Reading List (20/2)


Hello all! I have fallen into a winter olympics snow slide of joy this past week. We have been thoroughly entertained by snowboarders competing in slopestyle, half pipe and (my particular favourite) boarder cross. But my absolute best has been the Finnish athletes knitting as a form of stress relief between their events! Like come on! Best thing ever!

So this happened last week. Squee! Please buy it. Or tell your library to buy the hardback.  Or tell all your friends that are interested in food, education, young people, foodies, cooking and gardening to read it!

Cats in the workplace. I met one that was resident in a greenhouse at a garden centre the other day. He was hanging out amongst the citrus trees. One of the people behind the counter explained that the cat just turned up one day and never left.

An interview with Marion Nestle.

My friend Jo’s insider tips to my mother city, Joburg.

A powerful essay on shame.

Because obviously getting a PhD is not ‘real life’ experience, here is some advice on how to get said ‘real life’ experience while doing one. (I actually agree with trying to do an internship while doing a PhD, I did one and it was totally ace. But doing a PhD is real life…)

An ode to a sourdough starter. I am amused by the writer saying she sings to it, or plays it music. I just finished reading Sourdough which is a wonderful, funny novel about a girl who inherits a sourdough starter and begins a journey into bread making. Her starter is happiest listening to a particular kind of music. I haven’t played music to mine. Maybe I should?

A review of a book I want to read: Hippie Food.

A really interesting research project investigating threatening environments and chronic pain.

What are performance metrics doing to the world of scientific research?

Lost strains of rice.

Have a good week! x



Reading List (13/2)

Happy Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. So here are some pancakes to see you through.

52 weeks of sourdough wk20

Beautiful pastry shop in Italy.

Gorgeous looking pear crumble.

“A triumph of upcycling, this panade is basically French onion soup without the soup — just bite after bite of cheesy, onion-and-stock-soaked bread. It’s so good I’d argue it’s worth it to buy a loaf of fancy bread right now just to let it grow stale”. This dish sounds just divine.

Results from the THE work-life balance survey.

Ideas for a long weekend in Joburg.

I like these ideas for rice bowls.

A sad read on the reality of leaving a job you love.

Sometimes you read something and it is exactly what has been rolling around in your head for the past few weeks or months. This week for me it was this: “One of the things that’s the most difficult about graduate education is this: you’re essentially losing almost ten productive years of your life to pursue a degree that probably won’t lead to employment in that thing”. 

If anyone wants to buy me Ruby Tandoh’s new book, I will gratefully accept. In the meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoyed this review.

Oftentimes I just save pdf articles to read into a general dropbox folder. Here are some ideas of how to organise your (pdf) life. I am going to do this.

Tasting memory.

A short history of caramelised white chocolate. And some history on why you can buy vanilla extract in the store, even though it is alcohol.

Neoliberalism is making us ill. Read this!

An interview with Alice Williams, who started Luminary Bakery.

I finally listened to The Book of Dust. It was a total delight. Rarely have I smiled so much while listening to anything. Read it. I love the world-building, the daemons, the prose… Now I’m going to get a proper copy and read it again.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (6/2)

Hello everyone! Welcome to February. I am partial to this month because it is my birthday month and this year, we are going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour so I am beyond excited. I also went on a willow weaving course on Sunday and learnt how to make an obelisk. Here they are in the allotment!

allotment winter2018

Dangerous quests for foods.

I just loved this portrait of Francis Lam.

Fermented foods and gut health.

The tyranny of ‘should’ and some advice on how to overcome it.

Competition in science fields. (Thanks Mom!)

I really enjoyed listening to the conversation between Krista Tippet and Ta-Nehisi Coates. It was broadcast last November but I only got around to listening to it this last week. I particularly liked the questions at the end, and Coates’ responses to them.

This fantastic collection of food stories.

A list of books to read.

Baked lamb that sounds totally delicious.

Is your phone fuelling your anxiety levels? Mine totally is. I’ve found a restlessness when I try to sleep – I must read news headlines, check things etc on my iPad before I can settle. Related: scientists have discovered ‘anxiety cells‘.

I like this series on how academics plan.

In search of a historic apple.

How we describe excess foods in the food system, and the implications this has for what we do with it.

I read First Frost over the weekend. This is a delightful sequel to Garden Spells and I loved reading it. It’s an easy read and everything turns out as you predict it will so it is reassuring too! Just the thing to make midwinter manageable.

Have a good week! x52 weeks of sourdough wk19 rye



Reading List (30/1)

sourdough cinnamon rolls

Supporting small food publications.

Riots to get to the discounted Nutella. As you do. And a commentary on the event.

Movies directed by women you should watch. Food in movies.

Having a writing plan. On words.

Chefs moving away from tasting menus.

Six women and their relationships with food.

