Merry Christmas 2022 to all and here are some of my favourite gift ideas.
Instead of buying yet another scented candle or tablecloth for your family and friends, why not think of those less fortunate and organise a hot dinner for a homeless person, donate to charity or support StreetSmart, an organisation that looks after the homeless and needy, helping to provide meals and accommodation to them.
I'm sure your favourite charity will appreciate your efforts and help.
One thing I seem to have an abundance of is cookbooks, which I have accumulated over the years as a journalist, restaurant reviewer, cooking teacher and demonstrator.
So I went to Books for Cooks, near Victoria Market to sell some of my cookbooks and also to check out what's new on the market.
If you want to give a cookbook or buy one for yourself, visit this treasure trove of culinary books.
Owners Amanda and Tim White have new and used cookbooks, books about wine, food and the culinary arts.
It 's Award winning independent specialist new and antiquarian bookstore catering for chefs, cooks, armchair cooks and eaters.
In the old days when they were at Gertrude St, Fitzroy, in more cramped quarters, it was such fun, because they would have book launches and Amanda, a keen cook herself, would cook recipes from the books being launched and we'd get tastings. They have just started doing tastings again after the lockdown, so I look forward to attending again.
It's part of Queen Victoria Market, 115-121 Victoria St, Melbourne and open every day.
I always find that a little humour helps to ease the stress that accompanies the preparations for the festive season.
Is is alright to seat uptight cousin Karen next to uncle Jim, who starts singing bawdy songs after a couple of beers?
Is the turkey hot enough and is the seafood salad cold enough? Is anyone allergic to seafood? Help!
Relax, enjoy the Christmas cartoons and what about a real life Santa in Northcote, Victoria?
Enjoy the photo of the jolly gent in red, aka my friend and former colleague Jamie Duncan.
“This was the Preston and Northcote Leaders' Christmas pic at the end of 2001, shot at the corner of Christmas Street and Victoria Road in Northcote.” Jamie said.
The photo was taken by the late Mark Frecker with assistance from journalist Andrea Petrie, who supported the ladder which Jamie was standing on (or hanging from!)
Merry Christmas, everyone!