I was honoured to speak about Margaret Fulton’s professional life at her State Memorial Service

We farewelled Margaret Fulton OAM on at a State Memorial Service at the Art Gallery of NSW last Monday. Flags on the Harbour Bridge and all public buildings flew at half mast in honour of this incredible woman. Simon Marnie spoke about the rest of her interests in life, her grand-daughters Louise and Kate about “10 Life Lessons We Learned from Grandma”, Great grandson Harry spoke of his fond memories of GG and “the treats she gave me Mummy didn’t need to know about” and daughter Suzanne spoke of growing up with her. The family were piped in to Over the Sea to Skye, as a nod to her Scottish Ancestry and also on the way out. The finale was a wonderful Performance, “The Book” from Margaret Fulton: The Musical.
It was widely reported in the press, on TV and radio but I missed these as the family and close friends were raising a glass in her honour. However, here are reports in Perth Now, The Sydney Morning Herald and KIIS 1065

The Order of Service for Margaret Fulton’s Memorial Service

TOP L; I was moved to see the flags on the Harbour Bridge at half mast and R: the visual display at the Memorial Service

Jump ahead to see:
This Week’s Best Fruit and Veg
Recipe of the Week
Focus on Piel de Sapo Melon
Wine of the week
The Truth About Saffron
Interesting Reading
What’s On
An Exotic Journey

Tangelos, blueberries and avocadoes


Citrus fruits are still in good supply and eating nicely. With their rich raspberry-red succulent flesh and sweet flavour, blood oranges are ideal for juicing. Make the most of the season blood oranges as the season will finish October. Navels oranges are premium quality and top value. Pink fleshed ruby grapefruit are refreshing, tangelos are vibrant and tangy and the late season mandarins are still a popular choice. 

Scrumptious strawberries are still great value and fantastic eating. Add sliced strawberries to your favourite breakfast cereal enjoy them as a snack or serve roasted strawberries with waffles.

Their attractive purplish-blue colour and sweet flavour teamed with their high antioxidant qualities makes blueberries a popular and healthy choice. Make the most of the quality and value nowt. Try Berries with coconut nougat meringes.

Blushed with colour and flavour, Kensington Pride mangoes from the Darwin area are now available.  Best peeled just prior to eating, ripe mango skin will easily pull away from the flesh. A ripe mango is perfect eaten as is, or use in desserts or serve with cooked prawns or spicy barbecued pork in a salad.

Packham pears are still good quality and well-priced. Classic poached pears are easy to prepare, taste delicious and are very high in fibre.

Rhubarb is loaded with calcium so it’s good for your teeth and bones. Rhubarb adds wonderful flavour to a Moroccan style sweet curry, stew with apples and bake wrapped in filo pastry. 

Refreshing, juicy rockmelons from Queensland are abundant.

Kale, mushrooms and Asian Greens


Who can pass up the stunningly good Aussie asparagus now in season? Add trimmed spears to a risotto, blanch and toss in a spring salad with broad beans, enjoy bunches barbecued or toss in a hot wok with king prawns and crushed garlic.

Add the flavour of fresh herbs to your cooking. Loaded with lively flavour, the quality of fresh grown local herbs, like mint, coriander, dill, thyme, chives and parsley is exceptional. This herb crusted salmon makes an easy mid-week meal.

Leafy kale is packed with goodness and so versatile, pan fry, oven bake or steam. 

Versatile and mild tasting English spinach is delightful eaten cooked or raw and this week is a bargain. Toss washed leaves through cooked spaghetti with ricotta cheese and grilled pancetta.

Fresh Asian leafy greens like bok choy, choy sum, choy sum are delicious steamed or tossed in a hot wok. Select bunches with crunchy pale stems and fresh-looking green leaves. Try this red chilli beef with bok choy.

Snap up freshly picked snow peas this week. Quick to cook, snow peas add a delicious crunchy texture to salads, side dishes and stir-fries.

Holy guacamole! Good quality Hass avocados, from Mildura in South Australia, the North Coast of NSW and a trickle from the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland are worth adding to the shopping list. Quality is excellent and avocados are a top buy.

