Continuous Discovery IRL – June Wrap

More companies are realising that the path to success includes knowing their customers better. As they commence their journeys towards continuous discovery to deeply understand their customer and their problems, there can be some lofty expectations. However, the reality is often very different, and can be fragmented, chaotic and full of barriers. 

In June, we caught up with Ben Ryan who shared 3 lessons from his experiences at FatSecret.

Lesson 1: Challenging the Status Quo

How well do we really know our customers? Just a little, ie. at a surface level? Perhaps it’s as little as reading the feedback or complaints that actually make their way to us. Or possibly even less than that. 

Recognising this as a problem and the need for change is only the first step. However, making the case can be another story. 

Resistance can coming in various forms:

  • Sacred cows – firmly held beliefs that are rarely questioned and/or exempt from criticism or opposition, even in the face of contradictory evidence;
  • Brittle foundations – legacy systems which are too hard to change;
  • Sunk cost fallacy – ‘we’ve already invested so much in this direction/system/platform, so it’s too late to change now’;
  • Or just being comfortable – changes require effort and moving towards the unknown.

Teresa Torres talks about having weekly conversations with your customers.

However, FatSecret was far from that. They had convoluted pathways for customers to make contact, and a small team (of 3 people) already inundated with 200-300 emails per week. This drove a fear of scaling, and not being able to handle additional volumes if the floodgates were opened. Furthermore, a dispersed customer base, with less than 1% within Australia, introduced additional geographical, cultural and linguistic challenges.

As an app, the other option for your customers is to leave public (1 star) reviews on the app store for others to read. Not a great alternative.

Even though there was no clear line to customers, they got scrappy and improvised. They also kicked off a longer process of a qualitative and quantitative research project with an external agency. Its brief was to gather insights, and begin co-designing the future vision. Once they started to build things that customers were vocalising as their pain points, retention started to improve, and there was an increase in active usage and engagement.

Lesson 2: Revisit old ideas with fresh eyes

There will always be some ideas that don’t work out. But it is also good practice to revisit those ideas later. What was wrong with those ideas, and what were the conditions the first time around? Are those conditions still in play, or has the environment changed? Do you have new lessons or understand things differently now? With a different perspective, you may find elements worth pursuing or that can be repurposed. And other times, they may turn out to still be bad ideas.

To try and place customer experience at the forefront of decisions, FatSecret introduced a discovery phase at the start of projects. Surely doing discovery about a business objective would help them identify customer needs earlier, to ensure they were solving customer problems?

Unfortunately not. 

In reality, Project Discovery was unsuccessful as:

  • Discovery didn’t begin until the project had been incepted around a business goal;
  • Having a big deliverable at the start of the project, required time to do the customer discovery;
  • There was high overhead (and difficulty) finding target users with the problems that aligned with the business goal;
  • Discovery became a reflection of the customer experience, producing only a limited and blinkered view of the customer problems, and not going deep enough into the wider customer journey to understand the context of the problems.

Lesson 3: Continuous Improvement

Invest in the time for reflection.

Similar to re-evaluating past ideas, it can also be beneficial to circle back to past decisions and assumptions, and challenge your original thinking. Were the assumptions correct? Would the potential outcome be different from what you know now? Are you pursuing the best options, or are there better opportunities available?

Four years on, FatSecret has started moving towards Continuous Discovery to generate insights. Customers are interviewed on a regular basis, and then mapped to overarching archetypes, to understand their various drivers and how they will respond to different types of obstacles.

There’s still a long way to go, but FatSecret have progressively put distance between what used to be their status quo, and where they are now.

Resources and further reading

Some of the resources mentioned during this session (and a few bonus ones too):

Thank you

Thank you to Ben Ryan (Head of Product at FatSecret) for sharing, our volunteers Gwen and Nosh, and to our generous host and Zoom sponsor, A Cloud Guru – they’re on a mission to teach the world to cloud.

