Enjoy the Tried, Tested and True with acclaimed author Liz Harfull »

Treasured recipes and untold stories from Australian community cookbooks

Media release
Subscribe to VisitVineyards.com
<i>Tried Tested and True</i> by Liz Harfull

Tried Tested and True by Liz Harfull [©Allen & Unwin ]


Forget celebrity chefs. The books that truly reflect what most Australians cooked and ate at home for decades were put together by people you have never heard of – all in the name of helping others. Community cookbooks have raised millions of dollars for thousands of charities and causes, ranging from cash-strapped local schools and churches to international movements like the Red Cross.

Many of these books were humble publications, hand-printed and stapled together by volunteers. But some, like the iconic PWMU Cookbook from Victoria, the Green and Gold Cookery Book in South Australia, and the CWA's Cookery Book and Household Hints from WA have outlived fleeting food fads, and are still in print and much-used today.

Based on extensive original research, Liz Harfull brings to light the heart-warming stories of more than 60 of these treasured cookbooks, big and small, from around the country and across the generations.

What did the first ANZAC biscuit really look like, and who submitted the recipe? What were Melbourne society hostesses cooking in 1958? (Coffee and rum pavlova!) And what exactly was a Hinkler cake, created by the CWA ladies of Bundaberg to celebrate the safe arrival home of a heroic aviator, the town's beloved golden boy?

These wonderful stories are accompanied by carefully selected recipes, ranging from trifle, golden syrup dumplings and a chocolate cake with the tick of Royal approval, to savoury dishes such as Scotch broth and beefsteak pie.

Illustrated with rare photos and vintage advertisements, Tried, Tested and True is a treasure trove for any kitchen.

‘An absorbing history of Australian cooking as told through the dog-eared old faithful cookbooks that were the go to for generations of home cooks. I love the stories Liz Harfull has unearthed about the treasured community stalwarts who rounded up the recipes - anonymous no more. The vintage advertisements and recipes make this one very moreish book.’ – Pip Courtney, ABC TV’s Landline.

About the author

Liz Harfull is passionate about telling the stories of Australia's quiet voices –  the extraordinary, everyday people who make up our communities. An award-winning journalist and rural communicator, she grew up on a farm near Mount Gambier, discovering her love of both writing and cooking at a young age.

In 2006, Liz walked away from corporate life to write books. Her leap of faith was rewarded two years later with The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, which captured the stories and traditions of South Australian country shows and show cooks, and became a surprise bestseller. It even took the author to Paris after winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

Since then Liz has written two national bestsellers, Women of the Land and The Australian Blue Ribbon Cookbook. She also wrote Robe – Almost an Island, about this town in South Australia's Limestone Coast (see review and extracts on links below). 

Inspired by her mother, her most recent book, City Girl Country Girl, explored the adventures of women from the city and overseas as they made new lives in rural Australia.

Today Liz lives in the Adelaide Hills, occasionally finding time to bake scones and make jam, while juggling a business writing career.

Tried, Tested and True by Liz Harfull is published by Allen & Unwin (NSW; April 2018; HC; 320pp, RRP A$39.99). It is available at good bookshops or directly from the publishers »

It can also be purchased online via booko.com.au »

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

April 06th, 2018
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits