Oh, Pamela, a lemon tree! The recipe follows below, somewhat condensed from Jamie's verbosity. You're allowed a reasonable amount of quotation in reviewing a book, and in print that often includes a recipe or two, from a recipe book. Alternatively, in the words of the great musical I am going to see again next week, So go on and sue me/ sue me/ what can you do me...
Obscure: Pompeii for convent girls? Yes, indeedy. You should meet a modern convent girl. Seriously, though, there is in Herculaneum the one possible Christian symbol in either site, a Greek-type cross excised into the plaster of an upper room of a villa, where a slave might have slept. The first time we went, I found the stairs leading to it, heavily padlocked. The second time, I stood around for quite a while at the foot of the stairs, fingering a large-denomination lire note. The third time, I went to the site office and talked to a nice man. I pointed out that the mala casa in Pompeii was heavily restored and had many visitors, whereas it was within the bounds of possibility that once, in that room, had lived un povero Christiano che a sentito San Paolo stesso predicando (when he was landed somewhere around there on his way to Rome as a prisoner) (or something). And the man took a big key out of a drawer and we got to see the room. Some of the girls came away with the impression that St Paul had lodged there, but you can't explain everything to everybody.
Knitting, and Knitting Magazines
I've done all but about an inch of the i-cord. I've bought the buttons. So there is every reason to hope that I'll finish the Surprise today.
The October issue of Knitting has arrived. I don't know what to do about that magazine. It's not entirely bad, but the patterns aren't very good, either. It has yet to print one that interests me, let alone one that makes it to my HALFPINT list. I could no more throw away a knitting magazine than I could strangle a kitten, so the pile grows and space diminishes. And I applaud what it's trying to do, and if nothing else it has lots of ads for British suppliers who otherwise have nowhere to advertise.
Woolgathering turned up yesterday. Not a sterling issue, but I would keep Woolgathering on, I think, if I had to give up everything else. (=Knitting, as above; IK, VK, Knitter's) It is exciting to learn that Bridget Rorem is working on a lace book.
limoni di amalfi cotti al forno
This is an antipasto, far too fiddly for me.
Take two large lemons. Cut off and discard the ends. Cut them in half crossways and remove the flesh with a small knife, leaving you with four hollow circles of skin. Place each on a lemon leaf (or on a square of greaseproof paper if you don't happen to have a lemon tree). Cut a piece from a ball of buffalo mozzarella to fit inside. Lay on it a basil leaf, half an anchovy fillet and half a cherry tomato, with salt and pepper and dried chilli if you like. Put another slice of mozzarella on top.
Cook for 10 or 15 minutes in a hot oven (200 C/400 F). Allow to cool slightly, serve the mozzarrella, now melted and golden, with hot grilled crostini, being sure to scoop up any juices. You're not actually supposed to eat the lemon skins, although I'm sure if I ever toiled through this recipe, I would do so.