Post Script: The Natural Cook – Matt Stone

The Natural Cook

The Natural Cook

Matt Stone

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743365908


A new kind of food revolution – kind to the planet, good for your body and for your soul.

How do you cook irresistible food without harming the planet?


It’s all about adopting new habits – opening your eyes to local foods and making the best of them, reducing waste by using every last bit of each ingredient, and enjoying well-raised meat and fish (while saving the bones to make the best broth ever!).


Try your hand at traditional techniques that have become popular again – yoghurt-making, preserving, pickling and fermenting. The bonus is that you’ll be producing delicious food that just happens to be good for you, too.


Matt Stone, one of Australia’s brightest young chefs, is a passionate advocate of zero-waste cooking and ethical food, and an even bigger fan of a cracking meal. Whether it’s a nourishing breakfast, a quick weeknight meal or a feast for friends, Matt shows how creating sustainable food that’s full of flavour is easier than you think.



My View:

What a great cook book – this one connects with me on so many levels. Matt Stone and I (and probably many of you who are reading this post or flicking through this cook book) share similar aspirations when it comes to home cooking (Matt also weaves some of these principals into his work as a chef)

√ Veggie patch – we have bountiful home grown seasonal fruit and vegetables.

√ Using bone and vegetable broths to enrich and add potent flavour to meals and great for gut health. And Chicken bone broth is our grandson’s first food – a great way to introduce real food to his diet.

√Pickles, fermenting and preserving home grown foods – Kimchi and Fermented Chili paste next on our list to make.

√ Use of wholefoods when possible.

√Drying and making powders – next on the list of how to use up our produce.

√ Great ideas for simple desserts, drinks and make your own spice mixes (flavoursome and budget friendly).


However there is one thing we do not share – a love for edible insects!!   The argument for sustainability doesn’t tempt me to try these sort of recipes  J Whitebait, Ants and Myrtle, Crisp Crickets, Melaworms and Australian Seven Spice….No No No 🙂    Thankfully this makes up just a tiny section of the book. 🙂





The Fruits Of Our Labour

Some of you may recall that a few months ago we began the process of pickling/curing our olives. The olives have been sitting in a salt bath (a 10% salt solution) and the brine changed regularly over the past four weeks or so. Today we tasted a few olives from one of the buckets of fruit – the one that held the riper of the olives – and they were amazing – salty (as they should be at this stage) but tasty and no hint of bitter acid. The remaining buckets of fruit will need just a few more days of soaking then they too will be ready to finish processing.


Once the bitterness has leached away the next step in the process is to rinse off the heavy salt water brine and prepare a new mix of water, salt and vinegar. The rinsed olives are loosely packed in a sterilised jar, the new salt/vinegar brine is poured over to cover the olives and a layer of olive oil seals the mix. The jars are then stored in a cupboard/pantry for about one month. At this point the flavours will have matured and the olives are ready to eat – just rinse off required amount (some say leave olives in plain water in the fridge for 24 hours to leach some of the salt away), then sprinkle with herbs/flavourings of your choice – chilli or red capsicum, garlic or lemon juice and  finish with a dash of olive oil and let marinade in fridge for a few hours before ready to eat. YUM!


The jars of olives in the vinegar/salt water brine will keep for about a year in the pantry. Hopefully they will last until next seasons fruit is harvested…but I am not sure about that, they are so delicious.