Tag Archives: food reading

Reading List (21/2)



Blackberries (for those of you in the South).

On the pending apocalypse and society’s obsession with the end of the world.

Giving up a business at the peak of it’s success.

A response to those accusing us young’uns of wasting food because we like to take photographs of our meals. A new supermarket where you can pay what you want.

If you’re struggling to find new podcasts to listen to, Vogue has a list for you. (This is not me, by the way. I have so many and am addicted to so many, that I fear finding any more may actually tip me over an edge into the podcast unknown, where I will just listen to stories forever and ever, until I fade away from lack of nourishment).

Jay Rayner on what children should learn to cook.

Nancy Silverton! Swoon. How amazing is she? New chef crush. Watched the episode of her on Chef’s Table last night and am baking bread today. Possibly these things are related.

Mushroom hunting. Sounds like a fairly dangerous (although lucrative) past time to be honest.

Onion and cheese pie. Perfect for late winter dinners I think.

Albert Adria’s new restaurant in Barcelona.

Food and language. On using the word ‘interesting’, which I confess I use too much.

Protest, with food posters. And an interview about the collection.

Neil Gaiman reading a myth from his new book.

I love a crumble-tart – and this one, from Jeremy Lee, looks super.

This is an interesting read, about being a sober woman.

Farming and retirement.

Russian honey cake (pictured above). I was inspired to make this after watching Vladimir Mukhin’s episode on Chef’s Table. He serves his take on this cake alongside his grandmother’s version. Both looked divine so I tried my hand at it. It is sort-of-super-easy… (there are some quirks) but it tastes excellent. I have some ideas about how I might make it easier next time.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (17/1)


How much should you share on your food blog? Personally, I am much more interested in food blogs that are about people’s lives, rather than just recipes with great photos (although I obviously love those too, and use them a lot). Perhaps this is because I am fascinated by our lives, how we live well, and how we tell the stories of our experiences?

Write in spite of everything.

Fossil nightshades. How ridiculously, totally cool is that?

A nostalgic but lovely description of Oxford.

I read this and wanted to book tickets to Prague immediately.

It may not be the best idea to eat Nutella.

On libraries. Anyone want to start a book to art club with me? Also, this kid.

The best breakfast spots around the UK.

Some words on Italy, and a recipe for pasta.

Jay Rayner on the things that drive him crazy in the food world.

Buying from indie shops.

Gender stereotypes.

Cooking to accompany Netflix’s new A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Adding this to my list of things I want to do this year.

This is a great idea: library boxes filled with food and essential household items.

On British Indian food, restaurants and immigration.

Dan Barber is coming to London.


Reading List (10/1)


Re-reading books in times of stress. I so relate to this. I read hardly any new books during my final year as a PhD. I re-read (and listened to) a lot of Harry Potter, some Austen, some Bronte, The Secret Garden – pretty much anything that was easy and comforting.

Pasta with potatoes with cheese. Just what these dark January days need.

Ruby Tandoh on eating clean and dietary restrictions. And on white sliced bread.

Pete Wells on Locol. (This has caused a bit of a furore in the food world). A response to Pete Wells’ review of Locol.

This for dinner.

Celebrating the food of refugees.

Places to visit this year: from Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and the New York Times.

Lily Vanilli.

Bee Wilson on choosing books for awards.

Places to eat in foodie cities.

From the 1962 New Yorker: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. (Long, but worth the read.)

The making of roscón de reyes cakes for January 6th.

What is a PhD and what is the point of doing one?

Fantastic conversation between Krista Tippett and Maria Popova this week.

Running a whisky ‘dramathon‘. Any takers?

I was catching up on podcasts over the weekend. I loved the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme on cake, its popularity in modern times and its history. I’ve added Cake: A global history to my (long) list of books I want to read this year.

I also listened (with much delight and laughter) to Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. The story of Cat Morland is transported to Edinburgh and the Scottish borders. I loved it. It was ridiculous with tinges of gothic and some fantastic vampire references.

On returning a Michelin star.

Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes.

Another review on a new book on the evils of sugar.

Tracing the history of plants and through that, the history of culture and food tradition.

An interview with the head chef of Petersham Nurseries (one of my favourite places ever).

Have a good week! x

Reading List (3/1)

Welcome 2017! Hope you had a good new year celebration and are back into the swing of work things. I’m still recovering from illness. Gah. But I am at my desk… Here is the year’s first list.

Food horoscopes for 2017. Predicting food trends for 2017. Best ingredients for 2017.

Really interesting video talk on how we plan for our future selves, and often fail to imagine how much we will have changed when we become them.

Ridiculously funny conversation about the different accents of British cows.

They are talking about fracking Sherwood Forest. Honestly.

A fascinating article on sugar.

A round-up from Lucky Peach on the best things read and eaten in 2016.

A collection of articles on wellness.

Should we be adjusting the way we grow food because of potential water shortages?

Did you do any reading over the break? I don’t really have any memory of last week, being that I was mostly asleep. When I was not, I was reading. I couldn’t stop reading In the Woods. Thoroughly recommend it if you love a detective story – it is one of those that gets under the skin and stays with you long after. I also read The Innocents which was a fascinating look at families, what makes them, how they keep themselves together, how communities are formed. Yesterday I finished The Improbability of Love. This last one has been a particular favourite, recommended by friends on a whatsapp bookclub and one I devoured in a few days. Art, food, love, mystery. All my favourite holiday themes. (And here is a story on art forgery.) Next up is Eligible, The World According to Anna, and When in French.

Oh my, this Instagram account.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (20/12)


An analysis of the Gilmore Girls revival. (Much of what I thought of the show. Emily Gilmore is totally my favourite.)

Quince cheese.

