Tag Archives: writing

Reading List (10/10)

It’s October people! Whaaatttt?! Yup. We are on that downward slope to the end of the year, short days, dark days, and colder weather. If you missed this list last week (and the one before), I’m sorry! I’ve been on book deadline and have also started traveling again for work so I have not had a moment to read anything unessential. But I am glad to be back here again. The book has gone in (cue dancing girls and twirling fireworks) so now I’m waiting for editorial feedback. Also, it is A-‘s birthday today! I spent the weekend making salted caramel for cake, and preparing gifts.

Chefs helping out in Puerto Rico.

Fish have a dawn chorus too! This is just wonderful.

The disconnect between our real lives and our online lives, as illustrated by a fake food festival.

I read my first Agatha Christie last week! I know crazy right? I chose Murder on the Orient Express. I found it superbly comforting (which is weird because it is a detective story) but in the same manner as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which we have been watching with delight), the stories are reassuring rather than scary. Everything always works out in the end. And I love the time period of the novels – the clothes, the formality of dinner – it makes train travel sound delightful. I’m going to borrow some more from the library now, to read while I’m traveling. And if you need a reason to read or reread Murder on the Orient Express, the movie is coming out next month and looks epic.

On academic engagement with the public.

This cartoon .

Books challenged in 2016 for being various stages of ‘inappropriate’.

I read this post on a gloomy Saturday morning and was transported to the wild forests of Sweden. The images alone are magical but the prose takes you into a forest-foodie heaven.

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. It helps with finding things to read for these posts but also connects me into communities of thought that I might otherwise miss. This last week my inbox has been full of bloggers and writers celebrating the arrival of autumn. I love getting these kinds of posts. They are simple reminders of the importance of gratitude and the wonder of everyday life. Some of my favourites are here, here, here, and here.

I very much want to make this pasta with chickpeas for dinner soon. And I love the sound of this pistachio frosting. I do love all things pistachio.

A list of podcasts you could listen to. I randomly, and totally by accident, listened to an episode of Stuff You Should Know this week. It was great. Entertaining, funny, full of random facts (I do so love a random fact) and peppered with superbly interesting people.  Other podcasts I’ve made my way through recently: The Guilty Feminist (the last two episodes were totally brilliant and make me laugh out loud while walking in the street); Eating Alone – new from BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, and Violet Sessions, dealing with grief.

On weeds. On farming.

Sculpture making with wine corks.

Recognising that we cannot live in a ‘constant state of agitation’ is hugely important. Recently I have become increasingly interested in the connections between learning through the body and learning through the mind. I have a paper idea in my head so I guess it is at the back of my own mind, these embodied connections. I read this with fascination – all about the connections between our bodies and our minds.

OMG. Pasta grannies teaching you to make pasta via videos on YouTube. This is BRILLIANT. (Found via SK list).

I also finished Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey. I was expecting a book on the wilds of the islands, the natural world that exists within them, and a personal journey of discovery. This book is that but it is also a commentary on making a nation, the politics of islands, and the intricate histories that the Hebrides have. A truly great read.

Interesting ideas on creativity and minimalism.

A very elegant and interesting piece about knitting for organisations who then donate some money from sales of their products to charity.

Reading List (29/8)

Dog days of summer people! I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday. I am back from Copenhagen. What a lovely city. Swoon. Now I am trying to do book edits and article edits and noting down all the ideas I had while at ECER. We are going to Spain next Friday for a last minute, before I start traveling for work again, time spent together week of holiday. I am trying to get another book draft polished before we go…

CPH harbour

On performance and public speaking.

Why you should blog as a PhD. Reasons why you might blog as part of a research project.

Issues of postdoctoral mental health.

Community and allotment gardens, and the question of selling produce.

A new zine.

Eating as an agricultural act?

Urban meadows in Oslo.

George Monbiot on the importance of language when describing our planet.

Brave Tart on chocolate chip cookies.

The various editions of Joy of Cooking. What I find most fascinating about the book is the way it has been updated and revised for each edition – the way new recipes are included, out-of-fashion food trends are cut. It is like a living commentary on our food habits. I did not grow up with this book – we had others – but I think I would like to track down a copy to read and digest.