Slides and video

Being Objective is Hard: Product from the Agency Side – April Wrap

Between snap lockdowns and restrictions, we were lucky to be able to sneak in another face to face meetup to talk all things product. 

Even with all the various frameworks available, design thinking, lean methodologies and agile practices, product should be a piece of cake, right? Well, we all know that it rarely is. But what about when we add an agency lens on top as well? In April, Jim O’Malley and Su Lim from Isobar Australia shared some of their perspectives from the other side.

Some Common Challenges

  • Lack of customer focus: The product team may believe they own the product, but it is vital to remember our customers, because they’re the ones that will use our product. Often the product team may get it, however, sometimes the rest of the organisation may not.
  • Fixed solutions: where the team or organisation doesn’t apply an hypothesis-driven approach. Remember, ultimately, until it goes out in the market, we actually don’t know. We’re just guessing. 
  • Lack of autonomy: Teams are given a bunch of features to build, instead of problems to solve.
  • Hippos: Although often well meaning, having the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) driving the direction, rather than underlying data can be a recipe for disaster. This can also cause a lack of communication or alignment to vision, and tends to drive the wrong focus.
  • Data derailers: Whether it is too much, or too little, or even the wrong sort of data. These all have the risk of slowing things down and grinding progress to a halt.

What To Do – an Agency Approach

Although working with an agency comes with a price tag, there are plenty of benefits too. From access to senior leadership, being impartial and baggage free, and disconnected from internal politics. 

To help pull this all together, the team at Isobar utilises their Diagnostic session framework, bringing key people (including senior stakeholders) together and co-designing an approach forward through a guided conversation. 

01. The Intro

Setting up the context and creating an environment with psychological safety, so that red flags can be raised early. This can be especially important in larger organisations. 

02. Past

Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of knowledge and experience already within the teams. But possibly also battle scars. Have an open conversation, and recognise how we got here, and what’s been tried before. Are there any prior learnings or research that can be leveraged? 

03. Present

Understand the current state. What are the hurdles and complexities that will need to be addressed? Are there any unknown or unexpected factors that need to be unpacked?

04. Future

Do we agree on the problem and proposition? Can we land on a product vision to guide future decisions? 

What is the desired future reality? What would need to change to enable this view? What are the barriers, enablers and quirks which may be unique to the business.

The group may have differing views, but find the common ground to start building a shared mental model and alignment.

05. Wrap

It is important to always end with clear next steps. What is required to move forward, by whom and by when. 

Final tips:

  • The setup: Be thoughtful of who should attend. Do your research and gather any pertinent information.
  • Be flexible: allow the conversation to flow, and don’t be too rigid with the structure of the workshop.
  • Collaborative wall-work (brick or digital) to help formulate shared understanding.
  • Leverage momentum.

Further reading available at https://isobar.training/anonymous/

Thank you

Thank you again to Jim O’Malley (Head of Strategic Design) and Su Lim (Associate Design Director) for generously sharing some of their experiences, and to our sponsor, the Products and Services team at Isobar Australia for hosting us.

And to our fearless organisers, Jen Leibhart and Liz Blink, and our dedicated volunteers, Gwen D’souzaNosh Darbari and Steve Bauer.

A Practical Guide to Customer Feedback

We love getting customer feedback – and there are some times we don’t love getting customer feedback! RSVP for Thursday July 22

Our speaker, Dipa Rao, will share her experiences of dealing with both
solicited AND unsolicited customer feedback. Dipa will discuss:

  • setting the right expectations for getting feedback
  • how to manage responses
  • how to prepare for managing everything that comes your way including hippos & distressed customers!

RSVP for Thursday July 22nd

Closer to the date we’ll know if we can do this session as both in-person and online streaming.

