Saturday 20 April… rain, icy temperatures, wind gusts… what a day for the Harvest Fair! But people starting pouring in with entries for the Cooking Competition at 9am, and at about 12pm, with the judging in full flight, the sun broke through and the River Cottage cameras came out. At about 2pm with all the winners announced and applauded and filmed, the clouds closed over again.
So, on a day where we could happily have held the Fireside Fair, there were record crowds and record numbers of entries for the Cooking Competition – and record funds raised for the community.
The fifty entries in the Cooking Competition were poked, prodded, sniffed, stirred and tasted by Quaama’s own Geoffrey Grigg and Kel Gillies, ably assisted by Laura the scribe. Both categories (Preserves and Pumpkin Dishes) had to be split into Sweet and Savoury subcategories, there were so many entries. And the winners were (with judges’ comments)…
Judges’ choice winners: Pumpkin dish sweet – Bhagya for her Pumpkin Cheesecake (cooked perfectly, perfect texture, perfect flavour), Pumpkin dish savoury – Linda McMurray’s Pumpkin, Leek and Goat’s Cheese Tart (the thyme worked well to give the pumpkin character and the leeks were cooked just right).
Seasonal Preserve sweet – Janet Menefy’s Plum Jelly (‘like eating a ripe plum on a summer’s day’). Seasonal Preserve savoury – Barbara McGinnity for her Apple and Tomato Chutney (packed full of flavour). Highly Commended: Pumpkin dish sweet – Veronica Abbott’s Pumpkin and Lime Cakes (moist, clean with good balance of flavours) and Pumpkin dish savoury – Jay Sinclair’s Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Salad (packed with flavour).
Those were the Judges’ choices. As for the People’s Choices: Popular vote: Pumpkin dish – 1st Vicki Younger’s Pumpkin Loaf with 16 votes, 2nd Hallie Fernandez with 14 votes for her pumpkin Cheesecake. Seasonal preserves was a five-way tie between Betsy Hilton, Janet Menefy, Maree Copping, Bhagya and Barbara McGinnity.
Crazy Vegetable Competition – the Best Dressed Vegetable was won by Baylee and Most Life-Like by Barbara McGinnity.
Approximately $1200 was raised by the various community groups represented. Quaama Progress Association would like to thank the Lions Club for the BBQ (they sold out of snags on the day) and all the stallholders who attended despite the weather. Extra special thanks to the locals who got up early to put up extra marquees, and to everyone who turned out in the weather to make a crowd on the day.