Reading List (5/1)

On being busy. A potentially important conversation to be having in the new year, as we start to return to work and try to maintain some sense of ‘not working’.

I’m not the biggest fan of chili – I’d far rather have bolognese or some such slow-cooked mince without the beans, but I really really wanted to eat this for dinner today.  Maybe its my craving for coriander as a way to combat excessive Christmas eating. Maybe it’s the need for something warm and soothing. (With the promise of a crispy tortilla chip and some sour cream to match.) I don’t know but I do know, I want to eat this for dinner!

On writing and restaurant labor. An incredibly interesting read on both restaurant labour in fiction and some poignant comments on how, as food writers, we should be doing more to write about what happens behind the scenes in restaurants (and, I would argue, what happens to bring food to your table generally), the power dynamics involved and the poverty. As I read this my mind was overrun with possibilities for writing and research in this field. (Thanks Pat for sending it my way!)

Genuine, fake extra-virgin olive oil‘ – the agromafia and food products. I’ve been reading Gomorrah, after I read this article about Roberto Saviano (his new book, Zero Zero Zero, is all about the drugs trade). It’s just plain scary and I am reading it quickly as much to get to the end as because it is fascinating. But scary.

Before you can become a carrot eater, carrots have to be desirable’– some wise words from Bee Wilson on how eating habits are learned. The good news is eating habits are changeable – as an adult you may learn to like the bitter tastes you hated as a child – but it is also the way you have learned to behave around food that is important. ‘It’s about reaching a state where food is something that nourishes and makes us happy rather than sickening or tormenting us. It’s about feeding ourselves as a good parent would: with love, with variety, but also with limits.’ I have her new book First Bite, on my shelf to read imminently. (I love it when my research reading and my own interests align and so reading for research is also reading for pleasure.)

It’s about the bean‘ (NYT)

Last, but definitely not least, this epic calendar. If you’re not over bearded hipsters, you may need this in your life. (Thanks Amy!)