Welcome October! This is one of my favourite times of year. There is a nip in the morning air, a clarity of blue to the sky, and just the earliest hint of frost. The trees are rapidly turning from green to yellow, burnt orange and vibrant red. It is the season for scarves and jumpers, for soup, for books read with a blanket on your knees. It is just cold enough for me, and it is still light until 7pm.
This past week I’ve started Spanish (again) with a wonderful and inspiring new teacher. So I am hopeful this quest may continue. I attended Primary Lates to look at art and make gnocchi at Small Food Bakery.
We even made it out to the new Bar Iberico where we ate tapas (killer spicy ribs and jamón croquetas) and drank excellent wine.
But enough about my eating adventures, here is this week’s reading list!
This meditation instead of detention idea sounds like a stroke of genius.
I love this blog that has essays from pastry chefs working in a variety of kitchens, detailing their work lives.
My life in sourdough is a video story about a girl looking for love, told through her food encounters. Each episode is short – around 5 minutes or so, and then there are recipe videos that follow. The beetroot and carrot salad with balsamic glaze is on my list of things to make this week!
I love the Saveur blog awards because it provides the opportunity to find new blogs I may have (will have) missed. Like this one: Southern Souffle whose voice in her post on Buttermilk Cake struck such a chord with me. Then I fell into a wormhole, looking at all the amazing food on the site that I want to spend the next few months making.
A profile of Diana Henry (one of my many food heroes) in the NYT.
A long read on the food movement, and whether it can become a social movement of force and change.
Thirty years of food writing in San Francisco.
Community apiaries – this is such a cool idea. Does anyone know of anywhere in the UK that does this?
The legacy of Obama for food in the US.
I listened to Alain de Botton (of The School of Life) on On Being this weekend. I have read and reread his How Proust can change your life (in fact, I packed a copy into my suitcase when we left home last month). After listening to the podcast, I picked up my copy of Religion for Atheists. So much of what he talked about on the podcast made sense to me – this idea that one doesn’t necessarily have to believe in the various religions in order to interact with parts of them. I’ve always found it difficult to explain my love of Christmas (for example) because it is so heavily swathed in Christian tradition. But I love the holiday for other reasons – as a celebration of mid-winter, for the coming together of family and community, and for the sharing of food. I also love churches for their architectural feats and their beauty. de Botton suggests that some of the foundations of religion can teach those of us who are less religious about how to live – ideas about community, about kindness, about ritual, about beauty and about wisdom (to paraphrase Krista Tippett). The podcast is a fascinating discussion of these ideas.
Some more cookie ideas here and here. (And if any American friends want to send me the election-themed cookie cutters, I would be grateful forever more.) I’m baking this month’s Dorie’s Cookies recipe, breakfast biscotti, to take to a Bake Off viewing tomorrow.
Mergers in the global seed and pesticide market. What does this mean for agriculture, our health and the future of farming? This is a fascinating article that points out some of the problems with the current food system and also suggests why it is so. Felicity Lawrence writes: ‘Corporate concentration in the food system has sucked the money to be made in the chain up to a handful of companies at the top. It works for the few but not for the many’. The concentration of wealth at the top also influences why the system cannot change, because wealth has power and influence over government policy. (Thanks Mom for sending!)
Health in South Africa. Do you think the advice is correct? That in the end, encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health is the only solution? What about the food environment? And the responsibility of corporations and supermarkets?
If you’re making pumpkin pie this month (in celebration of PSL season), beware. Your canned pumpkin might not actually be pumpkin.
Have a good week! x