Monday, December 01, 2008

As hoped, December feels a bit better.

Photographed yesterday at our local “Bank of Scotland” branch. (The inverted commas are intended to express irony.) Incroyable.

Ron, it’s great to hear from you. The hat continues well, and therapeutic. I’m pretty happy about the size. In repose, which is easy to measure on dp’s, it seems to be about 8” across (=16” in circumference), and rather relaxed. My head, measured around the brow and then down a bit to take in the rear-of-head bulge – as if I were measuring myself for a halo – seems to be 24”. (We have big heads in our family, make of it what you will.) That sounds like a big difference, but I think it’s going to work.

Indeed, if it does, there’s still time to knock out another one for another gap in my Christmas present list. I’ve found something else for the man for whom I was thinking of knitting that scarf, so that’s off the menu.

I decided, lying in bed this morning, that the thing to do with the blasted Christmas cards is to take the problem to London with me next week. I wouldn’t need to take any actual cards; we can buy them at art galleries on our rounds. And I wouldn’t need to bring them back – I can post them from there. This doesn’t let me off making a decent start this week, but it puts the job on manageable footing.

Part of the trouble is the actual cards we have on hand. We try to buy them, again at art galleries, in the January sales, and that has left us, this year, with a particularly dismal set. No wonder nobody else wanted them. In London, we’ll buy some cheerful baby Jesuses.

Boston baked beans

I put the beans on to soak last night, and today we proceed to the actual excitement. I have consulted more recipes this year, instead of just going with Joy of Cooking. Mrs Rombauer simply says “beans” – other people specify “navy or pea” beans. I don’t know what that means. Mine are flageolet, and I’m not worried.

I have always just left the pot in a cool oven overnight, for the final cooking, but these other recipes tell me to look every hour to check the water level, so this time I’ll do that.

Mel, I envy you that bean pot. I love pots, and try to buy myself one in January to start the year on a happy footing. Trouble is, they need space, and I’m running out.


  1. I love the Bank ad - it reminds me of a scene in Atonement, which I watched last night. There's a bit of newsreel of the troops returning from Dunkirk, with the words superimposed about the British Army undefeated.

  2. Mom used navy beans for her baked beans. The last time I did baked beans I ran low on moisture and ended up with a crusting around the perimeter of the bean pot. The caramelization of the brown sugar however gave a nummy flavor to the beans. MMmmmmm!

  3. Anonymous1:45 AM

    I believe navy beans are the small ones in canned "baked" beans. Pea beans are the same bean under another name, I think.