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Book talk: Moving Out...Eating In

We ask Moving Out...Eating In author Elizabeth Hewson why we should buy her book.

GT: Why should we buy your book?
EH: I've written this book about my moving-out-of-home experience for my fellow peers [twenty-somethings who are moving away from home for the first time]. It features more than 100 approachable, vibrant and affordable recipes organised into chapters to reflect the lifestyle that we lead. It's a book that understands that one night we might be eating alone and the next we might suddenly be feeding a group of six. It's a book that understands that, for us, ingredients need to be readily available and affordable as well as delicious. It's a book that doesn't require prior kitchen knowledge, and can just be picked up and cooked from.

Where's the easiest place to start?
I'd start by having a read of the first chapter. By stocking up on the basics - in your kitchen and pantry - you'll find it easy to whip up a meal for yourself, a partner or a bunch of friends in minutes. It's also an economical way to shop.

What if we're looking for a challenge? What's the toughest recipe?
To be honest, all the recipes are pretty straightforward. Some recipes may look long, but this is purely because I'm talking you through the steps. Don't confuse this with complicated. I wanted the book to be like a friend was reading the recipe out to you. I wanted to explain why you are doing certain steps. I think this is the best way to learn. But toughest? Well, I wouldn't say it's tough, but the dumplings do take some patience. Folding them up can be fiddly, but the end result is well worth it.

Do we need any special gear or ingredients to make the most of the book?
At the start of each recipe I mention if any specific equipment is required. All ingredients are easily accessible, but I would recommend growing your own herbs. I use fresh herbs a lot throughout the book, and buying them from the supermarket can get expensive and they tend not to last long. Also, I know some kitchen purists will cringe but a food processor is a handy appliance to have. It's a huge time-saver, and when you're starting out in the kitchen, short cuts can make all the difference. There's no need to buy a big, expensive one - the smaller ones are far cheaper and do the job just fine. I use mine to grate, pulse and combine. It's super-handy when a large amount of chopping is involved.

What's the best thing about the book?
There is a picture for every single recipe. Oh, and the hot chocolate and marshmallow tart with a Tim Tam crust, or the apple fumble - half fool, half crumble. I like to have fun with my recipe names.

Any last thoughts to get your book over the line?
I have some really good-looking friends that feature in the book. And a cute puppy named Pablo Escobark.

Moving Out… Eating In by Elizabeth Hewson was photographed by Michael Wee (Roc-Hin Pty Ltd, $34.95, pbk).



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