While we all know how delicious and versatile mushrooms are, they have real health benefits too. Look after yourself by add a few extra mushrooms to your diet this week. 

Leeks have a subtle sweetness that combines deliciously with chicken, eggs, ham and potatoes. Leeks have a milder flavour than onions and are perfect for using in frittatas or with seafood. 

Globe artichokes are a stunning vegetable with a unique, sweet and subtle flavour. 

Recipe of the Week

Mushroom Egg Nets

Makes 4 egg nets
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

4 eggs
2 large red chilies
Peanut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
130g white button mushrooms, sliced
130g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch coriander, roots and stems finely chopped and leaves picked
1 cup (50g) bean shoots
1 tablespoon (20ml) fish sauce
2 ½ tablespoons palm sugar
4 tablespoons peanuts, roughly chopped
1 green onion, julienned (optional)

  1. Whisk eggs gently in a medium bowl. Do not overbeat. Pour egg mixture into a jug or funnel and into a squeeze bottle.
  2. Finely slice one red chilli and deseed and julienne the other, reserving for garnish. Heat peanut and sesame oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add garlic, chopped chilli, mushrooms, coriander root and stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and beginning to turn golden. Add bean shoots and sauté for a minute further. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
  3. Heat a little more oil in frying pan and wipe out leaving a thin coat. Place over a medium heat and pour in one quarter of egg mixture in thin streams from squeeze bottle, making a lattice pattern. Gently cook for 30-40 seconds or until egg net is cooked through. Turn out onto a sheet of baking paper. Or dip hand in the egg mix and wave across the flat frypan so that the egg drizzles in the oil. Move your hand backwards and forwards and from side to side to form a net. Do not move too quickly otherwise the strands will be too fine and will break. Circle the perimeter to form a border. Remove and drain on paper. Repeat until egg mix is finished.
  4. Divide mushroom mixture down the centre of the nets and sprinkle with peanuts and coriander leaves. Gently roll to encase. Alternatively, lay out an egg net, spread some mix on the lower third of the net and roll up. Repeat with remaining nests and mixture. Garnish egg nets with julienned green onion and chilli. Slice into bite sized and serve as a pre dinner nibble.

This recipe comes from the award-winning TV series  and award-winning cookbook Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia.

Focus on Piel de Sapo Melon

Perfectly ripe Piel de Sapo melon has juicy deliciously sweet pale green flesh similar to honeydew.

Originally from Spain, these melons are now grown in Australia. They are also known as Santa Claus or Christmas melons.


Piel de Sapo melons are picked ripe and ready to eat. Leave at room temperature for a few days to enhance flavour.


Wash the whole melon in cold water then halve, deseed and discard the thick rind.


  • Serve Piel de Sapol melon wedges with thinly sliced proscuitto, rocket leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Thread melon balls onto skewers alternatively with baby bocconcini, serve with drinks.
  • Team chopped Piel de Sapo melon with Greek yoghurt and honey for breakfast.
  • For a starter, served chilled melon slices topped with sliced baked ricotta and thinly sliced serrano ham. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to serve.

Wine of the Week

de Bortoli Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

De Bortoli Wines has added a Cabernet Sauvignon to the Woodfired range. Sourced from De Bortoli’s vineyard at Corop in Northern Heathcote, Victoria’s home of big reds, and crafted by Chief Winemaker Steve Webber, WOODFIRED wines are dense and complex with ripe dark fruits, cedar-wood and balance.
It took out the ‘Best Cabernet’ trophy at the 2019 Heathcote Wine Show. This well-balanced and textured red complements the full-bodied Heathcote Shiraz and the soft, rich and fine crimson bubbles of the Heathcote Sparkling Shiraz. The range is designed to accompany chargrilled meats and artisan pizzas from a wood-fired oven.
I found it intense and delightful, with an appealing smoky, cedar-wood and liquorice, much softer and more appealing than many young cabernets.
RRP: $22.00

The Truth About Saffron

L: Kashmiri Saffron and R: Saffron Crocus

My friend Herbie, who is my go-to person for anything to do with herbs and spices, picked up that in an image I used in my last newsletter to illustrate an article on how to use spices, showed safflower petals which are often passed off as saffron. Therefore I asked him to write me this piece to share.

