Ultimate Slow Cooker



The official launch will take place at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart on April 13th at 5.30pm.

In the meantime, the book (with all new recipes, more than 100 of them), due for release on March 20th, can be pre-ordered online at:




Tasmanian Pepperberries – black gold!

Yes, black gold indeed!  We planted Tasmanian pepperberries outside the cooking school after the potoroos, wallabies and possums considered the vegetable garden we originally planted there were part of a lovely smorgasbord for their enjoyment. They are not so keen to feast on the pepperberries.

20170228_094836This is the first year the bushes have produced so prolifically. The ones drying on trays represent only about a quarter of what needs to be picked from just a few bushes.

20170228_095015I’ll make some pepper berry gin, but mostly dry them to use in all sorts of dishes. One of my favourite things to do is to grind them once dried, and sprinkle over bread rolls before baking. Simply sumptuous.

The leaves can be dried also and used similarly. Definitely one of the best things we ever planted.

Koonya Garlic Festival Recipes

Yesterday was spent at a really special event on the Tasman Peninsula at the Koonya Garlic festival.

In the afternoon I did, with trusty and competent assistance of Tino Carnevale, a cooking demonstration.

I’ve had requests for the recipes for the Kasoundi and also the Garlic and Ginger Seafood Sauce that accompanied the fish, so here they are.  The recipe for the batter is also provided.


375ml  cider or white vinegar

20 cloves garlic

2.5cm piece of green ginger

250g long red or green chillies, stalk end removed and each cut into 3 pieces

2kg ripe tomatoes, chopped

1½ tablespoons of mustard seeds

375ml oil such as mild flavoured olive, peanut or sunflower

One and a half tablespoons of turmeric

4 tablespoons cumin powder

1¼ cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

Peel the garlic and ginger, then place in a food processor with the chillies.

Blend well on high speed until well pureed.

Place in a large saucepan or jam pan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for approximately two hours or until desired consistency is reached.

Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Ginger and Garlic Sauce

1 tablespoon oil (such as peanut or rice bran)

2 tablespoons grated fresh green ginger root

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons cornflour

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup vinegar

½ cup water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 dessertspoon white wine

3 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce

½ teaspoon salt

Heat oil over medium heat, then sauté garlic and ginger in this for one minute. Combine the rest of the ingredients and add to garlic and ginger.

Stir quickly over heat until the sauce begins to thicken.

Simmer, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.

Auntie Pearl’s Batter

1 cup self raising flour

¼ to ½ teaspoon salt

Good pinch of bi-carbonate of soda

Cold water to mix

Mix the flour, salt and bi-carbonate of soda into a bowl.

Stir in enough cold water to a coating consistency

Berry or Blackcurrant syrup – recipe as discussed in Jams and preserves talkback

During the talkback last Saturday on ABC radio Tasmania, there was a request for this recipe.  This is so delicious and nutritious.  It can be used over ice cream also, s a topping, or even to flavour it if you make your own.  It’s an excellent flavouring for yoghurt too.

Berry or Blackcurrant Cordial Syrup

3kg berries or blackcurrants

3 litres water


2 level teaspoons citric or tartaric

100ml white or cider vinegar

Place the berries and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Strain through a colander, and the resulting liquid through a kitchen sieved lined with a layer of muslin (even a clean tea towel will do).

For each cup of the resulting liquid add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat immediately to a bare simmer and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in tartaric acid, pour into sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

The cordial will keep at room temperature but in warmer weather or climates it would be best to keep it in the fridge. In either case, refrigerate the bottle once it is opened.

HINT – very occasionally the cordial syrup will tend to want to set.  Therefore, it’s best to use wider mouthed bottles.  If you find when you come to use the cordial that tis has happened, simply place the bottle, lid removed, in the microwave on High is 20 second bursts.

Another trick to help prevent this happening is to use riper fruit.


“Ultimate Slow Cooker”

Well, look what just arrived!! My lovely publisher has sent me an advance copy of “Ultimate Slow Cooker”. The book will be available towards the end of March.


I am very pleased with its presentation, looks amazing. This time there are photos of a great number of the recipes inside.

Speaking of which, many thanks to photographer Chris Crerar and food stylist Charlotte Bell, also to daughter Stephanie, my wonderful kitchen assistant for the entire photo shoot.

Incidentally, in “Ultimate Slow Cooker” there are more than 100 totally new recipes for your slow cooker.

It was great fun to prepare, and even more so to share (with a willing band of test tasters), the dishes that came from the cookers over those several months of experimentation

The Old Jaffle Iron

Herman the outdoor bread oven has been put through his (its) paces over the last few days. Everything from pizzas to roasts have been cooked in there. There is no oven better here, and that’s saying something – I have 7 in total.

Yesterday, with grandchildren here for a sleepover, Robert decided to pull out the old jaffle iron and cook them breakfast with Herman’s assistance. One chose creamed corn and cheese, the other chose egg, with specific instructions for a runny yolk.


I had forgotten how good jaffles are. I long ago stopped using it because I bought an electric snack maker, the supposed modern day equivalent. No way it can compare.


The toast on the outside is golden, light and crunchy, the free range egg in the middle, just delicious. If you can get hold of an old waffle iron, try doing this, a simple but most wonderful breakfast treat.


Fruitful Sunday

I had promised myself that Sunday would be a gardening day and things started out very well.  I mowed the grass, pulled out all the spent Sweet Williams and generally weeded a large garden bed.

