Friday, 10 December 2010

Christmas treats

You may have recently noticed a competition for WI members on our website under the glorious title of Yule Britannia. This was a competition to produce a Christmas dish using only the best British ingredients, with the delicious entreaty: " We want to know more about what inspires your cooking, so we need you to tell us in no more than 200 words, what inspires you about cooking Christmas food and in particular, using the best of British produce.” A photograph of the masterpiece was also requested.

The four finalists competed at the BBC Good Food Show, cooking their recipe in 25 mins. The final recipes were made on the Stoves stand and judged by renowned chef Brian Turner The winner, Yasmin Limbert, a member of Wirral Belles WI in Cheshire received a prize of £1,500 worth of Stoves appliances and a choice of cookery courses at the WI Cookery School, at Denman College, Oxfordshire.

Yasmin will indeed be taking up her prize of a course before long. Do check out the courses at the WI Cookery School, where there are courses for all interests and for everyone, including gentlemen. We should be learning more about Yasmin and her entry in the next edition of WI Life.

And WI Life was the reason behind an indulgence of a "white chocolate Gianduja mousse with cherry jelly, cherry sorbet and almond tuille" at the Independent Publisher awards earlier this week where our magazine was nominated under the category of ‘best new launch/ best relaunch of the year'. WI Life might not have won the award but its small, perfectly formed team, headed up by Editor Neal Maidment, is a winner with the WI.

Speaking of winning combinations the combined voices of WI members and several gentlemen in a choir sang in Kent West Kent Federation for their Christmas celebration. I'm sure such celebrations will resound across England and Wales in the coming weeks. In my own federation we have 'Words and Music for Christmas', which I always hope will include a few words from Mr Charles Dickens and his Christmases past.

But for Christmas present – a song with a difference. 'The Harmonies – the voices of the WI' are releasing their beautiful arrangement of Jerusalem on Sunday 12 December. Nowadays, to achieve a chart topping hit single, the song needs to be downloaded from the internet. Even if you've never download music before, please do give it a go and download Jerusalem by The Harmonies from Jerusalem – always a hit with the WI, now let’s make it one for the nation.