Kristy's much needed European jaunt means that on werk days I've become chief unpacker, hefter of boxes and receiver of stock. As bookselling tasks go it's always been a favourite, particularly as the new releases arrive. Sydney chef Matt Moran's new kitchen garden cookbook turned up this morning in its green and glam cover, but a quick flick through at the back counter - browsing is product knowledge, I'll have you know - proved it was just as fluffy as I'd suspected. Moran's commitment is obvious and heartfelt but I'm a bit over being lectured to by chefs about how glorious it is to grow one's own. I know. There ain't no garden staff to tend mine either. Sometimes all the ducks have left you is the damn kale, shitting on what's left of the beetroots while they forage through the rest, to say nothing of the cockatoos who have been playing in my garlic crop. And when I use the word playing, what I mean is destroying.
What I'm saying is that it's not glamorous growing food. Fun, yes, edu-ma-cational, and life-enhancing definitely, but hardly glamorous. Moran has a pretty little handwritten note in the book that made me giggle:
Remember when a leafy salad was green and nothing but green? The variety of colours and flavours you can get these days makes the whole salad scene much more interesting.
Clearly there's a whole Scene I wasn't even aware of...and it's just that sort of comment from a bloke who chefs for a living (as opposed to a woman who has to get dinner on the table every night) that makes me long for a salad that's all green. Nothing wrong with a plain, old fashioned green s'lad as far as I'm concerned. I'm contrary like that.