Hi friends, happy Friday! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I missed you and this space. How was your September? Mine was a blur: I started work at Phaidon; I edited two books I wrote this past year; I went to London for work and came back with a cold so fierce I’m still fighting it.
On the other hand, Andrew got the beloved yo-yo biscuits from Ottolenghi* as a souvenir. This doesn’t seem fair to me: I get a cold; and Andrew gets biscuits, but I suppose jet lag + suppressed immune system (thanks, pregnancy!) is a perfect combination of ingredients to yield something resembling a cold, except this was so much worse.
Something is going around here and over on the other side of the pond – some vicious bug – that takes hold of you and makes you cough for about three weeks, no matter the medicine, rest, what have you.
So – between work, two books, a cold, and this tiny human I’m growing, September wiped me out. And so here we are, October 3. Erev Yom Kippur. Guess who’s not fasting?
Guess who’s also barely figured out how to make dinner on weeknights? That’s right – me. It’s not the cooking – well, sometimes when I get home late it is – it’s the planning, the balance of full time work + freelance book work I am committed to completing, that get me. And things come up. Lovely friends come through town last minute and you drop your homemade dinner plans to see them. Or you get held up by work and come home entirely too late, so you cheat and call takeout. But we’re slowly falling into a pattern here, and I’m happy about that.
If you’re observing Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy fast. Otherwise, have a lovely weekend, and hopefully we’ll meet back here again next Friday if not sooner. xo, olga
All the comments on every recipe blog. Yup.
Banned words on Eater – I love this entire list.
An amazing piece on late bloomers, in terms of creativity, by Malcolm Gladwell – a must-read.
For all the New Yorkers, , and NYC visitors, how memorizing $19.05 can help you outsmart the MTA.
Not only do I love Vogue’s 73 Questions, but this segment with Reese Witherspoon makes me love her even more.
A great guide on how to store your groceries.
And something to contradict common wisdom on how to store tomatoes.
And now, some stuff on Russia… bear with me.
Stunning color photos of pre-Revolutionary Russia.
One of my favorite journalists, Masha Gessen, on the celebrated, and courageous Russian novelist, Lyudmila Ulitskaya.
Another piece by Gessen, this one – a book review – on the life expectancy of Russia’s residents and so, so many deaths. A sad but important read if you are at all interested in the politics of the region.
And to close out the loop, on the Russian/Soviet note, but a happy one for a change, here are some of the ways the former USSR commemorated its dogs in space.
*Ottolenghi’s yo-yo biscuits are amazing citrus-and-passionfruit scented sandwich cookies. They are tremendous and when Andrew and I were in London three or four years ago, we tried them on a lark and were immediately hooked. When Ottolenghi’s namesake book came out, we were the first in line to get it, eager to make those biscuits… or cookies as we call them in the US. Unfortunately, the cookies were not in the book. I found out why a few weeks ago: apparently no one wanted to share recipes for things sold at the restaurants as there was a concern people would stop coming in if they knew how to make everything themselves. I wasn’t going to argue with them (nor do I know if this is factually true – just what I was told by a salesperson), but this strikes me as erroneous thinking. I know how to make many dishes from Franny’s fabulous cookbook (heck, I tested a bunch of these recipes), and I still love eating there because Franny’s. In fact, I think, this will get your more loyal clients instead. Do you agree or disagree? Would you ever share a recipes directly from your restaurant (if you had one – and if you have one and speak from experience, even better)?