Monday, October 15, 2012


Come October, on goes the pinny and the kitchen is awash with food and wine. I ferment my own mead and wines of all types; some recipes manage to win prizes, but basically they are used for my food and wine on-line columns and, of course, my dinner guests.   Today, I was making Russian style food like Krasnye Blinis and Borscht soup, which I think were appreciated by my guests.

While working on Russian style foods, I began reading a new book from Oxygen Books edited by Heather Reyes, Marina Samsonova and James Rann.   Whether you are travelling to Russia soon or at another time, do read their anthology ST PETERSBURG under the city-pick imprint. 

Heather Reyes reckoned the very first book she ever read about St Petersburg was Gladys Malvern's children's biography of Anna Pavlova Dancing Star and within she found such words as Nijinsky, Karsavina, Ballets Russes among many others and this whole new world inspired her with all things Russian.

The founding of St Petersburg in 1703 was Peter the Great's 'I have a dream' moment.  He obviously had a clear visition of the elegant European style city on the Rive Neva which would displace Moscow as the capital of a reformed Russia.  The book gives vignettes from sixty of the world's best writers including Malcolm Bradbury, Dmitry Shostakovich, Truman Capote and so many more.

 The Times reviewer reckoned 'It's like having your own iPad loaded with different tomes.'  The anthology's ISBN 978-0-9567876-2-0 price £9.99. More detail at

Self, Malcolm Burgess and Heather Reyes at Phoenix Radio 98FM

No comments: