The Salmon Pink

currently reading:

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou (1969)

reading list:

We That Are Young by Preti Taneja (January 2019)
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton (March 2019)
The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark (April 2019)
The White Album by Joan Didion (June 2019)
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (September 2019)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (October 2019)
Orlando by Virginia Woolf (December 2019)
Motherhood by Sheila Heti (March 2020)
Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante, translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein (April 2020)
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (May, 2020)
Corregidora by Gayl Jones (July, 2020)

The Salmon Pink Recommendations Clinic

We are offering personalised recommendations for books, films & tv and recipes, in English, French and Italian – a salmon pink kitchen on the road!
Contact us via the below form so you can receive the salmon pink questionnaire. We will ask you to reply to 9 questions and your tailored picks will pop into your inbox as soon as possible.

Latest from the blog:

  • Our Virtual Reality

    The Salmon Pink Bookclub Chronicles

    The salmon pink book club is run by a tight double act, from two dedicated minds we like to see as complimentary. Irene the saucier and Margaux the baker; Irene’s murder mysteries and Margaux’s identity quests; Irene’s pasta and Margaux’s pulses; Italian Irene and French Margaux.

    Words is where we reunite – in learning, transforming and twisting. We share the love for words and the value of their making, existing and becoming. The salmon pink kitchen talks a hybrid mixture of both our accents in English, with a side of fritalian for a spicy kick. Lockdown has changed many aspects of our lives but it did not make us quieter. Short, teasing WhatsApp messages on the go; thoughtful, long emails for the evenings; countless hours on Zoom, swinging around our moka pots first and then the bottle openers. The challenge was to invite our book club members to join our virtual reality at a time when we cannot welcome them at the front door of the salmon pink kitchen.

    So we did what we do best: we dissected the words that make our world.

    As per the Cambridge dictionary: 

    noun [ C or U ] mainly US
    UK  /ˈlɒk.daʊn/ US  /ˈlɑːk.daʊn/
    a situation in which people are not allowed to enter or leave a building or area freely because of an emergency:
    The Secret Service is imposing a virtual lockdown on the city.

     [ U ]   trademark
    UK  /ˈɡuː.ɡəl/ US  /ˈɡuː.ɡəl/ 
    the name of a search engine (= program for finding information on the internet):
    Have you tried Google?

    That is when we decided to brave the world wide web to thread a safety net for our book club members. As per our diaries – a.k.a the dictionaries of our lives:

    Salmon Pink Bookclub
     [ U ]   trademark
    UK  /ˈsæm.ən/ /pɪŋk/ /ˈbʊk ˌklʌb/ US  /ˈsæm.ən/ /pɪŋk/ /ˈbʊk ˌklʌb/
    a recurring lively feast where body and mind are equally fed as members discuss a book in focus:
    Do you follow the Salmon Pink Bookclub on Instagram?

    On to pushing forward the pragmatic side of our minds, cushion for our dreams. The salmon pink bookclub is most importantly a space, thus what we had to do was to create a bridge for this space to exist virtually. We knew we were not going to be able to do so among the ambient chatters and smells that normally make for who we are, so we resigned to creating a virtual salmon pink kitchen. There are a few rooms in this new space.

    First, you get in front of our house, where you begin to see the salmon pink kitchen through the window of our Instagram account. Next, you come through the front door and find the shared living area, that is our website. Moving forward, and on to the salmon pink kitchen, you will see the hobs on the left, which have become our private Google Drive account (i.e. 15GB on the cloud for us to cook together book club materials, social media contents and write essays – also known as The Brain). What you’ll do next is sitting at the wobbly wooden table in front of the hobs, together with other members, remaking the world and enjoying a glass of wine, from one home to another, via Google Hangouts.

    The hardest part of hosting a virtual book club is asking our salmon pink sisters to mute themselves, with the aim to run the conversation smoothly and to speak in turns. For a woman to ask another woman to mute herself is violent and we miss the vivid and excited voices that normally rhythm book club Sundays. The virtual space has also meant that we have been able to bridge borders in inviting new members – a little fuck you corona, if we may – as we now have members logging in from Italy and across the UK.

