Thursday, October 6, 2011

Country Women's Association Classics Cookbook

Quick and Easy Biscuit (recipe page 527)

Wow - the CWA Classics (Country Women's Association) cookbook is one heck of a cookbook. It's huge, 400 recipes huge and filled with the kind of cooking you have come to expect from an Association which although not founded on food, has certainly made it's mark and name in that arena.

I was sent this book a couple of months ago, just as I was heading off for holidays and took it along to read during the trip despite it's hefty weight and as it turns out I'm glad I did.

I was kinda expecting a baking book, filled with scones, sponges and the types of fare you might expect to find at the CWA stall at a country fair but to my surprise this book has a great mix of savory and sweet recipes.

In fact some of the main meals were so simple and good I whipped them up while we were on holidays and to my delight the kids really enjoyed each of the meals.

The introduction gives a bit of a background on the CWA which I found very interesting as I have forgotten over time the CWA provide more than tea and scones and that they work tirelessly to support rural families in so many ways. In fact the proceeds from this book are being used to fund a postgraduate nursing scholarship for a nurse working in a rural area.

The book is a collection of recipes including starters and mains through to desserts, baked goods and preserves from CWA members.  A lovely touch is that each recipe has the name and state of the contributor which I liked and in some instances a little introduction written by the contributor which I totally loved. Some of the intro's were funny, some to the point , some told where the recipe originated..... I enjoyed reading each of the introductions as much as the recipes themselves.

So far I have tried quite a few of the recipes and not one of them has failed. Honestly would you expect any less.

Quite a few of the baking pages had been tagged to try, and when I noticed that the Quick and Easy Biscuits (page 527) only required 4 ingredients all of which I had in my pantry it quickly got pushed to first place. I helped my kids measure out the ingredients and then they pretty much sifted and mixed these babies up themselves.

Easy to find ingredients, clear instructions and yummy results. Yup that's what good classic cooking is all about.

Overall I found the recipes in this book easy to follow with ingredients that in most instances you probably already have at home as kitchen staples. Some of the recipes did not have clear instructions regarding what size pan to use but I put that down to the fact that the women of the CWA are a resourceful bunch and they make do with what they have. Something I could probably learn from if my crowded kitchen cabinets are anything to go by.

The book is distributed by Penguin and is available pretty much everywhere in Australia where you find good books.

CWA Classics


  1. I would expect no less from the CWA! Haha imagine if the recipes didn't work? I suspect heads would roll! ;)

  2. Oh I am so glad you reviewed this book! I love the idea of the CWA (though I am not affiliated) and think it great that they still exist in this modern age!

  3. Joining the CWA is one of my baking resolutions this year. I love that their cooking is more about comforting the soul. That said, not sure I'm ready to compete against them in the sponge cake category at the Royal Melbourne Show!

  4. I love that kind of cookbook, filled with "tried and true" recipes:)

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