Sunday reading | 21.09.2014

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London in autumn. Fluttering leaves. Children resolutely pacing off to new schools, distracted by little else than conker-strewn sidewalks. Baskets laden with pears and quinces, apples and pumpkins. The golden light of an Indian summer.

No season is a more inspiring time to cook, bake, and preserve. I am thinking of this soup, a cake, plum jams and quick pickles. And green tomato chutney.

To know what to look forward to, in the weeks to come, this clever UK site breaks the year down month by month, and reaches beyond predictable fruit and vegetables to include meat and fish. Very useful! (There is a US sister site, which doesn’t seem as complete.)

Autumn is the time to curl up next to a window, to catch those ever ephemeral rays, with a stack of good books. Here are the two that have recently caught my attention. Bitter: A Taste of the World’s most Dangerous Flavor is Jennifer McLagan’s latest book. After Bones, Fat, and Odd Bits, McLagan delves into the misunderstood world of bitter, “the most interesting taste because we agree on it the least.” I agree. It sounds fascinating, and I love bitter. Dan Jurafsky’s The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu also sounds like a very interesting read. For anyone who writes about food certainly, and everyone who reads about it.

The wind rouses, the air cools, the park is already full of jackets and scarves. Autumn is irresistible.

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