Margaret Preston Recipes for Food & Art Review

Margaret Preston Recipes for Food & Art Review
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Title: Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art
Author: Lesley Harding
Published: October 3, 2016 Melbourne University Press
No. of Pages: 277
Cover Price: $45.00 Paperback



Margaret Preston was a celebrated Australian artist, and her paintings, mostly of flowers, were colorful and vibrant. No discussion of Australia’s art history would be complete without inclusion of Preston. Lesley Harding, a curator at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, writes in her introduction, “the idea for this book has been simmering since I saw Margaret Preston’s charming volume of handwritten recipes tucked away in a solander box full of her prints at the National Gallery of Australia.”

Anyone who appreciates the art of Margaret Preston, or who is interested in learning about her work, will appreciate this well-written book. However, since Preston was also a good cook, the book is also fun to cook from. Harding has updated the recipes for modern-day cooks; they are easy to follow and are uniquely Australian.

The book has pictures of Margaret Preston’s beautiful paintings, as well as photographs of her in different phases of her life. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the dishes, due, most likely, to the fact that the main focus on the book is on the Margaret Preston’s life and art. Although there are not a huge amount of recipes, the ones that are included are worth making and are representative of old fashioned Australian recipes. There are recipes for jams and jellies, scones and biscuits, simple chicken and meat dishes, and simple desserts such as Orange Ice Cream and Coffee Ice Cream. The Chocolate tart is absolutely decadent and will never go out of style; you’ll want to gorge yourself while perusing the beautiful pictures in the book. Fish Croquettes are delicious and are a good way to use up extra cooked fish. Chicken Kedgie and a traditional Australian Potato Salad are in the queue, as well as Welsh Rare-Bit, which Preston writes is a “nostalgic snack, lunch or supper dish.”

Anyone interested in art, or who would like a pretty coffee table book will want to own this book. Cooks who like easy dishes and would like to prepare something Australian will also enjoy this nice cookbook.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.





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