Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blue Ribbon named in top three

The Blue Ribbon Cookbook has been named in the short-list for the Best in the World competition run as part of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The book is one of three selected from 54 finalists for the Best Easy Recipe Book section. The winner will be announced at a special dinner at the Comedie Francais theatre in Paris on July 1.

Celebrating 'real' food - move over Nigela

An extremely impressive array of old-fashioned baking, tea pots, eye-catching aprons and blue gingham tableclothes captured the spirit of The Blue Ribbon Cookbook at a series of events in South Australia last month. The sessions were part of The Big Book Club, which selected the book as its February title. At Saddleworth, north of Adelaide, the local mayor praised it as a welcome relief from over-hyped celebrity cookbooks because it celebrates 'real food cooked by real people'. Host communities certainly proved the point through the morning and afternoon teas and suppers they provided, with much of the cooking being done by library volunteers and students from local schools. Liz travelled to Stirling, McLarenVale, Victor Harbor, Gawler, Balaklava, Minlaton (pictured), Saddleworth and Walkerville for the program, often joined by local cooks featured in the book. It was the first Big Book Club event held at Minlaton, and the first time a Big Book Club event has been held in the impressive library at Victor Harbor.

Above: Liz (right) with Clarrie Wandel and his daughter Christine Burford at the Balaklava event. Clarrie's wife, the late Doris Wandel, is featured in the book with her Mango Diabetic Fruit Cake recipe.

Above: Patrons queue up for their books at the McLaren Vale event.

Above: The event at the award-winning Stirling Library.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Taking it slow

Summer means tomatoes and for Italians ripe red tomatoes mean sugo – it’s sauce-making time. Last Sunday I joined other members of the Adelaide and Barossa convivium of Slow Food in a special event at the home of Malvina and Sebastiano Crugnale for their annual sauce making. After processing bucket loads of ripe Roma tomatoes, we enjoyed a simple but extremely tasty lunch of pasta, prepared by their son, Camillo, who is chef at respected Adelaide restaurant, Assaggio. Not about show cooking, but what a treat! And we all brought home two bottles of sauce each as a reward for rolling up our sleeves and helping out.