In Cooks Companion Club

Newsletter 86 – Farewell to glorious Autumn

This beautiful picture was taken by my neighbours upstairs from their balcony. How stunning. The next evening the boys told me that there was an owl resting on the pole of my sun umbrella. I didn’t dare open the door but peeped from behind the curtain and just saw a faint shape before it flew away…

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Newsletter 85 – Welcome Autumn

 Autumn is such a pleasure. I am loving the cool mornings and seeing how the trees glisten as the first sunshine touches the leaves. For an hour after I wake the mist still hangs over the river. How fortunate I am to have this view. Birds call loudly. Here and there in my own small garden there is wonderful colour emerging. Little skinks scuttle over the paving stones. Sadly my resident blue tongue lizard has gone to live somewhere else. It is the best time of the year to enjoy my coffee in the garden. I have perfect shade, I can enjoy watching the bees and note that it will soon be time to cut back the lemon-scented verbena, the crepe myrtles and the very leggy salvia. I watched a kookaburra this morning be chased from its comfortable branch by two very noisy magpies…

Read more: Newsletter 85 – Welcome Autumn

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Newsletter 84 – 2023 rolls on

I am a bit ashamed that my last newsletter was just before Christmas. Does anyone else even notice? The festive season was suitably festive and as ever a little bit frantic. There was a marvellous Christmas lunch with all of the Kitchen Garden staff and Board members which can make me feel a bit emotional. I started this adventure with my then PA and good friend Anna Dollard in my spare bedroom in 2001 and now look what has happened. So many young energetic people all working with common purpose, each with great stories to tell of their interactions with students, schools and communities…

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Newsletter 83 – Blue Skies must be on the way

Summer has arrived with many lovely sunny days but there has also been unseasonal rain. The river is very high but we have not had any significant flooding as has happened in so many other places. One benefit is that my garden is romping ahead. Everything seems to grow about a centimetre every hour. The buddleia is a sight to behold with its waving blue spikes. The salvias are blooming, the lavender and sage all out a riot of silver, purple and blue. The wall is almost covered in flowering, scented jasmine. And my recently planted New Forest Pansy tree Cercis Canadensis is so happy in its situation…

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 : Newsletter 83 – Blue Skies must be on the way
               

       
   

       
   

   

Newsletter 82- Moments of connection

I was so honoured to be asked by The National Gallery of Australia to design and oversee a dinner to celebrate both the 40th anniversary of the Gallery on October 8th but also to coincide with the opening of a major exhibition of the works of major Australian artist Cressida Campbell.  We already had a connection. My book The Cook’s Table is bound with a reproduction of Cressida’s After Lunch on the front cover, and Kitchen on the back cover. I have pored over every detail, and been delighted over and over again. The images were so appropriate for a book that celebrated the true pleasures of the cook’s table – simple dishes, not meddled with, idiosyncratic and highly personalised table settings, fresh herbs, grapes, and of course a wine glass…

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.: Newsletter 82- Moments of connection