Talking Cookbook

posted 19 December 2013

I did a year of Talking Cookbook at Eveleigh Farmers Market. I’d stand at my stall waiting for people to come along and ask a food, ingredient, or cooking question. Got lots of quizzical looks.

I don’t remember what the impetus was for making that first call to then-market organiser Kathy Tilbury, but she was enthusiastic in her response. A few weeks later I was shopping for felt with my friend Kate and making a colourful cloth in which to dress my stall. Kate made some bouncy signs (one featured a spectacular spelling error that made people laugh) and talked about making felt fruit and vegetable shapes to decorate the cloth. That hasn’t happened yet, but is an idea to be revived when either of us gets the time.

The idea was to talk about food. Not from the vantage of an expert, but a fellow shopper and cook. It was done in the spirit of knowing that many people are no longer learning how to cook at home and don’t have someone around to ask questions of. I learned to cook as a child, watching Granny make scones and my father experiment from cookbooks. I took myself off to the market in the spirit of a granny or mum, even though I am neither. If someone had a food, ingredient or cooking question, they could ask me.

PS I’m not a know-it-all, but I do know a lot.

An essential travelling companion

posted 10 October 2013

Bruce Auld’s talk on edible weeds was a big hit at Food & Words. Weed out his book, A Travelling Flora, and keep it in the glovebox so that you can track down supper when you’re on the road.
What I love about this book is, that as a reference book, it is filled with interesting information that you can apply to what you see around you. You can learnt to id the roadside flora and take it on overland expeditions so that you have it on hand when you come across something new.
I’m more interested in the edible variety of weeds and look forward to some very interesting salads this foraging season.

Cookbook collections

posted 4 October 2013
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I am the owner of a few hundred cookbooks. The rule is that they all have to fit into the designated bookcase, which means if I buy a new cookbook an old one has to go. I subvert the rule constantly. Not only has the bookcase itself grown larger over the years but books are double shelved, tucked in horizontally and stacked on top. And still she does not stop. My latest obsession is second-hand cookbooks. You can pick up classic early-edition books at bargain prices and get your hands on a title or author you always meant to buy, but didn’t (Waverly Root, where are you?).

I know this is an obsession that many share. What is it about a good cookbook?