Food52 has a fascinating collection of cookbooks from different places. And Food & Wine has chefs’ greatest cookbooks.

I’ll be making some of these recipes from Rachel Roddy over the next week sometime. (I’ve also borrowed her book again from the library so I can read it over the next few weeks.)

My friend Jess writes cool stuff about teaching English in schools!

Brain Pickings’ favourite books of 2016.

On pavlova and Christmas tradition.

An Eater round-up of their long reads.

Secret government supper clubs!

Creating community for hardship. A really thought-provoking read on wondering why we celebrate the good stuff together but keep the bad stuff to ourselves.

Laurie Colwin’s gingerbread.

Guidelines for surviving making a bajillion cookies over the holidays.

This tart looks just divine. As does this cake. I might make one during the holidays.

If you’re a fan of Serial, watch this Christmas spoof.

Chefs and herbs.

Cooking like Ina Garten.

Catch you next week for the last Reading List of 2016, and an’I did that!’ list.

Have a happy holiday season! x

Reading List (13/12)

This is mostly a Christmas list. Turn away now if you suffer from grinch-ness.

But first, a note of sadness on the passing of AA Gill. He was one of the first food writers I read, whilst at university as an undergrad, and I loved his prose, descriptions of place, stories of food. I recently read his review of Dominique Ansel Bakery in London and it was wonderfully scathing and witty. (I don’t have a link to it because I don’t have an online subscription to The Times.) This is his last piece for Australian Gourmet Traveller.


Christmas cookie ideas. Ottolenghi’s Christmas sweets. Homemade Christmas gift ideas (I want to try make these). Brown butter gingerbread madeleines. Chocolate cherry pistachio panettoneMeringue wreaths for your tree and/or Christmas gifts.

Vertical farms.

Best science books of 2016. Best books of 2016 from NPR.And a video on the 10 learnings of 10 years of Brain Pickings.

Why Elf is the best Christmas film. (No. 22 for anyone who has ever traveled with me.)

Best Christmas windows around the world.

Jay Rayner on comfort eating. Speaking of which, saffron and almond buns.

Favourite read of the week: Gabrielle Hamilton on a weekend feast. I loved everything about this article. Total and utter food writing magic.

‘I want us all to keep our day jobs and our silly blogs and keep cooking dinner and keep fighting’. Second best thing I read this week.

I discovered this great website by accident, I think via Orangette. It’s a collection of poems and poets. You can search by theme, by poet, by occasion. Fantastic if you need some more poetry in your life. I’ve linked to one of my Christmas favourites.

An interview with Zadie Smith. I listened to the podcast version of this interview and Zadie is just so fantastic and eloquent. She talks about ‘historical nostalgia’ and how this is different for everyone – different groups of people hark back to better times but these are specific to their circumstance/class/race etc. For example, black people in the USA probably do not have historical nostalgia for the 1960s (the civil rights era)… Very interesting food for thought.

Foraged foods, grown in a community garden in Cape Town.

Picky eating in adulthood.

Gentrification or access?

New Sherlock trailer!

People making a lot of money off of Twinkies.

Dan Barber of Stone Barns. I think this story needs to be read with a healthy bout of skepticism. I am always inclined to be cautious of people who are revered as philosophers of x, with a cult-like following. Dan Barber is one of those. I am fascinated by what he has done at Stone Barns and Blue Hill but the reverence with which people write about him makes me both cautious and curious. Call it my Foucauldian training.

There is nothing food-related or book/culture related in this, but my it makes for fascinating reading.

‘Novels demand many things of readers, but the most obvious is attention. […] To read a book is to devote oneself to the book. Novels always traffic in empathy, always bring “the other” closer, always ask us to transcend our perspectives, but isn’t that attention, itself, a generous act? Generous toward ourselves?’ This is a fantastic article by Jonathan Safran Foer, on the danger of being constantly distracted.

Postdocalypse‘. So true.

And if you’re having a bad week, just have a nosy through these mashups of Donald Trump and The Queen.


Reading List (29/11)

Almost December. Gah. The last few months have just flown by. I’ve hardly had time to think, let alone contemplate the on-rushing of a new year. But I have knitted a hat and made a satisfactory start on a scarf. And I put Christmas decorations up on Sunday (being the first Sunday of advent) but I still haven’t eaten a mince pie (waiting for the 1st).


Spanish food for beginners. And also because I don’t quite want to forget my Barcelona weekend just yet.

On New York diners.

I’ve never really been in to competitive food television shows, mostly because they stress me out no end. I make an exception for Bake-Off because it was lovely, and Masterchef Australia because it is fascinating and the locations/chefs/competitions are inventive. This review of Masterchef: The Professionals sums up the reasons why I cannot watch most though, even if the writer finds some things to encourage you to sit through it.

Gingerbread alfajores with dulce de leche. I die. (There are some other Christmas bakes in there too but really.)

A history of pecan pie.

Foods to eat with a spoon.

Dealing with food waste in London.

Urban farms as new pre-schools.

Learning history through the museum cafe.

Cookbooks as comic books.

Baking childhood book memories.

This weekend I discovered that it is possible to rent audio books from the library and download them onto your phone. For free. I immediately listened to City of Strangers – a fantastic detective-whodunnit-mystery story set in Edinburgh. I listened all of Saturday and Sunday, whilst I knitted and cooked and cleaned. Such a great find! I’ve now downloaded a Rankin, because Rebus.

Best cookbooks of 2016 (from The Washington Post)

I’m all into homemade gifts this year: salted caramel; jam; homemade nutella; dulce de leche; cookies; toffee; brittle; honeycomb… Of course, the best laid plans often come to nought so don’t hold your breath too long! But there are those scarves and hats I’m knitting!

Just for Hannah: Wales rugby players pose naked for a calendar.