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(book, Stephanie Alexander)
h4. From the author First published in 1996, this revised and expanded 2004 edition contains 1,100 pages of practical advice relating to more than 100 common ingredients, arranged alphabetically. For each ingredient there is information on varieties, season, selection, storage, preparation and cooking, as well as recipes and quick cooking ideas. This massive volume changed my life and, if I am to believe the steady stream of letters and contacts with readers, the lives of many others. It was a deliberate decision to include seasonal and varietal information that pertained to Australia in particular and the Southern Hemisphere in general. For too long cooks Down Under had referred to European or American basic texts. It was time for our own. I have been humbled by its reception. I am excited to think that maybe I have contributed something that has encouraged non-cooks to become cooks, men and boys to venture into the kitchen, good cooks to become more relaxed in their cooking, and perhaps most exciting of all, a work that speaks encouragingly to the very young.