Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On the health front: my husband didn't have a very good day yesterday, although he was perhaps better in the evening. Today I will phone the practice and at least speak to the dr who came to see us last week. And as for me, I didn't do as well as I thought I would, first thing in the morning, but still, I think, a bit better than before. No income tax.

Neither of us has much appetite. Modern cookery books, with which my shelves groan, don't go in for chapters on Invalid Cooking, so I sat down with Nigella Lawson's “How to Eat” yesterday and read the chapter on feeding small children. (That's a book I would recommend unreservedly – it's the one that made her name, I think.) Then I went to Tesco and bought that sort of thing, baked beans and canned salmon and pasta and carrots and so on. I couldn't find quails eggs, which felt like a brilliant suggestion.

I rely heavily on Weston's Vintage Cider for my own calories in a situation like this, and just at the moment the shelves are empty at my local suppliers. I bought a couple of substitutes on Sunday, Westons but not Vintage, and soon poured them down the sink. There is always that stalwart British remedy for all problems and all ills, hot sweet tea. Normally I don't drink tea at all, and try to avoid refined sugar. But hot sweet tea is welcome just at the moment and comforting and goes down easily and it must pack in the calories.

Knitting went well yesterday, even if the income tax didn't. I've now done 44 scallops on the edging of the second side of the Unst Bridal Shawl, so I might even reach the second corner (50 scallops) today. It's going smoothly. I can usually find my place when I am interrupted mid-row by the telephone or when my thoughts drift off. We'd better have a picture soon – it looks just like the previous picture, except that there's more of it.

What I can show you is my friend Janis Witkins' yarn. She is described as a “local knitting goddess” in the link. The pictures are from Stitches East. And, as previously promised, I'll let you know when her on-line shop is in action.

And from the Internet – Jared on hisKelpie Shawl design, again, so many nice things, so little time.


  1. If I remember correctly there is a chapter on invalid cookery in "The Green and Gold Cookery Book" - an ancient book, still in print here. I will see if I can find our copy - it had things like beef tea and barley water and junket but must also have had more useful things! One must eat - and, in our heat, drink a great deal (but mostly water!)

  2. Anonymous11:13 AM

    I was so pleased yesterday to hear you were feeling a little better and sorry you're under the weather today. I'm thinking of all the things which sustain me if I don't want to eat (a rare event). Dextrose tablets would give short-term energy, enough to allow you to heat the chicken soup or make hot chocolate. Have you considered Complan? These things are usually in the supermarkets near the aspirins and other remedies.
    I hope you feel better soon. Helen

  3. There are lots of old cookery books online that have invalid recipes in them, though I'm not sure how keen you'd be on some ideas - calves' foot jelly always seemed a popular one... I could see something like rice pudding being soothing. And if you like it hot chocolate (don't think you can still get "Benger's" which I've read being recommended in older books) and the more modern fresh soups are good, I often find those good when I'm not feeling so good. Mrs Beeton is online and has two chapters on invalid cookery: http://www.mrsbeeton.com/38-chapter38.html

    Hope you both feel better soon and definitely do speak to the dr. Will pray for you both xxx

  4. Rice pudding was what sustained my mother through many weeks or just plain custard.

  5. My mother loved milk toast -- something comforting from her childhood. I hope you are feeling better soon!