Don Dunstan's Cookbook - vintage hardcover recipe book
Don Dunstan's Cookbook
Hardcover book with dustjacket in very good
condition. 1976 edition, 96 pages with delightful drawings by Robert Inkpen. Dustjacket laminate has started separating in places, mostly at edges and corners, first page has a name and a couple of notes on it. Clean
book, tight binding, minor chipping to board edges, no other marks, tears, loose
or missing pages.
Measurements are in both metric and imperial.
One of the few Australian politicians ever to
write a cookbook!
A review of Don Dunstan's Cookbook by Genevieve Harris
in 2006 in Adelaide
Thirty years after South
Australian renaissance man and premier Don Dunstan published his cookbook, the
recipes remain as modern as ever.
Courage, innovation and change were the hallmarks of one of South Australia's
most remarkable premiers, Don Dunstan, who served in the post for a short time
in 1967 and again from 1970 to 1979.
He not only steered many forward-thinking changes to our state's laws and
legislation but also challenged our perspective on food, cooking, restaurants,
theatre, the arts and even fashion.
Who could forget his parade of short-sleeved safari suits, long socks and pink
In the middle of his most productive time, 30 years ago this year, Don Dunstan
found the energy and inspiration to write a cookbook.
Don Dunstan's Cookbook defined the '70s in terms of kitchen arts, he later
described it as 'a period piece', yet its text and recipes remain relevant and
It was developed around his home and garden.
He had a fowl pen as the foundation of his garden, and chicken features heavily.
He describes chicken as 'the best basis of Australian cuisine' - more true
today than ever.
Culturally diverse even then, many of the recipes are drawn from and influenced
by Mr Dunstan's travels.
Indian and Malay cooking each take up a chapter, with healthy smatterings of
French, Italian, Greek and Swedish and other flavours in between. Desserts were omitted from the original 1976 edition, but were introduced in a
1998 edition, focusing on fruits from the garden.
These four recipes, taken from his cookbook and reproduced faithfully, are not
out of place in 2006.
The scrambled eggs are a delicious brunch idea and a strikingly similar version
can be found today at Citrus restaurant in Hutt St.
The chicken with chickpeas is an easy, hearty winter stew.
It matches wonderfully with the simple but flavoursome bean recipe.
Mr Dunstan was quite passionate about beans and begged us not to boil them out
Last, there's the rhubarb fool, and Mr Dunstan certainly was no fool to allow
the aromatic, sweet, sour flavour of home-grown rhubarb dominate.
In the Joy Of Cooking chapter, Mr Dunstan explains: 'I find a continuous
satisfaction in growing, preparing, serving and eating food, and want to share
it with you.'
Chicken with chickpeas
1 large roasting chicken (2kg)
2 tbsp corn oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
250g chickpeas, soaked overnight
Juice 1 or more lemons
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper or pinch of cayenne
Cut the chicken into joints. Heat the oil in a saucepan or deep, flame-proof
casserole (large enough to hold chicken). Fry the onion in the oil until soft
and golden. Sprinkle with turmeric and mix well. Add the chicken and saute
gently, turning it until it is a dark, yellow colour all over. Add a pint (about
600ml) of water, the soaked and drained chickpeas, lemon juice and garlic, and
season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently covered for an
hour or longer, until the chicken is very tender, the chickpeas soft, yellow and
lemony, and the liquid very much reduced. Adjust seasoning and serve.
1 onion, finely chopped
Young green beans, amount to suit, topped
2 tbsp chicken stock
Chop an onion finely and soften in butter over a low flame.
Add your tender young beans just topped and tailed, and toss them in the covered
pan until they are glistening. Cook over a low flame, giving an occasional toss
for 3 minutes. Then add a small amount - almost two tablespoons - of chicken
stock. Simmer, then cover, until the beans are tender.
Eggs (to suit number of serves)
Small knob of ginger, peeled
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
Red chilli, finely chopped (to taste)
Powdered cumin, to sprinkle
Fresh tomato wedges, to garnish
Extra coriander leaves, to garnish
Another flavoursome variant on
scrambled eggs goes this way.
Beat your eggs and add cream and stir it in well. Chop some fresh ginger, and
fry it in ghee. Add a chopped onion and fry until soft. Now add 2 tbsp of fresh
coriander leaves chopped, and a tsp of turmeric. Stir them and add the eggs;
continue stirring. As the eggs commence to set, add some finely chopped fresh
red hot chilli, or if you haven't these, sprinkle in a scant half tsp of hot
chilli powder. Continue stirring, and when the eggs have set, serve. Sprinkle
the top with powdered cumin seed, and garnish with fresh tomato wedges and
sprigs of coriander.
1 bunch rhubarb
1 cup sugar
A slug of brandy
String and chop a bunch of rhubarb. Put in a saucepan with a cup of sugar and
enough water not quite to cover, and simmer until soft.
Blend with 300ml cream and a noggin of brandy. Put in glasses and chill.
Don Dunstan's Cookbook was first published by Rigby in 1976, and a second
edition by Calypso Press. It is now out of print. The recipes are published here
with metric measurements.
About the Author
Donald Allan Dunstan was born in Suva, Fiji
on 21 September 1926. After early schooling he transferred to South Australia
and attended Murray Bridge High School, St Peter's College, and the University
of Adelaide, graduating with a law degree in 1948. For some years he practised
law in Fiji and later in Adelaide. He was appointed a QC in 1965.
Don Dunstan became involved in Australian Labor Party politics, and in 1953
successfully stood for the House of Assembly seat of Norwood. In Frank Walsh's
government Dunstan held the position of Attorney-General and Minister of
Community Welfare and Aboriginal Affairs. When Frank Walsh retired as premier in
May 1967 Dunstan was elected leader of the Australian Labor Party (South
Australian Branch) and became Premier. The Labor Party was defeated in the 1968
election but in 1970 Dunstan was re-elected Premier, and thus began the
so-called "Dunstan decade" of political reform. Dunstan resigned from
politics due to ill health, in early 1979. Dunstan was awarded The Companion of
the Order of Australia in June 1979.
During Dunstan's premiership South Australia was socially transformed. Among
Dunstan's many reforms were those concerned with Aboriginal land rights, equal
opportunities, consumer protection, town planning and the environment and the
restructuring of electoral law. He also encouraged a flourishing of the arts,
with support for the Adelaide Festival Centre, the State Theatre Company, and
the establishment of the South Australian Film Corporation.
After leaving politics Dunstan published his political memoirs Felicia in
1981. He became the first director of Tourism Victoria in 1982, and then
chairman of the Victorian Tourism Commission until 1986. He was national
president of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign 1982-87, president of the Movement
for Democracy in Fiji from 1987, and national chairman of Community Aid Abroad
1992-93. Always interested in food, and the author of Don Dunstan's Cookbook
in 1976, he established, in 1994, the Don's Table restaurant, The Parade,
Norwood, with partner Steven Cheng. He was an Adjunct Professor at Adelaide
University from 1997-1999.
Dunstan was married twice: to Gretel in 1949, with whom he had a daughter and
two sons; and to Adele Koh in 1976.
Don Dunstan died in Adelaide on 6 February 1999.
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Don Dunstan's Cookbook by former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan