In her day job Lana Haines, works as the Change Lead for NRMA Insurance's Digital Team in Sydney's central business district.
In her spare time she's a very active member for the iconic Country Women's Association (CWA).
Lana shared with us what she loves about the CWA, why it's about more than just home-made jams and her recipe for the perfect scone - just in time for National Scone Day on May 30th.
Yes it's true, there's a whole day devoted to scones!
What do you do with the CWA?
I'm a member of the Sydney City Branch – I know right - who knew we had CWA branches in the city!
I have a couple of roles within the branch, as media publicity officer and fundraising strategy coordinator.
I’m also a member and secretary of the State Social Issues Committee that responds to proposed legislation or changes to current legislation being considered by either State or Federal Governments, which may affect the association or its members, or family welfare generally.
Why did you become a member?
I’m a proud country girl having grown up in Grafton in the north of the state.
Over the years I've seen many industries closing and moving away from regional NSW and the impacts to the towns they leave can be devastating.
It’s something that doesn’t sit well with me and I wanted to join an organisation that lobbied for rural, regional and remote communities across NSW.
What do you love about the CWA?
The people you meet, the fun we have and the things you learn!
Sydney City Branch has over 70 members and with that comes an amazing diversity of age, background and experiences that we all can share in and benefit from.
Is it all about baking?
We do have some expert bakers, preserve makers and handicrafters who are always happy to share their knowledge.
You should try our preserves, they're seriously good!
But actually we use our home-made jams and chutneys for good.
In fact our branch has preserves at the heart of our fundraising strategy.
Over the last few years we've had a stall at the Hyde Park Barrack Christmas markets selling preserves and handmade Christmas decorations. And we sell out!
The money we make goes back into the community, for medical research (Lyme disease is the CWA’s current focus), also for education scholarships for country kids, and earlier this year, in conjunction with the National Council of Women of NSW, we sponsored an impressive young lady to help further her postgraduate studies in Animal Science at Charles Sturt university.
And of course, the Social Issues Committee as I mentioned previously.
How can you join the CWA?
If you would like to join Sydney City Branch, jump on our website, and check out the Get Involved page.
We meet monthly on a Monday evening in the CBD.
The CWA of NSW website also has an online form and details of all branches.
Why are you getting behind national scone day?
It’s a good question! It’s being pitched as “promotion of the scone, that noblest of foods, traditionally enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee as a snack or as part of afternoon tea”.
It’s perfect alignment for us as we believe the scone is a 'superfood' and not just from a nutritional perspective but for all the things it represents from the baking to the sharing.
Scone's bring communities together - and let's be honest - who doesn't love a good scone!
Will you share your best scone recipe?
Yes! These are the CWA Sydney City Buttermilk Scones.
Easy to bake and just perfect - we love these the most!
You will need:
- 2½ cups self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp icing sugar or 2 tsp sugar
- 50g butter
- Good pinch salt
- 1¼ cup buttermilk
- Sift flour, sugar and salt into large bowl (or food processor).
- Add butter and rub in by hand (or quickly pulse to a texture like coarse sand; empty from food processor into a bowl and do by hand from here).
- Make a well in the centre of the mix and pour in buttermilk all at once.
- Stir with a flat-bladed knife until it forms a soft dough - no more.
- Turn out onto floured surface, no need to knead, just pat together.
- Flatten dough evenly until about 2-3cm high and use a floured cutter to press out rounds (don't twist the cutter!).
- Place side by side - virtually touching - onto a paper-lined high-sided baking pan to fit rounds. If you don't have one, just place onto a baking tray.
- Brush tops only (not sides) with a little extra buttermilk.
- Bake at 220C (fan OK) for about 15-17 mins or until golden and risen - they should sound hollowish when tapped underneath.
- Place onto rack to cool a little - cover with a tea-towel for soft scones, or uncovered for a harder crust.
- Split by hand (it's the traditional way) and enjoy with jam and cream - and a cuppa.