Tag Archives: food

Reading List (15/8)

Summer Notts

I just loved this description of French markets in the summertime.

Cormoran Strike is coming to the BBC! Whoop!

This pie. On huckleberries. The pictures of all these different pies. Drool.

The atmosphere is listening. Read this!

I finally got around to listening to Samin Nosrat on Radio Cherry Bombe this weekend. I totally have a chef crush on Samin. She just sounds like the kind of person I want to be friends with. She is now also a new columnist for the NYT magazine and has a list of the cookbooks that shaped her as a cook and a writer.

Chefs on the foods, mentors, and meals that influenced their cooking.

I love these photographs, contrasting college first-years with their final year selves. I wonder how I would’ve said I had changed at that point?

Rare cooking books.

The truth about glamourising chef work.

Two vice chancellors talk about the challenges facing early career academics.

Trying to decide what to eat in an incredibly noisy media environment. A doctor is criticising the medical advice on Goop.

A review of a new book on food conquests of the British empire. Some interesting criticism is drawn on the use of language, and how this perpetuates ideas of the empire.

New website find. This is both hilarious and true, all at once.

I listened to an episode of the Guilty Feminist (I just love them, and they make me laugh out loud, often when I’m walking in the street so other people look at me awkwardly and I just think yeah!) called Intrepid Women and now I want to read the book they were talking about – women resisting the Nazis in occupied France.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (8/8)

I am deep into book writing at the moment so I am not doing a lot of reading except that required for my own work. That said, I did do some reading over the weekend. And yes, I realise it is Thursday but I was finishing a draft on Tuesday that took until well into the early hours of Wednesday morning so that is why!

On a side note, I finally made it to Tough Mary’s Bakehouse and bought all of the croissant-based pastries. Their almond croissant! My god. I will be back for more on Saturday I think.

Judith Jones passed away last week, at the age of 93. I love her book on cooking for one. I refer to it whenever I need to make something small, or need to be reminded of why I should cook for myself. Her memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food, is also fantastic.

Growing food in NYC.

Loving someone and learning about their food culture and traditions. This is something I experience daily, learning things from the Spaniard that I never knew, or thought to try, or consider important. He regularly challenges my palate with strange foodstuffs and our grocery cupboard has a tuna supply to outlast an apocalypse, because tuna forms such an important part of his food/culture identity.

Related to that, I started reading (again, having begun the book ages ago) When in French: Love in a Second Language. This is the story of Lauren (the author) falling in love with a Frenchman, and then moving to Geneva and having to cope with French as the language of daily life. I relate so much to this, even though we currently live in England (and I therefore do not have to navigate my daily life in a language not my own), much of my life is spent trying to understand Spanish. Not only the actual language (which I have been totally useless at learning this year) but the culture and traditions that come with the language.

I love this blog. There hasn’t been a post for ages but I am so happy when one appears in my inbox!

A glorious looking place to swim.

This just looks like the most magical book ever.

And some sobering news: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest it has ever been.

I haven’t made any galettes yet this summer (hah! what summer?) because I haven’t been mobile enough. But now, as I return to a normal-ish day, I am starting to return to the kitchen. Last night I managed to make pizza. So galettes seem not far off! This savoury one with sweetcorn and tomatoes looks mouthwatering. And I do love a summer fruit galette.

A peanut butter and jam sandwich as a way to fit in.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (1/8)

Well hello August, and welcome the month of (European) holidays. Pretty much everyone is on holiday at some point this month as the weather is at it’s potential best and schools are out. There is a slow atmosphere in the air, and the weather can be soporific. I am battling through this feeling though, trying to finish the book and taking advantage of not traveling (well, currently being unable to go very far anyway) by catching up on writing and transcribing. Towards the end of the month I am heading to Copenhagen for a week, to attend a conference. Suggestions of what to do while I am there are welcome!

A recipe for banana bread that uses dried figs. I am going to have to try this out.

Why you should visit Tiree, a Hebridean island. Scotchtastic crew take note!

I listened to Valeria Luiselli talk about her book on child refugees navigating arriving in the US without documents. It is a compelling listen, and a concerning topic.

This poem, by Maya Angelou.

Jay Rayner on food and the environment.

I seem to be in a memoir-reading phase. This weekend I’ve been reading Bleaker House. The story is about Nell Stevens (the author) attempting to write a novel so that she can proclaim to be a writer before she turns 30. She says in the book part of it is so she can have something to say at parties, when other people ask you what you do. (I know all about this feeling). But more importantly, she feels compelled to become a writer, to write a novel. She decides that loneliness and lack of distraction are key to the novel writing process and so goes to live on a Falkland Island for three months during the winter, when there is pretty much no one else there. The book is laugh-out-loud funny in parts, poignant in others, and deeply entertaining all the way through. It is easy to read over a weekend, or a few days, when you feel like disappearing into someone else’s world. You can find Nell talking about her book on the Shakespeare and Company podcast here.

Cultural appropriation?

Ideas on how gratitude may help boost your wellbeing. And a gratitude journal I really love.

