Made up baking and two good books

31 July 2020

I love to follow recipes exactly, maybe because there's so much to learn about good cooking. But lately I feel totally fine winging it in the kitchen, which is how we ended up with this apple galette one Sunday night. I found some leftover shortcrust pastry in the freezer (maybe from this summer pie), had half a jar of butterscotch sauce and we always have apples (and lately, ice cream).

We're trying a weekly produce box again, in an attempt to go to the shops less and eat what's in season. It's been the best excuse to consult my cookbooks and make some meals that aren't work related! I've also learnt that this is potato and pumpkin season. I have so many potatoes and am going to make gnocchi tomorrow night.

Normally I try to read books on my Kindle or get them from the library to save money and shelf space but this period (pandemic + job stress) seemed like the very best time to buy Kevin Kwan's new book Sex & Vanity. I remember reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy during periods of disruption. I listened to the first book while driving between Wagga Wagga and Canberra when Tony was doing an artist residency here and I was waiting out a restructure at work. I carried the final book of the series, Rich People Problems, to solo dinners in Adelaide, while travelling for work. It kept me company all the way home from Darwin to Canberra. 

I managed to make his latest book last a little over a week and loved how escapist and funny it was. I really hope to watch it as a movie one day. I'm now reading Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, who also host the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. I've never wanted to hold books more than I do in this mostly stay at home time, when it feels like there's very little time spent off screens.

Today has been especially nice because I took the day off work. It still feels strange to take a day off when there's no where to go but I'm really glad I did. This past month has been intense and I needed a day to decompress and not be accountable to anyone. So I slept in, made my own teriyaki sauce (I'm suddenly addicted to Adam Liaw videos and highly recommend this chicken and egg oyakodon) and listened to Michelle Obama's new podcast

A couple of other things to share:

We loved watching Indian Matchmaker on Netflix and maybe got through it too quickly.

Julia Ostro's Italian-inspired sausage tray bake is so comforting. Slightly spicy sausages bake on top of potatoes and a lemony tomato sauce. Here's a video of me demo-ing the recipe

I've been listening to Coronacast most days, it's a 10 minute podcast from the ABC that helps me understand the latest coronavirus news. After listening to a few episodes about masks, I reckon these look good because they have three layers, including one water resistant one. 

We rented Greed last weekend, which stars Steve Coogan and Isla Fisher. It's funny and a bit dark. 

John Lewis wrote this beautiful essay before he died and it was published in the NY Times on the day of his funeral. "Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe."

Also in US politics, AOC's notes that shaped her viral speech this week. "What is there to say to a man who isn't listening?" Her caption on being accountable to herself (and for yourself) stayed with me. 

Have a lovely weekend.


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