    It hasn’t been free of technical glitches. We have bitten a few nails as we navigated WordPress and Google Hangouts – does anyone know how to see everyone’s screens in one gallery only?! – let alone the times we thought a document had been lost before we recovered it magically from the cloud. There was the day a member joined the hangout with her fiancé’s account and we thought ‘Richard’ had joined the salmon pink bookclub. There was also the day when we found ourselves editing one of our shared documents together at the same time, without warning. Here is a snapshot of the salmon pink brain:

    There are aspects we cannot wait to find again once social distancing restrictions lift – writing shopping lists together, working our hands over the hob and oven as our minds rapidly type our notes, dramatically reading book passages to one another – but there are other lessons we have learnt in bringing people together through the love of words during a pandemic, which we want to carry back with us once we can be in the same room. What we know for sure is that the salmon pink kitchen is a space that doesn’t need four walls to exist. It thrives on a solid diet of sharing, caring and listening, and long may they live in our virtual reality.

    Looking back at these past 10 weeks, we realise that we have launched streams of salmon pink from our kitchen and beyond, and we love the salmon pink love.

    Madonna, Irene says; Wild, Margaux replies.

  • The Murder Mystery

    The Salmon Pink Bookclub Chronicles

    Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

    Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier was one of the most beloved Salmon Pink Book Club reads. It’s the book we chose to celebrate the Book Club’s anniversary on January 25th 2020, and we had a big night in mind for this one. We were going to take our salmon pink sisters to Manderley, recreating a masquerade ball at the legendary mansion, and we were going to kill Maxim De Winter in the process. A Rebecca-based murder mystery is be the ultimate decadent night, if you ask us!

    Ever the overachievers, we met outside Finsbury Park station on the Friday before the party, the game yet to be written, the buffet and cake shopping yet to be done, and a hunger for our favourite veggie Indian restaurant on Stroud Green Road, Jai Krishna! One thing was clear in our notes, the evening premise: Maxim has been found dead by C-section.

    We rolled our big shopping trolley across the aisles in Tesco, filling it with ingredients for a spinach and goat’s cheese tart, afternoon tea sandwiches, and pink lemonade. When we finally made it back to the salmon pink kitchen, we were ready for what we do best: plotting.

    Time was definitely against us but we aren’t ones to give up, so we dived into our aubergine curry and began to think of characters for the game, one for each of our sisters. We wanted to live the plot that had charmed us for weeks, and to fulfill one of our geeky dreams: to have Rebecca and Mrs. De Winter 2.0 meet, in disguise. Picture the scene: Irene sits at the wooden table writing characters’ names, roles, and back stories while shouting them excitedly to Margaux, who is working on our pièce de résistance: Kate Young’s rose and pistachio cake, the birthday cake of our dreams.

    We definitely learned a lot from that night, from the joys of spontaneity to the need for an electric mixer, and we ultimately went to bed with wide smiles ready for some arts and crafts in the morning. We prepared a character card for each of the 9 guests where they were given their name, profession, and clues. We created envelopes out of A4 sheets, and added a coloured dot at the back of each, so we would know who got which character. We love being surprised as much as we love thorough planning, so we wanted to trust our chances and have the girls pick a random envelope each on the night.

    We prepared for the night as if we were attending the Met Gala. Margaux wore pearls and styled Irene’s hair flapper-style, we wore black and golden masks and looked as creepy as you would want for a whodunnit!

    The girls arrived in the most beautiful costumes, bringing the usual warmth and chatter to the house, it was time to introduce our characters and the game:

    Welcome to the annual Manderley Masquerade! We are Paulette and Thelma, from the Salmon Pink Catering and we will be at your disposal this evening for any queries. We will be serving tea in the main ballroom from 7pm and you will all receive the late Mrs De Winter’s signature cocktail as a welcome – The portrait of a pink lady. Mr De Winter and the current Mrs De Winter will be joining us shortly.

    We stopped being nervous as soon as we saw everyone becoming their characters and going with the game, let us tell you, we really found ourselves in Manderley for a night. The book was at the heart of the whole evening, as we played with tropes, made-up characters and the ever-present duality. Rebecca and Mrs. De Winter 2.0 met. Maxim’s killer was found. Toasts were made and we blew our 1-year candle.

    Oh, are you wondering about the killer? We are afraid that’s a secret for another time.

    Happy Sunday salmons!

    Leaving you with the recipe for Rebecca’s signature cocktail for future masquerades:

    Portrait of a Pink Lady

    Makes about 12 drinks:
    1 liter gin 
    3 cups pink lemonade 
    150 ml grenadine syrup
    1 litre fizzy water
    Combine the ingredients, stir the bubbles and add ice-cubes

    Taken from Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a literary twist by Tim Federle

    Gastronomically yours,

    Irene & Margaux