Literary Snacks: My Brilliant Friend + easy tortilla pizza

Our Literary Snack this week is Elena Ferrante’s novel, My Brilliant Friend, paired with an easy tortilla pizza. The first in a series of four, Ferrante’s popular novel follows the friendship of two women, from their childhood all the way to old age. It’s an introspective, philosophical novel about the nature of friendship and growing up. Even though this recipe is far from a traditional Italian-style pizza, it’s quick and delicious, and the flavours can still transport to Naples where the novel takes place.

This recipe is adapted from Serious Eats. The full recipe is available here:

You can download My Brilliant Friend and here:

Literary Snacks: Love in Time of Cholera + easy almond milk

For this week’s literary snack, I’m recommending a classic piece of literature: Love in Time of Cholera, by Nobel-winning author Gabriel García Márquez. This is a novel about a love triangle that spans 30 years. It’s an iconic piece of literature with lots of romance, magic realism, gentle humour, and poetic language. This novel has a very famous first sentence:  

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”

This brings us to our recipe for today! Here’s a shockingly easy recipe for homemade almond milk. Lately we’re all trying to limit our trips to the store. And since we’re spending more time at home, we also use a lot more milk! This is a great way to supplement if you run out of milk, so I always try to keep a jar of almond butter on hand.

Typically, almond milk is made by soaking whole, raw almonds overnight, then blending them with water and straining through a nut milk bag. It’s also helpful to take the time to peel the skins off the almonds, otherwise the skins will leave your almond milk with tiny, bitter chunks. But this is a very time consuming process. Almonds are expensive, and nut milk bags can be hard to find. This way is much easier: instead of soaking and blending the almonds yourself, you start with a few tablespoons of raw almond butter, which you can find at the grocery store. You can add a pinch of salt or cinnamon, or a spoonful of liquid sweetener (I recommend maple syrup), depending on what your intended use for the almond milk.

Homemade Almond Milk

  • 3 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or preferred liquid sweetener (optional)

Blend all ingredients in blender until combined. Almond milk will keep for a week in the fridge. It will separate while in the fridge, so be sure to shake before using.

Literary Snacks: The Chai Factor + masala chai

We are so excited to kick off our new video series, Literary Snacks! We’ll recommend a great book paired with a simple recipe. Our first pick is The Chai Factor by Farah Heron, paired with masala chai, of course!

This book is the perfect rom-com, but in book form. It’s the story of an unlikely romance set in modern day Toronto. The main character is always making chai from scratch – she grinds fresh spices and brews them into a hot drink. It’s just as good as it sounds in the book, and I hope you’ll try it at home!

This recipe is from Tara O’Brady. The full recipe is available here.

You can download The Chai Factor by Farah Heron here.