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Newsletter 68 – Wintry Melbourne

Today is a glorious winter’s day and I have just returned from a walk along the river (masked of course). It is uplifting to see the wattles in full flower, and in my own garden I picked the first brave freesia. A reminder that spring will come and maybe with it even a partial lifting of restrictions. Whilst one daughter has been a constant delight, visiting and shopping in her capacity as ‘carer’ I miss my other daughter and granddaughter and my friends. For me contact via digital platforms is simply not the same and does not lend itself to the sort of conversations that happen at the table. 

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Newsletter 67 – The new reality

Once the directive to self-isolate was properly understood, like everyone else it seems, I responded first of all by cooking for a siege. Suitably terrified by stories of what could befall the 70+ I decided to be as self-sufficient as possible. Cooked pots and pots of spinach, blanched, chilled, squeezed, divided and frozen. It is a wonderful resource – folded into a breakfast omelette, dropped into a pot of buttered rice, added to casseroles, or buttered lavishly and served underneath a grilled piece of fish.

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 55 – A big moment



Illustration_Newsletter55 (2)

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.


Newsletter 54 – A bit of history.



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 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.