As editor of Home Ideas since it started, Susan has lost her heart to a dozen fabulous places and seen more clever ideas than she’ll ever have time to try. She heads a talented team who gravitate naturally to the coffee maker and regale each other with tall tales of products found and projects planned.

Food Glorious Food
January 22, 2011, 12:23 pm

It’s no longer enough simply to put a good wholesome meal on the table every night with a special dish for birthdays and the odd ‘occasion’. These days, it seems, every home cook – and that means Dad as often as Mum – is failing their duty if they don’t possess an in-depth knowledge of nutrition, familiarity with exotic ingredients and hands-on experience of performance art.

Forget the peas-carrots-potato combo, it just won’t cut it when even toddlers can ‘Rate The Plate’. How dull and empty our lives must have been before cooking became a prime-time competitive sport up there with the State of Origin and the Hopman Cup. And what a stroke of genius to make a competition of something as mundane as dishing up dinner.

I secretly think it’s a conspiracy of wives and mothers who realised they’d never introduce the blokes to the stove unless a contest was involved, though I won’t be voicing that opinion in my household any time soon.

Great cooks have always held a well-deserved place in popular culture – remember Mrs Beeton, the domestic goddess of the mid-19th century and probably the most revered cookery writer ever? Closer to home and to our times, Margaret Fulton was the queen of her generation, and there have been plenty more before and since. Yes, long before we’d ever heard of MasterChef we were being educated and entertained by those masters of their craft who knew the way to our hearts was, indeed, through our stomachs.