Gran's Family Table by Natalie Oldfield

Just like Gran used to cook

By Laura McKinnon
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Gran's Family Table by Natalie Oldfield

Gran's Family Table by Natalie Oldfield


New Zealand based Natalie Oldfield, author of Gran’s Kitchen and owner of award-winning store Dulcie May’s Kitchen, offers up a new cookbook inspired by her grandmother Dulcie May Booker. For this Gran's Family Table she has drawn recipes from her grandmother, mother and sister as well as including some of her own.

To start with, the book has a good old-fashioned feel. Oldfield’s grandmother and family appear on the cover and inside insert, helping give a rustic and warm family feeling to the cookbook. Recipes have a full page devoted to them, although most do not take up the full amount of space. This is great as it leaves enough room for an astute cook to write down their own tweaks, alterations and additions to recipes. Each recipe is also accompanied by a full page picture of the dish as it should look once completed.

The contents page really says everything about this book. It is broken down into different meal times – breakfast, lunch, dinner – and types of foods that grandmothers are generally associated with – salads and sides, puddings, preserves and sauces.  

Breakfast covers such recipes as blueberry scones, lemon curd, yoghurt and honey, spelt bread, sardines on toast, hollandaise sauce and boiled eggs with soldiers. Lunch – savoury toast, macaroni and cheese, sausages, sweetcorn chowder and shortcrust pastry. Dinner – marinated lamb, corned beef with mustard sauce, sausage pie, grilled snapper with baked onions, meat loaf and mustard glaze. The book also contains favourites like coleslaw, cooked greens, mashed potatoes, cooked beetroot, potato salad, chocolate sauce pudding, custard sauce, fruit salad, sunset mousse and rhubarb and apple shortcake.

Gran's Family Table keeps things simple. There are no fancy reductions in this book – it truly is what granny used to make. The ingredients lists are generally simple and will not have you hunting for uncommon or rare ingredients. A lot of the recipes come from a time where people had to ‘make do’. However, this is not to say that the recipes are not tasty or inspired. On the contrary, the book takes one back to the smells of granny's cooking on a Sunday morning and having your mouth water until lunch was served at precisely 12 o’clock.

Gran’s Family Table has a lot of familiar and relatively simple to construct recipes. Crumpets are an example of the simple recipe structure. There are six ingredients and two paragraphs to bring the recipe together. There are quite a few short and sweet recipes like this. For the cook who has a good grasp of the basics, this book may not be such a good investment. However, for someone who is after a good understanding of the basics, these desirable and hearty recipes could quite possibly make it the book for you.


Gran's Family Table written by Natalie Oldfield is published by Harper Collins Publishers (2011, RRP A$49.99). Subscribers of and Winepros Archive can purchase Gran's Family Table at 12.5% discount via our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).

Gran's Family Table is also available via Booko here »



  • Melbourne (VIC)

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July 25th, 2011
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