Category: Making a Book
This is the kind of ‘a little something’ that I needed on a cold and wintery Sydney day recently.. pure comfort food. And I did indeed need a bit of comfort. I was exhausted after doing the shoot for my new book (out next year), and staying with my good friend (and fellow Whole and Natural Foods Chef) Holly Davis, who helped me, the word we used was ‘shattered’. We were completely shattered, and requiring said comfort food (plus, it was cold). It also seems that rice pudding is back in (mind you it has never really gone away in our house) – I noticed it has made an appearance in this months Delicious magazine, so it seems, we are on trend :) I actually don’t use a recipe, just throw it all in and judge from look, but the all important thing in making a rice pudding is getting the consistency right (not too runny, not too thick) so I’m giving you a recipe. It’s originally from this book (I’ve tweaked it a little) … a truly brilliant book that mum has had for years, it’s well worn and stained, and truly, has all the Australian classics – it’s well worth tracking down.
But whilst carrying on about how exhausted we were, it was a wonderful time. I call it the ‘seeing the view from the mountain’ time. That time, when you’ve worked so hard (over years and years), taken the enormous risks that you take, putting it all out there – and you finally get the chance to see the beauty of it all. To see this book, that in the beginning (and for quite some time over the past year) I couldn’t see at all where it was leading me, but I kept on following a jungle path – finally I got to see that it was beautiful, and that the whole was so much more than the sum of it’s parts. That takes one talented photographer (Cath Muscat) and stylist (Michelle Noriento), and of course a publishing team who are there for you (Murdoch Books). BUT, it also takes a friend. I’ve had a lot of lessons about what makes a true friendship this year – easy for some to talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Thank goodness, that I count Holly as a true friend. Thank goodness she knows how to make a cup of tea because we really needed it. The photo below is a screen shot of the teapot from Cath’s instagram account. It also took another hand in the kitchen, and we were loved sharing more time with Trudie Fenwick – a graduate from the 2013 Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program. We also had the opportunity to catch up with another graduate (2010) Belinda Pooley (Wholefood Canteen), another true friend and we got to meet her gorgeous new bub.
A shoot goes like this: you organise what you are going to shoot (we had 40 shots of food + chapter openers + incidentals+ pictures of me) – in 5 days. You organise the shopping list (that was Holly’s job, and no mean feat). You watch in awe as box after box of props are unloaded. You cook your ass off, because that’s a lot of shots you are doing each day. I also keep an eye on the shot so it represents me. No blue plates I say, no twine around everything I say – and in the end, there was blue, and a bit of twine, but I loved it. Loved it to bits. I love who I see this book becoming, I love that whilst I couldn’t see always what it wanted to be, my spirit did and kept me on the path. I think you will like it too. That’s Michelle s hands down there, getting the shot into shape, and below it, is the gorgeous Smeg fridge we used for a shot. Look at the colour – Panna Cotta – it says it all. I literally can’t wait for my new home and cooking studio to be built (that’s another story), but already I have my Smeg oven sorted. I’ll tell you more about that at a later date.
Before I leave and get to the recipe, I will be putting together a class program next week for August, September, October and November for Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. It will post on the website, FB and newsletter. I’d so love to meet you and I hope you can come along. In the meantime, try this out this winter weekend… serve it with any baked or stewed fruit as desired. Eat it for morning tea, snack or afternoon tea or dessert… it doesn’t matter :)
THANK YOU TO YOU
|Bruny Island Jonquils photograph cMichelle Crawford|
I’m back home, and rather than give you a big ramble about it all, I’ll just show you. In a 2 month travel around Australia with the new book “Wholefood Baking – Wholesome Ingredients for Delicious Results”, there were so many highlights. If you are reading this and you are not here, it’s because I couldn’t fit it all in. I was worried you might not even get through all the photo’s I felt I simply HAD to put here… this is a THANK YOU to you, and flowers for you. In between all of the events below were the wonderful Thermomix classes – I have met so many people who have touched my life. I’ll do a whole one on the Thermomix classes next…
This blog takes up from when I got back to Sydney, then to Melbourne, Tasmania and Adelaide…
Launceston and Hobart….
The Country Womens Association still flourishes in Hobart… love the Tea Cosy Window.
