From My Library: Vol. 1

I don’t technically have a library. I live in a studio apartment after all. So my books can be found on the floor on both sides of my bed, a small bookshelf, and my desk/dining table. But “From My Library” is about sharing things I’ve read, listened to, or watched that are related to food.

Here’s the first installment. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Yotam Ottolenghi on Creating Recipes for his Cookbook “Sweet”
Yotam Ottolenghi | The New York Times

I don’t own any of  Yotam Ottoleghi’s beautiful cookbooks, but they’re definitely going on my shelf in the near future. Since I live alone, I haven’t made that many desserts. I don’t own any cookbook that’s devoted solely to sweets. But I really want to own this new cookbook. Ottolenghi co-wrote it with Helen Goh, a respected pastry chef and psychotherapist from Melbourne. This article is a very warm and affectionate account of his friendship and culinary collaboration with Goh, and how their cooking, recipe development, and recipe testing spill into their family lives, especially their children’s. The way Ottlenghi describes the cakes made my mouth water. It’s an intimate and cozy read. I smiled all the way through the article.

Harvey and Irma Wiped Out Our Kitchens. Still, We Cook.
Kim Severson | The New York Times

I love this kind of journalism, the kind where a journalist finds humanity in the less obvious. When a natural disaster hits, we think of food, sustenance, and being fed, of course. But to those who are not affected, we don’t usually think of cooking or what happens to one of the most important rooms in the home, the kitchen, the room that gives us our daily sustenance. It’s a story about small, devastating, and permanent losses—cooking tools that are not worth disinfecting, entire kitchens submerged, large collections of cookbooks underwater, even a lifetime of work all washed away. It’s also a story about rebuilding and our ability to adapt and be creative in dire circumstances. There are so many incredible stories within this article, compassionately and vividly told.

Quotes of Note
James and Kay Salter on how to become a regular at a restaurant (from the September 22 entry of their book Life is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days):

  • “ Loyalty is more important than frequency. If you travel to other cities and go to the same restaurant at least once each time, even if it is only twice a year, you often make the grade.”
  • “Attitude can be even more important than money. Customers who are polite and patient, especially when something goes wrong, are held in high regard.”

“No matter what, cooks are going to cook.”
—First sentence of Kim Severson’s story about how people cook after their kitchens have been destroyed in a natural disaster (see above)

If you have any book, article, podcast, film, or TV recommendations you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks! And have a good weekend!


Featured image by Syd Wachs from Stocksnap