BRWI November 2022 Members’s Meeting

Our November meeting saw another of our talented member’s step up with Jack (day job cookery teacher) demonstrating that “Mincemeat is not Just for Pies”. Jack talked us through the history and key facts about mincemeat. She introduced us to frying filo pastry parcels and took herself back to a time when she worked at the Grand in Brighton and flambéed at tables with a magnificent flambe of mincemeat pancakes. She was assisted by the lovely Sarah G.

In true teacher mode Jack then produced a quiz at the end of the demonstration to check how well we’d listened. The winning table won a plate of mince pies!!

After we were able to sample the filo pastries, the pancakes and some other “ here’s what I made earlier “ mincemeat cookies, mincemeat fudge and my personal favourite, mincemeat bread pudding.

We also had cake with our tea and coffee including a beautiful carrot cake made by Olga.

In addition to our ongoing collection of recycling for 4 Sight Vision Support some of our other talented members had knitted Christmas Trees and Stockings to help the charity’s festive fundraising.

There was also a collection for Little Baby Bundles and once again members excelled themselves with their generosity.

Words Sue Harris

Photos Joyce Aird, Katie Lyne and Sue Harris

Recipes in the time of Coronavirus 2

During the lockdown, WI members have had time to experiment with new recipes – retro, or with ingredients from their store cupboards, or just favourite recipes.

We have already added some of these to our Recipes pages – and now we have some more for you to try …

Hawaiian Chicken – a retro recipe from the 70s sent in by Annie.

Viennese Whirls – a simple cake recipe, recommended by Jack.

Peanut Butter Cookies – an easy biscuit recipe from Kate

have a look and, if you would like to share a recipe, send it to

Kate Claisse

Vegan Cooking!

President Sue Harris opened the first meeting of 2020 by welcoming members, new members and visitors before asking Debbie to introduce the speaker for the evening, namely Sarah Anderson.  Sarah and her able helpers, Carrie and Gina, then treated us to a:

Vegan Cookery Demonstration and Tasting

And so we were off with ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ as cordon bleu trained chef Sarah explained why her diet has become mainly plant-based. She highlighted the fact that there are an increasing number of vegan food options available from supermarkets, with the UK serving as a world leader in vegan product development.

Along with a useful handout, Sarah went on to address the most asked questions about vegan diets: ‘What do vegans eat?’ and ‘How do vegans get enough protein?’.  For more information, click here – vegan storecupboard.
She also reassured us that all 5 key human tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami) could be addressed when following a vegan diet, in particular umami which could be met by adding ingredients such as marmite or miso to dishes.


While talking us through the above, Sarah and her assistants prepared a Winter Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing to go with a ‘one I made earlier’ Pulled Jackfruit Stew, accompanied with slices of sourdough bread.
Some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ in vegan cookery include the layering of flavours and using seasonal, locally produced vegetables. Assistant Carrie was encouraged to soften the kale by giving it a thorough massage!
Massaging Kale
Now onto the part we had all been waiting for…the tasting!  Wooden forks at the ready we dived into bowls of food, which received a definite ‘thumbs-up’, as did the sample desserts of Chocolate Mousse with Millionaire Bites.  To display the recipes, please click – wi recipes – vegan
In addition to our main event we heard about ….


BRWI 2020 Summer Camp – This inaugural event is to be held from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th July at a scout campsite near Angmering.  The cost is to be in the region of £50 to include: the pitch of a tent; all activities; meals and other refreshments.  For those of us who like our home comforts there are flushing toilets and a hot water shower available, although these are housed in a wagon! A sign-up ‘expression of interest’ sheet is available, with a discussion meeting to be held once initial numbers are known.

NFWI 2020 Resolutions –The committee read out the 5 NFWI 2020 resolutions and invited members to cast their votes during the refreshment break.  Briefing notes for each resolution were made available to members, and a highly sophisticated voting system of buttons and jam jars was set-up.  The results were as follows:

1. A call to increase the potential stem cell donor registration: 12 votes
2. Female Crash Test Dummies: 4 votes
3. End modern slavery: 10 votes
4. Time to talk about death and dying: 10 votes
5. Protect our precious helium: 3 votes

These results will now be fed-back to West Sussex Federation.

