Sad news about Alison Holst

My first cookbook was by Alison Holst. I still use many of her recipes regularly.

Chef_mjhdeal, Apr 13, 7:21 am

Goodness, that is really sad, wonder how old she is now?

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 13, 8:10 am

Through her books i learnt to bake, and cook nice meals for my family when they were growing up still have lots of her books which my girls use today. So very sad to read this news.

Chef_fifie, Apr 13, 8:16 am

Born 1938.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Apr 13, 8:16 am

The Holst family have asked for privacy at this time.

Chef_pickles7, Apr 13, 8:19 am

which makes her 76-77.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 8:46 am

good grief- my age- What is to come?

Chef_lilyfield, Apr 13, 9:03 am

There is another thread in general with less concentration on how old she is and more on what a good person she is.

A lovely, kind and generous woman, who, it is a privilege to know.

I see an article on Stuff saying being fat in middle age seems to prevent dementia. Of course, you may die younger from other causes.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 9:08 am

I love her books and have a few, however this news doesn't surprise me as my mother in law (same age) said she came to give a talk a couple of years ago at her quilting group and she was very confused and it they were all a bit worried for her., Apr 13, 9:23 am

Alison inspired many budding cooks. I have some of her recipe books and there are some great family favourites in them. Thank you,Alison

Chef_edlin, Apr 13, 9:23 am

Aw that's so sad. I hope however much time she has is spent with her loved ones. I grew up watching her on tv and have many recipe books of hers. I rely on her recipes and methods and have passed her hints and tips to my daughter.
I have only ever had one failure with her recipes, and that was my fault for forgetting to defrost the filo pastry!
All he best to her xx

Chef_family007, Apr 13, 9:27 am

I think the age thing was to demonstrate that she is at a good age and so it is not such a tragedy that she is now suffering from this most horrid of diseases.

I wouldn't place too much faith in what Stuff has to say about overweight in middle age and prevention of dementia. There is just as much proof, more in fact, that those who eat a diet high in grains and sugar and who drink alcohol will be the ones who get dementia. But CORRELATION isn't CAUSATION or we'd all have dementia because a high grain high sugar diet is more the norm these days, than not.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 9:33 am

Alison Holst spoke at our soup lunceon at the garden club. She is amazing and has such a neat personality, it just draws you in. I had a couple of my late mother in laws really old cookbooks that she signed for me. She said, " I love to see a battered cookbook, shows you have used it" lol. My own book she signed was in nearly new condition. Ummm Shumma Lumma.

Chef_rockie6, Apr 13, 9:38 am

She certainly captured the hearts and imaginations of NZers.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 9:41 am

Some may consider mid 70s to be a good age, I do not. As for the article on Stuff, I never said I believed it, just commented on what the research has shown.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 9:42 am

When I left home as a teenager, I couldn't cook. Quite literally, didn't know how to boil an egg. If it wasn't for the Edmond's cookbook and Alison Holst's 'Meals Without Meat' book, I would have died of scurvy ha ha.
My very first ever dinner party, I used Alison's recipes, to great success.

Chef_mjhdeal, Apr 13, 9:48 am

I had the privilege of having my mother's pumpkin fruit cake recipe included in her recipe web site. Surely an honour as they would have tested it.

I have her book "A Home Grown Cook" the Alison Holst Story. It is a delightful read. Many of NZ cooks will be sending their love and good wishes to Alison and her family. That disease is so sad.

Chef_lulu239, Apr 13, 9:50 am

You are correct about the age, however, she is 77 and not 45 or 55 which would have been a real tragedy as opposed to something very, very sad for her family. They have had the great good fortune to have their mother for that length of time and she still has a little bit of life left in her yet. Not everyone is that lucky.

I merely commented on your mention of the article. Recommending that people fatten themselves up in mid-life to prevent Alzheimers is sooo wrong on so many levels. Could it be that overweight middleagers do not get Alzheimers because they all die from CVD and diabetes related diseases before they get the chance to find out?

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 9:57 am

BEFORE this thread descends into yet another spat, how about sticking to acknowledging a lady who inspires so many NZ home cooks.

