This week has shown a hint of Spring. Sunny days have brought out crocuses, daffodils and the first spikes of tulip leaves. The wind is still cold, but at least it shows that things are moving in the right direction. I’ve once again been spoilt by my mum’s cooking all week, so not much to update on for my cooking. We’re trying Five O’Clock Apron’s Chicken Shawarma for dinner tonight.
Meanwhile, I have a day off from being a mum, and I’m very excited to be heading to Bread Ahead’s cooking school at Borough Market for a day all about pastry. I’m hoping to get comfortable with pastry again. Lately it seems like my shortcrust always shrinks, my choux generally comes out lumpy and under-inflated, and there’s never time for flaky pastry or puff.
Reading this week:
- I seem to have been drawn to chocolate recipes this week – make of that what you will. Either that or the internet is in a particularly chocolatey frame of mind this week. Thus we have Smitten Kitchen’s I-need-it-now chocolate cake, choco tacos that I have just discovered from Molly Yeh, and the Observer/Guardian collection of the 20 best chocolate recipes.
- The NY Times has a roundup of tips for reducing food waste. Some of these strike me as a bit unnecessary – do you really need to use up all your carrot tops, radish tops and turnip greens? Is it really reducing waste to take old carrots, boil them until soft and blend them with oil and egg to make a sort of mayonnaise? But there are a few good ones in there.
- Food52 has an interesting piece, arising from one of their Piglet cookbook head-to-head competitions, on how we judge a cookbook. The debate is whether you should just judge a cookbook by the recipes, or by the recipes plus the design, layout, photos – the whole package. [Edit: Eater has a very good piece on this debate, and identifies the big question lurking behind it, which is why do cookbooks continue to lead the publishing sales lists, when you can find any recipe with a quick search?]
- This years’ Piglet also put Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite up against Maria Elia’s Smashing Plates. The reviewer touches on something I haven’t been able to articulate about Diana’s book, that might explain why I like the book a lot, but haven’t cooked much from it so far.
- This article suggests that three meals a day isn’t necessarily the right way to eat, and contrary to popular wisdom, breakfast isn’t that important. (I mean, on average – for me, it’s essential)
- As an antidote to all the chocolate, this California Miso Avocado salad on 101 Cookbooks sounds like a good way to pretend it’s spring, we’re in California, and all the gorgeous fruit and veg is appearing at the market. Sigh. Although, California without the drought, please.
- And to prove that this is definitely London after all, Shoreditch now has a pop-up porridge cafe. I feel a bit of a food bubble inflating in East London…