Bread, butter, and honey is a great trinity.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (25/7)

A wonderful, if controversial, idea. How do you feel about this? I would love to do this now but I’m not so sure how I would have felt about eco-conscription at age 17…

Sourdough starters can help us understand microbiomes! And the researchers are sequencing the sourdough starter DNA. This is so unbelievably cool! Geek out!

‘Plants are raveningly addictive. If you haven’t read Charlotte Mendelson’s Rhapsody in Green, go and get it now. It is a wonderful memoir about learning to garden in the city.

The challenge of being a senior woman in academia.

One of the challenges of writing anything is receiving feedback on it. This is some incredibly useful advice that might help you cope. I am going to refer back to this when I next get feedback. Particularly the stuff about learning to divorce yourself from your writing. (Part of my project for the coming year!)

More about why women swim. (Thanks Loul!)

Should you have cheese with your apple pie?

For Northanger Abbey, read Girl in a Gothic House’. If you are not a Janeite, don’t read this. A lot of it made me laugh out loud.

This is from 2012 but I only read it this week, and I love the idea. I’ve started my own list of what I would have printed as my ideal bookshelf.

Knitting could be good for your health.

Chocolate ice cream cones. I quite liked this post about decorating cake with a little sister.

We are losing touch with nature. Forest bathing might be one solution.

Why we need creative, non-conformist thinkers.

Begin with hopelessness.

Renaissance tarts.

I made this for lunch today. I added sweetcorn to my salad (just grilled on the open flame of the hob), and served my dad a version with leaves and no tomatoes. The dressing was a combination of sunflower oil, toasted sesame oil, pomegranate molasses, and lemon. All delicious. All to be made again before the summer is out.

This weekend I finished The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot on the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Mead has read Middlemarch at various points in her life and in the book she talks about how these readings have changed over time. There is a lot about Eliot’s own life, and the mirrors and reflections Mead feels it has with hers.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (18/7)

Hello! We are in the middle of July already. Goodness. I am reporting from my house, where I am currently recovering from knee surgery. I had to have my ACL reconstructed after I ruptured it playing netball last year. (The dangers of playing a twisty sport like netball). I’m not allowed to walk too much at the moment although the physios did agree I could take short walks when I get cabin fever and/or the weather is lovely. So far, I’ve made it to the park at the end of my street for some dog therapy, once, and almost to the end of the street to meet A- on his way home from work, also once. Mostly my day is spent resting, elevating, ice-ing, doing physio prescribed knee exercises, and book/journal writing.

I have managed to grow one tiny tomato on my tomato plant so I am on tomato-watch! I wait for it to ripen with a withheld glee. I also started some radishes in a pot on the weekend and they have already sprouted so we are on radish-watch too! I am growing lettuces for cut-and-come-again salad leaves. My living room window turns out to be the perfect place for pot-grown vegetables. Which is good because I am not going to make it to the allotment for a while. But I did get to take my mom last week, pre-surgery, and she helped clear some more of the ground!

I spent the weekend reading Turning: a swimming memoir. I rarely read books this quickly but I love this one. The voice reminded me of Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, that same questioning of life and living in your late twenties, recovering from love and loss. Turning is about the author (Jessica J. Lee) swimming in the lakes that surround Berlin. She writes, “if I returned to Berlin, I could write myself on to the landscape, on to my own memories of the place. I could layer new meaning on to the lakes“. There is such a poetic resonance for me in this idea, that you can become part of the landscape, but not be lost into it. Of late I have wanted to get out into ‘the wild’ more. Many authors talk about a ‘rewilding’ – learning to be outdoors, amongst nature again. It is why I love the Cornish landscape/seascape so much, because it feels wild and unencumbered there. I suppose this longing is now made worse by my convalescence, the requirement that I stay in, recover in the city. To cope, I seem to be reading nature-based memoirs, many of them about swimming.

Cheryl Strayed on the power of words and writing. An essay for our times.

Swimming spots and nearby distilleries (both whisky and gin). My kind of swimming holes! Next time I venture near these places, I am going to write them into the itinerary.

I love this summer menu combination. If anyone wants to feed me this summer, I’ll happily sit down to this. And these peach pastries. They sound like my ideal summer dessert – peaches, pastry, custard. They’d be good to serve at a dinner party/supper club I think.

A kitchen story.

More musings on the origins of avocado toast and the geopolitics that contribute to it’s worldwide ease of access. I may or may not have made a bacon/avo/tomato sandwich for lunch after reading this.

Art, gardening and public health solutions come together on one happy floating barge-garden. This is such an innovative idea.

Yet another confetti cake to try out. I still haven’t made one.

Two essays on Anna Atkins, here and here. She was a Victorian naturalist and her cyanotypes I find mesmerising.

Some advice on avoiding a summer hangover. Or any hangover, for that matter.

Growing strawberries in Cuba.

It is 200 years ago today that Jane Austen passed away. This website has all the myriad events going on in celebration of her life. I may even crack open a copy of Pride and Prejudice in her honour later.