Bursary Draw –  there was the eagerly anticipated bursary draw of 2 x £100 to be used for educational purposes. The lucky winners were: Maggie H and Dinah, with Kate and Jean holding reserve positions.

Competition Cup = Sarah Greenway was delighted to present the overall winner of the 2019 competition cup, Chris Hunter, with said cup.

Competition Cup

Congratulations Chris and to the runners-up Jack 2nd place and Annie 3rd place, with a miniscule 1 point between first and second places

Member News – Proud mum Lesley Guppy announced that her aspiring author daughter Abigail, has won a national poetry-writing competition, and is one of 100 young winners whose entries are to be published in book form next month.  Once available, Lesley will bring some copies with her to the members meeting. This is a brilliant achievement and we send our warmest congratulations to Abigail.

For full meeting record, please click here: members meeting minutes jan20 (final)
Words and photos: Debbie Brooks









The May meeting of Bognor Regis WI started in a swirl of colour with President Dinah Barrand sporting her new striped dungarees made from recycled fabric and supplied by a fair trade African company. This set the tone of the meeting which focussed on the Resolutions put forward by the National Federation of Womens’ Institutes but with an overarching theme of how all members could make a difference to our world by making small (or bigger) changes to their lifestyles.



Mandy receiving contributions for the Food Bank


First, however, Dinah introduced Mandy, the Deputy Co-ordinator of the Bognor Food Bank. She described how most food banks (Bognor included) come under the aegis of the Trussell Trust, a charity which aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK and to campaign for change to end the need for food banks. Mandy talked about the circumstances which led to people needing short term help including delays/changes in benefit payments, redundancy, pregnancy and domestic violence.  Bognor Food Bank relies on donations of non-perishable food from members of the public and clients need a voucher from a referring agency such as CAB, Radio Respect, My Sisters House etc. This system allows the referring agency to work with the person, providing ongoing support to hopefully improve their circumstance


As well as providing food, however, Bognor Food Bank provides care and compassion and ensures that all clients are valued, listened to and cared about. The Food Bank has also provided courses on budget cookery and tries to give extra help in the summer holidays – when school meals are not available – and special Christmas bags. Sadly, the need is growing with 3,000 people being fed last year – an increase of 33%.

After a very warm vote of thanks both for Mandy’s talk and for the excellent work they are doing, the meeting moved on to a quiz and vote on the potential resolutions. These were the provision of additional council funding for public bus services and encouraging more women (including young women) to have regular smear tests. It was agreed by a clear majority that both resolutions were worthy of support and the delegate to the national AGM in June will vote in accordance with the wishes of BRWI.

During the extended refreshment break with Prosecco and cake (including the delicious vegan cupcakes – to view the recipe – click Vegan Ginger Cupcakes) members had the opportunity to explore the displays on green living set up by the Committee.  These included a clear demonstration of what items can be put in the recycling bin and what can be recycled elsewhere, green replacements/substitutions for household products including homemade beeswax food covering and pan scrubbers, making the move to a plant based diet and the resources available to do so, reducing or eliminating the need for single use plastics, recycling and upcycling materials to make bags (and the examples included some unlikely raw materials!) and making rich and friable compost from garden and kitchen waste. To see all the ideas click here  Lots of questions were asked and many pledges made to try something new; it was inspiring to see how the members really wanted to make a difference to the lives of the local community and the wider world.

Later in the month, twenty members will be making a visit to Tuppenny Barn a sustainable living education centre in Southbourne, and three members will be joining lots of other WIs – and many other groups concerned about climate change – when they go on the Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament. This summer the Government will decide whether to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by committing to a net zero emissions target. They will also have the chance to end nature’s decline by committing to a strong Environment Bill. The Time is Now on June 26th is hoped to be the largest mass lobby for climate and the environment that the UK has ever seen.  The WI is very proud to be part of it!!

