WHAT’S COOKING? Rae Simpson with her prize-winning cakes. She will enter 48 jams, pickles, cakes and confectionaries in this year’s show.
WHAT’S COOKING? Rae Simpson with her prize-winning cakes. She will enter 48 jams, pickles, cakes and confectionaries in this year’s show. Patrick Gorbunovs

Prolific Rae makes feast of entries for North Coast National

RAE Simpson is a good cook.

So good in fact, she has taken out the Phyllis McLennan Memorial Trophy for cooking at the North Coast National three years in a row.

Each year Mrs Simpson submits close to 50 edible entries in various competitions at the Fine Arts Pavilion.

This year is no different, with the prolific cook preparing more than 40 jams, pickles, cakes and confectionaries for judging at the annual show.

Mrs Simpson's taste for cake competitions began in the 1980s when she was a member of the Country Women's Association, but it wasn't until 2008 that she began competing in competitions at the North Coast National.

Ironically, Mrs Simpson is a diabetic so she doesn't eat all the practice cakes she makes.

"A lot of them end up in the freezer," she said.

The cooking veteran said she is "more adventurous than some" when it comes to the jams and pickles but attributes this to reading "a lot" of recipes.

"Even if it's my own recipe I make sure I put it out and read it, because even if I've made it many times there is always a chance of leaving something out," she said.

Her famous last words each year are that she won't enter the competitions the following year, but she can't seem to kick the habit.

"I always say I won't enter again, so I've cut back this year," she said, explaining she has "just" 48 entries lined up for the 2013 show.

Creator of the Phyllis McLennan Memorial Trophy Beverly Pridham began the award in honour of her mother who was a prolific cook at the North Coast National.

"Entering the competitions at the show is a great way to support your local community," Mrs Pridham said.

"It encourages people young and old to experiment with cooking."

North Coast National assistant secretary Liz Clark said it was exhibitors like Mrs Simpson who kept the North Coast National going year after year.

"If people don't exhibit, the show won't continue," Ms Clark said.

And what is Mrs Simpson's advice for the budding cook?

"Always stick to the recipe and measure things well."

For more information about the show and events you can enter visit the North Coast National website, phone 6621 5916 or email secretary@northcoastnational.com.au.



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