What to say? Overcome with joy at finding them in a council public library, I actually took photos of the Encyclopaedia of Food and Culture (edited by Solomon H. Katz and William Woys Weaver) and The Cambridge World History of Food (edited by Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas). I took out my iPhone in Hornsby Council Library and took a picture. Of my textbooks. They aren’t as pretty as this one on my desk, so you got it instead. But they are most definitely there, on my phone.
You have to understand something about my masters if you are to begin to understand why I took those photos. Studying food in the humanities has been one of the best professional and personal decisions I have made. Intelligent and scholarly discussion about food issues? Yes please. Honour for the centuries of human culture expressed and shaped through food interactions? Yes again. A chance to develop, and actually delight in writing about something I feel deeply about? Oh, yes. Yes indeed. However, interesting content and the convenience of online learning aside. It has been a lonely road. Yes, my mum and my husband read my essays. Yes, my dad listens and my grandma hears the stories second hand from mum. But these are issues I want to shout about, I want to announce from a podium, I want to show and teach and demonstrate how important they are to the world, to anyone and everyone who would listen. Who needs to know. People and their food are bound up in a precious and interdependent relationship that we ignore or neglect to our peril. But, for now, my place is at my computer. Typing more notes. Reading more books, adding more references.
These are some of the books that caught my eye that day last week in Hornsby; and some have made it all the way from my uni in Adelaide via courier and postal systems;
On Food Writing:
(because I wanted some good examples as I am studying this as a subject this semester)
Kitchen Table Memoirs; Edited by Nick Richardson for Foodbank.
Plenty and On Digestion, by Gay Bilson
Farmageddon: the True Cost of Cheap Meat, by Philip Lymbery and Isabel Oakeshott.
(because this really is an issue, and not just for cheap meat, all cheap food)
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child.
(because the movie, it is a classic and I am tempted to buy it every time I see it in a shop – maybe I’ll even have a go at the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe!)
Food Safari, by Maeve O’Meara
The French Women Don’t get Fat Cookbook, by Mireille Guiliano.
(because there really is something to delicious food in small serving sizes and I was curious)
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.
(because this appears to be the grandmother of many of the non-refined sugar, protein-from-pasture-raised animal-meat, fats-from-butter-and-cocoanut oils and lots of fermented-dairy-and-vegetable-dishes diets-come-live-come-eating-regimes and I was curious)
Dinner: a love Story, by Jenny Rosenstrach.
(because it is true and she’s a very experienced food blogger and I want to learn)
Assignment Research Books:
The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, by Alice Waters along with Alice Waters & The Chez Panisse, by Thomas McNamee.
(because I’m doing an assignment on Chez Panisse – a restaurant that evolved out of a particular time, moment and place and has remained grounded in those early influences throughout the years, to great success … hence a number of other books on my shelf are to do with the history of American cuisine with sections about the same restaurant)
9 books and a magazine on bee keeping
(because I’m also doing an assignment on Canberra Urban Honey – a great example of a food product with a distinctive urban terroir (a geographically and historically unique heritage that makes the product unique)).
Wish me luck as I read, process and write. Maybe one day I’ll tell you what I learnt!