Our Speaker

Dipa Rao is a Product Experience at Australia Post. She has worked as an Agile Coach and consultant at Elabor8 with clients such as Coles, UniSuper, Seek & the Alcohol & Drug Foundation. Twitter:@dipanjali 

Our Sponsor

Yellowfin is a global analytics and business intelligence (ABI) software vendor with a suite of world-class products powered by automation. Yellowfin is recognized as an innovator by the world’s leading analyst firms. More than 29,000 organizations and over 3 million end-users across 75 countries use Yellowfin every day. https://www.yellowfinbi.com/

Continuous Discovery in Real Life

Thursday, June 17th RSVP

Continuous discovery is often referenced as a way to build an organisational view of customer needs; ultimately bringing focus to solving the problems that add value for customers and by extension the business.

However, the road to building this ideal is neither straight nor clear. There are multiple obstacles, anchors and false starts, especially if you’re starting from a position where your organisation is neither wired nor ready for such a journey.

Over the last four years, FatSecret has inched toward a continuous discovery model that is by no means complete, but they’re getting closer to the end goal, and learned a lot along the way. This session will cover a few of their lessons, missteps and wins along the way.

Our presenter

Head of Product at FatSecret, Ben Ryan

Ben started in product when he applied for a Producer role at REA at the end of 2012. By the time he actually got hired, that role had become a Consumer Product Manager. Soon after, he got to be the guinea pig in an experiment to merge REAs Consumer and Customer Product Manager roles and didn’t dislike the change.

Later, after a year (possibly less) working in the Death Star (aka NAB’s 700 Bourke Street), he decided to take a punt on a company he’d never heard of and became the first Product Manager at FatSecret. They’d also never heard of a Product Manager, so there were lessons to be had by all. Since then, he’s helped the company launch a consumer offering and grow revenues by 60% YoY.

Try as he might, he can’t help but look down on people who use “learnings” in sentences…or in any form, for that matter.

Session Details

We are not sure if this will be a f2f/zoom or some combination of the two. When you RSVP, let us know your likelihood of joining Zoom or in-person.

Become (more) brilliant with Impro! – March Wrap

Impro Melbourne session at Product Anonymous
Photo courtesy of Koen Alexander

After a long challenging year, it was great to get back together for our first face to face meetup for 2021. After multiple delays, we finally were able to be joined by Katherine Weaver and Caylie Panuccio from Impro Melbourne for a fun and interactive session and it certainly did not disappoint. 

During the session, we learnt a little about improv, and were guided through a series of activities, where we learnt about:

  • Supporting each other and helping your partner (colleague) look good;
  • Collaborating with others and building on ideas;
  • Empathy for our stakeholders, who will have a lot of other things on their plate at times; and
  • Our own self-consciousness, and the artificial rules we create for ourselves.

Not only was the session extremely fun, we also saw how the exercises could be applied in work settings, to make us better product people. 

About Impro Melbourne

Impro Melbourne is Victoria’s premier improvisation company and the home of spontaneous theatre since 1996, and celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.  

Between performing shows and running a full schedule of workshops at their training facilities, they also take workshops and shows to schools and community venues, and lead corporate training sessions at home and overseas. 

If you’re interested in learning more or developing soft skills, beginner workshops are available: 

Check their website for more dates and details. Or for corporate events, public events, or workshops, contact Impro Melbourne at publicworkshops@impromelbourne.com.au

Thank you

Thank you again to our fantastic facilitators: Katherine Weaver, improviser, actor, teacher and Artistic Director of Impro Melbourne and Caylie Panuccio, Senior UX Researcher at SEEK, who has been practicing improvised theatre with Impro Melbourne on and off for the past couple of years and has found it a huge help as a designer / researcher / product person working in corporate environments

And also to our volunteers, Gwen D’souza, Nosh Darbari, Steve Bauer and our trusty organisers, Jen Leibhart and Liz Blink.

Katherine and Caylie doing their thing.
Photo courtesy of Koen Alexander

Being Objective is Hard!

