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Newsletter 41 – Food adventures & irresistible reads

Holidays are over. For two weeks I enjoyed a daily long morning walk in perfect weather. A gentle breeze each morning. My friend and I mostly walked at low tide on a wide expanse of hard-packed sand with just the glitter of the ocean as a distraction. My body feels much stronger than last summer, when my two hip replacements were less than a year old.

Tradition has it that I cook, but not at breakfast. Sometimes we finished up at a favourite local café (a la grecque) for our coffee and a Greek breakfast of grilled baguette, chopped tomatoes, olive tapenade, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Other days we went to a rival café Onda where we shared a gozleme filled with pumpkin and fetta.


Video: How to make bread


This video will teach you how to knead, prove and shape home-cooked bread. Master these techniques and then experiment with flours and seeds to make different bread shapes and flavours.

The video is part of a collection of tutorials created for The Cook’s Companion App. To view more, download the App or stay tuned as more videos are added to the website regularly.

Newsletter 40 – Slow January


How delightful it is to slow down but how strange it is also! I have had to give myself a good talking-to – it is OK to spend hours lying on the couch reading an absorbing book. It is also OK to drift off to sleep in the middle of the day for an hour. And how pleasing it is to drive anywhere with no parking hassles at markets or strip shopping centres. Amongst the indolence have been some lovely social moments.

New Year’s Eve. With best friends. On a balcony. Perfect evening. Everyone asked to bring a plate. I brought a trolley loaded with some of my ham and turkey mini-pasties mixed with eggplant chutney, and a major dish of John Dory fillets settled on a bed of gently-cooked tomato, scattered with amaretti crumbs and baked for 20 minutes. ‘Me and my trolley strolled down Victoria Street’ and delivered the still-warm treats.


Newsletter 39 – Soggy spring

River views

What spring rains we have had. Walking along the river path has meant avoiding spreading puddles and low-hanging branches that shower more water on my head and down my neck. It has also provided ideal conditions for breeding mosquitoes and other invisible biting creatures that are causing me and others intense discomfort. Is there anything more irresistible than an itch that needs to be scratched! And I have allergic reactions to almost all anti-itch medications.
And just when I thought I would go mad the sun came out. In the garden butterflies and dragonflies hovered over the sage bushes, magnificently in bloom within hours of the change.The new foliage on the crepe myrtles is a golden-green, the new growth on a gum in the middle distance is all bronze-red, and the listing acacias are covered in acid yellow fluffy balls. From another vantage point the far off river gum is a luminous silver. After days of rain and dullness, a sun-shine on everything. So lovely. Christmas lilies are peeping through. Maybe this year they will flower as I believe I have finally thwarted the rabbits with my dug-in rabbit proof fencing.


The Cook’s Table – Book Tour Dates & Ticket Giveaway

The Cook's Table Tour November 2016 will be a busy month touring various cities in celebration of my new book, The Cook’s Table. I hope you can join me at an event near you!


Book Signing, Dymocks Brisbane
12.30pm, Wednesday 2 November
Fresh Food Markets, Reddacliff Place, 266 George St, Brisbane QLD 4000
Bookings not required

Event, Brisbane Powerhouse
7.00pm, Wednesday 2 November
In conversation with Kylie Lang, audience Q&A and book signing
Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm, QLD 4005
Tickets: $30 (full), $35 concession Book here

Literary Breakfast, Riverbend Books
7.00am, Thursday 3 November
Breakfast, in conversation with Suzy Wilson, audience Q&A and book signing
Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St, Bulimba QLD 4171
Tickets: $40 Book here



Book signing at Kinokuniya
4.00pm, Thursday 3rd November
The Galeries, Level 2, The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
RSVP here

Literary Dinner, Bathers Pavilion SOLD OUT
7.00pm, Thursday 3 November
In conversation with Julie Gibbs, Literary Dinner, audience Q&A and book signing
The Bathers’ Pavilion, 4 The Esplanade, Balmoral NSW 2088
Tickets: $125, includes a three course dinner and a glass of wine
Bookings: SOLD OUT

Event: Better Read than Dead
6.30pm,  Friday 25 November
In conversation with Annabel Crabb
Camperdown Commons, 31A Mallet St, Camperdown
Tickets: $5. Guests are also welcome to join us for dinner at Acre after the talk. The set menu is $55
Book here



Literary Dinner, Australian National University
6.15pm, Friday 4 November
Literary Dinner, in conversation with Marion Halligan, audience Q&A and book signing
University House, ANU
Tickets: $85, includes appetiser, two-course dinner, tea or coffee & glass of Clonakilla Wine
Book here or phone 02 6125 5270

Muse Canberra
2.00pm, Saturday 5 November
In conversation with Masterchef’s Trent Harvey, audience Q&A and book signing
Muse Canberra, East Hotel, 69 Canberra Ave, Kingston ACT 2602
Tickets: $10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink) Book here



An afternoon with Stephanie Alexander, Burnside Ballroom
12.30pm, Monday 7 November
In conversation with Callum Hahn
Burnside Ballroom, 401 Greenhill Rd, Tusmore SA 5065
Tickets: $20, includes light lunch and wine
Book here or phone  (08) 8366 4280

Literary Dinner, The Artisan Cafe
7.00pm, Monday 7 November
Literary Dinner, in conversation with Heather from the Artisan Café, audience Q&A and book signing
The Artisan Café, Blackwood
Tickets: $80.00 (includes $5 off purchase of book)
Bookings: Call Shakespeare’s on (08) 8278 9888

Melbourne & Victoria

From the vault presented by Yalumba
Part of Good Food Month
6.30pm, Friday 11 November
Stephanie Alexander joined by Tansy Good, Jacques Reymond, Anthony Lui and Guy Grossi
At Grossi Florentino Upstairs
Tickets: $250, includes five courses with Yalumba paired wines. SOLD OUT

A Summer’s Day Party with Stephanie Alexander
Presented by Eltham Bookshop
6.30pm, Monday 14 November
St Helena’s Secondary College, Wallowa Road
Tickets: $85 for singles, includes a copy of the book or a $65 gift voucher; $100.00 for couples, includes a copy of the book. Everyone gets a complimentary glass of wine and delectable finger food to taste.
Bookings: 03 9439 8700 or elthambookshop@bigpond.com or by visiting 970 Main Road, Eltham.

Literary Lunch, Queenscliff
In conversation with Paul Bangay
12.30pm, Wednesday 23 November
Shelter Shed Queenscliff, 25 Hesse St, Queenscliff VIC 3225
Tickets: $125 (incl. $20 book voucher, 2 course lunch and glass of Pol Roger NV
Bookings:  (03) 5258 4496 or email thebookshopatqueenscliff@gmail.com

Literary Dinner in conversation with Larissa Dubecki, Montalto
7.00pm Friday 18 November
Presented by The Wheeler Centre
Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, 33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, Victoria 3937
Tickets: $60, inclusive of food; wine charged on consumption
Book here



Luncheon, Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust
12.00pm, Wednesday 16th November
2016 Christmas Conversations Luncheon
Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston
$75 per person, includes two-course lunch and a glass of sparkling on arrival
Book here

Literary Dinner at Hill Street Grocer, Devonport
6.00pm, Wednesday 16th November
Hill Street Grocer, Devonport

Literary Lunch at Hill St Grocer, Hobart
12.00pm, Thursday 17th November
Hill Street Grocer, 70 Arthur St, West Hobart TAS 7000