Weekend Reading: An Interview with Jonathan Gold, DIY Pumpkin Kegs, and More

A look at what we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week

prized pumpkins

Sarah Karnasiewicz

• I've always enjoyed the vivid, muscular food writing of Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. In an interview in this month's Believer magazine, Gold talks about finding the right words to describe food, not taking notes, and why eating is the best way to learn about a place. —Karen Shimizu

• I love chef Michael Mina's approach to teaching on his just-launched website, CookTasteEat. The process for cooking complex, multi-recipe dishes like a sesame-crusted ahi tuna with fava bean falafel, yogurt tahini and grilled cucumber salad is broken down into a series of short videos in which Mina walks you through each recipe and a complete cooking timeline. It makes cooking the types of extraordinary dishes he serves in his restaurants unintimidating and successful. —Betsy Andrews

• My resistence to a messy kitchen outweighs my love for pumpkin pies by a longshot. I tend to use the canned stuff, except around halloween, when I can appropriate the shell for a jack-o-lantern. This fall, I plan to go exclusively fresh, thanks to Celebrations' Oktoberfest-friendly directions for making your very own DIY pumpkin keg. —Niki Achitoff-Gray

• I've typically been a supporter of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's ambitious, but not always popular, public health initiatives, and was tickled by the fact that his latest, a ban on super-sized sodas, was lampooned on the NBC small-government comedy, "Parks and Recreation." Read a full exegesis of the episode by reporter Michael Grynbaum on The New York Times' City Room blog. —Gabriella Gershenson

• These animated GIFS of fruit and vegetable MRI scans created by Andy Ellison of BU medical school (and shared by Colossal) are absolutely mesmerizing. —Helen Rosner

• I'm putting Serious Eats' recipe for Don's Mix, a simple cinnamon-grapefruit syrup used in tiki drinks at Don the Beachcomber's, on my to-make list. They recommend shaking up the finished product with Carpano Antica and Rittenhouse Rye before straining over crushed ice, but I suspect this stuff would be great with almost any spirit. —Cory Baldwin

• Filled with apples, figs, grapes, and walnuts, this harvest tart from David Lebovitz is the perfect fall weekend baking project.—Anna Stockwell