Se­crets well pre­served

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER SEE THE VIDEO AT http://www.com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au/ video/The-Art-of-Mar­malade/85

GE­OFF Hop­kins has sworn he will never spill the se­crets be­hind his Perth Royal Show award-win­ning pre­serves.

The Ned­lands res­i­dent won two firsts and a third at last year’s cook­ery ex­hi­bi­tion but his late wife’s top-se­cret rel­ish recipe earned him the prize clos­est to his heart.

“Over the years we have lived in var­i­ous houses with or­ange or le­mon trees, so I started mak­ing jams just to save the fruit that dropped on the ground,” Mr Hop­kins said.

“In 2010 I thought: ‘Let’s slip a cou­ple of jars into the show and see what hap­pens’.

“There were lots of quite for­mi­da­ble-look­ing ladies in big white coats. I thought I had en­coun­tered the Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion mafia.

“They said my mar­malade was ‘slightly burnt’, which hit me quite hard. It took me a while to get con­fi­dent enough to go back and tackle it again.”

A year af­ter his wife’s death, Mr Hop­kins en­tered his trib­ute Grandma’s Rel­ish, or­ange co­gnac mar­malade and mus­tard in the 2014 Perth Royal Show.

“I nearly fell over when her rel­ish won first prize,” he said.

“My five chil­dren and 11 grand­chil­dren ask for it all the time; they are the ul­ti­mate taste testers. At the end of the day it’s all about hav­ing fun, be­ing in­no­va­tive and mak­ing some­thing that you like.”

Mr Hop­kins said he had cre­ated some new flavour com­bi­na­tions for this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

The Perth Royal Show runs from Septem­ber 26 to Oc­to­ber 3.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d441895

Pick­ing win­ners: Ge­off Hop­kins has a knack for

cre­at­ing award-win­ning pre­serves.

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