Good Reading : June 2007
40 goodreading ı JUNE 2007 Everything about books www.goodreadingmagazine.com ONLINE Thousands of readers of the Sun-Herald and Sunday Age look to Lynne Mullins’s Whip It Up column in Sunday Life maga- zine to keep them posted about fresh seasonal produce and other good ingredients, plus inspired but easy ways to use them. Both the fans and others who didn’t know about the column before will be delighted with this small, handsome book which collects 75 easy-to-find ingredients in alphabetical order. The listing includes both ingredients you’d buy especially and ingredients you could pluck from the cupboard at a moment’s notice, from anchovies to asparagus, bacon to brown sugar, calamari to cucumber, fennel to frozen peas, pizza bases to pumpkin, spaghetti to sweet potato. Each has a picture that celebrates the simple beauty of food in its unadorned state, plus three quick recipes, thoughtfully judged to cover the territory from family meals to enter- taining. A modestly priced offering that could be the most useful book you’ll buy this year – let’s hope that future columns will also be collected in this convenient for m. Easy Entertaining proposes that the savvy way to entertain today is to cut effort to the mini- mum by taking advantage of the great ar ray of prepared foods and ingredients to be found in the shops today and then adding your own touches and an easy home- made dish or two. It demonstrates the idea with plans for 10 stylish meals from a casual breakfast or a picnic to an elegant dinner party or a buffet for a celebration. Recipes include a chicken salad that starts with a bought barbecued chook, bought gnocchi mixed with pancetta, cheese, sage, milk and cream and baked under a crisp crumb crust, and a crafty pudding made by layering bought cake, melted ice-cream and ber ries.The straight-from- the-shop thoughts run to such things as oysters on the half-shell to which you add an interesting dressing, bought terrine to serve with radishes, cornichons, mustard and good butter, and smoked salmon with various garnishes. It may take a bit more con- fidence to offer chocolates, fruit jellies and biscuits as dessert, but by the time you’ve read this persuasive book with its bags-of-style pictures, you should be thinking ‘Why not?’ The ageless Margaret Fulton has gathered together the recipes that best represent her lifetime of teaching Australia to cook for a handsome new compilation under the name of Margaret Fulton s Kitchen. They range from such beloved classics as Steak Diane, Bread and Butter Pudding and her famous Baked Guinness Ham to spot-on direc- tions for Thai Red Duck Cur ry, Singapore Noodles, Baba Ghanouj and other Asian and Middle Easter n dishes that we’ve embraced in recent years. The choice was made, she says, to encompass the recipes readers have asked for time and time again and those recipes, out of thou- sands, that have become part of Margaret’s own life, the ones she cooks regularly for her family and friends. Each is introduced with the helpful remarks and personal reminiscences that are part of the Fulton spell. The pictures, with food that looks marvellous yet like part of a real-life meal as opposed to a chef ’s creation, are also a Fulton trademark. Not a lot of new ground here, but still a rich nd beautiful book hat, no matter ow many other Margaret Fulton ooks you have, will delight and nspire you anew. Whip It Up | Lynne Mullins ★★★★ Fairfax Books $24.95 Easy Entertaining | A Williams-Sonoma book ★★★ The Five-Mile Press $49.95 Margaret Fulton’s Kitchen | Margaret Fulton and Suzanne Gibbs ★★★★ Hardie Grant Books $49.95 word of mouth cookbooks REVIEWED BY MEG THOMASON Easy ENTERTAINING A WILLIAMS SONOMA BOOK - www.goodreadingmagazine.com find a bookshop near you!