What’s happening

Newsletter 76-Bounceback

Our bounceback has coincided with the arrival of spring. A loud chorus of birds wakes me each morning. They swoop and chatter again at sundown. There are birds nesting in one of my crepe myrtle trees, at every turn there is rapid growth of new leaves, the smoke bush is absolutely glorious, and the weather is that springtime mix of sunshine and heavy rain. I confess I found it startling for the first few days to see groups of happy people congregating in cafes and restaurants and strolling without masks. Startling but also heartening after these months of lockdown…

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Newsletter 75 – Special Moments

I have now caressed my new book “Home” and can report that it is all that I had hoped for. The design by Michelle Mackintosh is wonderful and the photography by Armelle Habib absolutely splendid. The publicity is a mix of phone and Zoom. Event after event has had to be cancelled or postponed. I did receive a very special endorsement from Nigella Lawson to whom I sent a copy. Nigella has been generous before with her comments on my work but this paragraph is exceptional…

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Newsletter 74 – Waiting for my new book

I am proud to announce the imminent publication of what I think is my nineteenth book. ‘Home’ will be published on September 28.  

This book has been a joy to write and I have revisited many happy moments. I have indulged myself, spending happy hours in my own library; I have triaged boxes of notebooks and piles of clippings and discovered much treasure. I have had great conversations with like-minded food writers and good home cooks. I was encouraged by my publishers to be reflective, no doubt a kind way of reminding me of my age and my long culinary journey to this point. The suggestion to include a suite of essays was accepted with enthusiasm and has given me an opportunity to reflect on my life and the world as I see it now. Inevitably after a long lifetime fascinated by how and what people eat, it is unsurprising that I have been influenced and delighted by a wide range of people, places and experiences…



Newsletter 72 – Marvellous March in Marvellous Melbourne has now slipped away!

A rainy afternoon. It is many months since I have watched the rain fall for most of the day and happily it has coincided with a day I had set aside as Recovery Day after three weeks of in-studio photographic shoots for my new book.  Exciting and scary to taste my creations be cooked by two splendid cooks (thanks Jenny and Ben) and then become beautiful photographs under the talented hands of Carolyn Velik and Armelle Habib.  To know that only I could change the quantities and method, and know that only I will be held responsible if the recipes do not work for a fabled, but often-quoted Mrs Jones.  Now the text has left my hands after I made some minute adjustments and I must wait…

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Newsletter 69 – I have had a BIG birthday

Stephanie Alexander 's 80th birthday

I know I announced there would not be another newsletter until the Covid emergency was over. Well none of us imagined that we would still be waiting for that moment into November. Melbourne calendar milestones took place as never before – the Grand Final in Brisbane and Cup Day without crowds.

However, on schedule Spring has sprung and this morning I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the sun on the new leaves, the shine on the back of the young blue-tongued lizard that takes a sunbath on the paving, the flash of two rainbow lorikeets swinging in the golden blossoms of the grevillea, and then to cap it off I had a kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree just a few metres from my door. Well I tried to take pictures of all three wild creatures but they were too clever and at the first squeak of my door they were gone.

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.