Weekly Reader 34

A girl sat in bed, facing the camera
Photo by Juno Calypso

I’ve missed a few weeks again, but thankfully I have a real excuse this time. I recently moved down to London and into a flat (for the next 5 months) to start working at the Delfina Foundation. Since then I’ve been settling back into things, starting to ride my bike again, and enjoying the slow, grinding, somewhat soggy start of Spring. The photo above is by Juno Calypso, whose work will be at Photo London this week. I’m taking a week off my usual job to work at the fair, so if you end up there, or anywhere around Somerset House, then give me a message on Twitter or Instagram, and let’s hang out.

  • Excuse my ignorance, but I’m somewhat of a novice. How exactly do I repot my houseplants? More to the point, when and why should I do this, and how do I ensure each specimen is fed and watered appropriately so they thrive and continue to grow?, Nik Southern, The Agony Plant on How to Repot a Houseplant in AnOther. I (thankfully) don’t have any children, nor any pets, the only things I have to care for are my laptop and my houseplants. Unfortunately my cacti, palms, & rosemary haven’t made the journey down to London yet, I really didn’t fancy a risky train and bike journey. So, I’m looking to get some new plants, if anyone knows of particularly good (read, cheap) shops then please let me know.
  • Rachel Roddy’s Kitchen Essentials in The Guardian and 7 Kitchen Basics for Penniless Graduates in Bon Appetit. I’m a complete sucker for Must Have Kitchen Essentials articles, I have an acute sense of fear-of-missing-out, yet at the same time I know that in five, let alone ten, years we’ll be able to look back and laugh at the tack plastic that filled our rental kitchens (fondue sets and spiralisers?). The Bon Appetit article is fairly useful, my enamel cooking pot is one the best things I own, and timeless.
  • “The king of mangoes is undoubtedly the alphonso mango, unbeatable for its buttery flesh, incredible fragrance and perfectly balanced sweetness. It’s available from the beginning of April until the end of June”, One box of mangoes, four different recipe ideas in The Guardian. Meera Sodha’s book Made in India was one of the few books that made it down to London with me. I’ve preordered her new vegetable focussed book Fresh India. I’ve yet to find any Alphonso mangoes, but her instagram says there’s a shop on Drummond Street, so I’ll be making a visit this week.
  • “Every entry in the book is a highlight, from Marina Abramović’s aphrodisiac, the “opposite of a recipe” – no food, no sleep, no tv, no sex for seven days, before bathing in almond milk – to the more traditional offering of Subdoh Gupta’s Goan prawn curry”, What Artists Eat in AnOther.
  • “Always full salad: usually pickled red cabbage, onions, and then the standard lettuce, tomato, cucumber. Heavy on mint sauce and just a showing of chili. I don’t mind a little bit of spice but I can only take so much”, What Your Favourite Chefs Order in Their Kebabs After a Night Out in Munchies. I am proud to count kebabs amongst my favourite food, and to consider myself a connoisseur of them: Naan is essential, lamb tikka, with everything; salad, onion, green chilli, mint, chilli & garlic sauce; on top. Abdul’s, favourite kebab shop in Manchester, even puts a little ginger in their salad.
  • “Food friends and foes drew into two distinct camps in my mind, and I saw ill-health at every turn and in every mouthful. I became fearful and thin. I had found wellness. I was not well”, Ruby Tandoh in Vice on her miserable experience of Wellness & Clean Eating. Ruby Tandoh is one of the best food critics around, her approach is at odds with most of the developing culture of anxiety and avoidance of food. This longform piece talks through the nonsense and outright dangerous misinformation that’s currently being put out by a number of writers, and which I’ve seen play out on Instagram and in conversation.
  • “It shouldn’t be good to celebrate the suppression of a deeply meaningful ritual, especially since that ritual was suppressed by people who had no understanding of its role in disease transmission. At the same time, however, it’s important to acknowledge that if that ritual had not been suppressed, the Fore people would have disappeared”, Cannibalism as Culinary Tradition in Lucky Peach.
  • when I was buying the milk, every day, I would say to the person at the check-out, always good to start the day with a cold glass of milk. Tom Whyman’s Milk Scheme.