All Australian foodlovers were saddened to hear of the death of Margaret Fulton, universally revered as a national treasure. Margaret broadened the horizons for at least one generation, probably more than that, with her understanding that there was more to a good dinner than chops and peas – mind you she also knew about chops and peas. We met several times over the years and she was generous in her acknowledgement of my own writing. Margaret had a lovely sense of humour and was never impressed by culinary gymnastics versus sound technique and full flavour. I am sure that her daughter and granddaughters have been comforted by the outpouring of affectionate memories for this diminutive but hugely important friend to many in the kitchen.
My travels this month took me to Canberra where I was able to visit one of our very first schools, Majura Primary School. What a pleasure. When I visited in 2008 soon after the school became the Demonstration school for the ACT, the garden was very newly planted. This time the beds were overflowing with produce, including a sensational 7-year-old fig tree. To read more, subscribe to the Cook’s Companion Club. You’ll be sent an immediate email with links to my current and past newsletters.
I am about to launch my 18th book into the market and of course there is a mix of excitement and anxiety.
The intended readership is new cooks, of whatever age and whichever gender. The book is illustrated and designed by the talented Evi O. My hope is to attract more and more tentative cooks into the kitchen and introduce them to the joys of cooking for themselves and their friends and family by smoothing the way and explaining the techniques and ‘why’s’ that can loom as stumbling blocks for the inexperienced. I had a teenager in my mind as I wrote but various grandparents have assured me the book will be perfect for their grandchildren of many differing ages.
I was lucky to visit this exhibition at the Art gallery of South Australia with a few of my fellow French students just days before it closed. Many thanks to frenchwithnicole.com.au for organising the day. What a splendid show it was! And what a beautiful gallery it is. There were not too many people, it was possible to stand in front of any painting for as long as you wanted and, dare I say it, far fewer visitors snapping away with their phones.
Many of the works were familiar from visits to the Quai d’Orsay in Paris but the way in which the show was curated was exciting. The works were grouped to show how these much-loved artists used colour in new ways, starting in the first room with rich blacks and deep tones, moving into a room of snowy scenes with blue reflections, then works of blue and green, then rose and violet. The walls of the various rooms were painted in complementary colours to show off the paintings. A cool lavender for the snowy paintings, a deep blue-green in the blue and green room.