History of a humble cookieANZAC Day is nearly upon us and we couldn't resist just popping up a quick ANZAC biscuit recipe. The idea of lounging around with a cup of tea, reading Pamela Hart's The Desert Nurse and nibbling on freshly baked ANZAC cookies was impossible to resist. My paternal grandmother was a magnificent cook and worked in Brisbane's iconic Breakfast Creek Hotel back in its hey day. She would bake ANZAC cookies all year around and they were a family favourite. So I did a bit of research on the birth of the ANZAC cookie and it appears those upstart Kiwis are trying to claim it as their own.
Author Q&APamela Hart says the most difficult part of writing the The Desert Nurse was recording the endless stream of casualties from Gallipoli in a manner that wouldn't overwhelm the reader. Pamela is a research-heavy author and food also plays a key role in her novels. The Country Women's Association cookbooks are her go-to references for the food of the times. She also has a soft spot for Margaret Fulton and the chip butty.
Kate's reviewIn 2004, Charlotte Smith inherited more than 3,000 vintage couture gowns from her Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell, who had spent a lifetime gathering her collection, which spanned 250 years of fashion. Every single piece had been given to her, by friends who knew of her passion and by strangers who wanted their old and precious clothes to be properly cared for. Doris Darnell also bequeathed her god-daughter her notebooks, which detailed the history of each item. She described these histories as "fascinating stories, sometimes full of joy, other times grief, sometimes bitterness, other times heartache."
Iconic literary food momentsIn honour of our fashion episode for Charlotte Smith's One Enchanted Evening, we have chosen a quote from style-icon Joan Didion because few people have managed to marry fashion, food and literature so well. Didion was an author of both literature and cookbooks, and kick-started her writing career on the pages of Vogue. She experienced great sadness in her life, losing both her husband and her daughter, the latter dying at just 39 year’s of age, but she never lost her connection with fashion and words. The quote we have chosen comes from her novel The Year of Thinking Magically, when Didion muses on the power of food to comfort and console.
Recommended readsHopefully you've chewed through all those novels gifted at Christmas and are ready to jump into the 2019 reading year. As the saying goes, there's no rest for the wicked! Word of Mouth TV has three new book and three new cookbook recommendations which will surely take you through to the next episode in March. Guest author Charlotte Smith, a fashion anthropologist, recommends The Riviera Set - a portrait of high society between 1920 and 1960 and the authors who partied with them. And her cookbook recommendation is equally glamorous. Kate and Sarah serve up their favourites as well. Happy reading!
Author Q&AAnglo-American Charlotte Smith inherited a vast collection of vintage and historic garments and accessories from her American Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell. Along with 3,500 items of clothing came boxes of personal letters and Doris’s handwritten notes documenting the stories of the women who wore them. As custodian, Charlotte has expanded the collection to more than 9,000 pieces, to include fashion from 36 different countries - the largest in the world. She has written a series of books about the collection and talks to us about her writing journey.
Portrait of a recipeCharlotte Smith lives in the Blue Mountains, which is famous for the high tea served at the stunning art-deco hotel The Hydro Majestic. So we thought a high tea would be the perfect accompaniment to an episode focused on fashion, and to honour Charlotte's British heritage. These fluffy English scones accompanied classic cucumber sandwiches (Kate charmed the recipe out of the chef at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) and chicken, rocket and mayonnaise sandwiches. These fluffy English style scones are light and rise like the sun! Enjoy!
Some might argue that Charlotte Smith is one of the luckiest women on earth. Bequeathed the world's largest vintage haute couture fashion collection by her Quaker aunt, she has written a delightfully illustrated book One Enchanted Evening that celebrates some of these gorgeous dresses. In a nod to Charlotte's British heritage we served a beautiful high tea - and then went to check out the fashion. We had so much fun, we hope you do too!