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Bakers using autumn gluts

A little army of volunteer bakers is using autumn gluts of fruit and vegetables and other quirky donations for good causes.

Wairarapa Good Bitches, a chapter of the nationwide charitable organisation, bakes regularly for 15 local recipients, including food banks, King St Artworks and Hospice Wairarapa.

The Wairarapa chapter is led by “Head Bitch” Eve Williams, a former Wairarapa College student who returned to Wairarapa in 2020.

Williams said autumn gluts of apples, feijoas and zucchinis were being put to good use. Food banks often had bulk donations of a particular ingredient, which were distributed to her bakers to use creatively.

For example, Good Bitch Courtnay Adele turned bulk currants into “fly cemetery” – a shortcrust fruit slice. Louise Lee turned an excess of zucchini into chocolate-zucchini muffins, while Caroline Salmon stewed and froze a glut of apples to use for baking when needed.

“My favourite recipe is a chocolate cake with a cup of pureed apple in it – nice and fluffy,” Salmon said.

Good Bitch Charlotte McDonald turned a donation of sweet pastry into jam swirl biscuits: “I literally just spread jam on the pastry, rolled up, froze, then cut into biscuits, which looked and tasted great.”

The Featherston Food Bank had a spare 1kg block of cream cheese, which was handed to Good Bitch Tracey Cassells. “I’ve never seen so much cream cheese in one block. But I found a recipe and doubled it and managed to use the whole block for a passionfruit cheesecake slice,” she said.

Last month, Wairarapa Good Bitches baked a spread for the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, with treats including macarons, miniature trifles, lemon meringue tarts and club sandwiches for participants in the Cancer Survivors’ Afternoon Tea.

“As Head Bitch, I spend a few hours each week managing rosters, collecting baked goods and distributing them to our recipients,” Williams said.

“We have some super creative and experienced bakers on our rosters, and we also have some bakers just starting out, slowly perfecting their skills in the kitchen. Nothing is too fancy or too simple.”

There are almost 3000 volunteers in 29 Good Bitches chapters around New Zealand. The aim is to give people “just a moment of sweetness in their time of crisis”.

    To get involved as a baker or driver, or to donate ingredients, email [email protected]

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