Sunday, December 27, 2020


Well, here we are. That’s the worst of it over. I was very touched by, and grateful for, all your messages.


Three such days are a lot, to sum up the news for. I had hoped to have reached the mid-point of the central square of the hap, but I am afraid that there are five or six rows to go. I’m sure it’ll go much faster on the return journey.


Here’s my chicken, as it came out of the oven:


It was delicious, although I haven’t eaten very much of it. Manaba and Christina rang up on Christmas morning. He said they had had a black chicken once in Singapore, and that it tasted of concentrated essence of chicken. (Manaba is a serious cook.) I think that more or less sums it up, especially when taken in conjunction with the gravy, the top layer of which, after a few hours in the refrigerator, is an unspeakably delicious jellied consume’.


I wanted to bake myself some sourdough so that I could have chicken sandwiches – but yesterday morning the starter wouldn’t float; and today I made a levain, and by after-lunch that wouldn’t float, so now I’ll go on feeding the starter (of whose health and vigour I have no doubts) and on Tuesday simply proceed with the bread without testing for flotation. Daniella is coming tomorrow to rescue me from squalor, and she won’t want me running in and out of the kitchen stretching and folding.


We had a jolly quiz on Christmas day. I didn’t do very well. Someone asked, Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor on the Supreme Court? That was a good question. I knew, perfectly well, but couldn’t recall all three names.


My questions were:


1)    The word “draconian” appears constantly in the press these days. Who was Draco?

2)    What is the better-known pseudonym of these three British authors:

a.      Eric Arthur Blair

b.     Mary Ann Evans

c.      David Cornwell

3)    70 years ago today – for it was Christmas Day – a famous crime was committed by Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, Kay Mathesort, and Alan Stuart. What did they do?

I think the questions were a bit too easy.


  1. I only know one answer, to part of the second question... That chicken looks wonderful. We had a frozen lamb tagine on Christmas Day, the two of us, and our turkey dinner onmBoxing Day. Three hours prep, three quarters of an hour eating and an hour clearing. Plus picking the carcase today. Was it all worth it?..... errm, maybe.... maybe not!!! I haven't blogged for a couple of days and now the task seem gargantuan.

  2. I knew the first three, but I had to look up the last one. I suppose that's understandable, not being Scottish! Happy to hear that the chicken was worth it. I've been re-knitting my Brindabella shawl in a different yarn, and have dropped a lot of stitches in the garter portion as I got sleepy. So irritating.

  3. Just seeing the chicken, it looks seriously delicious.
    I used to know who Draco was, before he became just a constellation.
    I knew who all the pseudonyms were.
    After reading the second comment my mind made a guess at the last one.
    Thanks for making us think, and jolly good wishes to you and yours.

  4. Good to hear from you as always. We had Guinea fowl and it did look somewhat similar to your bird. That was quite a challenging family quiz then. We have been enjoying the Christmas University Challenges where famous alumni demonstrate how the undergraduate brain is just quicker off the mark.

    1. We too have been watching the University Challlenge quizzes - but our pleasure is elsewhere. It goes to show that a degree in anything does not indicate knowledge - we love to shout the answers with an added "fool". Apart from the one where Henry Gee and Richard Coles won royally!

  5. Anonymous4:40 AM

    Your chicken looks delicious, crisp and juicy. I roasted a really free-range goose which I had watched growing up in a near-by village. It tasted great, but my husband was a bit disappointed because there was almost no fat. For him, the best part of a goose is the fat for sandwiches.
    Hilde in Germany

  6. Anonymous10:38 AM

    We had turkey...chili. Turkey chili. All our traditions are going out the window. But it was delicious. Haven't had goose since my grandmother was alive. Wish I had watched her prepare it. That black chicken looks very intriguing. Chloe.

  7. =Tamar1:29 PM

    I had a coupon for whole roasted chicken, so I did no work. There remains some to be used up this week.
    I have no idea about any of the quiz questions except for a half-remembered guess at Draco's being an ancient ruler.

  8. Anonymous4:11 PM

    I recognized the authors and the liberators of the Stone of Scone, but can't remember Draco's details, though I do seem to know that the name means "dragon". Good questions! Did you stump your family?
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  9. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Ah I was expecting a black-skinned chicken. I’ve seen those in menus in China. Sorry, never tasted it! Wikipedia says their bones are black and they have more toes than regular chickens,,
    Glad you had family communications over the holidays. That seems really important this year.
    Lisa RR
    PS - maybe post-vaccination your Toronto blog readers can plan a get-together ...
    PPS I tried a new browser, Brave, to see if easier to comment. Not yet.