Want a bit more food reading inspiration on some of the topics I’ve been talking about this month? I’ve mostly been discussing food waste, sustainable eating and seasonal eating so here are my top picks for May – some old, some new, some borrowed and all are the opposite of blue…

 

 

Short reading

 

20 Genius Ways To Save Money On Your Food Bill – Eat Myyy Thoughts

Although this great article (split over two posts) is ostensibly about saving money, it taps into Lorna of Eat Myyy Thoughts’ overall approach to more minimalist and eco-friendly living. Suggestions such as cooking from scratch and using food waste apps like Olio are all sustainable ways to reduce your food bill. A big message that runs throughout is using what you have and not throwing things away, all of which can be helped by not buying too much in the first place!

 

If you like this, you might also enjoy …

Trash Is For Tossers documents Lauren Singer’s journey to zero waste, including a year’s worth of trash that fitted into a mason jar.

 

 

Long reading

 

The Third Plate by Dan Barber

Dan Barber is an eminent chef, best known for his US farm-to-fork restaurants Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. He also popped up in London in 2017 bringing the surplus food wastED restaurant concept to Selfridge’s roof top. The Third Plate is an in-depth and fascinating insight into our modern food systems and some ground-breaking approaches to a more sustainable way of eating.

I’m not going to lie: this is not light reading, but it is engrossing nonetheless. The book is split into four sections covering soil, land, sea and seed. It travels from the cornfields of the US to the plains of the Extremadura in Spain. It’s not a meat-free book, but looks at a more considered way of choosing all food, from the food of the sea to the land. This includes looking at more sustainable meat choices; there’s even ethical foie gras!

The Seed section is particularly fascinating as it gives a lot of insight into the goings on of large scale agri-business and the inspiring stories of those brave enough to take the leap into organic farming (and the ways this is starting to pay off). What stood out for me in all of this is the importance of the relationships and trust at a local level, from the grower to the maker and eater. We all have a responsibility to make food choices to help sustainable businesses flourish.

 

If you like this, you might also enjoy …

Animal, Mineral, Vegetable: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.  This is a funny and touching account of how Barbara Kingsolver and her family lived for a year surviving on food they could grow themselves or source from local farmers. Incidentally, I also learned a lot about chicken husbandry while reading this book.

 

Recipe reading

 

The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

The Kitchen Diaries is a gentle book of stories and seasonal recipes, which, in Nigel Slater’s own words, reflects the ebb and flow of the seasons. There is something just so right about eating what’s available at that particular point in time. It’s the perfect way to feel more connected to the natural world and generally be more grounded.

I love Nigel Slater’s recipes as they are very achievable for home cooks, using just a few tasty ingredients. The style of this book is also interesting as it’s written in diary form rather than the standard cookery book layout, with one recipe gliding into another. It gives you an insight into Nigel’s day to day life as a food lover and writer. I particularly laughed at one of his May entries about the excitement of finding pea shoots to share with halibut and friends – which no one paid any attention to at all when served with a flourish at dinner.

This is delicious, everyday cooking at its best. From a punnet of loganberries with organic cream as an afternoon treat through to grilled monkfish with rosemary and garlic mayo, this book covers all the bases from breakfast to pudding. What food will you fill your diaries with?

 

If you like this, you might also enjoy …

Maggie’s Harvest by Maggie Beer. This is an Australian book so you might need to flip some of the seasons in the northern hemisphere, but it is full to the brim with delicious recipes from one of Australia’s most revered cooks and food writers. It’s something of a kitchen bible to me.

 

 

I’d love to hear what you’re reading this month.

Please share your top reads in the comments below….

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