A Backlog of Books, Podcasts, TV, Movies, and Food

Well, the year is half over and I’ve set myself a new financial year resolution (though not related to finance) to keep on top of Very Good Things. Here are a few highlights since my last, long ago post in March:

BOOKS
Conversations with Friends
by Sally Rooney – her second book, Normal People, swept me away so I had to read her first book. I didn’t want it to end.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – this was a book club pick and wasn’t on my personal list to read but I loved it and became quite teary by the end to think who has taken their place in the White House.
Can’t wait to read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, available in July in Australia.

PODCASTS
Clementine Ford on Wilosophy – she’s warm, open and intelligent and he really struggles with this interview but credit to him, he openly admits it.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross – the queen of interviews talks with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (13 May) and Christina Applegate (5 June).

TV
Chernobyl
– HBO’s five-part series is chilling.
The Letdown season 2 – the Barossa episode is hilarious.
Fleabag season 2 – just when I thought nothing could top the first season, along comes a second and it’s perfect. Waller-Bridge is also a writer on the brilliant Killing Eve.
Easy season 3 – I particularly loved the episodes about the couple who are navigating an open marriage.
I’m currently watching the second season of Big Little Lies and could possibly be enjoying it more than the first.

MOVIES
Free Solo – a documentary that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.
Always Be My Maybe – after Chernobyl, light comedy was in order and this was funny, sweet and easy viewing. Worth watching just for Keanu.

FOOD
Everything on Fad Free Kitchen – a shameless plug for a site I do with my dietitian friend that’s all about quick and healthy food using versatile, everyday ingredients, but honestly, I rarely cook from anywhere else.
Kindred restaurant in Darlington – order the cabbage with pine nuts, currant, pecorino and buttermilk dressing to go with your pick of their excellent pastas.

Samin Nosrat’s SALT FAT ACID HEAT Cooking Documentary on Netflix is Pure Joy

Salt Fat Acid Heat is a captivating four-part series on Netflix and is based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book of the same name.

Samin believes that if you can master these four elements, you can master the kitchen. In this new series, she travels to home kitchens of Italy, the southern islands of Japan, the heat of the Yucatán and back to Berkeley’s Chez Panisse – where she started her culinary career – to demystify and explore the central principles of what makes food delicious and how each of us can easily incorporate those elements into every dish.

If your heart is still racing from the tension of Bodyguard and you’re after something more uplifting to remind you of the good things the world has to offer, let Salt Fat Acid Heat soothe you. It’s pure joy, beautifully shot (reminiscent of the excellent Chef’s Table), with the only downside being you’ll want to leave your life and start a new one like hers.

Watch the trailer.

Watch Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix.

Fad Free Kitchen – Quick, Healthy Recipes, No Overhyped “Superfoods”

If you want quick, healthy recipes without the fuss of using overhyped, expensive superfoods and spending ages in the kitchen, check out Fad Free Kitchen.

Fad Free Kitchen is a collaboration between a dietitian and a writer who are time poor but love to eat healthy food. They refuse to use to overhyped and expensive “superfoods” in their recipes (because there is no such thing as a superfood) and will never ask you to ferment anything.

Read the Fad Free Kitchen story.

Follow Fad Free Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

(Full disclosure: I am one half of the collaboration).

Very Good Things for a Rainy Long Weekend

How is it almost the middle of the year already? Here are my recent top picks for TV, books, podcasts and food. Very Good Things to get you through a rainy long weekend.

Watch
Killing Eve – when Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the writers, you have to watch it. View trailer, watch on ABC iView.
The Defiant Ones – history is made when two unexpected music moguls come together. A four-part documentary series about Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Watch it on Netflix.
Sour Grapes – a fascinating documentary about fine wine fraud on a grand scale. Watch it on Netflix.
Atlanta season 2 – that ‘Teddy Perkins’ episode. Whoa. Watch it on SBS On Demand.

Read
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide.
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell – an astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined O’Farrell’s life.
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – a page-turning thriller, the movie is already in development. Great holiday read.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – traces the intertwined fates of a picture-perfect family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

Listen (I’ve been in a bit of a podcast slump recently but my friend just gave me a bunch to get over it so stay tuned):
Revisionist History Season 3 – Burden of Proof (episode 2).
This American Life – #339 act one (Break-up) and Five Women.

Eat Out
Two restaurants I’ve revisited recently after years and they are still excellent, particularly if you’re after a cosy winter vibe – Alpha (Greek) in Sydney CBD with a stunning bar upstairs and Sagra (Italian) in Darlinghurst for perfect pasta.

Eat In
Curried Fish Pie from River Cottage.
Jill Dupleix’s Salmon in a Light Fragrant Broth. I like to up the spinach and chilli for a green hot hit.

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria – Fine Food, Wine, Beaches and More

An easy one hour drive from Melbourne CBD (15 minutes longer if coming from the airport), Mornington Peninsula is a compact area with a diverse array of activities, ticking lots of boxes for a perfect holiday destination – beautiful beaches, renowned restaurants and vineyards, a thriving art scene, thermal springs, pristine national parks and sporting and adventure activities for those that can muster the energy. My first home swap experience exceeded expectations and landed us in Arthurs Seat, perched on a hilltop with stunning views of Port Phillip Bay. A well-positioned base for exploring the area, we cracked through a lot of the recommendations kindly and expertly put together by our host. View my best food, wine and other picks from the area. Visit Mornington Peninsula.

Chat 10 Looks 3 Christmas Special Podcast – 2016 Recommendations

Chat 10 Looks 3 is a podcast in which Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales talk about books, television, radio, movies, food, politics and whatever else they feel like. It’s an unrehearsed, casual chat and I love the banter between these two friends. They’ve just released their Christmas special episode which is great if you’re looking for some reading, viewing or eating recommendations these holidays. I can vouch for two books I’ve read on their list this year: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf. If you can’t spare the 1 hour 40 minute listen, go straight to their list of recommendations. Listen to the podcast.

Tramsheds at Harold Park – Sydney’s New Food Destination

Tramsheds at Harold Park opened this weekend in Sydney’s Inner West and houses a plethora of dining options:

  • Bekya (Middle Eastern)
  • Bodega 1904 (Spanish/Latin American)
  • Belle’s Hot Chicken (chicken and natural wine)
  • Butcher and The Farmer (Jared Ingersoll)
  • DUST (bakery/pizza);
  • Flour Eggs Water (by A Tavola)
  • Fish & Co. (sustainable seafood); Garçon (by The Little Marionette)
  • Gelato Messina (needs no introduction)
  • Mama’s Buoi (Vietnamese)
  • Osaka Trading Co. (by Tokyo Bird)
  • Sir Chapel (bistro and brewery)

As well as… a supermarket; cellar; nail bar; hairdresser; boxing gym; pharmacist; medical centre; and bulk natural/organic food store. See the full list of vendors here.

‘Artisan Lane’ will be a flexible space in the Tramsheds for the providores to share their skills with the community. It will house pop-up restaurants and host regular market stalls, events, education sessions and activities.

Tramsheds at Harold Park is located at 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge, NSW.

When I Get A Minute

 

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Photo from ABC iView

A 15-minute weekly show hosted by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb where they discuss culture for the chronically time poor. Described by the ABC as “an occasionally shambolic conversation about books, movies, TV shows, cooking and other cultural obsessions.” Each episode is shot around Sydney whilst they’re chatting over something delicious and they never take themselves too seriously. It’s only available to watch on ABC iView. The pair also have a podcast of a similar nature Chat 10 Looks 3.

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