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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…



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 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…

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 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…

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 71 – Summer holiday with the girls

Shoreham beach

It only took an hour and a half from Melbourne to be in holiday mode. A friend recommended that we lunch at Ocean Eight winery until our Airbnb house was ready for us. A splendid suggestion. We picked a beautiful spot under a gum tree and unloaded our camping chairs, low table and even spread a Turkish towel as an elegant cloth and to stop our wine glasses sliding. The buttery Chardonnay was a splendid match for the plate of spiced St Helen’s oysters recommended by owner Mike Aylward. The rest of the family pulled up minutes later and we tucked into steamed prawn and ginger dumplings, and soft spring rolls, expertly prepared by Bia Hoi BBQ.

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.