Just a Reading List

I had this total plan for Sunday this last week. Play a (ridiculously early) netball match, have a catch-up brunch and then spend the rest of the day pottering about in the kitchen, roasting a chook and potentially making some cake. (A gingerbread bundt perhaps? Or this apple cake from Orangette – I have the massive Bramleys for the applesauce on my kitchen table.)

But then I leapt to intercept a pass during the match and landed badly on my knee. So pottering about the kitchen was out and I had to spend the day on the couch with my knee elevated and iced with frozen peas. Gah. I did get up to help (read interfere) Andrés roast the chook and make our dinner (which, I might add was excellent) but I mostly spent the day watching the last episode of Unforgotten (still not sure how I feel about how it all ended), Lewis and reading a little. So I don’t have a nicely photographed scene to upload today (my photograph of the chook is out of focus due to the demise of my phone’s camera!) You’ll have to make do with my reading list for now.

Reading List

I’ve written many a time now of how much I love Rachel Roddy’s writing about her life in Italy (and all the food she makes/consumes). This week’s blog post was no exception. How much do I want to roast pumpkin after reading this?

This. ARGH! Read this to complement it. I like the idea Anne-Marie Slaughter proposes, that we need to redefine success as not simply meaning professional success and to value those other parts of our lives just as much. (This, I might add, from the woman who was judged for leaving her job in government to return to her family, and work as a full-time, tenured professor at Princeton. Honestly. What is the world coming to?) You can listen to her talk about this move over on Freakanomics. As someone who is by very definition competitive, especially about work, I find this idea compelling (life is more than just work – a very hard thing for a recent PhD to understand) and something which I need to become better at (which is somewhat ironic no?)

I really want to have a bakery. Like really. Especially after listening to these two food heroes – Liz Prueitt of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco and Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery in London – talk about life, women in professional kitchens, and baked goods.

Since starting to buy bread almost weekly from Small Food Bakery, I’ve become lazy about making my own bread. But this article has rekindled my desire to experiment with different flours. That and the fact that I finally got a new sourdough starter this weekend. (Thanks to Small Food’s generosity.)

I’m reading An Omelette and a Glass of Wine in fits and starts. The articles are all short and the writing is engaging. I’ve not really read Elizabeth David before but so far, I’m enjoying it. Particularly her words on summer meals. ‘Pale apricot chanterelle mushrooms from sodden Surrey woods have only to be washed and washed and washed until all the grit is gone, every scrap, and cooked instantly before the bloom and that extraordinary, delicate, almost flower-like scent have faded’ (David 2009: p. 33). How much do you want to go foraging in a damp wood to retrieve mushrooms right now? (I don’t even really like mushrooms anymore – due to a massive allergic reaction rather than the taste of mushrooms – and I want to eat them now.)

I found the Food52 podcast this past week. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Allison Robicelli (of Robicelli’s) talk about the irony of creating a satire dessert that ‘is the next cupcake’ only for it to become the next cupcake. I’m talking of course, about nutellasgne. If you’re not sure what that is, you can read about it here and here. You can also watch this rather awesome video where they talk about making cupcakes.

That is all for this week. Back soon, hopefully with a recipe.