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Newsletter 80 – Here I go again

‘Never say never’ one is advised. Wise advice. I find myself writing again. This time it will be a book of family-friendly recipes inspired by what the students in the kitchen garden programs across the country have been preparing and enjoying. I am making adjustments so each recipe will make a family-sized portion rather than tastes for twenty. I have been having fun cooking and sharing some of the test dishes with neighbours. Six of us had a most enjoyable curry night. Today I made little meringues and quince jelly and perfected Anzacs. My nearest neighbours are foodies and when there is just a little to share, I send my sample or taste via a scarlet string bag lowered over the balcony…

Newsletter 79 – Creeping out of the Covid shell

Although my latest book ‘Home’ was published in October, almost every event to promote it was cancelled. So it has been fun to catch up with friends and events recently.  It is always a pleasure to chat with my clever friend and colleague Annie Smithers.  Even though she lives a long way away I am in touch weekly via her sessions on Blueprint for Living on Radio National with the urbane and curious Jonathan Green.  It was a special treat to have not one but two sessions with Annie. One at Castlemaine in the beautifully-restored Goods Shed, moderated by my friend and former publisher Julie Gibbs (who also hosted a very special luncheon at Bar Midland) and a few days later at the RACV Club in the CBD. We know there are always topics to explore and we could continue for hours. We are never bored and have to hope that our audience feels the same way…

Newsletter 78 – One Plus One

What a pleasure it was to spend several hours with Rosie Batty chatting about my life and the work I am currently doing. We could have gone on for hours. A lot of ground was covered from my earliest years in London in the Swinging Sixties, to the start of my various restaurants, the challenges of managing marriage, hospitality and young children, and then onto more recent times with the new challenges of founding a Not-for-profit Foundation determined to promote pleasurable food education. The program will be shown on the ABC on Thursday March 10 at 9.30pm.


Newsletter 77 – Belated Happy New Year (where did January go?)

The New Year is already well-established and we are told that we must live with Covid. I find it difficult to credit that my granddaughter is now six and is an enthusiastic school student with her Prep year completed mostly in front of a screen. Hasn’t seemed to bother her although she did tell me that she had had ‘two birthdays in lockdown’.  

Our family Christmas is now just a memory but it was most enjoyable with lots of unwrapping of excellent and thoughtful presents followed later by a beautiful shared meal. Crab cakes and jerk patties, roast stuffed goose, puffed sweetcorn pudding, an enormous pudding and a trifle as well…


Newsletter 73 – I Have Been travelling

I Have Been Travelling

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Tony at Trentham

Firstly to Trentham to see how my friend Tony Tan was getting on. Two years into his new life as a country gentleman and first-time gardener and carer of chickens he is enjoying life and enthusiastically preparing to hold cooking classes soon in his purpose-renovated  spaces.

It is always an absolute treat to be looked after by Tony. Such delicious things we ate. Tony was astonished I had never discovered rice cakes. Soft and squishy like pasta…

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