Judith's weekly column in
Hobart's Mercury Newspaper
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Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Autumn’s gifts
NOT only is there noticeable crispness in the early mornings and evenings now March is here but the first crisp apples of early autumn have also arrived.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Appley ever after
IT’S apple time again and we should be continually grateful to Captain William Bligh, of the notorious Bounty, for bringing apples here. In 1788, he planted the first apple seedlings on Bruny Island. They flourished and in 1833. The Van Diemen’s Almanac reported that the success of the plantings was so astonishing it had to be seen to be believed.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Beefing up winter fare
HEARTY flavoured casseroles are ideal for these cold evenings. The two casseroles I have chosen today are delicious and simple to make.
Many people, hearing that dinner is to be a casserole, would be less than eager to hasten to the table.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Berries of bounty
BLUEBERRIES have received much favourable press over the past few years as the awareness of their incredible health benefits have been discovered.
How wonderful to have something as beautiful and delicious as ripe, juicy blueberries to eat and know that they are doing you good as well as delighting your palate.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Explosion of flavour
WITH the abundance of berry fruits in the state it is only natural that fruit wines and liqueurs are a value-added part of the industry. Now the berry season is here again, it is a good opportunity to give my discoveries an airing.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Biscuit bake for season of giving

AT this time of year there seems to a fair every
weekend and, also, with Christmas not far away, it is timely to share some recipes for biscuits that keep well, look and taste good and are suitable to package up for a gift or cake stall.
If you make them in advance make sure that you store them in a cool place in an airtight container.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Stacks of fun
HAPPY Mother’s Day to all mothers for Sunday. For those fortunate enough to have family nearby, many will be treated to a special meal at some stage of the day—and if you help out with a meal, don’t forget the washing up! Breakfast in bed is a great way to begin a special day but it does take some skill to produce the perfect breakfast.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Real buns hot from the oven
Storebought buns are fine, but the home-made version is better. The secret is in the yeast. HOT cross buns are a must for most of us for Easter and it can be a great sense of achievement to make your own. So many of the shop-bought ones are doughy and contain very little fruit. I was quite amazed to see hot cross buns on the shelves of some supermarkets in the first week of the New Year.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bone building
THIS is National Healthy Bones Week and that focus gives us an opportunity to consider the importance of calcium in our diet.
As age advances and unhealthy bones begin to ache and hamper activity and enjoyment of life, the message for this week is well heeded.
Dairy Australia has been involved in research on the requirements of calcium in the daily diet to ensure healthy bones.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Heart of whiteness
Tasmanian vegetable farmers battling to
survive, there’s no better time to support them and buy fine local produce, such as cauliflower.
Look for the place of origin when you buy a cauliflower. There should be an ample supply of wonderfully white, crisp and economically priced caulies in stores at the moment..
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Consider celeriac
CELERIAC is an obscure vegetable and not one that is high on the popularity list of vegetables.
Celeriac has a long history going back to at least the 1500s. It is used much more frequently in Europe than in Britain or Australia even though it grows quite readily in our temperate climates.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

All-rounder at any time
CHEESE is much more versatile than we sometimes give it credit for. It lends itself to being incorporated into delicious sweet and savoury dishes as well as starring by itself.
Of course, there’s cheese and cheese—some beautifully crafted products that stand out from the crowd. If you plan to serve a cheese platter, look for some of Tasmania’s beauties.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Cherry hype
WHEN black cherries are first in the shops around Christmas they are very inviting and very expensive. Now, at the end of the season, they are much more affordable and just as inviting.
Eating them when fresh, with the delicious musky juice stirring the taste buds and making it almost impossible not to try another and another, can hardly be bettered. Today’s recipes are very simple and delicious and yet a little exotic.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Specials for dad
THE celebration of Father’s Day seems to be one we have ‘‘acquired’’ from the US. There
is some debate about the origin of this special day but, regardless of when it was first observed, it is recorded that Senora Dodd, of Spokane, Washington thought up the idea while she was at church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon.
Dodd recognised the selflessness and courage her father had shown to her family. Her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed at the birth of his sixth child; he raised the new baby and the other five children while running a farm in eastern Washington state.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Chip in a chocolate treat
CHOCOLATES are almost always a well-received gift. Of course, they don’t need to be just for gifts—they make a yummy finale to any special meal.
Cooking with chocolate can be a bit tricky but, a couple of rules should help.
First, consider what you are going to use the
chocolate for when you buy it.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Share the love with festive food
THERE’S real pleasure in helping to make Christmas Day special and to celebrate with a delicious meal. Food becomes the language
of love, care, celebration, appreciation and pleasure.
Preparing and sharing food with others is almost an essential part of my life, so I’m quite happy for my home to be the nominated place for Christmas dinner. The joy is even greater if there are happy helpers in the kitchen and the chatting and fun that goes with the organising is one of the most enjoyable parts.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Roast is dad’s own favourite
WITH Father’s Day next Sunday in mind, I spoke with my elderly father and asked what he would choose as his favourite meal. He decided it would be roast beef or corned silverside served with lots of green vegetables, roast pumpkin and parsnip and baked or boiled potatoes.
