Ragtag & Sundry

A periodic news and reading roundup

(or: the most interesting, weird and worthwhile ways I procrastinated of late).

Snacks of the Great Scribblers by Wendy MacNaughton

I’m spending less and less time procrastinating, so my ragtag and sundries are fewer and more far between. In part, this may be due to my mind’s sneaky circumventions around the definition of procrastination – a lot can be legitimized in the name of ‘research’ and enlightenment.

Some things are not evasions though, if through no other reason that they cannot be avoided: one has to eat, one admits.

I actually adore cooking, it’s not a chore, and I probably spend more time cooking, baking, eating and nibbling than anything else I do in a day or a week.

I also like to read about it and love that there are so many literature-inspired cooks out there. It’s unlikely I’ll ever make a Harry Potter Gillywater but I dig that there are folks out there who do.

This week the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Mo Yan who is best known for this novel Red Sorghum. In ‘A Couscous of World LiteratureThe New Yorker ponders the myriad carbohydrate-inspired fictions such as  The Catcher in the Rye, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Tortilla Flat, Men of Maize, and a Condoleeza Rice biography!

The New England Journal of Medicine, god bless them, examines correlations between Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function and Nobel Laureates. I fucking love Science!

Which is why I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated from America’s Test Kitchen. I love their rigorous, scientific approach to cooking but I mostly love their beautiful magazine and its muted, old-fashioned foodie illustrations.


It therefore surprises me that I only yesterday heard about McSweeneys food, art and literature quarterly Lucky Peach. I guess I was out of the country last year when it really took off. It’s on my Birthday Christmas Wish-List that nobody knows about because wish-lists are presumptuous and vaguely shameful and therefore I always get soap and candles and hats I’d never wear.

Santa, if you read my blog, I also think I’ve been good enough this year to deserve Penguin’s Great Food Series. Think about it. Love, Deborah.




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