Saffron is the stigma (the female organ) of an autumn flowering crocus (Crocus sativus). The stamen is the male organ that holds pollen, and it has no use in cooking.
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, with a street value on average of around A$20,000 per kilo. A double handful of saffron weighing about 1 kilo, will contain at least 200,000 stigmas. All these are painstakingly harvested by hand, from the back-breaking picking of each flower, to the dextrous separation of the 3 stigmas.

Buyer Beware
Adulteration and falsifying saffron is a common practice globally, due to the high cost of the genuine article, making adulterers potentially rich. In the past various materials such as safflower petals, corn silk, coconut fibre, and even dyed shredded crocus petals were passed off as saffron.
However, today there is an even more insidious method being used to make false saffron. This clever fake is made of a soluble plastic, artificially coloured and flavoured, sometimes with sandalwood, in a vain attempt to mimic the woody notes of real saffron.

Fake Saffron will release its colour more rapidly than the real item. Good saffron can take anything from 15 minutes to an hour to release its flavour and golden hue. We recommend soaking saffron stigmas in a small amount of water to get the maximum benefit. You only need around 12 well-soaked stigmas to colour and flavour one cup of rice.
Artificially coloured saffron look-alikes release a red/brown colour, and the aroma is like sandalwood (if it has any aroma at all).

Interesting Reading

Could this book be for you?

I became friends with nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge because she has a fun and healthy relationship with food and life. Now we are both She is CureCancer ambassadors.
Like all of us, she wants to be able to eat delicious food, enjoy the odd glass of wine and coffee and still feel great. In this book, Michele draws on all the latest research and her many years’ experience as a nutritionist to provide a solution that works for the average busy person who wants to be healthy. The sheer amount of nutritional information available nowadays can be overwhelming. Michele is anti-deprivation and guilt – another reason to like her. So this book is  a joyful guide to life and a sustainable way of eating for long-term good health.
Paperback $34.99

What’s On

Darkes Orchard

In Australia
Women in Hospitality embarks on a produce tour of the highlands
In partnership with Porkstar, empowering not-for-profit Women in Hospitality explores the picturesque Southern Highlands for a day of pigs and apples. Meeting the female farmers behind Red Leaf Farms and DARKES Glenbernie Orchard this day trip is both educational and exciting as the perfect pairing of pork and cider comes to the forefront.”
On Monday 23rd of September, Katrina Sparke of
Redleaf Farm in Fitzroy Falls welcomes guests on a tour of the lush surroundings where the pigs roam free. With a focus on sustainability and a belief that the best tasting meat comes from happy animals, Redleaf Farm is best known for award wining lamb and pork.
Arriving at
Bertha’s Meats, Bowral, guests will be treated to a pig on a spit cooked by Bioata’s James Viles and his all female front of house team.
After sipping on cider from DARKES over lunch, the final stop of the tour is a visit to
DARKES Glenbernie Orchard for a tasting and tour in a 50-seat tractor. Known for their cider and vinegar this fourth generation female strong team is led by Jo-Anne Fahey.
The Pigs & Apples  event is $80 per person and tickets  include return bus trip from Sydney CBD, cider tastings, lunch and beverages. Limited tickets available,
CLICK HERE to purchase
Tour Agenda
8am Pick up from Sydney
10am Visit Red Leaf Farm
12:30am Lunch at Bertha Meats
3:15pm Visit Darkes Glenbernie Orchard

An Exotic Journey
Through the Cobbled Streets of Morocco

Beautiful Scorpion House

Read my story about Scorpion House in Moulay Idriss, an hour from Fes, Morocco here.
Learn more about my bespoke hosted trip to Morocco here.

Wonderful sublty spiced traditional Moroccan dishes. The salads (left) really transform seemingly ordinary ingredients like carrots

That’s all I have time for this week. Next week there probably won’t be an update as I am flying back to London.
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