The prevalence of junk food brands when nostalgic and homesick.

On tomato sauce.

Tartine’s croissants.

Growing a polyculture of grains.

But to the Questioners of Harvard my lifework has been a “creative activity,” a hobby, something you do to fill up spare time. Perhaps if they knew I’d made a living out of it they’d move it to a more respectable category, but I rather doubt it“. Ursula Le Guin on spare time. I have been contemplating the place of writing as a creative art recently.

The importance of interaction with nature for healing.


This week I finished Swing Time by Zadie Smith. It took me a while to get into the novel but before I knew it, I couldn’t put it down. Every evening I sank onto our couch, iPad in hand, absorbed in the story of two girls growing up on an estate in north London.

Have a good week! x

52 weeks of sourdough wk18

Reading List (23/1)

Benedict bars

A school approaching learning in a different way.

A truly amazing figure skating routine. (You need to scroll down to see the whole video clip).

Fiona the hippo!

Over the weekend I finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I couldn’t to stop listening, could not put it down. (I’ve made excellent progress on my latest scarf as a result.) It is a tragic book, about everything unsaid between families. It is also about the silence women endure – the silence of not saying what they want, or being unable to do what they want because of societal expectations. I seem to be on a roll of books with this theme at the moment.

Cake for breakfast anyone?

A new report out on hunger and poverty in the UK.

It occurs to me that the seeds have contrived all of this to bring us together.An article on the importance of art in more scientific spaces, of what art can do in helping people understand seeds and agriculture.

The instagram village.

How making can help improve moods during these dark dark January days.

Last week I finished The Watchmaker of Filigree Street which is yet another book I have loved already this year. I listened to this also (I’ve had a bunch of Audible credits to use up) and I loved the soothing, slow narrative of the book. That makes it sound boring but it totally isn’t! It is one of those books that will give you a warm, happy feeling on the inside.

Grace Dent’s first restaurant review in The Guardian is a joy.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (16/1)

Salted chocolate chip cookies

Nirvana in a major key. The weirdest, warpiest thing your brain has heard this week.

Sometimes academia is a dog-eat-dog world.

Colour impacts on our ability to taste different flavours.

Having the kind of day when only cake will do? This gingerbread salted caramel layer cake looks delicious.

Eating comfort food can cure a lonely heart“.

Improving oneself in January. An article to make you think about the point of it all.

Baking the cinnamon rolls from Mario Batali’s ‘apology’ letter. And related, Batali & Bastianach restaurant group is restructuring.

Volunteering can help improve your life.

Reading too many health stories, I’ve decided, is bad for your sanity“. Bee Wilson on health in the new year.

Protecting cocoa trees in the wake of the modern world.

I loved both these articles from the NYT magazine. The first, by Dorie Greenspan, reflects on learning to cook instinctively, without recipes or measurements. The second, by Samin Nosrat, is on the joy of friendship and cooking. The importance of cooking in taking care of, and being cared for…

Thoughts on robots preparing your salad in a restaurant?

An interview with Tim Hayward.

I made these cookies on the weekend. (To accompany some rather delicious fig, dark chocolate and marsala ice cream I made for dessert – from Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles). They are very good, and rolling them in sugar before slicing and baking is a genius idea but are they the best chocolate chip cookie ever? I am not convinced.

This tart looks delicious. The feed over on Canal House is inspirational if you are not sure what to cook this month. Pistachio lemon bars sound like a brilliant idea.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (9/1)


Thoughts about things to let go of in the new year.

Controversial employment practices at Wagamama over the festive period.

A photograph creates images of bird movements in the sky.

Foodie things to do in January.

Friendship bread.

A fascinating read on Anthony Bourdain and his particular brand of food travel.

I fully identity with this: “I, for one, invariably feel overwhelmed by huge projects I’ve yet to start, the pressure to achieve goals within a neat 12-month timeframe, the anxiety and panic around what might happen to the world in the year ahead”. If you’re suffering from a case of January blues, read this advice on surviving the month.

Thinking of writing as self-care.

An online Baking Club. I think I may dabble in this.

This is an old but useful list for new year decluttering, streamlining, organising etc…

Iceland has made it illegal for men to be paid more than woman.

Baking in winter.

“Sometimes, I believe the only reason we maintained a relationship with her was to get a tin of her fruitcake”. I love this essay on food, heritage, identity and fruitcake.

A list of must read stories for food bloggers and writers.

Team, you can go and run a bookshop in Scotland for a few weeks, for a holiday…

A pilot to make school cafeterias in Boston more like casual-fast food places. This means they serve better, fresher food.

I’ve been listening to How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I absolutely love it. It is wonderful, part magic, jumping around in narrative time and place. I loved this line: “as if a part of us is contained in every book we’ve ever loved“. What a wonderful idea.

Have a good week! x