Food photographs that look like still-life paintings.

Do food magazines perpetuate whiteness? An important read. And an extract from Michael W. Twitty’s book The Cooking Gene. On class and food in America.

Celery used to be a luxury. Who knew?

A portrait of Alice Waters, who has a new book coming out. This made me smile and roll my eyes with equal measure.

This past weekend I read The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit. The book is a collection of essays on everything from silence to books women should avoid to rape culture. As Jen (who lent me the book) and I noted in a conversation we had while at the Ladies Pond at Hampstead Heath, once you read essays like these, your world is never the same. Everything looks different.

Is this satire? Is it real? Somebody read it and tell me please.

If you are in the southern hemisphere, please make this blood orange wreath!

The internal micro biome.

Have a good week!

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 (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 (21/6)

A short but sweet (and quite late) list today. I’m just back from Spain, having avoided the internet (with the exception of some social media) for nearly a whole week.

2016-06-20 19.55.43-1

So I’ve read nothing except some interesting things on the Brexit referendum which is happening on Thursday (and had some interesting conversations with Europeans who cannot believe the British will vote to leave). Andrés and I have not really seriously discussed what will happen if the vote is for leave. But it will have implications for us both. I hope you are getting your vote on, if you can.

On the mistrust of science.

This. This is exactly the kind of teaching I want to do.

Totally want to make these lemon bars sometime soon.

Cooking from old, historical recipe books.

I read most of Like Water for Chocolate on the plane this morning. It is such a wonderful book, full of food and memory, sensuality and family life. Read it if you haven’t already.

I’m making this for dinner tonight, post netball match.

x

Reading List (14/6)

I am always at a loss of what to write when tragedy befalls. What happened in Orlando at the weekend was truly awful and horrific. And I am sad. Sad that we live in a world where hatred and intolerance are still so common, where people are divided by what makes them different, rather than united around this difference. God!, the world would be so boring if we were all the same. This post by Sarah Kieffer captures a lot of what I’ve been thinking recently.

Here is this week’s reading list. Tomorrow we fly to Spain for a wedding, which I am glad and excited and nervous about. It is my first Spanish wedding and my current fluency is still stuck on basic greetings. But here’s to hoping for sunshine and beaches and wine and jamón and friends and family.

IMG_4939

This cookbook review made me want to buy the book: The Starving Artist Cookbook. I am fascinated by how people come to learn how to cook, and this is a great example of how this happens, at least I think it is, judging from what I have read online (I haven’t procured a copy of the book just yet.) If you need persuading, check out the blog from whence it all began. Also, a cookbook with illustrations. Le sigh.

These thoughts on what ‘home’ means. And this essay on immigration, new homes and longings for foods.

This is such a fantastic essay (or sorts) about cooking and grief.

It has been 10 years since the publication of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. How much has changed in those 10 years? An interview with the author.

Some thoughts on creating the perfect cup of coffee.

The secret to better brownies, whip the eggs and sugar. Or, cover them with salted caramel

Food photographer of the year.

Cherry season is upon us!

I was desperate for a book to read on the train on Saturday, coming back from London. (I finished my book on the way down.) Hatchards was already closed so I was forced to choose from the limited selection in WH Smith. On a whim, I took the new Kate Morton (because I have loved all her other books), even though it felt indulgent. (I really must get shrinked into post-PhD acceptance of reading for pleasure.) I have gobbled up, devoured, consumed The Lake House as if it might disappear and I might not know what happens. I intend to finish it in Spain this week. And in case I do, I’ve bought Like Water for Chocolate on my Kindle.

This video on making mozzarella (via Smitten Kitchen).

If all those bars and diners in movies and tv shows were real.

Understanding the food industry behind wisdom on what to eat.

This made me laugh. I have strong feelings around tomato sauce (ketchup) brands. (And judging by the conversation Jen and Ali and I had around it, I am not the only one.)

Lastly, this series of photographs of food against Pantone colours is just great.

x