Tag Archives: list

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

‘I did that!’ list 2016

Greetings on the last day of 2016 everyone! I hope you are planning many festivities to rid ourselves of this awful year and ring in a new one. We are having dinner with family and friends at our house. There is talk of going out afterwards but I’ve been in bed all week with flu and so I may not risk it. I would like to be rid of the coughing fits before going back to work on Tuesday.


You may (or may not) remember that last year I posted an ‘I did that!’ list, inspired by Karen Milford’s article. I liked the way it made me reflect on the year in a positive way. It was different to think about the coming year by looking back on the one just past, and rather than beating myself up about all that was left unaccomplished and continuing, I celebrated the sometimes-small, sometimes-big things that had made up the year, and had made me proud. So I decided to do it again this year. (I also have a list of resolutions, but I’m saving those until at least tomorrow, possibly Monday).

Here is my ‘I did that’! list for 2016.

1. I started a Cookbook Club, tentatively titled The Sunday Cookbook Club. I have many cookbooks. Some might say too many (my mother, for example, who, when she unpacked all the books we’d put into storage whilst she was moving house exclaimed, ‘you have 16 cookbooks on chocolate! How? Why?’) but I love them all. I don’t think I use them enough though and so I wanted to start a club that would encourage their more frequent use and would also provide an opportunity for entertaining without too much hassle. We have 5 members and have had several successful meetings. It has also meant I’ve increased my dinner-party hosting this year, which is something I wanted to do, and I’ve made frequent use of my local library. I intend to keep it going into 2017.

2. I submitted an article to a journal. Big academic step. Deep breaths. I also signed a book contract. More deep breaths. So in 2017 I will be writing a book.

3. I read more for pleasure. I cannot explain fully how happy this makes me. I have always loved reading, falling into magical worlds, being taken on journeys. Over my years as an academic, I read less and less for pleasure, concentrating instead on reading for work. This year, working outside of academia (and no longer being under PhD-related reading pressure) I rediscovered my love of reading. Related to this, I started a regular Tuesday Reading List on the blog, and posted every single Tuesday for the whole year. I’m very proud of the discipline that took to accomplish. (Reading Lists will continue in 2017!)

4. I re-learnt to knit. When I was small, my grandmother Ngonu taught me how to knit using two small red knitting needles. All through high school I knitted squares for blankets and then somewhere in the last 16-odd years, I stopped. When I got home from South Africa in September, I decided I needed some more creative pastimes and so I signed up for a knitting class at KnitNottingham. The muscle memory came back easily and I learnt how to purl and knit on the round. I’ve made several hats and am busy with a scarf. I even bought my first pattern. Now I just need to find a stitch and bitch so I can knit socially.

5. Andrés and I celebrated two years together and one year of living together. I took him to South Africa to meet all my family and friends. He survived and he is still around (so we obviously didn’t scare him too much). He also decided he loves it there and would be willing to move to Cape Town, if the opportunity ever occured. It has been a really rough year for us, but we made it through in one piece.

6. My sister and I went holidaying together in Barcelona. I was nervous of going to Spain without Andrés (my personal translator and guide) but we managed and had the best time. It was the first time in a long while we had traveled together, and I am pleased to say that it was just the same, only more grown-up and with slightly more spending money. My sister made the lists and I made the food decisions (including a totally extravagant and awesome food tour). She also provided all the commentary on the art that we saw. It was brilliant and I hope we do it again in 2017.

So that is my list for the year. What is yours?


Reading List (26/7)

‘Please stop putting things in my brownie that aren’t chocolate, because it makes me sad’. (This is from February, but still a fascinating account of what ‘wellness bloggers’ are doing to our eating habits, body image and potentially, our health.)

I love the sound of this twice weekly pop-up. And the photos of the space look amazing. And this food studio in Edinburgh, only open a few nights a week.

This model for a small restaurant business is fascinating.

A list of dinners to make when the prospect of turning on the oven fills you with dread.

The food at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Strand bookstore in NYC has a quiz for potential employees.

A glamorous (Southern belle) version of spice cake which I intend to make for the princess the next time she visits. (Come visit Princess!)

I listened to the Bon Appetit Foodcast from July 7th last week. They talk to Jessica Koslow of Sqirl in LA. It’s a superb conversation full of jam, ideas and living by your own rules.And for some visuals of what Sqirl serves, look here. Links to the Eater Upsell interview here. Preorder Koslow’s book ‘Everything I Want to Eat’ (due October) here.


This is such a fantastic essay from Zadie Smith – on Brexit, on inequality, on London, on the future. She writes, ‘extreme inequality fractures communities, and after a while the cracks gape so wide the whole edifice comes tumbling down’. This is a well thought out piece about how, in the last thirty-odd years, the UK has fractured into spaces for those with money and spaces for those without, and how the people in these spaces live independently of each other, without seeing ‘the other’. Her discussion of how impossible it has now become to bridge these spaces, and purposively encounter people ‘other’ than oneself (she uses the example of a child her daughter was friends with at school but whose mother she couldn’t seem to start a conversation with) has stayed with me ever since.

Really thought-provoking podcast on the Food Programme last week, all about the funding for infant free school meals and the problems faced by small schools. The additional funding for small schools is being cut (it was only ever supposed to be temporary) and they will be expected to continue to provide a service for £2.30/child. This is problematic for small schools, who cannot operate on the economies of scale larger schools use, and who will struggle to keep their services afloat without additional help. In the programme they indicate that this may undo all the years of work that have transformed the school meals service in England.

Blueberry bbq chicken anyone?

Living in big cities is stressful. Community is important when you live there.

Do you need to build a restaurant empire to be a successful chef?

I listened to the Sporkful podcast on my way to work Monday. Last week’s episode was all about eating on presidential campaign trails and was totally absorbing and funny.

Pictures of Georgian London. (Also, this is a blog find! Notes for my next fieldtrip to Paris.)

Should you be able to buy olive oil alongside your CSA delivery? Debate about how ‘local’ locally supported agricultural programmes need to be and whether customers wanting to buy a great variety of products for delivery are really supporting local agriculture.

Things I will be cooking this week: peach and cherry cobbler (inspired by Claire Ptak’s version in The Guardian this weekend), tomato tarts inspired by this tomato pie and (if the universe sends me an ice cream maker) peanut butter and strawberry ice cream (also from The Guardian).

A list of workshops to stretch your creative skills.