In the first part, Helen includes extracts from Laurence Durrell’s Avignon Quintet, from Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and from a short story by MFK Fisher.

For the second part, Helen chooses extracts from Just William by Richmal Compton, the poem This is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams and a food-related parody, and another extract from Livia by Laurence Durrell. 

Extracts from The Leopard by Giuseppe Lampedusa, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert are Helen's choices for the third part.

In Part 4, Helen introduces us to Cooking With Fernet Branca by James Hamilton Paterson and The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch.

In Part 5, Helen gives us an extract from Time Regained, Le temps retrouvé, the last volume in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, and Seamus Heaney's poem Oysters

Part 6 of Helen's Food in Literature series is a single extract from American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

In part 7, Helen takes us to what she calls "Anglo-Indian horrors, with extracts from E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, and London Fields by Martin Amis.

Part 7, is dedicated to turtle soup. Helen starts with the famous poem from Alice in Wonderland followed by an extract from Pentimento by Lillian Hellman. She continues with recipes for both Mock Turtle Soup and real Turtle Soup from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, and for Consommé Fausse Tortue from Kitchen Essays by Agnes Jekyll.

In Part 9 of Food in Literature, Helen Brings us excerpts from The Gate of Angels, by Penelope Fitzgerald, and the short story The Cut Glass Bowl by Scott Fitzgerald in Babylon Revisited.

Part 10 of Helen's excursion through Food in Literature includes extracts from The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann and extracts from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler.

Part 11 of Food in Literature brings together three extracts from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens.

Josceline Dimbleby visited Talking Of Food to record a reading from Orchards in the Oasis, her book of recipes, travels and memories.

Before the recording started, she talked to Helen Garlick about the book and their conversation ranged  from Josceline’s earliest food influences and cooking in a London bedsit to a shared love of American brown paper grocery bags and MFK Fisher.

Agnes Jekyll (1860-1937) was the supreme hostess: her house was described as "the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pouri, furniture polish and wood smoke". Lady Jekyll, as she became, first published Kitchen Essays in The Times, "in which she was persuaded to pass on some of the wit and wisdom of her rare gift for clever and imaginative housekeeping".  Helen Garlick reads a few of her favourite extracts...

Agnes Jekyll's gift for friendship and organisational skills made her an excellent hostess. Helen Garlick reads three more extracts from Kitchen Essays, published in The Times in 1922, in which Lady Jekyll passes on 'some of the wit and wisdom of her clever and imaginative housekeeping'.

For the first helping of lockdown food musings, here are two poems, one about the iceberg lettuce and the other about the humble onion.

War time diaries and recipe books are good reading too, not because we have to cope with shortages but it’s good for us to remember how much more difficult shopping and cooking was in both World Wars. Also, it's inspiring, now that we need to think twice about making trips to shops, to see how people concocted meals of what they had to hand. Here are extracts from Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940 – 1945. Published by Persephone Books…


Post viral recovery can be a long haul. We seem to have lost the concept of convalescence, of the need to understand that full recovery from illness can take a period of time, that needs to be accepted and catered for in every sense. Helen Garlick searches her cookery book library for dishes to tempt and nourish invalids and convalescents…

As the risks of a new lockdown rise, Helen sends us this new contribution to her series.

The Ultimate Lockdown

If you ever feel at risk of sinking into depression over your social life during these socially isolated and distanced times, or look at your store cupboard and wonder whether you can hold out until the next Ocado delivery, or indeed try to to get a slot and fail, A Woman in the Polar Night by Christianne Ritter is the book you need to have by your side.

There are a number of recipes which have come from interviews, which contributors have included, or which we have put up during events like the Euro2020 Competition. They are all gathered together here.