Michelle and I
THE TIES THAT BIND
If you’ve been reading my Facebook page whilst I’ve been travelling around Australia with my new book, you will recognise the many times I’ve noted I’m sitting in bed with a cup of tea…it’s generally been early in the morning, and the only time I’ve had to update things. I’m here again (in bed with a cup of tea) on a bitter cold Melbourne morning, and I am determined to get this post up. I started it back in Perth 2 weeks ago (on a week’s break back home) but just have been so full on, have not had a chance – here we go… fingers crossed… (and will do Melbourne in the next post)….
Here I am back in Perth, in the glorious early winter sunshine. It’s my week back home, after 4 weeks away in Brisbane and Sydney, before I set out again. I am finding it hard to know where to start but I’d like to tell you I have realised this. I am absurdly blessed with an embarrassment of riches. Of family, of friends, of the opportunity to do work I adore and believe in (Kahil Gibrans words ‘work is love made visible’ here ringing in my head), of love, of it all. Of flowers and colours and love and beauty and honour. I’ve met so many truly very special people, as I’ve been in Brisbane and Sydney teaching classes and launching my new book “Wholefood Baking”, and I have found that they are all been woven into this life I am living. It’s an incredibly honoured position and privilege to know that I am a part of your lives, through my books and in your kitchen – a part of your life. I am enriched beyond words. And I met so many people that said ” oh, I read your blog” and was astonished, as I’ve been so slack with my blog over the past 3 months – just trying to keep on top of organising this big trip.
But alas, I haven’t got a recipe for you here – I promise that soon I will come back from travel and organising (really read keeping it all together/juggling) and get back to recipes to help you in your everyday life, or show you what I’m doing in mine. But for now, I just wanted you to know I’m here, and to thank you, and share with you the highlights of the past few weeks:
- ROAD TRIP WITH JEANIE: Jeanie is my friend who lives in Northern New South Wales, and joined me in Brisbane to help with the launch there. The conversation went something like this ” We have to drive to Ipswich tonight (for me to do a talk) come back to Brisbane tomorrow, shop for the launch, drive then to Toowoomba (for me to do a talk), stay the night, wake up at the crack of dawn, and drive back to Brisbane and cook our asses off to get it all ready for the launch which starts at 2.30pm.” Because I had not realised how far away Ipswich and particularly Toowoomba was. But I knew we could do it, because I knew Jeanie had my back. We did bake our little asses off, but alas, I still have too much bottom for my jeans right now. As we were driving to Toowoomba, I said to Jeanie ” You know this is a lot like when we drove from Santa Fe to Taos”. ” No, nothing like it ” says Jeanie, ” Yes it is I say, a lot like it”, “No” says Jeanie” really, nothing like it”. But for me it was – a road trip with my friend Jeanie, on open roads and open skies. For all the exhaustion of those few days, it was fabulous. I loved Jeanie.
- MEETING THE BLOGGING GIRLS: There are an amazing group of young women doing some great blogging in Australia right now, many on the East Coast. It was wonderful to finally meet them face to face – The Pinkfarm Girls – Amanda and Tanya, Emma Galloway from My Darling Lemon Thyme, Nicola Garcia from The Yogic Housewife, Vanessa Teklenburg from Slow Heart Sing (love that name), Alisha from The Naughty Naturopath Mum, my good friend Jill Brown introduced me to Sneh Roy from Food Republic (which I was already checking out), and foodie Mel Kettle and I’m so looking forward to meeting Meg Thompson from My Wholefood Romance next week in Melbourne.
- NEARLY FORGOT THE NATURAL FOOD STORE VISIT: The amazing WNCTP graduate Bel Pooley (Belly), knowing I was coming to Brisbane, asked me to do a little talk at her local health/wholefood store. Me thinking it was a little traditional health food store, Belly coming to Brisbane to pick me up, a glorious drive to Forest Glen (Sunshine Coast) and realising it was a HUGE, truly brilliant store – was like being in the U.S. I also got to see another WNCTP graduate – the beautiful Danella Martin, and finally get to snuggle and cuddle Pippy Mae…..They made me so welcome, I met so many wonderful people during that morning tea. But what a store… thank you for making me so welcome…
- TAKING THERMOMIX ON THE ROAD WITH WHOLEFOOD COOKING: I’ve known Grace Mazur from the moment she bought this amazing machine into Australia and I’m loving the opportunity to talk to a broader audience about what wholesome and healthy food really is, and how they can use their Thermomix to best advantage. I’ve met so, so many lovely, wonderful people. I’ll do a whole separate post on this later as there is so much to talk about !! But can I say to Kylie’s team in Sydney, thank you for my pink Thermomix Apron and bag. Love them.
