The funny thing about looking for recipes on the internet is there’s no guarantee they’re any good.
I write recipes, photograph them, put them on the blog, and you just have to take my word for it that they're tasty.
Regular readers may have tried a few dishes with some success, so they start to trust me. Others arrive to this site after asking google for something in particular; for them deciding to make my version is a leap of faith.
Sometimes I get feedback on my recipes, like the lovely email I received last month about mock chicken spread, hi Jan! Comments help too, Annaleis made my tomato paste last week (tomatoes must be cheap in WA at the moment) and wrote to let me know it was delicious, thank you.
Occasionally it’s nice to get some official validation.
The Royal Queensland Show opened yesterday. I’ve loved the Ekka since I was a kid. Massive shiny roosters crowing in close proximity, bulls being blow-dried, the mixture of wonder and disgust on the faces of first time visitors to the lambing display. It’s just about my favourite day out for the year. You know what else I love about the Ekka? They consider cookery to be one of the fine arts.
In 2012, while in the depths of sorrow from the loss of David, Bearhands encouraged me to focus on my love of cooking. He set me a number of challenges, including entering my pickles in the Royal Queensland Show. That year my mustard pickles came second in the novice category. There was much disbelief and high-fiving. Then in 2013, I won the category. My blue ribbon win meant I was no longer considered a novice.
This year, up against the big boys in the open category, I entered mustard pickles and cucumber pickles. Time flew, life happened and before I knew it I was late. By the time I got to making them, my pickles only had twenty days to judging. Mum delivered my entries for me last Friday. When the lady asked if she’d be collecting them at the end of the show, Mum said she would; preferably wearing little blue bonnets. The lady laughed. I wasn’t confident.
Then on Thursday night, Mum phoned. Dad had looked up the results on the internet. I’d won both categories. Cue squeals and me doing the running man in the kitchen. Bearhands thought they’d won lotto, but he wasn’t disappointed when he learned the real reason.
After the celebrations died down, Bearhands suggested we should go on the show circuit. When I pointed out that would make us carnies, he shifted his attention to selling my prize-winning pickle recipes to the highest bidder.
Incidentally, if you’d a food company on the look out for a great pickle recipe, you should get in touch with my agent!
It's not looking like I'll make it to see them for myself, so if you’re passing by the pickles at the Ekka, will you please snap a photo and share the picture with me?