recent reading and audio postcard

sorry folks for being mia, been very busy with trying to get the fall and overwintering crops planted, add to that trying to get out-of-town to spend some time with my family in maine, and you have little time for writing.  hoping to get a post up soon of a farm tour from maine, but that will take some time – lots of pictures to process.

first – i had another article in model d

second – i got caught up a little on reading – the may/june issue of foreign policy magazine is a special feature on food. it’s the first time i have read it, and the only reason i picked it up is because it was a special food issue.  it turned out to be a good read, covering several view points.  i can’t imagine it is still on the news stands, so hit your library up and look in the stacks.

i also read the most recent gastronomica.  i’ve read a couple of issues in the past and written them off as being to academic and fancy, but a friend who writes about food issues recommended reading it, if only to keep a pulse of what others are writing about.  this issue is actually pretty decent – i learned that john cage was an avid mushroom hunter, that the grenade is named after the pomegranate, and that john audubon of birding fame, also kept a journal in which he described the eating quality of many of the birds he drew (this was after he shot them and skinned them to sell the pelts to taxidermists,  hardly the bucolic image i had of him drawing from nature).  i still find the writing a little stiff, and the cover price is outrageous.

final reading was john thorne’s simple cooking.  i picked this up in the spring while in new york at kitchen arts and letters, but just now got around to reading it.  while i don’t really care about everything thorne has to write about, and he can go on for much too long on subjects, i really enjoy the style of the writing, very personal.   you feel like you could be sitting at the kitchen table with him, and he adds little bits about how food he is writing about connects to his life.

simple cooking is largely a reprint of selection of the newsletter he has been putting out for the last 25 years or so.  perhaps just as inspiring is that he is largely supported by the funds raised from this self published newsletter.  i went ahead an subscribed to the newsletter – which should be coming in the mail any day now.  i’ll let you know how it is.

third – new reading.  as though i didn’t have enough to read, on a rainy day in maine my father and i went book hunting at the delightful blue hill books.   i could have bought much more, as it was full of great selections, but in the sale section i found oriental vegetables by joy larkcom.  how i’ve not stumbled upon this book before i don’t know, but it proved to be a pretty comprehensive source for info on japanese and chinese vegetables.  it includes recipes, planting charts, botanical information about each species, and planting and growing methods.  i’m pretty blown away by how well written and how much new information it provides about plants i have been growing for years but knew very little about.  it’s especially helpful for those trying to extend the season as many of these vegetables are quite cold hard.  highly recommended!

forth – expect more latter, but here is an audio post card of the maine coast – rainy day with bagpipes playing.  it was pretty surreal.


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