#5: Delighting, one dish at a time (in the kitchen)
A year of eating through Bre Graham's newsletter; the Lecker miniseries
If you’re reading this Sunday morning, afternoon, even early evening, congratulations: you’ve got time to take my recommendation just in time.
I subscribed to Bre Graham’s Just to Delight newsletter right at the start of the year. Every Sunday evening since, I’ve got an email containing a recipe, suggested eating for the week and a story behind the food. It’s a formidable consistency - and I wouldn’t blame her for taking a break sometime soon.
In many respects, I’ve cooked the year through her recipes. Boxty in spring, with wild garlic my friend posted through my letterbox after a trip back home by the woodlands of East Sussex (a far more bountiful crop than I could get off the Parkland Walk or Highbury Fields, though I did try). Sesame banana bread for a Sunday afternoon project that will see me through (half) the working week. Marmalade-coated veggie sausages when I’ve felt adventurous; olive and anchovy pasta when I’ve needed the comfort of a big bowl of the stuff and a low-to-medium amount of patience (reducing one tin of tomatoes down till it takes a sticky jammy consistency was relatively quick, if you fancy halving the recipe like I did).
I still would very much recommend the food writing newsletters I got into last year - Vittles, Alicia Kennedy - but this is about cooking. I suspect we’ll see a Bre Graham cookbook in the coming couple of years and you’ll want to count yourself as an early adopter.
Separately, as someone with an interest in British social history, I really enjoyed Lecker’s podcast mini-series, Kitchens. It’s actually not just about the history of the British kitchen, though anyone who fancies hearing about post-war house building projects won’t be too disappointed. It covers their present use, and absence, in the lives of people in Britain today: recent migrants housed in hotels with only a kettle to facilitate hot meals; the limits of the standard fitted kitchen for anyone who doesn’t fit within their height and mobility assumptions; people sharing kitchens in non-family households.