Click to display the Record of May 19 meeting

Words: Gina

Photos: Katie and Kate

Cakes of the Highest Standard

The South of England Show at Ardingly is a significant annual event for WIs, in both East and West Sussex.   Not only does it host the WI annual craft and baking competition – the WI refreshment tent is renowned.
Cakes, made to special recipes by WI members, are brought together at Ardingly by a team of WI members for the event.
IMG_7416I witnessed one of the cake collection points, at Bognor Regis Sainsburys, where Felpham Evening WI, decorated with pink balloons, waited for cakes to take on to Ardingly.   Members, and their friends, including our WI, delivered cakes with enthusiasm and commitment as if they were for the competition itself.   The public should enjoy cakes made of the highest standard.   Thank you Bognor Regis WI members who helped keep up the standard – well done.
Jan Marsden

Big Bite September 2014

IMG_1969Our stall at the Big Bite Food Festival this year was nigh on perfect – super weather, lots of visitors, catchy music, very tasty chutneys, jams  and cakes and quite a few ladies showing interest in our WI. It was so nice to be part of a popular Bognor Regis event.   Click here for a few more photos of the day.

Many thanks again to all our cooks and helpers.

Kate Claisse

Big Bite tomorrow!

The Big Bite Food Festival is on in Hotham Park this weekend.

Tomorrow we will have a stall there displaying samples of chutneys, jams and cakes, all of which are a great way of using up a glut food, or left-over food.  We will also have free recipes for anyone who, after tasting, would like to try making some at home.  A great way of demonstrating an important part of the WI ethos – home cooking!

Hope you’ll be able to drop in and see us, but if not …….The recipes for all our produce last year are already on the website and I have just added recipes for those items that are new this year …. (click to see the recipe)

Ratatouille Chutney

Plum and Chili Chutney

Courgette and Tomato Chutney

Runner Bean Chutney

Lavender Shortbread

Damson Jam

Victoria Plum Jam

Hedgerow Jam

High Dumpsy Dearie Jam!

Plum and Mulled Wine Jam

Quite a selection!  Many thanks to June, Lynn, Helen, Lesley H, Laura-jane, and Alex for their contributions.  Also many thanks to all our helpers tomorrow – Lesley H,  Sue, Rosemary  W, Heather, Marian, Laura-jane, Pamela,  Rosemary C, and Jan – see you all then, should be fun, especially as the weather forecast is good!





Visit to St Mary’s Bognor Regis

Last week Maggie Pearce and I visited St Mary’s Primary for one of our bread baking sessions.  As usual we and they had a great time.  If you missed the writ-up in the Bognor Regis Observer – click …. st-marys.

This coming week (24th) Lesley Hiley and I are off to the Laburnum Grove Junior School .  There are just two of us – another helper would make things so much easier, so if anyone is free 13.00 – 15.30 on Wednesday we’d be delighted to see you – just let me know.

Don’t forget the Big Bite Food Festival is on next weekend (27-28 September) and we will be there on the Sunday with lots of chutneys/jams/cakes to sample along with the recipes.  Do come and see us and, again, if you’d like to help and haven’t yet put your name on the list, please let me know.

Kate Claisse


Baking at Laburnham Grove Junior School

IMG_1887On 21st July Jan, Lesley and I spent a very enjoyable morning at Laburnham Grove Junior School helping a Grade 3 class to make bread rolls. We brought in risen dough, with all the ingredients used to make it. We talked to them about how it was made and then they all took a handful of dough, kneaded it and then shaped it into hedgehogs, snakes, snails, butterflies, and even snowmen. While the rolls were proving the children did a word game involving the words they had been using …. Prove, yeast, knead, dough etc.

IMG_5562This visit was a repeat of similar school visits we made last year prior to the Big Bite artisan food festival at Hotham Park in the autumn, which will be on again this year in September (27th and 28th).   The idea is to promote home cooking and the use of local food (we used Weald and Downland wholemeal flour). We brought in vegetables from our gardens and allotments and talked to the children about the more unusual veg … a large yellow patty pan squash and large round courgette, yellow zucchini, fennel (which the children smelled) and sugar snap peas (which they tasted).

IMG_5563The children certainly seemed to enjoy themselves and we did too … I’m looking forward to a second visit on September 24th – and we will need volunteers … especially as these children will be a year younger.


Bognor Regis Observer were at the school taking photos and interviewing us and the staff, so if you haven’t seen their news item – click here …..School visit

Kate Claisse