Chef_kaddiew, Apr 13, 10:09 am

Sorry, I know I should not respond but I am getting a little annoyed with not being able to post my views without being attacked.

I have known Alison since we were children and she does not deserve this.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 10:17 am

Asking her age was not meant to be insulting. Just couldn't believe she is old enough yet, she is older than I thought, and that is not meant to be insulting either. How time flies

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 13, 10:20 am

My remark wasn't aimed at you, kay141. : )

Chef_kaddiew, Apr 13, 10:39 am

Well now you know how it feels when someone decides to get onto their high horse, make an incorrect assumption and then post a passive agrressive remark about it.

Alison is 76-77 years of age and is very popular with a huge portion of NZ females who cook. As one celebrity commented, her repository of knowledge will live on long after she is gone and she will be quoted, recommended and generally talked about for many generations to come, in the same way that Aunt Daisy is. Her recipes will continue to live on forever and, no doubt many celebrity chefs/cooks who come after will take her recipes, make small changes and call them their own. I have no doubt that her own recipes and knowledge owed something to the cooks and chefs of previous generations as well.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 11:18 am

I did not attack you. I commented on suggestion that people who are overweight are protected against Alzheimers. How is that an attack on you. It isn't even your own opinion, apparently.

And btw, kaddiew can hardly make a negative post about our 'conversation' and mean only me. There are two people in this conversation so whether she likes it or not, her negativity extends to you as well.

Was Alison not overweight in her middle years? I don't know. I've never met the woman, nor do I posses even one of her recipe books. I never watched cooking shows and apart from having a good read of her bread book at Borders have never so much as glanced inside any other of her books. I had no feelings about her one way or the other and I feel the same about you. My concern was the impression being given out by Stuff (whatever that is) that being overweight in middle age, or any age for that matter, is a good thing.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 11:28 am

Something that I admired about Alison was her calmness in the kitchen.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Apr 13, 11:40 am

Here's a rather nice interview with her in 2011, where she talks about the early days in her career.

Chef_kaddiew, Apr 13, 11:44 am

So sad to hear this.Have several of Alison's cook books and love the little tid bits she writes about her recipes.She will have inspired many cooks in New Zealand and continue to do so.

Chef_nana_gee, Apr 13, 12:57 pm

Wow, it is obvious you haven't read the article.
!/ Stuff is a Fairfax owned internet news agency, just like a newspaper only online so they do not make recommendations.
2/ There were no recommendations in the article which was about research that showed the underweight (34 % higher) middle aged were more likely to develop dementia than those who were obese( 29% lower) compared to those of normal weight. This was at 55 years of age. whether you agree, or think I do, is immaterial to the subject.
BTW, I have no idea whether Alison was overweight or not. I don't know what she weighed nor is it my business to know.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 1:02 pm

Got interrupted so had to add this later.
This thread is a wonderful lady. I added the comment about the research as a joke because they were reported the same day. You admit you know nothing about the woman concerned but because I posted, it appears you must disagree. I really wonder sometimes.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 1:23 pm

Quit the bickering you lot. This thread is about an amazing woman of whole we are slowly losing to Dementia. Has some respect for her eh? She is a NZ icon who deserves to be treated with dignity.
Funny how these threads go off topic.

Chef_family007, Apr 13, 1:31 pm

I wouldn't have thought she'd want the whole world to know.

Chef_venna2, Apr 13, 1:35 pm

Shame !

Chef_pickles7, Apr 13, 1:36 pm

Lets keep this thread of happy memories of a great cook She taught many of us the finer art of cooking and will continue to help the next generation through her son Simon. Its nobodys business how old she is or whether she was fat or skinny in her middle years, the family have chosen to let people know this sad news because she was appreciated by a lot of people and i hope she is kept comfortable and loved in her remaining years.

Chef_fifie, Apr 13, 1:37 pm

Mid-70s is definitely a good age. Too many of my own family have died at much younger ages.

Chef_venna2, Apr 13, 1:38 pm

im not a buzzy fan. and usually never in their corner . but I have to say that she didn't start anything, she merely made a comment . that was then taken as an attack. it was just a comment

Chef_motorbo, Apr 13, 1:38 pm

Oddly my mother didnt think much of Alison's recipes - she wouldnt have any of her cookbooks in the house. However once I left home, I ended up using her recipes and in time her son Simon's as he supplied recipes to little Treasures magazine in a decade ago. I have several of her cookbooks and are now are up too the second copy of her Best of recipe book.

