What’s happening

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.

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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.

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Newsletter 66 – Colour and movement

Uni Melb team at Taj Mahal 

I am just back from a whirlwind 2 weeks in India, first in New Delhi, then in Mumbai. I was invited by the University of Melbourne to assist in an interactive promotion titled Food Journeys aimed at prospective postgraduate students interested in studying communications, media, marketing, publishing and creative writing in the Faculties of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. I found it easy to laud Melbourne’s credentials as a great food city, known for its diversity as well as its authenticity. I also spoke of my experiences over thirty years as a food communicator from the earliest days of a fledgling food media, to the present digital age and my very brief appearances on the hugely successful reality series Masterchef, and along the way was able to discuss the trials and excitements of being a published author of 17 books, and my proudest achievement of helping bring pleasurable food education to more than 200,000 Australian children every year.

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Newsletter 65 – Wow, so much to share!

SAKGF Coles Initiative Stephanie Alexander and Curtis Stone

I have been very quiet as I have been hugging a couple of exciting things to my chest and was sworn to secrecy until now.

For eighteen years I have been working my hardest to expand the awareness of the power of delicious food for young Australians via my not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. I still believe that the way to convince young people to choose great fresh food is to expand their food experiences and offer an enjoyable educational program that complements their general curriculum. Our mantra has been Growing..Harvesting..Preparing..Sharing.

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.