Bookmarks, June 20, 2021

A weekly list of things I’ve stumbled upon and found to be worth sharing.  This week: the importance of preserving culinary history and traditions, questioning some kitchen gadgets, adding seeds to your diet, and how to grill all kinds of vegetables.

High on the Hog

I’m a little late to this series, but, wow–it was good. It focuses on host Stephen Satterfield’s “journey to uncover the stories of African-American food.” The first episode is set in Benin and it is excellent from start to finish, perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the series by showing the rich culture that existed among African peoples before slavery and the culinary traditions carried across the ocean. The final scenes of this episode are devastating; be prepared to shed some tears. From there, the series continues to South Carolina and beyond as it looks at the considerable influence of African-American foods on the cuisine of the US.

“I was beginning to make connections with the food of the African diaspora…as in ‘I’ve had this before…I know this..Ohh, that tastes like Grandma’s.’” Dr. Jessica B. Harris, speaking in High on the Hog. Netflix  

In Tel Aviv, a culinary center tackles the age-old question: what is Israeli cuisine?

Speaking of culinary heritage, this article considers what constitutes Israeli cuisine, a complex question, to be sure. Naama Shefi addresses the issue of appropriation and acknowledges the influences of various cultures on Israeli cuisine. She also talks about the importance of documenting culinary traditions and history.

“The basic idea is that recipes constitute cultural DNA,’ Shefi says. ‘There are so many things that can simply disintegrate if they’re not documented. At the heart of the project is a digital archive of family and historical recipes and the stories behind the recipes.’” Haaretz

10 kitchen gadgets you really don’t need – from garlic presses to spiralizers

I agree with the garlic press, although my husband has found one that works rather well. I disagree profoundly with the popcorn maker. As a major consumer of popcorn, I love my air popper. We all have our own preferences, but lists like this are great for inspiring us to put more thought into what we really need in the kitchen. 

Are you keen to spend less or declutter? We asked a group of food geeks about which kitchen gadgets they deem unnecessary – and how to cook brilliant food without them.” The Guardian

The nutrition powerhouse we should eat more of

I love seeds–sesame, pumpkin, sunflower. I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating them, but need to get back to it. They are a delicious addition to salads and baked goods. Here is a brief overview of their nutritional benefits, along with some serving suggestions. 

Seeds are a nutrition powerhouse that can easily be added to everything from soups and stir-fries to breads and salads, bringing flavour and texture. As a family they contain heart-, bone-, muscle-, brain- and immune-supporting nutrients, many of which we aren’t eating enough of.” BBC Food

How to grill vegetables

I have never thought of grilling avocado. We have a wood pellet grill now, so I’m thinking this is something I simply must try.

“Until you’ve experienced a smoked tomato gazpacho or smoked guacamole, you haven’t fully feasted.” New York Times

Image of books: 95141048 © Dzhamilia Ermakova |

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