janeCOOKS for EVERYWOMAN "Food Glorious Food" Night!

Well what a fun night we had at the janeCOOKS for EVERYWOMAN "Food Glorious Food" Night at the C3 Church Auditorium, on Thursday 26th August 2010! EVERYWOMAN is an outreach from my local church, to women in the local community and beyond, it is a pretty simple approach...every woman is welcome! Each night offers varied speakers with real life, relevant topics, to inspire, encourage, include and equip, every woman both practically and spiritually, to live her best life.

Three months ago now, amidst the busyness of establishing the janeCOOKS Cooking Classes and "this week's recipe" on my website, the EVERYWOMAN team contacted me, to see if I was willing to come and cook LIVE, for the EVERYWOMAN "Food Glorious Food" Night! At first I was a little overwhelmed at the idea, knowing the preparation and hard work it would entail, considering all I had already committed myself to for 2010. I hesitated for a brief moment, stopped to consider such an opportunity and what it would require of me.... and then with a mixture of excitement and fear, I said "YES I'll do it!" and I thought... I'll do it afraid!

As my regular blog readers would know, this was really another part of a dream coming true for me, to go up another level, on the journey from the "BIG orange toy box" of my childhood and take the real stage, to cook for and speak to a larger crowd! Thus begun the weeks of planning and preparation, that led up to the big night! The brief was to inspire and educate the audience, showing them how, to cook from scratch, using local, seasonal and organic produce. To consider what is in the food we put into our bodies, to understand the benefits or detriments it can have to our health.

I also had the invaluable support of my own small team, the incredible Wendy, who chose to do it afraid with me! As well as Kerri & Jan, who helped with set up, pack up and product sales. Thanks girls, we all know I could not have done it without your help! I have been told there was over 400 women there on the night, and what a great crowd of women they were too, so much laughter and interaction, the time on stage just flew by. It was great to have my beautiful daughter Molly there and my mum Annabell too, once I managed to steal the show back from mum on we went, not surprisingly though, she had the last say, by taking the stage herself, once I was finished and out of the way!

We had some generous sponsors on board, which meant lots of giveaways for the women in the crowd. All the ingredients for the night were donated by Lettuce Deliver Organics, as well as a piece of organic fruit in every recipe bag, and a $50 seasonal box giveaway and two $50 vouchers to do your first order. The 1910 Bottling Company based in the Southern Highlands, donated an amazing hamper valued at over $150, of their preserved organic product.

We had excited women come up to claim their prizes and even more excited women come to the stage, to sit at the dining table and taste the food. The feedback after the evening was very positive, everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. (including me!) Some said they had not laughed like that for a good while, other's proclaimed I should be on TV!

Many enjoyed the imperfect moments of the show, which seemed to become the highlights, when I forgot the egg whites...struggled with the cooktop staying on and had to settle for the peas not cooking in time! Seems to me people find comfort and are set free themselves, when they see other's too are not perfect! Let's keep it real, NONE OF US ARE! So that is what a brief rundown of what janeCOOKS brought to EVERYWOMAN, a taste of women doing it afraid, willing to laugh at themselves in the face of imperfection, simply having a go.

All photography on this post, taken on the night, by lovely Stacie staciepetraphotography.blogspot.com