On slow tourism, the history of processed pet food, and why adults crave bitter flavours.
Welcome to Nibbles where once a month I share everything brilliant I’ve been reading on the web as well as some general updates from my kitchen, my vegetable garden during the growing season, and other miscellaneous ‘you really need to know about’ updates.
If you’ve somehow arrived here from elsewhere and you’re not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here so not to miss out on monthly ingredient essays (featuring a different ingredient every month), exclusive recipes, sneak peaks into some of my favourite food people’s kitchen cupboards, and the occasional long read!
Amusing and interesting questions asked of the New York Public Library, before Google put the answers to almost everything at our fingertips:
And on a harder note, but so much more important. A 17 year old Jewish boy writes a letter of farewell to his brother he was taken to a local forest with 70 other Jews, made to dig a mass grave, and shot. Poignant for current times:
Sinu - who has lived in Venice her entire adult life - launches a Venetian travel guides dedicated to providing slow and sustainable travel information for Venice, it’s mainland and lagoon with a view of preserving her incredible city whilst still allowing visitors to enjoy it:
Julia dives into the fascinating history of processed pet food:
Do you remember that video that used to play at the start of DVDs with the smash and grab explaining that piracy is theft? I agree with this article that in some contexts such as in scientific research the use of AI can be groundbreaking, but I think we all also need to accept every time we use a service like ChatGPT we’re assisting in the piracy and therefore theft of someone else’s copyrighted materials:
Dan asks the question What Is British Jewish Food Really? and laments the decline of the simple, uncomplicated Ashkenazi classics I grew up with:
Ruth has been exploring Nova Scotia:
Kathy, on how growing vegetables saved her life after being signed off work with burnout and depression:
A story about a rotisserie chicken I just know would make me happy. It’s about simplicity, and doing one thing well:
Nicola interviews Alexina Anatole about her new cookbook focusing on bitter flavours and they dive into why adults crave bitter flavours, but why they’re so often overlooked in cooking:
Exploring the Turkish food markets of Gaziantep:
All about Sea Buckthorn:
Budapest is now firmly on my ‘to visit’ list:
A love letter to rice, and it’s cultural importance in a Japanese kitchen:
And finally, on finding beauty in the midst of a world of darkness:
Got access to wild mushrooms? For my Macknade residency this month, I’ve made this easy Mixed Mushroom Gnocchi packed with whatever mushrooms you have to hand, crispy sage and butter fried gnocchi and plenty of parmesan in a luxurious white wine pan sauce. Simple, seasonal, and just that little bit fancy!
Speaking of simple, yet fancy seasonal carb dishes, I’ve got a Chicken Liver Pappardelle new on my blog I’m super pleased with. It’s the perfect first dish if you’ve never cooked with livers before: they’re delicious, super cheap and really good for you, especially tossed with pasta in a caramalised onion, butter and sherry sauce, finished with plenty of fresh rosemary and sultry dried chilli flakes.
If you’re looking for a seasonal bake to set your mind to this grey, rainy Sunday morning my Sweet Potato Spice Cake - topped with an orange-spiked cream cheese frosting and plenty of chopped pecans - is new over at Project Meal Plan, as is my Green Goddess Tuna Salad recipe ready to prep for next week’s work lunches.
And finally, not a recipe I’ve written but something I cooked for dinner one night this month which was too good not to share: I had this Spicy Prawn & Salad Onion Stir Fry bookmarked in an old issue of Waitrose Food (but which is happily now online!) back when brilliant local food writer Chetna Makan was resident in their seasonal ingredients section, and I’d not change a thing. Healthy, light , flavourful and fast.
The last of these for the year I think (though I’ll still have carrots in the ground until they’re all pulled and eaten, and I might pop back in with another update if the new way of growing leek starts my father and I are trying this year bears fruit) because my haul of Jill be Little pumpkins finally came indoors. I managed 9 miniature pumpkins from 4 plants, and whilst they’re adding some seasonal decoration to the house come late November / early December I plan to try roasting them whole.
J and I have a ‘sign up and cancel again after a month’ attitude towards Netflix every time something we actually want to watch is released (I think Netflix host 1% excellent content and 99% background noise) and we’re back in the game this month for The Fall of the House of Usher. In my mind The Haunting of Hill House (based on Shirley Jackson’s book of the same name, The Haunting of Bly Manor (based on one of the greatest gothic ghost stories of all time, Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw) are two of the best things on the platform, so a new mini series from creator Mike Flanagan was worth the subscription fee.
The Fall of the House of Usher is one for the Edgar Allen Poe fans out there, taking his short story The Fall of the House of Usher, giving it a modern twist and weaving in another of his short stories or poems per episode. What we’re presented with is a lush, aesthetic and gothic tale of an American billionaire dynasty whose members are being picked off one by one by a mysterious woman in such a way that their deaths could only be intended as a parable. It’s very cleverly written and made, and ideal Halloween viewing if you’ve already seen the Haunting mini series’ (if not though, start with Bly Manor, it’s the best, probably because it stems from the best source material!)