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With New Zealand having moved to Orange in the Covid-19 traffic light system, libraries are welcoming visitors back for evening conversations with authors.

Small-town girl made big Margaret McHugh will be at Alexandra Library on Wednesday, Cromwell Library next Thursday and Wanaka Library on Friday to regale listeners with tales of travels and travails.

The chef and caterer learned to cook on a wood-fired stove on the family farm in Winton, before jetting off to gather experiences and recipes from around the world. Her adventures being a councillor and deputy mayor in Queenstown, running the galley on the TSS Earnslaw and a honeymoon with no groom but 24 crewmen on a freighter.

Her book, The Real McHugh, is a weighty tome, with more than 400 pages and 700 recipes.