I’m a UK-based Canadian finishing my masters in philosophy with research focusing on the aesthetics of domestic life.
I’m a crazy sustainable food campaigner and am obsessed with getting back to the land, despite living in London. I’m an avid window gardener, cake baker, and farmers’ market trawler.
How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?
I’ve been a Daring Baker for a year now and I just love the kinship developed in doing the same challenge as everyone else. My sister and stepmom are also members and it’s great to call each other when we are stuck or to share ideas, despite living on different continents.
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?
I love mason jars, which don’t really count as a gadget, but I’m generally known as the person who uses jars for everything – carrying my lunch, a cup of tea on the Tube, for whipping cream, anything. My favourite appliance is probably my KitchenAid mixer, which is currently in the care of my sister back in Canada – I really miss it, though I’m developing great arms from hand-mixing things!
Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?
Lately I’m really into making anything with maple sugar or syrup because we try not to eat refined sugar at home – maple shortbread or cheesecake are both favourites. But a dinnertime standby is probably some kind of mixed-herb pesto with kamut pasta and baked tofu – plus whatever vegetables are in season!
You’ve just won $5000.00!!! But it comes with some stipulations.. you can’t spend it on your kids or your significant other! This is all YOURS. What would you spend it on? (we’re also going to fantasize that you have no bills whatsoever! Woo!! Hehee)
I would absolutely bank half for doing my PhD and then make a large donation to the Youth Food Movement, a sustainable food charity I work for.
What is the ultimate comfort food to you?
Mashed potatoes, my mom’s almond tarts, and my sister’s homemade dhal.
Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?
Yoga, gardening, and sewing – I would love to farm and make all my own clothes (I try to make most of them!), but lately most of my time is spent writing my thesis!
How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?
I’ve been blogging for about three years now – I got started when I decided to write one recipe every week to share with friends. My favourite post is probably my shortbread post, because I spent months trying tonnes of recipes with friends to choose one that could be my ‘family recipe’ because we didn’t have one.
What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?
I live and die by Nigella Lawson’s How To Be a Domestic Goddess for baking, and I secretly wish I’d written Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?
Here in London there is a great little restaurant called Acorn House run by Arthur Potts Dawson. The food is standard good quality stuff, but the restaurant itself does so much to be sustainable – it’s run as a training kitchen like Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, except that APD trains all his chefs to be sustainable chefs. The restaurant bottles its own water, has a huge composting system, and works to create as little waste as possible.
You’ve had a rough week. We feel your pain. How do you relax after a rough week?
I spend the whole weekend at home in my favourite part of London, around the Hampstead Heath – I go to the farmers’ market, eat a nice meal, and just go for walks in the park. I avoid going downtown at all costs!
What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?
I really (secretly) love Martha Stewart Living and actually get my mom to post it to me every month from North America!
You can visit Jessica on her blog A Recipe A Week