Sunday, October 24, 2010

CWA Esk Valley Cookery Book.

CWA Esk Valley Cookery Book.  Paperback book (no date).

Country Women’s Association cookbooks offer that promise of good old fashioned home cooking that is loved and treasured by those that are nostalgic for food that isn’t offered with French Fries.  This food doesn’t come in a box or a wrapper.  It isn’t branded nor is it on every other street corner available for immediate consumption... this is food… the real deal.  The cake recipes alone are of great interest and worth the purchase of this golden collection of appetising yummies.  There are 3 chapters of cake recipes: Cakes – Small, Cakes – Sponge and Sandwich and Large Cakes… and none of these contain biscuits or scone recipes (they have their own sections).  This book originated in the Esk Valley of Tasmania and this edition unfortunately isn’t dated.  Its definitely vintage… well that’s what my super book sleuthing super powers tell me. The recipes cover everything one may need to cook.  There are tasty dishes like: Tripe Pie, Red Flannel Hash, Baked Cheese Rice Ring, English Monkey, etc.  There seems to be a lack of Asian or Middle Eastern Recipes from the Esk Valley, my only guess as to why this is, is that there were no Country Women in the Esk Valley from Asia or the Middle East… at least if they were there they didn’t belong to the CWA… hang on a sec, I’ve just found a recipe for something called “Afghans”, is this an effort at welcoming and embracing the local Afghan community in the Esk Valley in mid 20th century rural Tasmania by including a traditional Afghani recipe?  The ingredients include: Butter, Flour, Cocoa and Cornflakes…mmmmm, somehow I get the felling this recipe isn’t authentic and maybe not from an Afghan.

…anyway this is a lovely book and the CWA cookbooks from all over Australia are of interest to many people, myself included, although I probably wont be making Tripe Pie.  I have been finding it more difficult to locate these culinary collections as they seem to have become more collectable and desirable over recent years. 


  1. HAHAHA, Afghans! Aren't the Taswegians a people of humour? This is a GREAT book for anyone just starting basic cooking. The name 'Afghans' is a mystery but appears in lots of cook books not from Tasmania.

  2. Yes i know a few Tasmanians they are a funny lot... I wrote about the "Afghans" as i have never eaten, seen or heard of them before (my own ethnic background may be the reason for this), but to be honest, i sort of guessed they were something olde Australian and a quick google search does provide a few recipes. It would be interesting to find out where the name and recipe originally came from?

  3. I have found this particular addition in my mums cupboard. It's in poor condition however I was wondering how much the book is valued at? Unlike the photo above it is priced at 75 cents :)

  4. Hello Anni,
    Looking around on line, it appears to be worth about $10 to $12 depending on the condition.