Saturday, June 5, 2010

Real Food Companions

This blog is becoming a beautiful eclectic mix of everything that I love in my life. My husband, my daughter, my Mum and Dad, my little brother (I must put him in here somewhere), friends, craft, photographs, and something that is coming back into the list of priorities in my Not just any ole food that you shove in your mouth and swallow in front of the TV. I mean REAL food. Nourishing food, prepared from scratch and made with love. Consumed at the table and shared with family, friends and good conversation.

We recently had a working bee in the yard at our place, trying to get the place rent ready. A big group of friends all working and socialising in the garden. The kids running around squealing and playing, Ayla eating leaves and dirt. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by everyone. Lunch time came and I found myself sitting amongst friends, kids and adults alike, all hoeing into a beautiful nourishing lunch that I had made from scratch a few days earlier. It wasn't hard work. I cooked both meals in a slow cooker and put them back into slow cookers the morning of the working bee. We had a Vege and Chickpea Curry for the vego's and Ham and Bean soup. But the best part was the friends all sitting together, enjoying a home cooked nourishing meal. Slurping, spoons clanging against crockery, kids chittering to each other and cracking jokes, and good old fashioned conversation.

Well, this is all a very long introduction into what I really wanted to share. I was recently given a gift voucher for a book store for my birthday (Thanks Nessy!) and I raced out the very next day to purchase an amazing book. "The Real Food Companion" by Matthew Evans. SENSATIONAL! Matthew is an Australian chef, residing in Tasmania with his family. He milks his own cow each day! I would love that.

I have been reading his 'Cookbook' from cover to cover. It is seriously so much more than a cookbook. Amazing recipes from real ingredients......Yes! Explanations of Real Food, Local food, Sustainable food.....Yes, Yes and Yes! But so much more. This book has HEART. From the moment I read Matthew's prologue, I knew this would be one of my most favourite books EVER! So, I wanted to share an excerpt from his prologue with you.

"As I was finishing writing this book, I was also awaiting the birth of my first child, and realised that by the time he could read it, the world may well have changed. As I sit at my desk it looks like rain outside, but the land west of the Great Divide, over three quarters of New South Wales, is in drought. The Arctic's north-west passage is free enough of ice for the first time in recorded history for ships to pass through, and there's much debate about the Greenhouse Effect and other big questions floating around about sustainability and responsibility.

Down through the ages, through war and natural disasters, in times of peace and plenty, some things remain constant. The need to keep the family together, to bind social ties, to laugh like a crazy person at family jokes that no one else gets or to weep, bereft at the loss of a loved one or pet. It's important to live.

Into this glorious life, my child, I suggest you take a good sense of humour, a good heart and yes, as you guessed from a person of my obesession, a good knowledge of food. The how, the why, the where. In challenging times it will comfort you. In happy times it will uplift and sustain you. At all times show respect for yourself and what you put into your body and you will find strength and happiness. Dine in front of the television at your own peril. Keep your self-esteem intact and your front door open to visitors. Keep the pantry full and the larder enriched. Keep the invitations going to those who seek refuge, as well as those who come to bring joy. Be generous with the ladle and cavalier with the wine. Cook, my child, for hospitality is the glue that binds humanity together".

Dare I say that this man is my newest hero! Move over Jamie Oliver....this man is definitely on par with you in the Hero stakes!

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