting with.
Many of my recipes have been derived from many batches of trial and error. Most were re-creations of flavours I had either previously tasted or imagined. Usually, by the time I have finalised a recipe, the season will be finished and I will be left with only a few jars. Even now with tried and tested recipes I still find myself constantly tinkering.
After I decided that I would give the country shows a go, the next in Central Western of New South Wales was the Mudgee Show. Despite some procrastination and a last-minute flurry, I managed to get my entries in just before the cut-off. So it was most exciting when I recently received a rather large envelope from The Mudgee Show Society.
In the Fig Jam category we won 1st and 2nd place, with our Whole Fig with Vanilla Bean winning the blue ribbon and our Burnt Fig coming runner up with the red ribbon. We also took out the blue ribbon in the Apple Jelly and Quince Jelly categories. Finally, in the Bottle of Preserved Fruit (any variety) we won a red ribbon (2nd place) for our Spiced Morello Cherries.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 26, 2013 4:14 pm

    That’s awesome Katie! One of these days I’ll get back to my market going as I miss it so much!

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