Author(s): Lolo Houbein; Tori Arbon
Warm, witty and wise, this practical garden-to-table cookbook will help you to not just grow your own food - but eat it, too.
Put yourself in the expert hands of gardening guru Lolo Houbein, author of the international hit One Magic Square, and organic farmer Tori Arbon, of urban food-growing workshops Magic Harvest.
Find out how to grow (and prepare) more than fifty fruits and vegetables, with recipes ranging from simple snacks and finger food to inventive soups and salads; and warming stews and curries, to dinner-party risottos and vegetable roasts. Whether your taste runs to French onion soup or Hungarian goulash, spanakopita or sweet potato fritters, you'll find bountiful ideas for turning your garden produce into delicious food.
Magic Little Meals includes a host of bonus garden tips, on everything from edible garden activities for children to filling a raised garden bed.
Lolo Hobein: Living through the Dutch famine of 1944-1945 as a child placed food at the top of my priorities. While war raged, I lost contact with my family after a children's transport took me to an eastern province. Here, foster parents increased my weight by 50% in four months. Growing one's own food was the rule there, one of many life lessons learned during that period.
But good land is the key. In Australia I grew my first fruit and vegetables. I worry about the speed at which the Australian environment is being logged, mined out and sold off to make the nation grow. With partner Burr Dodd I planned how to revegetate South Australia by 2050. The result was the movement known as Trees For Life.
I wrote about my gardening experiences for my grandchildren to prepare them for possible food shortages. One Magic Square: Grow your own food on one square metre and its companion Outside the Magic Square: A handbook for food security are still in print. This present volume, written with Tori Arbon, is a response to readers' requests. It completes the unintended trilogy. May these books continue to inspire people to recognise that good food comes from good soil and that widespread growing at home can perhaps save the planet.
Tori Arbon: I never met my grandmother, who was a marvellous cook. Mum always worked full-time and fed our family on mainly packaged and tinned 'convenience food'. My family was not unusual. Across Australia several generations have grown up without home cooking. While schools and community services are trying to turn this around, we all need to do it for ourselves.
My passion for exploring flavours, growing food, cooking and cultures began when I discovered Adelaide's Asian food scene. My interest in food evolved into concern for everyone's access to good food and the right to grow our own.
Lolo Houbein and her book One Magic Square inspired me to create Magic Harvest, an organisation that connects neighbours as they grow their own food, share gardening and cooking workshops, swap produce and skills and, in Jamie Oliver's words, Pass It On in the community.
Working on Magic Little Meals has been a wonderful journey around Lolo's garden, and into her kitchen and spice cabinet. By sharing our ideas and flavour combinations we hope to have you rushing to your garden, heading off to fresh food markets and experimenting in the kitchen with family. We may even have an answer for that perennial question: 'What do I do with kale?'
And if you learn a few tips ... 'Pass It On'!