The Greatest Kitchen Gift I’ve Been Given (that I’m Now Sharing)

Most valuable kitchen gift | Border Park Kitchen

I’m a self-confessed lazy cook who also happens to enjoy food that nourishes me.

About 7 years ago, the gorgeous Aussie blogger, Jules Clancy, author of 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes, gave me a special gift.

It’s a gift that I use every single day, as well as one that I actively pass onto our kids.

But it wasn’t wrapped, and I don’t store it on a shelf.

Funnily enough, it’s likely that Jules doesn’t even know she gave me this gift. After all, she is a big name in the Australian food blogging scene – with 45,000 subscribers – and I’m just a housewife that lives on a farm in South Australia.

But all the same, it’s a gift that’s impossible to put a value on.

Are you intrigued?

It was the gift of confidence and freedom to use recipes as a base – a set of suggestions, not as a set of rules that must be followed.

I know you might be thinking …. “that’s it? That doesn’t sound life changing or even blog-worthy to me!”

Well, can I tell you, that for this Type A, Type 1 Enneagram, ‘stick-to-the-rules’ mama, it has revolutionised the way I approach cooking.

And believe me, I don’t say this lightly.

You see, cooking has always been a part of my life. Even as a young girl, I would prepare family meals while my parents were working on our farm. And then, in the early years of marriage, and even when I became a Mum for the first time, I diligently followed recipes.

I chose recipes only when I had all the required ingredients and had an abundance of time to follow through on each and every complicated step. Often, it would take me many hours to put together a meal that was eaten in under 10 minutes!

To say my style has changed would be the understatement of the year!

Today, I’m a Mum of 7, and I can see the evidence firsthand of the gift that Jules gave me.

Being given the gift of confidence and freedom in the kitchen has changed the way I approach every single recipe. (And it’s also shaped the way I now write recipes, so I’m sharing the gift around 😊 )

Here are 2 time-saving tips that I discovered through my ‘gift’:

  1. Substituting ingredients is allowed (and encouraged). This is a little different to the approach of my darling Mum who (still) waits till she has everything necessary before proceeding with a recipe ♥
  2. Doubling up on similar ingredients isn’t necessary. A flavoursome meal doesn’t require 9 different herbs, or a large ingredient list. Often, if multiple ingredients are listed that play a similar role (for example, leeks and scallions), they can be reduced down to just one ingredient. Essentially, a complex flavour base can be built with a collection of carefully curated ingredients, and still taste fantastic!


The practical side of me is so thankful for this gift because it’s made it quicker and simpler to get a meal on the table. 

More so, my family members and loved ones who eat around the ‘Border Park’ kitchen table express their delight and satisfaction at the meals I provide. So, that’s a double gift for me ♥

Now, I want to share the love further, and come alongside you to help you to rediscover your passion for simple, wholesome cooking that eliminates fuss and complexity from your mealtime routine.

If you’re keen to learn more of my practical nuggets of wisdom, sign up for my upcoming workshop where I’ll be unpacking the ‘don’t have time to cook’ scenario.

I’d love to walk beside you on this journey as you discover your own realm of passion and joy in the kitchen.

Until next time,

Peri x

PS. The beauty of the 2 time-saving tips mentioned above is that they can be applied to every meal you make.

So, no matter whether it’s a meal using a new recipe, or a family favourite you know from heart, it is possible to keep things simple (and doable).

Before you start cooking, here’s how I suggest you apply these tips. Challenge yourself to:

  1. Use the ingredients you have on hand (rather than buying more)
  2. Wherever possible, reduce the number of ingredients (especially if they double-up with others).


If you need more assistance with this, then please get in touch. Helping in this way is totally my jam ♥ 

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