The fraternal twin of Special Delivery - a cookbook for anyone who ever felt like punching a wall before their guests arrive.
If you are someone who prepares for guests by sweeping bills, laundry and newspapers behind sofa cushions, take heart! It's possible to be an imperfect host, but happily so. The essential ingredient is not, paradoxically, the food, nor the perfect house to host in, but the sentiment you convey when you open the door. Do your eyes say: 'I like you and I enjoy your company,' or does a weepy cloud of visceral horror descend as pine nuts burn quietly in the kitchen?
Special Guest is a gentle guide to turning easy basic fare into something of a celebration. For when you want to say to your friends with their spouses and ten small children, 'Why don't you stay for lunch?' without hating yourself afterwards. Learn the lesson of 'one splendid thing done well' without regard to the hundred other things, and call the day a success. Pick up some pointers for the modern conundrum that is cooking for people with seemingly incompatible dietary requirements.
Hosting your friends is not about showing off; it is about delighting others. Your dining table might be decorated with a pile of unmatched socks and kids' homework, but that's no reason not to invite friends in for a chat, a sit-down and something delicious to eat.
Annabel Crabb is one of Australia's best-loved TV and media personalities and a joyfully imperfect host. Wendy Sharpe is Annabel's oldest friend, a recipe consultant on Kitchen Cabinet and co-conspirator in mad-capped cookery projects.
Annabel Crabb is one of Australia's most loved TV and media personalities. She is a Walkley-award-winning political journalist and host of her own ABC TV shows The House and Kitchen Cabinet. Annabel is in constant demand to host, lecture, give keynotes, and other appearances for everything from writers' festivals to restaurant awards. Her tweets reach an audience of over 470,000 and she has a top-ranking podcast with fellow ABC journalist Leigh Sales, for which she is hounded by 'Chat 10 Looks 3' groupies. Usually they're offering cake.
Wendy Sharpe is Annabel's oldest friend from preschool days. She and Annabel have delivered countless meals and edible care packages to each others' houses when living in any of three common cities over the years. Wendy is a recipe consultant on Kitchen Cabinet, fellow baking tragic and mother of three. She lives in London.
Food & drink
Shortlisted Illustrated Book of the Year, ABIA Awards 2019 AU; Longlisted Best Illustrated Non-Fiction, Indie Book Awards 2019 AU
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Cookery / food & drink etc