Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, What Are You Reading?

Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan is the founding editor of Apartment Therapy’s and writes the weekly email dispatch. She’s also the author of one of my favorite baking books The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. In addition to writing the monthly cookbook review column for House Beautiful, she also does freelance recipe development and other writing projects. Her new book about cooking for a crowd will be published in spring of 2011. I knew Sara Kate would have an interesting answer when I asked what are you reading?

Sara Kate:
New Yorker - I recently signed up again. I don't pressure myself to read the whole thing. Just a taste here and there. It's a great way to read pretty reliably good writers and as a writer, I need to keep that kind of inspiration in my reading life.

Spoon Fed by Kim Severson - I'm not done yet. It's a very entertaining and also heart-wrenching account of the life, so far, of a writer I really admire. I'm going to finish it at the beach this weekend.

Serve it Forth by MFK Fisher - I'll admit this if my first time reading this classic, Fisher's first book. It takes you to another place, one filled with perfumed Parisian morsels and Roman pies. It's next to the bed and I find I can pick it up and just have little nibbles.

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee - I keep this around and browse through it now and then, to try to give myself the sense that I can re-live my failed high school career of science in a realm for which I care more deeply, that of the kitchen.

Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman - I'm a gardener and trying to figure out how to get more food out of my garden. As a cook, my passion for feeding people isn't confined to what goes on in the kitchen or at the dining table. I like growing the stuff too.

Thank you for participating, Sara Kate! Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.

Previous WAYR posts:
Jaden Hair
Michael Ruhlman
Monica Bhide
Michael Natkin
Sara Roahen
Andrea Nguyen
David Lebovitz
Rick Bayless
Tara Austen Weaver
Mollie Katzen
Deborah Madison
Soup Peddler


  1. I'm enjoying this series very much. I'm learning about so many books I must look at. :)

  2. That book, serve it forth sounds interesting.

  3. Could you take a picture of your book shelf? I bet you have a large collection of cookbooks!

  4. I loved "Spoon Fed,'' too. But Kim can do no wrong. She's one of the best writers around.

  5. This is the second time today I've heard of Spoon Fed. It must be a sign...

  6. Hi Lisa,

    You had a post in the past regarding sourdough wheat bread. In that post you mentioned the book "Breads from the La Brea Bakery". I attempted to get a starter going and unfortunately on day three mold formed. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to get this starter going?



  7. Carl: I've been playing with bread all week, and I really enjoy having my sourdough starter. I did start mine in the winter last year, and we have less mold in the air at that time of year. Mold forming is a sign that there's too much bacteria in the mix, and it's out of balance. Check your starter every day, and if you see mold, remove it right away. If it's possible to remove all the mold, you can keep the culture and continue to grow it. Then, add a cup of flour and a cup of water and mix.

    The culture needs air for the yeast to build, and if you have the container covered too thoroughly that could be why mold formed. I covered my culture with cheesecloth held in place by a rubberband. For feeding and storing my starter, I keep it in a glass bowl covered with a plate. You want just enough of a cover to keep out airborn dust and any insects that may become interested, but air needs to get to the starter.

    Good luck!

  8. The only author I know is McGee and I have a lot of respect for him.
    Interesting to find out about the others.

  9. I am not sure how I got on her list, but I get her weekly email dispatch- gives me some stimulating ideas for things!

  10. I'm with Angie, I'd love to see a picture of your bookshelf. I'd also love to know what you're reading now,

    As for Sara Kate's selections, I love them. Harold McGee is a favorite, I've tried and failed to read it straight through. I've adopted her approach, pick a topic and then read up on it. I had a chance to listen to him speak and I have to say he's just as fun to follow in person.


Blogging tips