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How you can contribute to the iconic Barossa Cookery Book

Abbie Tiller

“Those Barossa Girls”, Sheralee Menz and Marieka Ashmore, share a love for old recipes, the recipe books that hold them, the people who keep them, and the traditional skills you need to create them.

That’s why they’ve spent the past four years working on a passion project to preserve the culinary history of the Barossa Valley.

Leading the way to inspire a generation of “keepers” – keepers of the traditional food skills, the regional food stories and the new ways of doing old valuable things, ‘Those Barossa Girls’ have been working on an revised companion of the iconic 1917 Barossa Cookery Book.

Originally produced as a community fundraiser, the famous Barossa Cookery Book, was a culmination of 400 recipes contributed by women across the region, to help raise funds to establish the Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall. In 1932 a revised edition of the Barossa Cookery Book was released, with an additional 600 recipes added.

The new project captures a curated selection of iconic recipes and passes them forward to a new generation by translating them to metric and giving them a full modern method. Where possible, the story of the woman who contributed the recipe will also feature alongside.

“We make no secret of it. The Barossa Cookery Book is a favourite of ours,” said Sheralee.  “It’s one of Australia’s oldest community cookbooks, and one of the few to have remained in constant print. It’s up to edition 38 now, in the same unchanged format. It’s beautiful, and iconic, and culturally valuable. It keeps the recipes and food stories of families in our community, and that makes it powerful.
My favourite recipe is the one for honey biscuits from Mrs Vic Kappler. Her name was Selma and her story is one of my favourites from our research. Her recipe is a cracker, and a regional specialty. Love it. All of it. Every part of it.”

One of Australia’s best-known culinary icons and another Barossa Valley icon, Maggie Beer, is also contributing to the project, and despite their tireless work to ensure the recipes and stories from the cookery book live on, the passionate foodies plan to donate all proceeds back to the community.

“At its heart this is a community project,” Marieka said. “The original book back in 1917 was a community fundraiser and its important to us that we honour that.”

To ensure every cent goes back to the community, Marieka and Sheralee are reaching out for help with production and printing costs. They’ve launched a Go Fund me campaign,  and are hoping to kick off a pre-order campaign in the next couple of months.

To contribute to project click here.



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