In a salute to our increasing love affair with nostalgia, Kate Fraser has put together a beguiling collection of recipes and 'anecdotes' from the kitchens of a series of fictitious characters. Between them, these engaging men and women represent a retrospective view of New Zealand kitchens and culinary traditions. While the characters are fictitious, the recipes come from the author's family collection, updated to include modern ingredients, equipment and techniques. Together they represent a culinary journey from the 1930s to the present day, documenting our changing tastes. We learn about hard times in the high country in the 1930s with Ettie, growing up in a 1940s village with Janet, see retirement through the eyes of May in the 50s, watch Rosemary grow up in the 60s and see Marion through her first dinner party. We turn vegetarian with Peter and Roz as they travel the world in the 70s, then we open a cordon bleu cafe with Barbara in the 1980s. Simon is a popular television chef in the 90s and we come full circle with Kate who joins the Slow Food Movement in 2000.
W hile each is enchanting in its own right, together they combine to present a very tasty overview, in recipes and traditions, of the development of our national food culture.
Kate Fraser is Food Editor for The Press in Christchurch, where she lives and works. She is an experienced chef and food stylist and does culinary consulting work for a variety of media. This is her first book and has arisen out of a popular feature she invented for her columns.