No, apart from an enjoyable, healthy one. One of our goals is to be able to eat well but stay fit and healthy and that should come through in our recipes and writing. We are ardent supporters of the environment, sustainability and humane treatment of animals. We do eat meat (with an emphasis on free-range options) but we also love food that would be described as vegetarian or vegan.
Our recipes will just say ‘eggs’ rather than ‘organic eggs’ or ‘tuna’ rather than ‘dolphin safe tuna’. We think consumers have access to a wide range of sources to help make up their own minds about sustainability, organic, free-range, etc. Everything else being equal, we choose organic, biodynamic and animal friendly products.
In any of our recipes, and anyone else’s, we recommend to always try to use the best quality and most socially responsible products that are available and appropriate. The use of cheap and low quality ingredients often shows. Choose fresh ingredients over processed ones, and fresh ingredients should be as fresh as can be. But pragmatism and common sense play a part, for example, there is no need to use fillet steak when a far cheaper cut of beef would work as well or better.
It is becoming increasingly muddled about what products are good for us and what aren’t. We note the concerns about sugar as well as processed and red meat. There are numerous delicious ‘natural’ or lightly processed products that are seen as ‘unhealthy’ in some way, butter being one because of the fat content and bacon being another because of its carcinogenic potential. However, we use these so-called unhealthy products in a sensible, restrained way. Moderation, balance and variaty are important: if you put a dash of sugar or cream in a savoury dish, eat a little less of the dessert that follows. There are numerous products we try to steer clear of, especially highly processed foods, so-called ‘lite’ or ‘diet’ products and those with questionable ingredients. While foods that have a high calorie content (pies, croissants, cakes, rich desserts, etc.) are not part of our ‘everyday’ diet, we are more than happy to indulge in them from time to time.
Apart from inspirations via our families and our cottage, we have a long-standing interest in food. While we have no industry experience as such, behind us we have lots of reading, instruction and practice. We have written, and had published, food-related articles and features in newspapers and magazines.
Most of the photos on the blog will be Rhonda’s. She has decades of experience and is acclaimed by friends as a highly gifted photographer. She has a huge catalogue of travel photos. She also has a significant catalogue of ‘staged’ photos from when we wrote the food section for a colour magazine. However, many of the food photos on the blog will be ‘live’ and taken by either Robin or Rhonda at the very time a dish has been prepared: these ‘cook and shoot’ shots reflect our day-to-day living.
On the Sponsors page we have contact details and links to certain businesses and organisations. We include businesses we sponsor (they are generally small, but deserve a mention) and businesses which sponsor us. In all instances they relate to products or businesses we respect and appreciate and with which we have had positive experiences. Clearly, there is no guarantee that you will have the same experiences, but we hope so. Always do your own research. In addition, we may name certain restaurants and establishments in some blog posts simply because we enjoyed them, not for promotional reasons.
Because we are more familiar with the north-central part of the state, that may be the main focus in the early stages. However, we hope to expand across the state. But we won’t confine our interests to Tasmania – the rest of Australia and other countries will feature as well.
The music only operates on the Home page, hopefully to provide a relaxing environment as the slides pass through. Music is not enabled for the other pages and the music restarts when you return to the Welcome (Home) page. To turn the music off and on, use the button at top left of the Home page; to change tracks and volume, scroll to the bottom of the page. Note that it seems that the autoplay function is deactivated on IOS devices, eg iPad and iPhone. Hence, you need to click or press the play button to activate.
The recipes are all in PDF format. When you click on the link to the recipe, normally you can save it to your computer or open it for viewing and printing. Some browsers may give poor quality display or printing: each recipe should have a border around all sides and check boxes against the ingredients. If not, check your browser settings, for example, in Firefox alter the settings to open PDF files in Acrobat.
No, Olive’s Cottage is a standalone cottage, surrounded by lawns and gardens. For accommodation purposes it functions as a normal house. It has a very pleasant, well-stocked kitchen. Olive’s Kitchen is merely the name for the food blog that is associated with the cottage.