Statia in line to become brown bread champion
BAKING fresh homemade bread has been a tradition in the kitchen of Statia Ivers for almost 50 years.
The Ballycoog woman, who was recently announced as a regional finalist for this year's National Brown Bread Baking competition, is no stranger to whipping up a loaf or two every day and, once a week, she has a baking marathon at her home to supply her weekly stall at Aughrim Country Market.
'I have always been a keen baker and, through Ballycoog ICA, I entered shows and competitions. I entered this one myself as it is an individual competition so you don't have to enter a team through the ICA,' Statia explained.
A long-time member of the local ICA guild, Statia first joined 48 years ago and has honed her baking skills ever since.
'I use my own recipe which I will share at the live baking part of the competition which takes place at An Grianán on August 14. Over the years I experimented with different variations but now I know what works and I like to stick to my own recipe,' added Statia.
This isn't the first time that Statia's brown bread making skills have been recognised, as she also made it to the finals in the National Ploughing Championships baking contest in recent years.
If Statia makes it through the Regional Finals in ICA headquarters in An Grianán, she will be one of two lucky bakers who will attend the 2014 National Ploughing Championships in Co. Laois to compete for the overall title.
Statia said that the competitions are just a bit of fun and she doesn't worry too much about winning, but rather enjoying taking part.
She is most comfortable at home baking in her own kitchen and it's not just brown bread that makes it into the oven.
'Coffee cake, chocolate cake, fruit cake, tarts, bakewells – you name it, I bake it,' she said. 'I really enjoy baking for the family and now some of my seven grandchildren are taking a great interest so I love to show them how to do it and get them helping in the kitchen.'