It’s summer which means Americans (in particular) are talking about all things s’mores. Apart from disagreeing with the choice of biscuit (they should be Marie biscuits. Graham crackers don’t exist in South Africa), I’m all up for a s’more. Particularly after a braai and a few glasses of rosé. So first up, David Lebovitz’s s’mores ice-cream pie. Can I just say oh my! Any takers to come over and mix this up for me? Or you can do Molly Yeh’s mini s’mores cakes   or Deb Perelman has s’mores cupcakes

An account of sailing to the Bahamas.

I finally finished listening to this conversation. It was so wonderful. Near the end of the conversation, Celaya talks about photographs, and one that he has on his desk. He says, “that photograph knew everything that was to come, in the leaning of Carol, the future was there”.

That is all for this week! Have a good one! x

 

 

 

Reading List (11/7)

Bureau cats! Squeee!

Apparently people have stopped eating as much ice cream. This is not me or Serious Eats. I made two batches over the weekend – mint choc chip and strawberry-buttermilk. Both are delicious.

These aubergine fritters. Please could someone rassle some up for me for dinner?

Eating food from Egypt in New York City.

The changing purpose of Spanish bulls.

The important power of women’s bookclubs. “Women getting together to gab about books was viewed as suspicious rather than silly and self-indulgent“. A read that got me thinking about what it means to create community, and share ideas. Do you do this in some way? I have a WhatsApp bookclub group, and a cookbook club. Clearly this is something I respond to! And on the other side, someone who finds it difficult to join groups but finally finds one that fits.

Lessons from Shakespeare.

The different meanings of colours.

A long but fascinating read on what is the self?

A new book on influential women and their foodways. Also, has anyone read Barbara Pym? I haven’t but now I want too. Any recommendations of where to start?

On loss and baking. Such a lovely post about the recipes that we share.

Jeong Kwan, the incredible monastery chef featured on Chef’s Table, visits NYC.

Eater has launched a London site!

Have a good week! x

To food blog?

I read Orangette’s latest post a few days ago and it got me thinking. Orangette is one of the last remaining blogs that I love to read. Like read read. I love the way Molly writes about food, but mostly I love the way Molly writes about her life. And I love how the two mesh together in various ways. I find with lots of food blogs nowadays, it is all about lifestyle, with a heavy dose of very beautiful pictures. There is less of the grittiness. Less of the real. Everything is curated. And quite frankly, it is rather exhausting. So now, rather than reading about people’s lives, I am reading their projected existences through their pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love these food-photography-lifestyle blogs. But I miss those other blogs, the ones that were about life and writing and food. And didn’t really have fabulous pictures and often featured ordinary, slightly mucky kitchen tables. Maybe they are still out there but got lost in the ether that is the very full food blog world? (If you know of any, send them my way – Rachel Roddy’s Rachel Eats used to be one but now it’s in The Guardian instead, which is great by the way but not really the same). So Rachel and Molly are the two I read regularly. But that isn’t really enough to feed by habit.

So I have begun to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, I should write the blog I want to read instead? I used to write a little about my life but I have always been quite guarded about it. And when my PhD came to an end I moved into just curating reading lists because that was all I could manage in amongst all the other things I was doing. I’ve tried writing snippets elsewhere, starting other projects and then abandoning them because really, this is the space I like to write in. So hello *waves manically*, here I am.

I have no idea how this might work yet but I thought I would start with some info on where I’ve been the past eighteen months or so, when all there has really been here is the reading lists (and let’s be honest, there is quite a lot of me being random on those lists but not much detail). The short version is I finished a PhD, got an office job, developed a bout of anxiety and depression, busted the ligament in my knee (surgery next week), got a new job (as a researcher and it is AWESOME), signed a book contract, started to recover from anxiety and depression, started knitting and took up yoga and swimming. Of course there is a much longer and wordier version of this story but that’ll do for now.

In amongst all of that I have been baking (several birthday cakes, one wedding cake), trying not to drive A- mad with my weirdness (almost 3 years together), and I’ve bought an ice cream machine (finally!). I also recently took ownership (rental-ship?) of an allotment in Sneinton in Nottingham. My mother (and pretty much everyone else) is convinced it needs an army of gardeners and a lot of money. It’s only a half plot and is mostly covered in bindweed so I will have to make it work as I have neither an army of gardeners nor tons of extra cash. I am also about to become immobile for around 6 weeks while my knee recovers from its reconstruction. But I went to the site the week before last and the robin came over to say hi so I think I am going to like it there.

Mostly I am learning to do what I can and not stress to much about the rest. This is very difficult. A lot of what I may write about is how difficult it is to give up perfectionism for sanity. I am also busy writing a book. My kitchen table currently looks like this:

Mucky kitchen table masquerading as desk

Tonight for dinner I made what effectively turned out to be a spiced beef pizza but which was supposed to be this. Mine looked nothing like the picture but it was delicious. I also didn’t really follow the recipe, and apparently my pide folding skills need severe work but more on that some other time. I ate some of it (it feeds a small army) with tomato salad, while watching Wimbledon (Nadal v Young) in the dying light of a summer day.

More soon. x