Super Mum delivers the goods at North Coast National
PEOPLE of the Northern Rivers, meet Super Mum.
Being nine months' pregnant didn't stop Caniaba mother-of-two Rachael Lee cooking up a storm for the North Coast National and taking out eight wins and 14 second places from her entries of cakes, jams and preserves.
"I have entered North Coast National for the last three years with some success, so being nine months' pregnant this year wasn't going to stop me," she said.
"I just love cooking."
With two ovens cranking, Mrs Lee said she spent all Tuesday afternoon and was up at 2am on Wednesday baking for the show.
"In hindsight, when I was finishing off all the baking I said to myself 'Why did I do this?'
"But when it was all done, I breathed a sigh of relief and said 'It's alright'."
Competing against culinary experts from across the region inspires competitive edge in the 29-year-old.
"There is one lady here that who has entered the show for what seems like forever, and I thought right, I'm going to take her on.
"So I thought this year I'm going for gold, I'm going to do everything."
The result was 42 cakes, jams, biscuits and preserves ranging from her prize-winning carrot cake to jam drop biscuits, strawberry jam and her favourite, mulberry jam.
"My favourite things to make are the preserves. A lot of people hate making them, but I find it really fun making jams."
"I did all the jams, chutneys and preserves beforehand to allow them to develop their flavours a bit more."
The culinary creativity runs in the Lee family, with Rachael's four-and-a-half year old daughter Alexis winning first prize for her healthy school lunchbox and second for her Anzac biscuits at her first show.
Entering so many categories was a team effort, Mrs Lee said, with friends donating glass jars for bottling and fruit to cook with.
"As it gets closer to show time, getting jars is next to impossible, so it becomes unachievable unless you buy the jars from a supplier, which is quite expensive," she said.
"Rhonda Muldoon donated a lot of her fruit from next door, Jyllie Jackson and Alison Kelly from the lantern parade donated jars, Jo Kilburn and Carol Johnston also helped out with donations."