Books, bites & bakes

Challenges keep me motivated in my pursuit of the things I love doing. Without Nanowrimo, I wouldn’t have written 50k words last November. Without Goodreads reading challenges, I wouldn’t read as much as I do. Really, it’s kind of pathetic that I am simply too inclined to procrastination that I can’t just do the things I like to do without rewarding myself with a sense of gratification. Or is that sad? Is that just life? Anyway? 


Last year I made myself a Cooking Bucket List challenge, and despite not completing my own self-set challenge, I really enjoyed cooking new dishes and expanding my knowledge in the kitchen. Have a flick through this tag to see what I cooked last year.

This year, I wanted to make another cooking challenge, but since I haven’t actually completed my first one, I didn’t want to go down the route of just tasking myself to make random plates again.

This time I’ve decided to combine two loves; cooking and reading! 

In 2022, I aim to create a meal inspired by almost every book I read. I say almost because currently, I’m reading my sixth book of 2022: my fourth didn’t really mention food at all, the fifth mentioned food but wasn’t specific enough for me to have something to go off of. My sixth book of this year is Ian Banks’ the Wasp Factory, and as I’m not walking into this book blind, I just hope that I’m not inspired to hunger while reading. 

I am very publicly a fan of Binging with Babish; the YouTube show really deepened a blossoming love for and interest in cooking for me. I’ve been thinking of making a meal inspired by a book the way he does a meal inspired by a TV show or film for a long time, hoping the homage works as a thanks for the inspiration.

Food in books, to me, represents nourishment. An in depth description of a meal can be tender, intimate, maybe even sexy. On the flipside it can be grotesque, stomach-turning, or horrific. It can be sad and sentimental, it can be innocent and hopeful, but I find it’s never pointless or boring; it never lacks significance. 

So, come along and find out what makes me hungry in every book I read. I’ll be starting with my first book of the year, which I’ll be writing about next week: Saltwater by Jessica Andrews. In Andrews novel and short story ‘The Fishmonger,’ food, particularly fish and seafood, represent something vital, generational, intrinsic. Saltwater takes place in the working class North East of England, where a favourite dish of mines has its fair mention – so, we’ll be starting with fish and chips!

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