April Roundup

What I’ve been reading, eating, seeing, and generally digging this month.

I only managed to get through two books this month, but, surprise, surprise,  they both happened to be food-related.  The Saucier’s Apprentice is an easy read (a prerequisite for anything I’m going to attempt reading at 8am in a crowded subway car) and a fun look into the cooking school vacation circuit in Europe – I have plenty of pages bookmarked with vacation ideas. It has surprisingly mixed reviews on Amazon, but I enjoyed it.  Extra Virginity takes an in depth look at the olive oil industry, providing the history, science, and culture that surrounds olive oil.  It takes a particularly hard look at the state of the industry today, which is wrought with fraud and corruption.  An interesting look at a topic I knew very little about.

I can’t stop listening to White Noise’s new album, Angela’s Mashes.  White Noise is a 20-something mashup artist who in my opinion is 10 times better than GirlTalk – his mixes are creative and perfectly executed.  90% of my runs include one of his albums as a soundtrack (although I think his older album, Spoiler Alert, is my favorite for running).  My favorite tracks on this new album are T.D.S.F.A. and Too Many Lights.  Check it out.

Delicious Boston eats?  The truffled burrata and arugula salad at Via Matta is maybe one of my favorite dishes of all time, and I had it three times this month.  It’s perfect, and surprisingly filling.  It doesn’t hurt that Via Matta is about 30 feet from my office.  I also had a great dining experience at The Blue Room in Kendall on my birthday.  The food was solid, if nothing groundbreaking (although the arancini with genovese pesto were really, really good), but the service really made the night memorable for me – a waitress who brings a free appetizer, free creme brulee (how did she know??), and tops off your wine just because it’s your birthday gets five stars in my book.

In my own kitchen, this butternut squash and pear soup is the best butternut squash or sweet potato soup I’ve ever made – all the veggies get roasted before being souped, which gives the end product an amazing depth of flavor and creaminess.  And these toasted coconut and toffee cookies are like crack – they are incredible.  Make them.

As part of Cambridge Science Festival I went to an interesting presentation on the science of dirt and how it relates to agriculture.  Did you know that one tomato seed has the genetic potential to produce 150 tomatoes, but on average only produces 8 due to lack of soil minerals?  The guy who spoke, Dan Kittredge, was very bright and engaging, and is working to educate farmers about how to make their foods more nutrient dense.  You can check out his program at Real Food Campaign.

And of course, as you can see, I’ve been so excited about the fact that it’s spring.  I’ve been bringing my camera with me out on the weekends and even on nice mornings for my commute, and every fresh burst of color brings me a little more inspiration.

That’s all.  Apologies for no cookbook of the month this month!  I had one in mind, but I didn’t have a chance to finish testing it.  You’ll see it soon though – maybe I’ll even make May a two-fer.

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