Reading, cooking, baking

While not posting much last weekend, I haven’t been idle. Didn’t do any baking as was hiking in Lake District for four days. Took The Hunger Games trilogy on kindle and read it in five or so days, quite an achievement considering we were out walking 9-5pm every day. In rain and wind, had a marvellous time and I was early in bed, early to rise so plenty of reading time. Anyway, liked The Hunger Games a lot – more than I thought I would, quite powerful but simply written, to the point. Was pretty impressed.

When we got back I finally finished The Lunar Men by Jenny Uglow.

Have wanted to read this book for years, finally bought it a year ago and haven’t had a chance to read it before. Reading is usually minimal between October-June while I’m studying on top of work, so have lots of books to catch up with over summer. The Lunar Men is about the men from Birmingham’s Lunar Society, loosely a club of scientists, philosophers, inventors, doctors who regularly met to discuss ideas in the second half of the eighteenth century. I’m quite interested in the history of science and did a course last year on this period in history (or rather 1780-1830), which I adored. The book is wonderful and the people that populate it, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgewood, James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestly, Joseph Wright of Derby and others are fascinating. Recommended read for anyone interested in the beginnings of Industrial Revolution and, of course, history of science.

The other week, while doing a bit of work at Taste of London, I spotted a rather generous 30% discount on Bloomsbury books stand so got these:

Very exciting! River Cottage Veg book a friend said she got and liked and I needed some new veggie ideas, the dishes I like the sound of most are always veggie curries and come autumn, think I’ll make every single one. Lots and lots of lovely ideas. Not that I don’t eat meat but I don’t think it’s necessary to eat meat every day.

The third book in the pile is River Cottage Handbook book on Preserves – not that I’ve got any space for jars of jams but am thinking of making chutneys. Have only had a little look through  it and it does look very useful. It was only a tenner anyway. So was the River Cottage Bread book on top. It’s got a very good step by step guide with lots of pictures for kneading, shaping and so on. Very useful and just gives a little more information than Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet which I’ve been using for the past 3-4 months. I’ve also now made most loaves from Dan’s book.

Finally, Leith’s Baking Bible does look to be exactly that, very extensive and detailed. Both Leith’s and River Cottage books go into a lot of detail on sourdough bread, which is the main reason I got them. I also hardly ever buy cookbooks so this was a lovely treat.


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