Event: Thursday, April 15th RSVP

There is a general consensus that one should use user data to validate thinking and steer products in the right direction. But as you probably know all too well, the inputs that go into product roadmap decisions aren’t so neat and tidy.

There’s an endless onslaught of competing ideas and requests from executives, team leads, customers, and often a lot of personal investment in the ideas being suggested. With all this influence, how do you make sure the right signals are heard through the noise?

Our speakers have a slightly different angle on this problem because they work at an agency! Since they have the advantages inherent in being an agency and paid outsider, they’ll share how they set up an engagement from the get-go to promote better decision-making and ultimate project success – and how all this could be applied by internal client teams.

They will take us through a technique called the Diagnostic, which will help you get the buy-in from sponsors/stakeholders, alignment on the objectives & ways of working plus increase the likelihood of avoiding Hippos. This way you can focus on building a great and sustainable product.

This is an in-person event!

  • Doors: 6pm
  • There will be a check-in for contract tracing purposes
  • Yes, there will be pizza and beverages
  • Kick off: 6:30pm
  • If there’s interest, a post session beverage somewhere nearby often happens!

RSVP for Thursday April 15th

There will be a post-session summary here on the blog. We are looking at how we would do streaming and in-person at the same time but assume this will be in-person only.

Our Speakers

Jim O’Malley – Head of Strategic Design, Isobar Australia

Jim has over 15 years of experience designing and leading the development of innovative products and customer experiences across digital channels. He has worked across multiple industries for start-ups and global brands, including Travel & Leisure, Pharmaceuticals, Health, Superannuation and Automotive.

Su Lim – Associate Design Director, Isobar Australia

Su is an Associate Design Director in Isobar’s Products & Services team which exists to create and innovate new products and services that generate value and drive revenue.

Day to day, she collaborates with cross-functional teams to uncover opportunities then rapidly prototype, validate and deliver new digital experiences for a range of organisations, from start-ups to enterprises.

As a designer with 15 years in the industry, she is passionate about solving problems collaboratively, and strives to design experiences that are simple, effective and beautifully crafted.

Our Sponsor

About Isobar: Products & Services team

We are a global digital agency transforming businesses and brands through a creative use of digital. Our mission is delivering experience-led transformation, powered by creativity through our end-to-end service offering.

The team delivering the content for this Product Anonymous edition are the Products & Services team. A highly autonomous and cross functional arm of Isobar, offering deep expertise in innovating new products and services that quickly create impactful customer experiences and build valuable businesses.

The team works across the entire product lifecycle and provides innovation services for early stage idea direction, validation, and product and service development; with access to complementary services and partners; and an inherent bias towards action

RSVP for this in person session – Thursday April 15th

How to overcome Floccinaucinihilipilification – February Wrap

One of the famous 7 Ps of product marketing is Price. As product professionals, we’re caught in the middle of a battle between trying to maximise price for our bottom line, while offering appealing value to the customer who wants to minimise their costs. Jon Manning showed that there are many myths in pricing, while giving great tips on options available when we are trying to price our products.

What does that big word even mean?

floccinaucinihilipilification
/ˌflɒksɪˌnɔːsɪˌnɪhɪlɪˌpɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
the action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

Top 10 Pricing Myths

Top 10 Pricing Myths

The myth of the perfect price

There is no such thing as a perfect price. Everyone has a different understanding of what they are willing to pay and how that payment should be structured. So pricing depends on each individual, and there will not be a single price or model that suits everyone.

The myth of full price

In certain hotels, they are obliged to outline their ‘rack rates’ – what the company specifies as the default rate for the room. You could often find it behind the door. However, nobody pays rack rates in hotels any more. Instead, we use discount sites as we want to get a great price – to get the “The thrill of the kill”. As a result discounting has to be a strategic part of pricing.

The myth of stealth price increases

Stealth price increases just don’t happen as much as we think. Thanks to social media, when people discover them they give immediate feedback to the vendor. One example is the drug Daraprim that went from US$13.50 to US$750 per tablet overnight and was immediately picked up by the media.

