Monday, December 09, 2013

I am a bit further forward. I have done all but one final two-colour row of the Sensible Christmas Project, and therefore should get very close to finishing the whole thing today. I have ordered a large Eastern-themed take-away-type frozen meal from Cook for usall  to eat on the 24th. I wrote and printed a round-robin (I guess you would call it) to enclose in Christmas cards to three old Oberlin friends. Old friends, in every sense. Maybe I will get up to the post office today and send them on their way.

And I found The Joy of Cooking and read about stuffing. I think what I am thinking of is what Mrs Rombauer's cook calls “dry dressing” – breadcrumbs, celery, onion, salt, paprika, melted butter.

When was the last time a television cookery writer admitted to employing a cook of her own?

I was surprised at how long-ago-and-far-away the book feels to me. I will let Delia and Jamie influence my choice of stuffing ingredients, while keeping it simple and probably meat-free.

There was an article in Saturday's Scotsman about a French chef who runs an excellent restaurant around the corner from us, L'Escargot Bleu. He used to have a delicatessen in the basement; I relied on him for garlic. It said at the end that he has lived in Britain for most of his adult life, but “I am more French than I feel”. Substitute “American” for “French” and that is my position precisely.


I like these cardigans suddenly popping up everywhere with, often, a scooped neck and two or three buttons at the top and the rest hanging free. That might be just the thing for keeping one's chest somewhat warm while getting the knitting somewhat out of the way of the Main Danger Area for kitchen dirt. And I want to do some cables next year. There are some wonderful ones about.

Pearl Harbor

Thank you for that interesting link, Theresa. I started out by wondering what Hitler thought of Pearl Harbor, but what I found more interesting in the end was the fact that Roosevelt apparently declared war on December 8, 1941, on Japan alone. Hitler and Mussolini declared war on the US on the 11th, and the US responded in kind. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Churchill slightly glosses over that sequence in his account. He seemed to have assumed on the evening of December 7 that America was involved in the whole thing. “This certainly simplifies things. God be with you,” he said to the President during their telephone call. But the American people, enraged at Japan, might not, even then, have been so keen on a European war if Hitler hadn't forced it on them.


  1. Beware of cardis with free hanging bottom bits - I recently made a sewn one with a lovely drapey front to disguise my unfortunate parts, and I MUST wear an apron when cooking in it - it doesn't stick with me when I bend, and droops itself into all sorts of things I don't want it to.

  2. I read a great quotation about garlic in yesterday's Observer Food Monthly: "It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking." Marcel Boulestin

  3. I have a Joy of Cooking I received in 1980. It seems ancient. I use it for reference now and then, but I haven't cooked anything from it in many years. I heard a bit about garlic from a nutritionist on the radio. Chop it up, then let it sit for 10 minutes. This preserves all the anti whatevers it has. Then cook as normal. When you chop and cook immediately, they don't survive.