With the drop in temperature and the onset of darkness in the early evening has come a reduction in my social calendar. In the summer I was inundated with invitations; no one wanted to stay inside, they wanted to go out and play in the sunshine. For the first time in forever, I wasn't juggling a mix of studying and working - I was free in the evenings and weekends for all sorts of high jinks and it was glorious to make the most of it. This could be the most carefree time of my life and it's worth holding on to that for as long as possible.
Next year I will be a married woman and working towards being a homeowner. The thought is both thrilling and humbling. Life seems to move at such a fast pace, especially during those heady summer months. Before next year, however, I have some respite. A time for hibernation and recuperation. A chance to charge my batteries and get stuck in to all of those creative projects that have been on the back burner whilst this grasshopper played all summer.
My weekends are gloriously empty, with only a few key dates peppered here and there, which means that it's time to spend some serious time in the kitchen. This year has definitely highlighted that whilst I am a good cook, I am certainly not great and there are a lot of things I have never even tried to turn my hand to. I am excited to start, armed with my books and my wooden spoon. Here's a little list of the books I'll be cooking from this autumn, and a few that I have saved up on my wish list ready for when I run out of recipes. Can that ever happen? It's best to be prepared, just in case.
Top with Cinnamon by Izy Hosack
If you've not read Izy's incredible blog, then you are seriously missing out. This girl has so much talent for both creating incredible dishes & bakes and for photographing them. It sickens me slightly that she is so accomplished and still six years younger than me but, petty jealousy aside, her book is glorious. Savoury and sweet, all photographed beautifully. It's a piece of art as much as it is a cookbook, and although I have already tried my hand at the Swedish Chocolate Cake and am a convert to Courgetti as a side dish, there's still so much more. This is the one, you guys.
Crumb by Ruby Tandoh
With the Bake Off sadly drawing to a close, I have a renewed excitement for all things kneaded and proved. I loved Ruby's bakes on last year's Bake Off and have since enjoyed her column on the Guardian, so I was very excited to snap up her new book when it was released this month. It's only just appeared at my door and I've only had a cursory glance through, but this weekend I plan to curl up and read it properly with a notebook so I can choose exactly what to bake first.
Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker is my food blogging idol. She is pretty incredible, and her podcast is one of my favourites. Her first book was so much fun to bake from - easy, indulgent, impressive food that didn't take itself too seriously and provided a serious sugar hit. I'm excited for her second book, which is released on the 16th October. The tagline is 'Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats'. Yep. I definitely need this book in my life.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
Is it any surprise that a lot of this list comprises the work of food bloggers? Smitten Kitchen is one of the original and best food bloggers, and I have been a fan of her blog for years. It's simple enough to encourage even the most novice of chefs and yet offers some great inspiration and new dishes that I have never tried before. Despite that, I've never owned her book (although I have given it as a gift) and I'd love to get my hands on it before she releases her next one!
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
I am always completely intrigued by Julia Child. What a fascinating woman she was, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking is truly her masterpiece. I love French food (who doesn't) but I suspect my skills are a little lacking for it so I'd love to absorb this wildly-acclaimed book and get to grip with some techniques that will help me improve. French food is often incredibly rich and decadent, wonderfully so, which makes it a perfect project for the wintery months. I'll let you know how I get on...
The Recipe Wheel by Rosie Ramsden
I first read about this book on Rachel's blog and was immediately taken with the concept - one, simple core recipe at the heart of its own 'wheel' with a number of variations to choose from depending on the occasion. I love the idea, and I think it might be helpful for using up leftovers as well. I hate getting stuck in a rut when it comes to our weekly meal plan, so this kind of book is perfect for me - I'm usually much better at coming up with occasional recipes than I am the regular, everyday stuff which actually makes up the core of what we eat. I'm definitely putting this one on my Christmas list, if I don't splurge beforehand!
Which cookbooks are you reading this autumn?