The myth of a world first pricing model

Some people believe that they have just invented a brand new pricing model and that nobody else has done it before. The reality is that all have been done in some way in the past. For example, Uber surge pricing model was just what the airlines did in the 1970s. During the great fire of London, the boatmen evacuating people across the Thames actually tripled their fares.  

The myth of ‘markets’, and ‘the invisible hand’

Prices are not set by some sort of invisible hand – they’re set by real people.

Prof. Mark Ritson of London Business School said: “Pricing is the worst managed of all marketing areas. How prices are decided is often a mixture of voodoo and bingo.”

The myth of traditional economic theory

Traditional economic theory talks about price elasticity as when prices go down, the quantity of demand goes up. However, we never see this perfect price elasticity.

The myth that pricing models are for life

Our pricing models need to evolve. For example, many of our purchasing these days is by subscription model. Or how engines on planes are no longer charged by unit but are charged for power provided.

(Though with 90% of the world’s fleet on the ground this model is probably making it a bit tough for the engine manufacturers).

The myth of the spreadsheet 

Every pricing model is in a spreadsheet without fail. However, this is just a simulation and not what happens in the real world.

The myth of procurement

Working with a Procurement team is like a frenemy; both friend and enemy to agreeing on a deal.  You need to understand how they work – for example spend time with Procurement to learn how they beat up vendors on price. Then build this approach into your pricing model

The myth of cost-plus pricing

Customers don’t care about how much it costs you to produce – they just care about the value for them. 

Why is pricing so important?

Pricing has a huge impact on operating profit. A 1% improvement in price can lead to an 11.1% increase in operating profit – a much better ratio than improving fixed costs, volume or variable costs.

Apple has many fans despite their price. Their strategy has sensitized their customers to the value they bring, over the price they charge. Which means they can take the discussion away from price

However, not everyone is really thinking through their pricing. Startups are filling in their business model canvas, and thinking about migrating their users from eyeballs to customers, but they are not thinking through their actual revenue.

The Value-Based Pricing Canvas

The Value-Base Pricing Canvas

This canvas gives you 15 pricing questions designed to get you thinking about the value your provide. For example is it better to have no-hidden-surprises pricing, or dynamic pay-as-you-go pricing? Organisation and customer behaviors are driven by pricing so it is best to have this clear.

A blank canvas is available on the pricing prophets website

Value based pricing methodologies

Van Westendorp’s Price Sensitivity Meter

This is a Value-based approach because you have to talk to customer, rather than an ivory tower exercise. You ask customers four questions in surveys:

  • At what price does the product look cheap
  • At what price does the product look expensive
  • At what price does the product look too expensive
  • At what price does the product look too cheap

You can then plot these on chart and a box forms that helps determine an optimal price band.

Customer Value Analysis

This gets customers to value each attributes of your product, assign weights, and get an overall measure of customer value.

  • Identify value attributes from a customer perspective
  • Get customers to weight the product value attributes
  • Get customers to assess the product value attributes
  • Benchmark products against each other
  • Plot findings on a value map

This overall measure of value can also be used to generate a price

Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions

SaaS subscription model

This is now the classic startup pricing approach.

  1. Define the architecture of your products
  2. Define the operational stuff the product actually does
  3. Define the non-operative features, because it adds further differentiation
  4. Consider the optional extras, for example things that are included in one product, but not in an another
  5. Consider your segmentation, what each segment is willing to pay and whether it caters for all your customers and personas. 

How do you choose your pricing model?

Choosing a pricing model is a combination of many factors; including analysis, experience, and sometimes you just know.

Many products are just naturally heading towards the SaaS model – it feels like a silver bullet for most online products.

However there are some increases in the number of companies using usage based pricing only; Snowflake, Stripe and Twilio. These companies are growing faster than other SaaS companies.

Our Speaker

Jon Manning has vast experience in value-based pricing, gained in technology, and a range of other industries. He is a two-time past presenter at Product Camp.

His career has been a journey through three other pricing methodologies: the mysterious pricing of the oil industry, cost-plus pricing in the catering industry, and dynamic pricing in aviation and other services industries.

Check out Jon’s new book, Floccinaucinihilipilification, available on kindle & paperback at Amazon 

Our Sponsor

Thank you to A Cloud Guru for being an amazing sponsor! ACG is teaching the world to cloud – and currently hiring! https://acloudguru.com/careers

Coming next

In March we have a few sessions in the works! We’ll be co-hosting the LTP Pitchfest on March 18th and then we’re hoping to be able to meet face to face on March 30th for a session on improv. Plus, there may be dumplings!

Resources

Grab the slides

How to overcome Floccinaucinihilipilification (& learn what it is!)

FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION is the habit of estimating something as valueless. (there… got one of those goals out of the way!)

For our 1st talk of 2021, Jon Manning will help us understand this common mistake made when valuing, pricing and monetizing your products and services.

RSVP for Thursday February 25th

The talk will cover:

  • pricing myths
  • a 15 step value-based pricing canvas
  • 4 value-based pricing methodologies to ensure you get the price you deserve for your products & services

Our Speaker

Jon Manning has vast experience in value-based pricing, gained in technology, and a range of other industries. He is a two-time past presenter at Product Camp.

He’s recently released a book of the same name – available on Amazon.

Jon’s career has been a journey through three other pricing methodologies: the mysterious pricing of the oil industry, cost-plus pricing in the catering industry, and dynamic pricing in aviation and other services industries.

Our Sponsor

A Cloud Guru Logo

Massive thanks to A Cloud Guru for sponsoring! Our mission is to teach the world to cloud. Find your place at ACG.

RSVP now for this zoom session on Thurs Feb 25th at 18:20.

Birthday Talks – November Wrap

For our last event for 2020, Product Anonymous celebrated our 9th birthday. Again. We’ve actually lost track of how old we are. And this may or may not be the third time that we’ve celebrated our 9th birthday. But I digress.

We’ve had another action packed year, with so many great talks from sharing insights and becoming a super-team with marketing, to leading through influence and creating buy-in to help prioritisation with an ethical lens, getting out of product hell and transitioning to a product-led company, which can have different nuances in big corps and startups.

As well as organising all of these fantastic talks, Product Anonymous also helps nurture our own people to turn on their camera and microphones, and face the crowd. And for our final event, we had five of our community do just that, taking the virtual stage to give short 5mins talks. 

Talk to the Pencil – Marc Vandamme

As a product manager, you will need to work with a range of people, and bring them all into alignment. But how do you do that? With a comprehensive and detailed requirements document? Marc Vandamme says no! Pick up your pencil, and sketch it out. Whether it’s the interface, wireframes or flow charts, drawings will help to align the thinking faster.

I <3 Amplitude – Fernando Parra

Much of product management involves product discovery: understanding our customers’ problems with qualitative research. However, on the other side of the equation is all the data, and the world of quantitative product intelligence.

Self-confessed data geek, Fernando Parra, gave us a crash course for one such product intelligence tool – Amplitude. 

After registering, you can explore the different aspects of this analytics SaaS product,  with full access to their sandbox, which comes pre-configured with two sample projects (an eCommerce and B2B examples). From there, you can build your own charts and experiment with different data visualisations from the sample data.

Diversity – Aseel Hamarneh

Why should you (or your company) take diversity seriously? To not discriminate, or for ethical reasons? Or to avoid penalties and lawsuits? Maybe the most compelling reason is that diversity actually makes good business sense too.

Companies with ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.

McKinsey 2015

The more diverse your team is, the more perspectives that are brought in when you are designing and building solutions. But where do you start?

  • Start with yourself: recognise your own biases, we all have them.
  • Then your team: focus on diversity in your hiring. From your job ads to selection, there are plenty of tools to use.
  • Then your product: Think about your end users. Accessible solutions usually work better for all users.

Thanksgiving – Erica Wass

So much of what a Product Manager does is around influencing without authority, and giving thanks is one of the many tools to utilise, whether that be for bringing the team together, motivating, celebrating or influencing the culture and driving behaviour changes. 

Different people prefer to be recognised in different ways. So talk to your team members, and see what they prefer, and act accordingly.

Regardless if in big, public ways, or more subtle gestures, remember, it’s about the recipient, not about you.

5 Tips for More Impactful Presentations – Pratishtha Nahata

  1. Minimise Decision Fatigue: Plan your talk. Give yourself the space to think, and focus on the content and structure. Once you know what you want to say, then you can start to colour in the details, and  apply some design.
  1. Plan how info will be distributed across slides: Order and sequence the info for your, because order matters:
  • For results, outcomes or recommendations, start with the ending. 
  • For training, process or to build anticipation, start at the beginning.
  • If your audience is not familiar with the topic, you might want to start with an example before jumping into concepts. 
  1. Make it visual: Group or show the relationships between different information, to help reduce the cognitive load for your audience, so they’ll be more likely to understand and retain the information. 
  1. Only keep what’s absolutely necessary: Don’t overcrowd your slides. What does your audience already know, and is info being repeated? What can be verbal? Use visual cues, to help focus attention. Remember, you’re the star of the presentation, not your slides. 
  1. Practice. At least 2-8 times, with and without slide.
  1. Bonus tip – watch stand-up: watch and learn how comics keep their audience engaged. 

Thank you

It’s been such a busy year, with so many people to thank, starting with our speakers, Marc Vandamme, Fernando Parra, Aseel Hamarneh, Erica Wass and Pratishtha Nahata, and everybody else who has shared with us this year.

Our generous host, A Cloud Guru, who have hosted so many of our events this year – they’re on a mission to teach the world to cloud.

Our volunteers, Gwen D’souzaNosh Darbari, Steve Bauer and the rest of the crew, who help behind the scenes, and ensure our events run smoothly.

And last but not least, our trusty organiser, Jen Leibhart and Liz Blink, who bring our whole community together. Have a safe festive season, and see you in the new year.

LIVE: Tonight! Salted Caramel Crack

OK… it’s not live. but it was tonight.

In COVID times, we’ve been having monthly social events. We start by eating Which often turn into cooking events. Tonight we’re making Salted Caramel Crack by Annabel Crabb

100 g butter

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 a packet of crackers (Salada or whatever). It seems it’s more important for them to be rectangles than anything else

1/2 t vanilla essence

pinch of salt

100 grams dark chocolate – chopped – use cheap stuff, not fancy.

handful of pistachio or walnut or something. Jane recommends pistachio because it looks pretty

Take a flat baking tray, cover it in foil. then lay a piece of baking paper on top. Lay the crackers next to each other

On low heat, cook the butter & sugar. Constantly stir! or it will burn!

add the salt & vanilla right before you remove from the heat.

THEN FAST…

pour the caramel onto the crackers and smooth it across the crackers. Don’t worry if the caramel has split. It goes in the oven and the crackers absorb and it tastes great.

Put this in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Lick the spatula

Hey (Google/Alexa), set a timer for 15 minutes

Have the chopped nuts & chopped chocolate ready to put onto the top AFTER you remove from the oven.

Add the chocolate, then the salt, then the nuts.

Don’t be lazy! Put the choc bits all the way to the end. Get the sides. Or you will be sad.

– Jane

Put the finished product in the fridge to harden. You can eat it now but Jane says it’s better after it’s chilled.

When it’s not shiny anymore or wet when you press it with your finger, then it’s time to EAT!

Jane’s
Steve’s
Nosh’s (sponsored by Savers and Aldi)