Time for a spot of lunch and then a friend arrived with four large bags of delicious fresh-picked peaches.  Not just any peaches, but the sort that, when you bite into them, the juice runs down your chin.

That was the end of gardening – you have to get your priorities right.  When such beautiful produce lands on your doorstep, it’s time to start preserving.


As they were quite ripe, the obvious choice was to stew then preserve them, then to be at the ready for pies, tarts and crumbles over the months to come.

In the meantime I decided to start off some cultured butter, and soon after found a lonely looking lime in the crisper drawer of the fridge. That, matched to a container of Greek yoghurt, meant I could make a batch of lime infused Labna, perfect I hope for when friends come to visit this week.


So all in all, a fruitful Sunday.  Mind you, there’s still lots of gardening to be done, but as my Nan used to say – along with housework, it will always wait for you….


Launch of “The Little Book of Slow”

It was a wonderful evening at Fullers Bookshop yesterday with the launch of “The Little Book of Slow”, which is co-authored by Paul McIntyre and myself.

Here are photos of the tables all set out with the high tea fare that we had promised would be part of the event – a savouries table and one for sweets.


Many varieties of tea were provided with pretty teapots, cups and saucers, and blood plum cordial was also on tap.

All the food and drinks items were based on chapters from our book.

Huge thanks to daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Nat for their cheerful and exceptional assistance in the kitchen – it couldn’t have been achieved without them.


Thanks to everyone who came along and made this evening such a very special and enjoyable time for Paul and I.


Apricots and Greengages

Another day of bottling – nothing to complain about there. I was able to acquire more apricots – Moor Parks of course, only 5kg but I’ll take what I can get. They are in my opinion, the best of the best and the only ones I like ton use. Here they are prettily lined up on the window ledge waiting for their syrup, lids and clips.

20170124_113606Then there were the remaining greengages to be dealt with. There was a slight red alert when we thought we’d run out of lids, but some serious rummaging under the house and in the shed turned up several dozen more, so all was well in the end.

20170124_114656Now greengages, whilst they are delicious bottled, do not normally taste like greengages after processing. I never can work out why. However this year, from this particular tree (thanks Kathy), the greengages taste just like they were fresh picked, totally representative of the fruit, with their slight hint of acidity. I am delighted!

All done and dusted, benches laden just how I like it, Robert “slayed” me with that giant-killer: “Where are you going to put all these before the class on Saturday?” Hmmm, it’s a tough one as all the pantry shelves are full, and the linen press to boot.


I’m sure there is an answer, has to be. I will never, ever turn down seasonal produce.

By the way, in the foreground of the last photo – see how the apricots have risen in the jar? That’s because the fruit was a little too ripe. Fruit for bottling should always be just ripe for best appearance in the end product. Mind you, it doesn’t matter too much – you simply need to, in a couple of weeks’ time, turn the jars on their side and shake vigorously from side to side.

It’s like magic, the syrup moves in and around the fruit and they even themselves out in the jar.

Next to come – blood plum cordial, lots of it. Stephanie has at least a bucketful to spare for me. They make excellent jelly too…. more cupboard space to find, but absolutely worth it.

The Launch of Little Book of Slow

As already stated a blog or two ago, the launch of “the Little Book of Slow” by Paul McIntyre and myself is imminent. Everyone who reads this post is invited of course – just RSVP to Fullers so we have an idea of numbers.

The launch is to take place on February 2nd at Fullers bookshop Hobart, at 5.30pm.

Some, but not all of course, are aware that Paul and I occasionally take a day’s road trip together. Can you guess where we are here from this photo?


These trips are always great fun, a chance to mull things over and think about future projects together.

We enjoyed a fantastic seafood lunch (another clue to our location) as well as the best lime spider I have tasted since I was a child, and Paul a similarly magnificent old-fashioned chocolate milkshake.


On this particular day trip, we spent much time discussing the upcoming book launch. Before too long we had decided that we would make the Fullers event a little something special.

A High Tea theme seemed fitting, as this is one of the chapters in my section of the book. Paul has written a wonderful chapter on Brewing the Perfect Pot of Tea, so he will be ‘mother’, pouring from pretty teapots for all who come along on the night.

This means cups and saucers would be needed (no paper cups for perfect tea at this affair). I have a few, Paul also, but definitely we came up wanting in this department.

However, along the route of our road trip were a number of op shops, which were soon all relieved of their entire stock of cups and saucers (and purchased for a mere song I might add).

They range from delicate and delightful to somewhat retro. Great fun we had in their selection as you can imagine. We were able to find teapots too – and a milk jug or two, plus a lovely glass jug.


As a bonus, I was able to buy a simply wonderful hat and Paul a spectacular shirt.

By the time I arrived home, my car boot resembled a jumble sale – but all to a good purpose.

20170117_173234A wonderful friend just now called in for coffee and scones. She saw our newly acquired ‘special’ collection of cups and saucers, now neatly set out on the table here. “I have some more you can borrow,” she said. Brilliant.

And so we are now set to implement our plan. Paul and I have worked out the menu, which of course we will bake with our own hands (look out for Paul’s simply sensational lemon slice and lamingtons!) There will be scones with fresh made jams and cream and other tasty little treats to sample.

For those who don’t like tea, there will be iced fruit drinks, prepared with the cordial syrups I have been making with delicious Derwent Valley berries over the past weeks.

And so to all who read this, do come and join us. Paul and I are so happy to be releasing this book together – a handy and thoughtful guide on how to live more mindfully and meaningfully in today’s busy world, with simple suggestions (and recipes) on how to do so.