Category Archives: Sunday Reading List

Reading List (22/11)

Wise words from Teju Cole.

American Thanksgiving. This is a great piece centered around traditions in different families. The photographs are fabulous and the stories are just wonderful.

Some disturbing reporting from The Guardian around casual contracts and the paltry amounts lecturers at Russell Group universities earn.

And it turns out even fine-dining places with well-known chefs don’t pay their staff well. The Sustainable Restaurant Association has been critical of this revelation but admits it is a culture of the industry.

Young people in the Outer Hebrides.

If you’re preparing for Thanksgiving, I quite like this idea of a chocolate pecan galette. Less fuss than a traditional pie. We’re having a small Cookbook Club meets Friendsgiving on Sunday, cooking from Nigella’s Feast. I strongly feel there must be pie, but maybe this galette will suffice that craving (obviously it’ll be breaking the cookbook club rules so I’ll have to check Nigella’s book for pie recipes). If you’re not into pie, these pumpkin doughnuts look awesome. (Louisa, we can make these over Christmas yes?) Or there is this chocolate gingersnap tart.

Toasting sugar for more depth of flavour.

If the winter weather is getting you down (it was like a squall outside yesterday and is deeply grey and half-lit today), have a look at these photographs and recipes from a May weekend in Tuscany. 

This image.

Preserving South African food heritage and tradition.

If you’re starting to get into the Christmas spirit (yes, really) I love this article on tradition and ritual. ‘Ritual has an anticipatory relevance‘. We are still working out our rituals for our hybrid family, with its different traditions and foods. Fortunately the one thing we agree on is a feast on December 24th. This might be my favourite day of the year. We’re working out the finer kinks of foods, friends, sharing, and the like but for me it is the gathering and sharing of food and drink on the 24th that is important, whether it is with friends or family or a combination of both.

German baking. I love the look of the linzer cookies.

The Princess and I were in Barcelona this weekend! It was amazing and wonderful. We ate all the foods, drank all the wine, looked at much art and architecture. I’ll post more on all our activities soon. In all the travelling (planes, trains, buses) I read The Girl in the Ice which was a thoroughly enjoyable detective novel, with a tortured and dysfunctional detective, power plays, mystery and intrigue. I didn’t guess the outcome until right at the end (always winning) and will read the others in the series in due course.

On fasting for a month or more.

A cookbook club in Martha’s Vineyard.

Immigrants and food in Michigan.

I listened to a really fascinating episode on the Radio 4 Food Programme on cooking clubs in the Basque region of Spain. It discusses the ability of food to build community which I find fascinating.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (18/10)

Is 40 hours a week in a restaurant kitchen ever 40 hours? And are you paid for all of them?

A sky projected onto the ceiling of a church in Paris.

More on authentic foods. Jamie Oliver was in trouble with Spaniards last week because of his paella.

A pumpkin farmer who wants you to cook the pumpkin, not carve it. Try making this pumpkin loaf.

Cooking competitions in the US.

A social enterprise in Scotland, running a pay-it-forward scheme and employing homeless people.

The internet had a mini meltdown over the weekend after a baby boomer suggested that giving up avocado toast would help millennials buy their first house. The responses here, here and here are all excellent, poignant and sadly funny.

On writing in libraries.

A bakery in Philadelphia that is doing things differently.

How is healthy defined?

Michelle Obama.

Next time we’re in Spain, I want to eat here.

A cheese souffle from Raymond Blanc. The new Le Manoir cookbook is on my Christmas wish list.

I devoured Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart this last week. Everything about the book is wonderful. It is filled with notes, essays, pictures, postcards and ephemera that George Whitman collected and kept throughout his years in the bookstore. The book charts the decades of the bookstore’s existence, but this narrative is interspersed with personal recollections, and stories of the Tumbleweeds who stayed in the store. It was like encountering an old friend and companion. If you love bookstores, read this book.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (27/9)

Why do we eat chilis?

Drink your red wine slightly chilled.

Are you taking part in Dorie Greenspan’s #cookiesandkindness project? I am! I made cookies her World Peace cookies over the weekend and brought them to work yesterday because yesterday was the first day of Welcome Week and cookies were NEEDED.) You can listen to the Serious Eats/Special Sauce interview with Dorie here. It is wonderful. She is my new cookbook author crush.


A supermarket selling surplus food on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

Shakespeare and Company! I bought this new book on the shop in a moment of whimsy last week. Also, inspiration to open our cookbook shop if there ever was. If only we could find somewhere to live for a while.

For Mom: to eat, or not to eat?

I’ve been listening to this on repeat all day.

A farmer writes frankly about the realities of small farming in the US.

We don’t often get political on this blog, but this video. Watch it!

Cooking in Julia Child’s French kitchen.

Battles over school lunchtimes and what you should and should not eat (and who should decide).

Should you start a food blog?

I want to make these on the weekend. And this cake.

Autumn makes me want to make this pasta dish: butternut and sage with spicy sausage. Also this lemon pasta from Molly at Orangette.

Mother sauces of Spain.

On being connected to the land and culinary traditions.

On compassion, for the self.

Understanding the pumpkin spice phenomenon.

Did you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? I loved the book  – I particularly loved the use of photographs throughout the novel – and now the movie is about to be released!


