Grace shows us how to make baked capsicums. This recipe is in The Butcher Who Bakes.
June Kelly is the Principal of G J Impressions Real Estate company and met Grace in 2010. June wanted to share the inspiration and impact Grace has had on her life.
“When I first met Grace I was blown away. My friend, Hayley, took me to meet Grace for lunch in her home and what inspired me about our meeting was Grace’s passion for presentation and using layering to make her table look amazing,” says June Kelly.
“Firstly, it was visual. I was taken by the visual presentation and Grace just made it all sound so easy. She showed me how she laid the table and how she achieved the look using layering and I realised that it actually was quite simple and something that I could do myself and that it really was all in the presentation.
“The feeling I got when I first met Grace was of real warmth and because of that I wanted to create that same warmth with the people around me. It so inspired me that I started looking at cookbooks and shopping for the kinds of things that I had seen Grace use – lots of white dishes in all shapes and sizes, with the odd coloured item thrown in. And I started to do it in my own home.
“One night I had a friend come over. I had just finished cooking a fruit cake. So when I cut up the cake, popped it on a plate with some cream on the side, a serviette and brought through a pot of tea, my friend commented, “I’ve never felt so nurtured.”
“I had not intentionally set out to nurture her or to make her feel special. It was that I was imitating what I had seen with Grace and she noticed and interpreted that as a higher level of care for her. It actually had taken me no more time than if I’d slopped some tea in a cup and plopped it down in front of her, but the difference was huge.
“On other occasions I have used the same level of thinking, “It’s all in the presentation” as I learned from Grace, and people have all commented on the look of the food and how much time it had taken me. I’ve used wooden cutting boards to present food instead of traditional plates and have started to experiment with different textures on which to place the food to get the best effect.
“Sincerely, Grace changed my whole perception of entertainng and I have implemented the ideas that I learned from Grace and had the same reaction that she said she gets from her guests. I cannot believe that people can be so touched and so moved by the little bit extra in presentation that realistically takes no extra time to do.
“I think what it was for me is that I changed my thinking about what I was doing and it became a message of love to my guests instead of a chore I was doing for them. It was an expression of love that was visual and because it was created visually it has made it more tangible and brought it to life and they have connected with that.
“When you present the food in that way people are touched and they don’t even think about the taste of the food because you have already won them.
“People have really commented about the changes in me and they love being in my space now. It has really unlocked something very creative and nurturing, as that is not a word I would usually use to describe myself, and I am loving it.
“I am loving having Grace’s book because there are so many great ideas included. My advice to anyone who reads this is that they go get a copy. Grace is truly inspirational and you will learn so much from her,” says June Kelly.
June has supplied us with some images of the dishes she has purchased since meeting Grace so you can see how Grace has influenced her entertaining choices.
Well this is one of the first questions I put to Grace when we started discussing meats. After all, I’m notorious for cooking casseroles with meat that tastes like leather! Just ask my kids…no ask my hubby, cause he’s the one that snubs my casseroles when they are tough.
So this is what Grace had to say about cooking your beef so that it stays tender…
1. Grace always coats the meat in flour. She uses a plastic bag, adds in the flour and a little seasoning, then the meat and gives the bag and meat a bit of a shake, rattle and roll.
2. She cooks her meat first on a high temp, sealing in the goodness.
3. Then she reduces the heat and then adds in the vegetables and finally the moisture (stock etc).
So when it was time for me to make a casserole I followed Grace’s advice and I have to say it made a HUGE difference to the end product.
So next time you are cooking a casserole, try Grace’s ideas out. I’d love to see a pic of the final product or hear about your results. If you send us a pic I promise I’ll post it on the website and also on our Facebook Business page or better still, why don’t you pop over to Facebook and post us a pic on our wall.
I can now breath again, as I begin the arduous mountain of tasks necessary to get everything in place for the launch on 19 September, 2011. The big load is off my shoulders with the final proofs approved and ready for print. Our baby is now in the hands of the midwife (the printers) and we’re ecstatic to know we are almost there.
I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be able to get this baby out of the womb and we can’t wait to show it off to the world!
So I am going to give you a second peak inside the book…this time I thought you might like to see one of our knives pages.
I’d love to know what you think, so please leave your thoughts below. Chad told us the print team at Vanguard Press all like the look of it, so that’s a good start.
So here you go…