WHO KNOWS how to bake the best pasty? WI members, of course!
So it was very apt that three of our well-known members of the Home Economics and Craft subcommittee were asked to judge the World Pasty Championships recently held at the Eden Project.
Alison Gribble, Dot Rogers and Rosemary Slee, all very well-known cookery judges in WI circles, with glowing credentials, judged a variety of pasties.
All entrants in the Cornish Pasty categories conformed to the traditional recipes laid down by the European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
They were judged in conditions of strict anonymity for taste, texture, appearance, pastry crimp and technical expertise.
In the open classes contestants were free to include any ingredient they chose.
Contents ranged from squirrel to bacon to banana, not the usual fare for the traditional Cornishman.
The Home Economics and Craft subcommittee have done so much to promote good, wholesome food in the federation and all their demonstrations and day schools have become so popular, and now they can add another accolade to their achievements: world- class judges.
All through the summer we shall see the fruits of the labours of WI members at the shows throughout the county, including the Royal Cornwall Show.
There is bound to be a class for pasties at most events.
Can there be a more iconic or scrumptious symbol of Cornwall than its famous pasty?
Another WI pasty-maker recently won the Cornish Pasty Competition which was organised by Kernow Mill at Trerulefoot.
Ann Doidge of Trematon WI won the artisans' non-commercial pastry classic class and was awarded best in show overall.
She was presented with a beautiful glass trophy which she can keep: another WI accomplishment.
It is very fitting that in commenting on the best in WI cookery, we remember with great sadness and affection Mary Hawke of North Petherwin, who died recently.
Mary was known for her skill as a National Federation of Women's Institutes cookery judge and demonstrator, and in particular was known as the Preserves Queen.
She travelled all over Cornwall and Devon, willingly sharing her expertise with everyone.
Her judging technique was perfect, from her immaculate white apron and her pristine tools to encouraging the best from the members with her ready smile and her heartening comments.
Every procedure was carried out correctly.
Back in the early Seventies she was chairman of the then- Agriculture subcommittee. She served on the home economics subcommittee both as a chairman and adviser.
She had also been a vice- chairman of the federation in addition to holding many other posts in the CFWI, as well as those in her own WI: an unprecedented WI ambassador who saw the best in everyone.
The WI in Cornwall is not only famous for its cooking but for its organisational and leadership skills, so to further assist new members and refresh more experienced members the membership support subcommittee are arranging a series of day schools to help perfect the talents that are required to run a successful and enjoyable WI, and inspire others to join our superb organisation.
Many members have found the knowledge they gained in the WI helped them enormously in other spheres of the community, for example as parish councillors, school governors, charity organiser, parochial church council members etcetera.
Entitled 'It's A Piece Of Cake', the four venues are Otterham (April 24), East Taphouse (April 26), Praa Sands (April 30) and Lanhydrock (May 2).
County House is the venue for 'Inspiring others to join the WI' on April 24 and May 17.
A grant from Awards For All has meant there is no charge for these day schools apart from £2 for tea or coffee and cake.
For further information ring 01872 272843.
The environment and PA subcommittee organises the annual Blaikley Salver Competition, which is for a poem up to 32 lines long, hand-written or typed and double-spaced.
The intriguing title this year is 'Noise Pollution', which conjures up all sorts of debatable sounds.
Some dislike the crowing of a rooster, others the roar of a jet engine.
What about a heavy metal band or the sound of a rock drill invading our ears? The subject is sure to ignite much spontaneous comment.
All entries to, and details from, Pam Northover by May 31. The telephone number is 01736 767574.