ME AND MY BIG MOUTH
Food and other obsessions,
by Jan O'Connell
  • Buy my book

    Me and My Big Mouth is a personal account of how Australian food has changed in the baby-boomers’ lifetime. It’s the story of a generation that can remember life before pizza – a generation that has seen the demise of the local grocer and, decades later, the resurrection of the small local deli.

    12/02/2017
  • New book coming soon

    A Timeline of Australian Food:Mutton to Masterchef chronicles 150 years of Australian food, beginning with the first Australian cookbook in the 1860s and ending in 2010 with the game-changing cooking show, MasterChef. It will be in bookstores in December 2017.

    23/07/2017
  • Turning 60 in Paris

    I was turning 60 and my objective was to be as far away as possible from anyone I knew. This led to five amazing days in Paris and further culinary adventures in Umbria.

    23/07/2017
  • The Yoplait story

    In 1982, when the French were still testing atomic bombs in the Pacific, launching a product with a French name could have been problematic. But research groups gave the go-ahead, so we were off to Paris to shoot the commercial that changed the Australian yoghurt market forever.

    23/07/2017
  • Has it come to this?

    Frog in a Pond has been an Australian favourite for decades. But the DIY version (spotted in the bistro at the Barooga Sports Club, aka Sporties) just doesn’t pass muster.

    22/07/2017
  • Food to go

    One night in 1900, Australia’s first Prime Minister missed his train, after stopping for a tot of whisky; how the mobile catering unit nearly caused a train wreck; and other tales from the history of Australia’s Railway Refreshment Rooms.

    12/07/2017
  • Australian food timeline has moved

    Were you expecting to see the Australian Food Timeline here? Sorry – it started to get r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w, so we’ve moved it to a new server and changed the address to the more logical australianfoodtimeline.com.au This site is now my writing blog – enjoy.

    14/04/2017
  • Sky

    I was working on an ad campaign for a client’s new building, Sky Plaza. So I consulted an online thesaurus looking for “words associated with sky”. The words on the screen sang to me. Some line breaks and a little punctuation turned them into a poem.

    14/04/2017
  • High wire

    Popular history has it that the underwired bra was, in fact, invented by Howard Hughes to prop up the truly remarkable breasts of Hollywood legend Jane Russell. But I’ve had a love/hate relationship with these frustrating pieces or ironmongery.

    14/04/2017
  • Easy to get a lawn with

    Along the roadside as you approach Bungendore is a series of signs promoting the product of one of the town’s major industries. (Perhaps its only major industry.) Canturf.

    14/04/2017
  • Salt from the earth

    A short drive from Dimboola towards Adelaide takes you to the Pink Lake, where salt harvesting started in the 1860s. We took a tour, as part of the Dimboola Food Festival.

    23/08/2016
  • Truffle Kerfuffle – or Truffle Oil Kerfuffle?

    It’s not snobbery. Truly it isn’t. It’s just that truffle oil doesn’t taste like truffles. Or rather, it has one note that resembles the truffle flavour in a very unsubtle, strident way. In fact, it’s a chemical – a chemical called 2,4-dithiapentane – and it’s made in a laboratory,

    16/06/2016