Chef_mnkool, Apr 13, 1:47 pm

well said fifie. I have lost count of the many Alison books I have, and still refer to them many times. She is a beautiful lady, and with her lovely family, will manage this stage of life as it progresses

Chef_korbo, Apr 13, 2:00 pm

Why not stick to Alison Holst now. You knew her (post #20). You must have some lovely anecdotes to share with interested readers.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 2:32 pm

she has been a public figure for many years, so it seems "fair" (not sure that is the right word) that they at least tell us that much.

they don't want to talk about it any further, which is totally understandable. I guess it is respect both ways - let the public know what is going in and now our turn to respect them by leaving them alone - I hope the media leave the family in peace and not decide to ask anything "on our behalf". (Having worked with media for years, I have no faith in their scruples).

best wishes to the Holst family and thanks for sharing your mum with us :)

Chef_unknowndisorder, Apr 13, 2:39 pm

Thank you for the invitation but I must decline. IMO, it is OK to swap anecdotes etc. among family and friends, it is a completely different matter to post them in the chinese whispers society of messageboards and cyberspace without their permission.

Chef_kay141, Apr 13, 3:19 pm

when I left home, I couldn't cook.

it was Dame Alison Holst who taught me.

It was a pleasure to meet her 10 years later, and say so.

I am extremely grateful for the contribution she has made to me and to this nation

Chef_duckmoon, Apr 13, 5:43 pm

Popular Potatoes by Simon and Alison Holst, is one of my favourite recipe books. 100 delicious recipes yum yum I must drag it out now that Winter is here

Chef_rainrain1, Apr 13, 6:06 pm

I've been batch cooking & freezing her very easy microwave meatballs recipe for decades. So handy.

Chef_kaddiew, Apr 13, 6:19 pm

I went to Maori Hill School with Kirsten and remember 'Mrs Holst' providing awesome after school snacks :-) I also remember the excitement at school when Kirsten told us her mum was going to be on tv!
Horrible for family but hasn't she left an awesome legacy to NZ culinary history :-)
It's sad to read posts and see people being petty and nasty to one another . . . doubt Mrs Holst would have been impressed - be nice and positive people :-)

Chef_murfee, Apr 13, 6:43 pm

Too sad for words. Such a lovely lady, what an inspiration! She has cared so much and has passed on such a lot to so many. That's a true legacy and something to be cherished.

A New Zealand icon. Thank you Alison for sharing your knowledge and spirit with us all. Through your cook books and good common sense approach to food and the well being of families you'll remain in our hearts and homes for a very long time to come.

Chef_sampa, Apr 13, 8:24 pm

A couple of years ago, I emailed her son Simon Holst (who is a chef) with a cooking question.
His prompt email reply was: "I'll ask Mum."

Chef_jetxr8, Apr 13, 8:31 pm

a lovely memory, thanks for sharing

Chef_motorbo, Apr 13, 9:50 pm

Alison has been such an inspiration and her family is possibly bringing this horrible disease to the attention of us all in the hope some sort of cure can be found or way of slowing it down
Such an amazing positive lady, very sad, but her legacy will live on in all her books

Lulu would you be kind enough to direct me to the web site with the recipe please?

Chef_griffo4, Apr 14, 10:49 am

I have checked and that particular site seems to have gone, but here is the recipe.


225g butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs
2 cups flour 1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
1tsp Baking powder 1 tsp lemon essence 1 tsp vanilla essence
500g Alison’s Supreme Cake Fruit Mix

Pre-heat oven to 180°. Grease and line a 20c ring tin. Cream butter and sugar until
fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly then add the pumpkin. Mix well
then add the sifted flour and baking powder. Lastly add the fruit and essences. Bake
for 1 – 1½ hours depending on ones oven. This is a nice moist cake.

Chef_lulu239, Apr 14, 1:57 pm

Thank you so much Lulu will make it soon as l have have heaps of pumpkins

Chef_griffo4, Oct 12, 7:01 am

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