Post#1000: Richard Till and Heston Blumenthal – Culinary mashup

Bloggers, readers, followers, commenters, observers, authors, poets – Thanks to you all for playing your part.
Thanks for helping the Christchurch City Libraries blog to the milestone of post number one thousand!

And coincidentally enough, it’s about that most celebratory of subjects – FOOD.

Richard Till, Christchurch cooking whiz, is the Alison Holst of the noughties. He’s got the Kiwi Kitchen series (and associated books), a column in the Sunday Star-Times, and some distinctive food focused tv ads. He did a nifty segment on TV3 about retro bakeware. Oh, and he was a popular presenter of a session at the Central Library as part of our 150th celebrations.

I was pleased to read an article in Beattie’s Book Blog (essential reading for anyone into books) -about Till’s new cookbook called Make it easy which is coming out next month (October). Richard Till:

presents novice cooks with a collection of recipes that can form the basis of an easy repertoire. Each dish has step-by-step colour photographs showing the ingredients and equipment required plus key stages of preparation.

Another cookbook looming deliciously on the horizon is Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck Cookbook. I first discovered Heston via his food column in the wonderful Sunday Times Style .

This book is touted as “the most desirable restaurant book ever published, now in a smaller format edition”. This is the chef who had snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream on the menu, and The Fat Duck has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by a peer group of top chefs.

For more cooking inspiration, see:

Shoe, meet different foot

A new book has arrived on our shelves, with the tongue-twisting title Wirtschaftswunder. It’s a documentary photo book published by Taschen about the ‘economic miracle’ that took place in West Germany after the World War II, covering everything from street scenes to posters, factories, farms, doctor’s offices – everything.

It got me thinking about some of the stories we don’t tend to hear or read in our media or our daily web crawl. With the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II all over our news, it doesn’t hurt to walk in some other people’s shoes, so I hunted down a couple of examples.

German newspaper Der Spiegel has a range of articles, features and photographs on its website, which give an insight into contemporary thoughts about the war. The Voice of Russia also commemorates what Russians know as the Great Patriotic War on its pages written in 2000.There are also some stunning photos of the Russian experience in the online Borodulin Collection. And of course NZHistory.net has its usual high standard of coverage of the New Zealand experience.

We have a lot to be thankful for in this country – the shoe could so easily have been on a different foot.

Be inspired by The Soloist

Last night I went to a preview of an inspirational new movie called The Soloist starring Robert Downey Jnr. and Jamie Foxx.  The movie is based on the true story of a chance encounter between Los Angeles Times reporter, Steve Lopez and a homeless musician, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, on the streets of Los Angeles.  Lopez hears Ayers playing his violin while walking the streets and is so fascinated by this man’s ability that he has to find out more about him and why he is now living on the streets.  Being the reporter that he is, he discovers that Ayers was once a student at the prestigous Juilliard School of Performing Arts.  There is a strong focus on the thousands of homeless people (90,000 in Greater Los Angeles!) and the conditions in which they live.  Alot of the movie was actually filmed Los Angeles Skid Row. 

Nathaniel’s story is fascinating and Jamie Foxx does an excellent job of portraying this haunted, talented man.  If you would like some background information on Nathaniel you should visit the website of the Los Angeles Times where you can read all of Steve Lopez’ articles about Nathaniel Ayers and watch an interview with them from 60 Minutes in America.  We also have Lopez’ book about his friendship with Ayers in the library, called The soloist : a lost dream, an unlikely friendship, and the redemptive power of music.  I thoroughly recommend The Soloist, particularly for those that prefer their movies to be based on reality.

Shelved Memories

For a dose of library nostalgia – and a peek at some of your library’s treasures – head over to Our City O-Tautahi and catch Christchurch City Libraries’ 150th anniversary exhibition, Shelved Memories. This exhibition brings together some interesting and unusual books from the Research Room of Christchurch City Libraries’ Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, along with archives, ephemera and memorabilia spanning the last 150 years of library service in Christchurch.

From old catalogue drawers, library smocks and storytime puppets to World War II ration books, 1981 Springbok Tour protest posters and the typescript for Margaret Mahy’s award-winning novel The Haunting, the exhibition provides a fascinating look at the story of our libraries. Check out excerpts from the library news-clippings scrapbooks and photo archives – glimpses into the interesting, often quirky and sometimes controversial life and history of Christchurch City Libraries.

While there you can also have a look at a 220 year-old geographical encyclopaedia, read the “in-house” newsletters produced on Scott’s Antarctic expeditions or peruse the fashions of the 1920s and 30s with The Ladies’ Mirror – just a few of the treasures from our Research Room.

The Libraries’ Research Room material and archives are searchable on the Christchurch City Libraries catalogue and available to view on request at the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Central Library, Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Shelved Memories runs at Our City O-Tautahi, cnr Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace, until 8 October 2009.

Image of the Week

Senior 6-man teams at Canterbury Surf Life-Saving Association’s third carnival at North Beach, 4 Feb. 1962

Senior 6-man teams at Canterbury Surf Life-Saving Association's third carnival at North Beach, 4 Feb. 1962

File Reference: CCL-KPCD-11-028
From the Canterbury Progress League Archives, Christchurch City Libraries Archive 72

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