- THE FOOD, LOVE AND BREATHE SEMINAR WITH HOLLY DAVIS and DR ROSALBA COURTNEY. Let me start by saying how amazing Rosalba is, and a wealth of knowledge… I could listen to her forever. But I had missed my dear, dear friend and colleague Holly Davis as she has been in London (nursing her mother as she passed) for over a year…Holly and I created a makeshift whole food kitchen, and discussed the basics and what matters in a good kitchen. I adore working with her, we actually kind of adore each other (in a healthy way). The Sydney Meals for Everyday class were very lucky as Holly came and did the class on the Saturday there with me also – we both have a same body of knowledge, believe the same things but express them very differently. I got to stay over a night at Holly’s place by the ocean, and it was wonderful. I love Hols.
- BEING SUPPORTED BY GOOD FRIENDS: I am absolutely aware of how lucky I am to have such good, good friends – I would always start with my bestie Nene, who helped me do the Perth Launch (I love Nenie), Helen and Davin in Brisbane who always give me a home (and Helen bought me the best ever teacup mug that brews it own tea), Sonja and Brenda who own Mondo Organics and let me cause mayhem whilst I do classes there, Wray Organics who always support my work and moved me around Brisbane to visit each of their stores talking about Wholefood Baking – Deborah Wray is one gorgeous and amazing woman (Qld, you are very lucky to have Wray Organics), Karen and Matt from Honest to Goodness in Sydney who move hell and high water to do what I ask of them and more (NSW you are very lucky to have HTG), Essential Ingredient in Sydney who again, allow me to cause mayhem whilst there….WNCTP graduate Angie Cowan (Angie Gluten Free) who did an amazing, delicious and very capable job doing all the baking for the Sydney launch, and WNCTP graduate Jessica Kenny (Eating Beauty) who styled it. If I’ve missed anyone out, I will catch up in the next post….
- BEING SUPPORTED BY YOU: One thing I’ve fully realised during this trip is how much you support my work and how generously you take me into your home and kitchen. Please know how rich this makes the fabric of my life and how much it is treasured.
So, here I stop or I will never get this out… in all, I’d love to say – here is my new book,
” look what I made !!” but it wouldn’t be true, because everything in my life and the people I have met have been a part of making this. The weave and thread is organic, dyed in the colours of the earth – it’s been made of friendship, loss, hardship, joy and a life lived truly and a huge number of people that love me and are a part of my life – I’m a very very blessed woman.
Then moving onto Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania
It actually was a book all along, not just an enormous amount of never ending work! But, it’s a work of love and I am so very, very thrilled with the end result. I’d love to change the way we consider sweetness in our lives and the whole idea of what wholesome baking actually is, and this is my contribution. This is going to be just a nice short blog, to introduce you to the latest member of the family – this is book baby number four, I tell my daughter she has books for siblings. :)
The book contains an extremely detailed discussion about baking – scones, biscuits, crackers, cakes for all occasions and pastry – all flours, all sweeteners, how to use them, what is healthy, what is not and how to use them. It contains a large amount of recipes and direction for intolerances – wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free etcetera. Most importantly it discusses conversion – how to change your wheat recipe to a wheat or gluten free option, how to change my spelt recipe to the wheat flour you have in your cupboard, and how to make your recipe dairy, egg or nut free etcetera.
It’s been an enormously busy past couple of weeks, with Thermomix classes here in the West, but I’m heading off very shortly for my own classes (you can find the program here), seminars (you can find them on my homepage here – click on the link for upcoming seminars) and Thermomix classes. I know that many of the Thermomix classes sold out as soon as they got up, but we are trying for more.
