Me and My Big Mouth
This as-yet unpublished book is subtitled “Living through Australia’s food revolution”. It’s a food memoir that tracks how the way we eat, cook and shop has changed during the lifetime of the baby-boomer generation.
Synopsis: Like most baby boomers, I grew up with the custom of eating at the table. The story of the tables I have shared – with friends and strangers, with family and colleagues – is both the story of my life and the story of a change in Australian culture.
In the lifespan of my generation, there has been a food revolution in Australia. Its causes are many: affordable motor cars, prompting the growth of supermarkets with giant car parks; the arrival of post-war immigrants with their coffee and olive oil; lower airfares that let us discover the food of foreign lands; the increasing sophistication of food technology.
Not everything that revolution has brought with it is good. While we enjoy a much more diverse and interesting cuisine, many of the substances we consume could not truly be called foods. The synthetic, the over-processed, the convenient options that line our supermarket shelves are often many steps removed from the paddock, the orchard and the dairy.
This book is not a scholarly exploration of the history of food in Australia. This is a personal story. Often it wanders off into apocrypha about the people, places and events that have shaped my life. It’s about suburbia, about the “Mad Men” days of Australian advertising and about falling in love with Italy. However, it’s primarily about food, from the Anglo-Australian fare of the 1940s to the farmers’ markets and molecular gastronomy of the 21st century.
It’s a story I share with a generation that can remember life before pizza, a generation that has seen the demise of the local grocer and, decades later, the resurrection of the small local deli. It’s a story of change, social upheaval and growing up. From an eater’s point of view, it’s been quite an adventure.