A&P Show pavilion entries impress, inspire

After a stint helping at the local Mt Benger A&P Show, I was left impressed and inspired by the many entries within the pavilion, writes Elsie Berry.

Elsie Berry
Elsie Berry
For those of you who have not entered the produce section at your local show before, I encourage you to get involved and enter some classes, be it from the garden or the kitchen. There are great prizes up for grabs, as well as the bragging rights of course!

One section you can guarantee to be in most schedules is the classic sponge cake.

The first thing I learnt to bake was my mum’s Victoria sponge cake and I am sure she will be delighted I am sharing the recipe to readers on the other side of the world.

It is extremely easy to make and the important thing to remember is that all the main ingredients should weigh the same.

Mum’s Victoria sponge is very easy to make. PHOTOS: ELSIE BERRY
Mum’s Victoria sponge is very easy to make. PHOTOS: ELSIE BERRY




  • 250g white sugar
  • 250g butter, room temperature
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g eggs (approx 4 large eggs)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Filling
  • 6 Tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Whipped double cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180degC and grease two 20cm round tins and line with baking paper.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the other ingredients and give a good mix until well combined.
  4. Spoon evenly into the tins and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes and if the cakes are golden, coming away from the side of the tins and springy to touch then remove them from the oven. If not, leave for a little longer.
  6. Leave to cool in the tins for 30 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  7. Once completely cool, place one sponge on your serving plate, spread jam and then the cream and place the remaining sponge on top. Sprinkle the top of the cake with 1 tsp of white sugar and enjoy. I can guarantee it will become one of your favourite cakes.

Time to make the most of the summer harvest.
Time to make the most of the summer harvest.
In the garden

With a house move on the horizon we are making the most of our current vegetable garden and trying to use up our summer harvest. One of most rewarding things about having a vegetable garden is been able to share the produce with your family and friends.

We have had some beautiful hot weather lately. Remember to water your garden in the morning, as it will allow the water to evaporate throughout the day, thus avoiding burning your crops. A good layer of mulch around your plants will help keep moisture in the ground

It is time to start planning your autumn garden. Think about getting your first round of carrots, parsnips, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflowers, cabbages and Brussels sprouts in over the next few weeks — only plant what you like to eat of course!

If you have trouble growing carrots, I recommend giving seed tape a go. While it is a more expensive way of buying seeds, I have found it gives a better germination rate and better carrots in the long run due to no overcrowding problems.

- Don’t forget to keep an eye on Elsie Berry’s Instagram, @feeding_my_farmer for more recipes and gardening tips.

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