Apr 25

Book Review: Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

Our Family Table by Julie GoodwinTitle: Our Family Table
Author: Julie Goodwin
Publisher: Ebury Illustrated, 2010 (243 pages)
ISBN: 978-1-74166-968-8
Genre: Cookbook

Summary (from Random House)

Since taking out the coveted title of Australia’s first MasterChef, Julie Goodwin has been cooking, testing and writing away like mad, preparing to publish her first cookbook.

Julie says: ‘In this book I’m not just presenting recipes but exploring the role of food in families and communities. I want to get people back into their kitchens and promote the joy of food and family. OUR FAMILY TABLE is full of lovely stories and recipes and feasts, with a strong focus on good old-fashioned tucker. ‘

Some recipes are heirlooms passed down in Julie’s family through generations, while others were given to her by friends and neighbours. There are lazy weekend breakfasts to enjoy with the family, weekday and special occasion dinners, barbecue and camp cooking, and cakes, biscuits and puddings galore. Julie also includes recipes she created on MasterChef – such as her now famous lemon diva cupcakes and her passionfruit ‘puddle’ pie.

The final section of the book is Julie’s favourite: a beautifully designed ‘blank’ chapter with pages for the reader’s own photos, clippings and hand-me-down handwritten recipes from family and friends.

With a foreword by Australian culinary icon, Margaret Fulton.


I was interested to see Julie Goodwin’s cookbook when it finally arrived on the shelves. I love to cook, but confess that the hyper-styled meals and fussy recipes of many celebrity cooks just leave me cold. Some people may be able to balance family, work and social commitments as well as turn out gourmet meals, but I’m afraid I’m just not one of them.

I was a little worried that somewhere between the end of MasterChef Australia 2009 and the release of Goodwin’s cookbook the marketing guru’s would decide to alter Julie’s rather basic cookbook plan to ensure that it would appeal to the foodie fans of the program. I’m very pleased to report that this hasn’t happened and, as I had hoped, Our Family Table is filled with the kinds of recipes that I am likely to make at home for my own family.

I’ve tried out the recipe for Grandma’s shortbread, which was delicious. If you want further confirmation of this, just ask Meredith from Oh, The Thinks You Can Think, who gobbled the shortbreads I took to her place down faster than you can say “Would you like to keep the leftover biscuits for your kids for afternoon tea?” Leftovers? What was I thinking?

I’m sure that this is a recipe book that I will be referring to often. I’m not necessarily likely to write my own recipes in the blank pages at the back, but that’s simply because I have too many to fit. This section does make this cookbook a lovely idea as a housewarming, engagement or wedding present however, with perhaps favourite family recipes already included.

Talking about that shortbread has made me hungry. I think it’s time to put another batch in the oven…

Related links:

Review of Our Family Table at Suite101.com

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  1. Marg

    I might borrow this one from the library and have a closer look at it. I have been in the mood lately for trying new recipes, so I might find something that catches the eye.
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..TSS: Anzac Day 2010 =-.

    1. Susan

      Most of the recipes are achievable for a home cook. Celebrity chef cookbooks don’t usually interest me because the recipes are so difficult and/or ingredients so hard to find.

      I’ve already bookmarked a few recipes in this cookbook to try out. If you borrow it and try some, let me know how you go.

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