Dad has always grown copious amounts of vegetables so he could be sure that there was never a shortage of absolutely fresh vegies straight from the garden to the table.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Go Danish to suit the occasion
ALL the news about the impending wedding of Frederik and ‘‘our Mary’’ triggered a memory of another muchcelebrated royal wedding, the now-infamous union of Charles
and Diana.
On the evening of the telecast I prepared a ‘‘royal’’ dinner which we enjoyed with friends as we watched the procession and service.
There was a Queen Pudding for dessert but I
can’t recall the rest of the menu.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Secrets of deep-frying
IN most Mediterranean countries it is a tradition to serve titbits at the beginning of social occasions. Many of these delicious morsels are deep-fried and may be as simple as fresh or blanched vegetables in season dipped in a yeast batter and deep-fried.
Rarely do I deep-fry but when I do, it’s olive oil I choose as the most suitable oil. Tempura and stuffed zucchini flowers are probably the main dishes that I deep-fry.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Easter specials
AS the trees turn their autumnal colours we are preparing to celebrate Easter, a major religious festival for those of the Christian faith.
History tells us this celebration was actually based on the arrival of spring after dark, cold winters in Europe and that with the coming of Christianity and the Resurrection of Christ the two celebrations melded into one.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Stress-free festive food
FOR those who like things to have a festive feel at Christmas but don’t have the time or inclination for time-consuming recipes, here
are a few quick, simple and effective ideas.
The recipe for the fruit and nut topping for a fruitcake looks and tastes great. There are some good quality fruitcakes available commercially, which will save making one yourself.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Just child’s play
SCHOOL holidays without much sun can make for problems when it comes to keeping everyone happy and busy when confined indoors.
This is a good time to encourage children to don an apron and lend a hand in the kitchen.
The recipes today are easy and will appeal
to children. Both use cooked rice. When I cook rice as part of a meal I often add extra, as I find it great to have on hand because it can be used in many ways: it makes a great base for salads or as binding in meatloaf or burgers, in baked custards or, because it reheats well in a microwave oven, as a quick accompaniment to a meal.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Egg-cellence by any standard
EGGS are one of my favourite foods and I always make sure I have some in the refrigerator.
They’re a type of security food for me and I know I can quickly whip up an omelet or frittata, have some protein food on hand if my granddaughter comes for an unexpected meal or make a spur-of-themoment ‘‘speccy’’ pudding with a meringue topping on some fruit
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Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Hooking a fun fish dish
AFTER cleaning out the pantry I got thinking about the canned items stored there and mentally composed how and when to use
I always like to have on hand canned red and pink salmon, tuna and crab meat as well as anchovies and smoked oysters.
With some puff pastry sheets from the freezer little crab pies or a more substantial salmon pie can be quickly made. The salmon can be used as a filling for sandwiches, or in a salad.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Favourites of legend
AUSTRALIAN food identity Margaret Fulton is in her 81st year and to celebrate her 80th birthday her family has redeveloped her very first book, which was published in 1968.
The result is an up-to-the-minute publication with arresting photographs all taken at her home and on her granddaughter’s farming property. Fulton is a delightful, feisty, aware and vital person who has greatly influenced the cooking in many Australian homes. I’ve had the pleasure of lunching in her delightful Sydney home. I sat in her kitchen as she made us a mushroom risotto.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Good berry, gooseberry
UNUSUALLY, gooseberries have been readily available this summer in fruit and
vegetable shops and also by the roadside.
The gooseberry plant is vulnerable to mildew, which may explain their absence in recent years. Gooseberries have been around for many years and at one stage in England there
were more than 400 varieties listed with the Royal Horticultural Society.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Means for green beans
BACK from a few days up the North-West Coast visiting my family, I reached home laden with vegetables from my elderly dad’s garden.
He manages to keep most of my siblings in vegetables and those who are not often around for the fresh ones are supplied with our favorite jams, pickles, relish and chutney that mum diligently does and stores in her enormous ‘‘cellar’’ of preserves. At present, I have a huge pile of green beans to use.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Taste A drop for the saint
IT’S interesting that a man who died more than 1500 years ago is remembered and celebrated each year on March 17 in all the countries where the Irish live.
More than 40 per cent of Australians claim to have Irish heritage, which is why this special day is a party-day all over our country.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Relish roasted hazelnuts
THE flavour of hazelnuts, as with most nuts, is much improved by roasting them in the oven, where it’s easier to get even toasting than in a pan on a hotplate. It’s not essential to remove the skins, although they’ll start to come off with roasting.
If you want to completely remove the skins, roll the nuts vigorously in a tea towel while they’re still hot from the oven. If you want to remove the skins without roasting the nuts, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to make the task easier.
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Tips and Hints for the kitchen.