Reading List (20/9)

The holiday is over. Back to reality and the new academic year. Le sigh. I am already planning our next few trips away and am trying to get back into the swing of things. Holiday blues are out if full force but I am planning some catch-up/highlights here of all the eating we did during our time at home. In the meanwhile, here is this week’s reading list!

A garden in a small space. I really want to read this book!

Diana Henry on life and inspiration in the kitchen. She has written her 10th cookbook – Simple – which looks fabulous. Here is an interview with her discussing the book.

Autumn is in the air. Plum cobbler. Plum cake. Plum torte. I came home and instantly made marjorie plum crumble for Friday night’s dessert, having found perfect crumble-plums in our massive post-holiday shop.



I love Deliciously Stella sooo much. She is a breath of fresh air in an avocado-saturated world. Here you can find out why you should love her too.

A new blog find! Yay! With a video for apple traybake. And an article on impostor syndrome.

Advice on writing. (And life).

How much do you love Matilda? She is one of my favourite book heroines. There is much being made of 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth this month and this little essay is one commentary, plus this from Sophie Dahl.

Bake-Off has been sold to the highest bidder. And Mel and Sue are leaving. What are we going to do now?

If you are at a loss of things to do, and can afford a trip to the south of France next month, do this please.

Is meat grown in a laboratory kosher?

There is still much work to be done around helping children eat well during school lunchtime.

This video appeared on a friend’s Facebook page and it is just lovely – British bakers in the 1960s. I particularly love the spun sugar and the marzipan-covered cake.



Reading List (5/9)

Today I am coming to you live from Cape Town. So far we have eaten much (at Pot Luck Club and Hassar Grill), seen penguins and driven to where the two oceans meet. Today we are headed to Babylonstoren. I will write up a things to do in Cape Town list soon soon.

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I loved the look of this fig and fennel ice-cream recipe.

On chefs and their cookbooks.

I finished The Outrun (read it! read it!) and have started Early One Morning which I bought at the airport. I also intend to borrow Longbourn from Jen.

We have had a few conversations on this article from the New Yorker. Is a restaurant ever really exclusive? Ever really fully booked? Ever really run by one man?

Short list today as I haven’t done much reading this week!


Reading List (16/8)

Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm. I have plans to read their book A Farm on the Roof over my holiday (which begins in 10 days!!!)

Massimo Bottura on sustainability and food waste.


Should red velvet cake always have cream cheese icing? This perfect recipe suggests not but I am a staunch red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting believer.


The Roca brothers are on tour.

Chefs, substance abuse, jail time and recovery.

A bakehouse in east London and a bakery in Kenya.

Urban agriculture and food security.

I listened to a load of podcasts this past week. Favourites included On Being’s conversation with Paulo Coehlo (which I listened to twice and will probably listen to at least one more time) as well as their conversation with Joanna Macy. Coehlo talks about love as being more powerful than anything else, ‘the love that consumes’ and uses the Greek word ‘agape’ to describe this love. ‘We do not need explanations for everything, we need to fill our lives with love, and as love does not have explanations, okay, let’s simply enjoy‘. This week on Brainpickings Maria Popova writes about Proust and the way we try to intellectualise love, rather than listen to ‘the wisdom of the heart‘.

I also listened to Kat Kinsman over on Radio Cherry Bombe talking about mental health issues in the food industry. The website she has set up ‘Chefs with Issues‘ is a fantastic step in starting the conversation about wellbeing at work.

Allotments in pictures.

New chef crush: Maya Lovelace of Mae in Portland, Oregon.

Strawberries on the Radio 4 Food Programme. I do love listening to Jeremy Lee talk about strawberries: ‘a shocking exuberance that just needs tempering‘.

On figs. Blueberry pie!

Michael Pollan, 10 years on from The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Totally making Ruth Reichl’s grilled cheese sandwich sometime this week.

I found a new blog yesterday. It is called Eat Me Blog and it is just super. It is written by a woman called Sasha, based in the Ukraine and details her Slow Living Project, cakes and the life of her cafe.

On eating weird, bad foods.

I got my hands on a copy of Unfinished Business: Men Women Work Family which I have been wanting to read for absolute ages. I’m only 20 pages or so in but so far it is compelling. And also depressing.

This! I love the look of this illustrated life of Julia Child. Someone buy it for me please?

Reading List (19/7)

The results of the quest for ‘perfect’ fruits and vegetables. And not teaching children to cook could result in more food waste.

This man has spent his lifetime building a cathedral.

How to eat more healthily (through brain subterfuge).

Cheesecake doughnuts with salted caramel anyone?

More on Brexit and food.

This article makes me want to go to Patagonia immediately. I mean, I know we’re going home in 39 days but the restlessness (like a penguin) is whelming at the moment…

Food inventions in Roald Dahl’s books.

A list of books with suggestions for related tv series and movies.

Are we too concerned with being ‘the best’ cooks? (Found via Smitten Kitchen)

Family food choices and food preferences of childhood may not really influence what we eat later in life.

A fascinating longer read on the moralising of food choices, the way different cultures understand food differently (not everyone labels foods good/bad, clean/dirty) and the importance of balance.

I really need to plan a trip to NYC.

An extract from Marcella Hazan’s posthumously published new book: Ingredienti.

On food and grief.

Taking houseplants and gardening indoors to a whole new level.

If this weather (whoop whoop) makes you want to grill everything and eat only outside, here are some ideas. I want to make this salad. And if you’re too hot to fuss, these recipes should help a little.

Cookies for ice cream sandwiches.