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A housewife superstar style afternoon tea

Marjorie Bligh, Housewife Superstar is a bit of a hero of mine. The eccentric domestic goddess who wrote books covering such topics as cookery, household management, health, gardening and recycling is to me, a true Tasmanian legend.

Author of many top tips , my favourite tip of hers ever, (apart from always be kind), changed my baking life. I mean really.   Having a house with ambient temperature of around 13 degrees means that butter at my room temperature is not that great for baking cakes.  Enter Marjorie's tip - preheat the sugar.  Bakers rejoice!  While you're preheating your oven, weigh the sugar and place it in the oven, then assemble the rest of your ingredients together. Throw the hard butter into the mixer with the warm sugar and voila! Perfectly creamed butter and sugar.  Thank you Marjorie!

One of my favourite Marjorie stories is about one of her book launches that she organised to take place in her front garden.  Marjorie invited dozens of people for afternoon tea in her front garden.  She baked for days, organised the mayor to speak and decorated her garden so everything was perfect. Apart from one small detail - the book hadn't arrived from the printers. It wasn't ready in time. A book launch with no book. Unperturbed, Marjorie simply printed copies of the cover of her book to pass around and the launch went ahead without the book. Bold I say. And true Marjorie style. You can read more of her stories in this great biography.

Missing books aside, I always thought what a lovely way to launch a book, afternoon tea in your front garden. So I'm going to do that thanks to the generosity of another foodie superstar Jane Grover, author of Naked Food.

Next Saturday afternoon, at Jane's place in Sydney's northern beaches, in the spirit of Marjorie Bligh, we'll be eating treats from my book, chatting about all things delicious whilst admiring Jane's garden. I'm hoping we will have copies of the book, we are THAT organised!

Come along, it's from 2pm - 4pm Saturday 16 May. Just let us know if you'd like to attend via email and venue details will be sent to you and we'll know how many cakes to bake.

I hope you can come,  I'd really love to see you!


  1. I never remember to pull butter ( or eggs) from the fridge before I bake so that tip may have just saved my cakes! Thanks!
    And enjoy your garden launch xx

    1. Me either! you can soak the eggs in warm water - but rock hard butter - always problem!

  2. What a brilliant tip! I can't wait to try it out. Your book launch sounds beautiful.

  3. Warm sugar...genius! Enjoy your book launch, in the meantime I need to do some further research on Marjorie x

  4. Marjorie was just fabulous, wasn't she? I would have loved to have met her!

  5. Have just come across your blog which I have found to be very interesting and will be looking at it more often - thanks and keep up the wonderful stories and recipes. We made the sea change to Tassie a few years ago, and live in the house built by Marjorie's Grandfather. Our elderly neighbour who knew the family has kept us entertained with many stories of the family. We even had Marjorie to afternoon tea on one of her visits to the neighbour. What a special lady and very talented. She will be missed.