I’m beginning to pack my bags (trying to be organised), have got a party dress (just need to find some shoes) and would love for you to join me with a glass of champagne and delicious bites at the afternoon tea launches (invitations above). I will look forward to seeing you soon… x Jude
A WEEK IN BEAUTIFUL COLOUR
This has been the month of travel – recipe testing first, then back to Sydney to photograph the new book. This is the first time I’ve been present for the photography and the first time so many shots have been taken of the finished recipef itself. My books are very much a part of me, so I wanted to be the one to do the cooking and be involved in the creative process of photography. Even though I knew it would be a mountain of work, I wanted to be there – and was a little nervous to begin with. I had asked my dear friend Jeanie to come and help me (I know when Jeanie is there we can together, cope with anything) and – there she was, above and beyond. I also asked Angie (a graduate of my Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program) and again, above and beyond. I must also note that Jean’s boyfriend Al gamely and bravely drove us around all day in Sydney before the shoot, as we shopped the rather mammoth list. Let me say right now, I couldn’t have done it without them, and when you see the shots (next May :) ), I hope you will feel and see the friendship and love reflected. This includes my truly amazing editorial team at Murdoch Books – who assembled the very talented photographer and stylist, and always have a game plan of excellence. Yes, i was very nervous to begin with, but as soon as I met Cath Muscat (photographer) and Kate Nixon (stylist), I knew all would be fine – both such talented, professional and generous women. We all worked extremely hard to get through the shots – Jean, Angie and myself baking – Angie making us amazing lunches each day to keep us going and running out for emergency errands – Kate never stopped tweaking until the shot was just right and didn’t blink when I said a couple of times – “I really don’t like it” and Cath with her eagle eye keeping on until the shot was more beautiful than I could have imagined. Even though I’m not a fan of blue, Kate showed me how beautiful it can look but also thrilled me with that glorious purply/eggplanty coloured fabric and tone above, and I am so in love with the cup and saucer below.
Our days started with a planning session and finished when the light was fading. Sydney chose to put on some stormy rain, but even in the dim and fading light at the end of the day, Cath pushed the envelope to get some glorious shots. And the recipes behaved – it was great to see both Jean and Angie just go to the recipe, and they turned out brilliantly. So fingers crossed, they should for you also.
Even though it was full on from dawn to dusk, really how lucky am I? As Kate was setting up a shoot on the second day I commented that food (the way I like and do food) is exactly the same as my days as a fashion designer. I’m doing the same thing, but with a different (and more meaningful) medium. They are both about beauty. Before it was the beauty of a fabric, a line of cut or stitching and now I work with the textures, flavours and food that nature more directly provides. But both have the deeper layers of beauty – the friendships, the tears, the colours, textures and I tell you, I consider myself blessed. I loved, loved the opportunity to work with Kate and Cath in such a professional manner, the shots are so beautiful and I hope that when you see them, you will love them too.
I know there’s no recipe here this month – 7 weeks away back and forth from East to West, just home with a desk that demands to be taken care of and the Autumn garden planted over the past 2 days. What am I eating you may well ask? While staying with Jean last week her daughter Violet and I made a killer apple pie (with this gorgeous rolling pin I bought for Violet). Right now I’ve roasted up the abundance of eggplant in the garden (fragranced with fresh basil) ready to layer with a lamb mince sort of bolognaese. I’m going to top it with a bechamel – it’s going to be a big Parmigiana/Moussaka/Lasagne kind of thing which I’m serving with a large rocket (from the garden) salad. I plan on enough for left overs tomorrow. As the oven was on, I’ve roasted up some pumpkin from the garden also, cooked a pot of quinoa for the beginnings of a salad lunch tomorrow. Hopefully by then I will have settled back into Perth time with enough brain to think what to eat. Next blog is going to be on Children and Snacks – I wanted to extend the seminar I did in Sydney with Rosalba Courtney and Holly Davis. I couldn’t answer all questions, and snacking (and foods for snacking) seemed to be a hot topic. Stay Tuned.
- Afternoon Tea
- Chef Training
- Core Recipes
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Grass Fed Meat
- Late Summer
- Making a Book
- Meals from my Garden
- Quick Dinner
- Ramble and Roam
- Seasonal Cooking
- Soaked Grains
- Sustainable Fish
- Wedding Cake
- Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training
- Wholefood Kitchen