What We’re Reading – Sept 1, 2013


We met on Twitter, interest piqued by each other’s profiles, and conversed about our shared passions and interests in 140 characters or less. We eventually did brunch to determine if virtual admiration would lead to in-person friendship. It did, and we continue to meet regularly over coffee and something sweet.

Jodi is a professional editor; Deborah is a chef. We both like to write for public consumption, and we both read — a lot. We find the term “blogger” ill fitting (the search is on for a bespoke identifier) and agree that there is an abundance of good food storytelling online — via narrative, recipes, and images — crafted by passionate amateurs like us. We’re publishing our favourite finds on the 1st and 15th of each month. Subscribe to either of our feeds to get our updates, and join in the hunt — leave a comment to tell us about your food-writing discoveries.


“Truth is, I’m trying to make this book as great as I can make it. That means I’m baking all day, ironing tea towels as backdrops, and eating chips for dinner. I’m totally not complaining.” *belly laugh*

“My point was that cooking is an activity, so we need direct language that shows action. Active verbs are the ticket, an effective and efficient way to show movement.” Great language for recipe writing by a few heavyweights.

Soon, there will be nothing left of summer but a rush of memories: the roadside blueberry stand, the PEI lobster, endless cobs of corn, sweet steam filling the kitchen as jam boils down in the pot, and what it felt like to turn our faces up to be warmed by the sun.

It wouldn’t be a roundup without Rachel: “Peace was short-lived as I was joined by a significant proportion of Rome’s Sicilian community. The waiter with a jaunty black cap (now with my son over his shoulder fireman style) filled our table void with advert-heavy paper mats, orange envelopes full of cutlery, four tulip glasses, and menus as padded as Joan Collin’s shoulders in 1983.” The always-spot-on storytelling leads to a lovely granita al melone.

The inevitable tumble of one thing into the next: “But I’ve been distracted by the tumble of summer tomatoes and sweet melons and the enormous and occasionally confusing selection of exotic looking summer squash and zucchini. Summer is still in the center of the stage but the slow turning has started.”


We’ll happily share any recipe, this one for blueberry jam, from the soon to be a classic preserving book, Kevin West’s Saving the Season.

“They are my adaptation of Blue Bottle’s Double Chocolate Cookie, the epitome of a rich, gooey, chocolate cookie. It can be eaten alone, layered with some ice cream, or mixed into a sundae. The addition of almond meal, which I have been sneaking into virtually everything I bake these days, helps make these cookies incredibly moist and tender.” On our must make list.

Rémoulade is really a fancypants word for what basically amounts to tartar sauce. This one is vaguely New Orleans style in that it has mayo, pickles and paprika (although it isn’t quite as veggie packed) and I think it would be lovely on a po boy but it is also great with shrimp and crab or on a sandwich or you can dip fries in it.”

Charred heirloom broccoli and nectarine salad. That Heidi Swanson knows her way around good ingredients.

A traditional Spanish torta as vehicle for the current deluge of summer squash.

Homemade conserva. We’re fantasizing about giant slabs of it drying in the hot Calabrian sun.

Watermelon-feta salad. Yawn, right? It’s been done to death. Amanda Hesser ditches the feta and adds tomato, cumin, and fennel for a whole new take on this late-summer dish.

Peach ketchup just might be the best thing in which to dip an old-cheddar-and-arugula grilled cheese sandwich.


Meals Interrupted.

El Banquete. Portraits from food.

National flags, made from ingredients native to each country. Where’s the maple candy Canadian flag?

Scenes of summer, as only Aran Goyoaga could capture them.

Picture essay of good ol’ southern pimento cheese.


It just feels like we’re starting again…” Alice makes lemonade out of lemons.


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Author: Deborah Reid

Pro-chef living a delicious life. Twenty five years working within striking distance of a gas range. My appetite is as large as my enthusiasm.


  1. What a wonderful list of things to read, look at, make and eat. So happy to be included. – thank you