Welcome ladies to Word of Mouth TV. We say “ladies” because statistics tell us that the vast majority of bibliophiles are women. Women buy more books than men, attend more book clubs, use libraries more often, write more than men, and attend more creative writing courses than men. Heaps more! Having said that, we expect that the literary banquet we serve this year will feed the souls of both sexes.
Kate and I are the best and oldest of friends. We first met fresh out of university at an industrial psychology test in the most inauspicious of circumstances. We were being pitted against each other for the plum job of journalist at Fairfax Media, the owner of such illustrious mastheads as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald and The Age.
Iconic literary food momentsOne of the most famous mentions of food in literature is in Marcel Proust’s seven-book series, In Search of Lost Time, when the narrator involuntarily recalls an episode from his childhood after tasting a madeleine dipped in tea.
Portrait of a recipeFor dessert, Graeme and Anne suggested a much-loved cake recipe which comes from another favourite cookbook, A Kitchen in Burgundy by Anne Willan. Gooseberries are thin on the ground in Sydney, so we used raspberries instead, and it it was delicious. We ate every last scrap - yum yum!
Portrait of a recipeOut of the 200 recipes in Anne Buist's and Graeme Simsion's favourite cookbook, Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, 'Bouillabaisse de Poulet Chez Tante Paulette' became a favourite, so we decided to re-create it for them, making just a few subtle changes to the recipe, for ease of cooking and a richer taste.
These elegant cakes shaped like scallop shells are the perfect thing with a cup of light, floral French tea. Guillaume Brahimi’s recipe is flavoured with vanilla bean, lemon and beurre noisette – butter cooked until hazelnut brown, giving a nutty flavour.