Monthly Archives: May 2017

Reading List (30/5)

Another review of Feast for the Eyes.

Food, cooking and kitchens as a way to overcome difference.

Emily Dickinson’s pressed flower collection.

Food book reviews.

Dorie Greenspan on cream puffs.

Wayne Thiebaud, whose cake paintings I love, has an exhibition at White Cube in London.

A banana nutella cake. A recipe for polenta cake.

A recipe for macaroons, inspired by The Enchanted April.

Love this week’s episode of This American Life – on being fat. It features Lindy West and in it, she says, “instead of spending all my time counting almonds, why not figure out how to be happy now”.

I spent the weekend reading Waterlog, Roger Deakin’s tale of swimming in places all over the UK. It contains some truly wonderful descriptions of swimming in the wild – with newts, in rivers, off the Cornish coast. Makes me wistful for wildness.

I turn the shell-lip to my lips, slide the oyster into my mouth and massage it briefly with my teeth; I savour its brawny goodness in my throat and the dance of sea salt on my tongue. A short story. 

A menu from Great Dixter.

Jane Grigson’s Good Things.

Food films to watch over the summer perhaps.

Soft-serve madness.

Feasting and fasting during Ramadan.

Scientists have found some very very old rice.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (23/5)

I loved this essay on experimenting with carrot cake making.

That whole ‘give up avocado toast and you’ll have enough money to buy a house‘ argument is doing the rounds again.

Histories of food photography.

I have all three of these books on my list of summer reads.

I agree with this: you should always have cookie dough in your freezer. Plus the dark chocolate, pistachio and smoked sea salt cookie recipes looks divine.

I read and really loved The Only Street in Paris. I fell in love with the rue des Martyrs when we visited Paris two years ago and ventured onto the street in search of Rose Bakery. I was instantly charmed by the independent shops, and all the bakeries. I desperately want to plan another trip to Paris, and stay on the street!

Focusing on what is under your control might help you make the best of things.

I just bought an ice-cream machine and this new book. So far I’ve managed to mess-up some salted caramel ice-cream by creating burnt caramel ice-cream and messing up the custard! But I’m determined to persevere. The rewards are worth it. Bring on the warmer weather.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (16/5)

Ice cream

A multi-course menu based on food trends over the last 140 years. Please can we do this for a supper club sometime?

This video of animals visiting a bucket of water.

A mother lamenting dinner times.

Realities of food industry work.

Diversity in restaurants. Why do we not see and hear more voices from women and people of colour when it comes to fine-dining and haute cuisine. An article to make you think. And reassess your ideas.

Food and politics in France.

Food52 needs your dessert recipe help!

These buttermilk pancakes. For the weekend, maybe.

Filo pastry ideas, courtesy of Ottolenghi.

The Joy of Cooking.

Guidelines to a braai. Now I am a little homesick.

Food and politics in Australia.

On excess in the food world.

A manifesto for this year, and every year, when things are hard.


Reading List (9/5)

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Funniest explanation of British food. For Americans.

An exercise in self-compassion.

A food writing programme in upstate NY. I interned here a few years ago, and it was fab. If you are looking for some food writing/food media training, this programme looks fantastic.

Why creativity is important for young people.

The importance of wild and heirloom varieties of crops for biodiversity and the food system.

Learning to forgive oneself.

‘A cookbook is a confection of imagined greed, virtual travel and convivial conversation, and only secondarily – if at all – a practical manual for preparing meals.’ Fabulous review.

Growing cacao pods in London.

Some advice on potager gardens.

The rise of a superfood.

A conversation about creating a cookbook on Tuscan markets. Trip to Italy anyone?

The importance of dates in Oman.

Chefs making their own pottery for their diners (to eat the food off). This reminds me of the El Bulli retrospective exhibition that I went to see a few years ago, at Somerset House. For Ferran Adria, what you ate off, and the implements you used was just as important as the food you consumed. It is a fascinating way of meshing food with art, in a very logical way.

Brunch ideas.

In a few days last week I read The Roanoke Girls. It was super weird and incredibly disturbing and I had to keep reading it in order to find out what happens in the end. Recommend it for holiday reading or if you’re struggling to read something.

A seriously thought-provoking podcast on grief and recovery between Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I found myself nodding in agreement or thinking, by god, that is a brilliant way to go about things all the way through the podcast. Sad, heart-wrenching and intelligent conversations on recovering from the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Have a good week all! x

Reading List (2/5)

Hope you had a good May day!

The arrival of spring (we keep hoping for slightly warmer weather) means peas! And I love this description of eating them straight from the pod in a mad gust. Plus the recipe looks delightful.

Discovering a Ghanaian heritage through food and cooking.

I love this series from Olia Hercules on starting to grow on an allotment. Plus a list of books to read for advice and/or inspiration.

Ideas of how a shorter working week would be beneficial.

Saving your local library. (Ideas from Teen Vogue nogal).

Too many cookbooks.

Swimming in Scotland.

Bring on ice-cream season. Thanks.

‘Baking is handwork, and for me, all that is joyful, comforting, gratifying and even magical about this work is packed into the simple act of making biscuits. I practice a kind of meditation while I make them’. I love love love Dorie Greenspan, and I love this little essay. I find this is true for me too – baking is a form of meditation. For non-American readers, biscuits here refer to those baked goods very akin to scones. (We even had a debate about biscuits and scones whilst on holiday on Skye recently. These are the kinds of conversations that are had when you have inter-continental friendships.) My Ngonu’s recipe is still my favourite. After asking for it about once every few months, my mother finally sent me an email copy of the recipe, so I can access it wherever I am…

A quiche recipe from Violet Cakes. I love quiche. I should make it more often.

A recipe for preserved lemons.

A reading list from Orangette. I’ve already bookmarked most of these.

This past week, I visited the Science Museum for one of the ‘lates’.  It seems to me basically an opportunity to fully geek out, wander freely around the museum, and do all the sorts of cool things children get to do normally. Plus there is alcohol. (There is something infinitely pleasing walking around a museum while drinking. It feels like you’re breaking the rules. Even though you totally are not.) The theme was food and drink so we decorated cookies, made sugar mice, played innuendo bingo and an aphrodisiac board game, and got to dance our hearts out underneath the rockets as part of a silent disco. Thoroughly recommend if you’re in London – last Wednesday of every month.

Science museum

Have a good week folks! I’m in London briefly, and then on a writing retreat.