Orchards in the Oasis

 

Josceline Dimbleby

At the age of seven, tired and bewildered after a long journey from England to Syria via Lebanon, Josceline Dimbleby caught her first sight of Damascus from the mountain road.   In the extract she has chosen to read from her book of recipes, travels and memories, Orchards in the Oasis,  the magic of her first impressions of her new home are vividly recalled;  the deep red mulberry-stained water in the pool, the sun-warmed apricots, the scented pastries that awoke a lifelong passion for food and flavour.

Listen here

   

Murder She Said

murder_she_said

 

Can anyone describe a recipe in quite the same wonderful way as the great Margaret Rutherford?

A Year in Chicken Soup

chicken soup right

 2015


A Year in Chicken Soup


A new series by Hattie Garlick

 

I am deep within the annual existential crisis otherwise know as The January Spring Clean. Literally so: I’m up to my knees in books, flung from their roosts on the book shelves in a desperate attempt to Get Rid Of This Infernal Clutter. I lift one at random and blow a film of dust from its decorative cover... (read on)

From the back of the shelf: Cookbook Quote No. 2

Delightful food

Here's one I found lurking at  the back of the shelf in its ragged and foxed dust jacket - Delightful food by Marjorie Salter and Adrianne Allen Whitney, published by Sidgwick and Jackson in 1957 and costing 25s.  English titles stand out amongst the French;  Dry Curry Cavalry Club, Coldstream Eggs and Sauce Tintagel, for example, and some wonderfully evocative footnotes - more of those later.

But the real gem for our Cookbook Quote is the foreword by Noël Coward in which he reveals that he took up cooking in 1956.  And what fun he had with his new hobby - the evening the Oven Blew Up and more. Oliver Messel did some extraordinary illustrations in modern day Arcimboldo mode, one of which is posted under the Coward extract here.

Please send in any suggestions, using the comments or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to add to this embryonic collection.  Come on, you must have something from the back of the shelf!

 

zee, 4th June, 2013

Big Night

big_night

 

Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci in The Big Night, a delightful film about two brothers from Italy opening a restaurant in America which becomes a cultural battleground between the old world and the new. If you haven't seen it check it out... it's great.

Bento Box Jewellery

One of those great web discoveries is Carolyn Tillie's food-inspired jewellery.

carrot_earrings

bento_box_ringssilver_earrings_2aubergine_pendantCarolyn told me that she studied  Metalsmithing in California but spent the next ten years in the food and wine industry. She has now turned her hand to producing "gastronomically-inspired jewelry to whet the appetite".

Her themes include Champagne, Just Desserts, Bento Box and Farmers Market. The food bits in the jewelry are reclaimed and recycled Japanese gumball machine toys, known as 'gashapon' which are decoratively set in sterling silver and 14k gold. There's lots more here.

zee, 13th May 2010

Tom Jones

tom_jones

 

Albert Finney and Joyce Redmond in one of the most celebrated of all eating scenes. Talk about circumventing the censor's disapproval!

Soho Parish School

Soho Parish SchoolA thriving primary school in Soho's Great Windmill Street, Soho Parish School is a success story.  And no better example of its success is its food. 

An enlightened head teacher, governors and parents seized the opportunity to break away from a long-term local authority contract to start producing school meals in-house.  With Anita Coppins in charge of the new kitchen, the uptake rocketed from less than 30% to 95%.

Together with Margot Henderson's yearly fundraising event, The Soho Food Feast, now a major highlight of London's food scene, is a truly inspirational initiative.  It is also a lot of fun!

Watch video

 

Spring is here

spring-1

 

Spring by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. This magical and bizarre portrait, painted in the 16th century by the Italian artist,  is part of his Four Seasons series which resides in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Take a closer look at his fascinating and whimsical paintings  made up of vegetables, fruit and flowers, fish and books here.


vegetables-in-a-bowl-or-the-gardener


 

 

 

 

 

Vegetables in a Bowl or The Gardener

 

zee, 29th April 2010

A Year in Chicken Soup - Avgolemono

chicken soup rightHattie  Garlick 1

 

A Year in Chicken Soup


A new series by Hattie Garlick


AVGOLEMONO

 

The first lesson of chicken soup club is this: you do not choose your chicken soup, your chicken soup chooses you.


As soon as I announce my plans to cook a different incarnation of the classic comfort food every month for a year, the Chicken Soup Conflict erupts. “My grandmother's Jewish penicillin is THE best!!!” emails a vague acquaintance. “Mexican chicken soup! Which other country actively encourages you to take both chocolate and tequila with your cure?” texts a friend.  (read on)