Friday, August 07, 2009


I had a bad day today. But I am making a pot of soup for supper: turkey vegetable noodle, a consolation. Biscuits will happen later, and these two things together are almost certainly going to make the world right again.

I would like to have had some homemade bread with it, but maybe that will be for tomorrow. There’ll be leftover soup, of course, and it’s nice to know lunch is taken care of. I do have to remember to bash up the dough tonight, though.

I was poking through my spice cupboard looking for little glass jars of dried whatnot for the soup, when I realised that back in May, I invested in some 2” pots of various things…

what need have I of dried herbs in July? Forethought provides.

Lovage, winter savoury, English thyme, rosemary, purple sage.

Thanks Mum for planting the bush beans.



I keep forgetting to tell you about an absolutely charming series I discovered: they are by Shire Books. Wonderfully no-nonsense books of information about quite specific subjects, they are replete with history and facts, and amazingly concise. I have “Baking and Bakeries”and “Spinning and Spinning Wheels”, but I long to get “The Woollen Industry”, “Flax and Linen”, “Markets and Marketplaces of Britain”, “Evacuees of the Second World War”……oh, just all of them. I’m trying to scheme how I could get the government to pay for them, seeing as they would be for school.

Leadbetter Spinning and Spinning Wheels, by Eliza Leadbetter: from why wool must be spun, to how to work a spindle, to how to comb flax, to what a niddy-noddy is for.

Baking and Bakeries, by H G Muller: from Pompeii to Pillsbury, a fascinating look at the staff of life. This book is so cool – did you know that, in the 1830s, the main cause of lead poisoning was bread baked in an oven fired with old door and window frames painted with white lead paint? Or that the bread of the early 19th century might contain large amounts of plaster of Paris, white clay, alum, copper sulphate and bone dust?

Anyway, if you get a chance to take a look at this line, do pick it up. I think they’ve just released “Beach Huts and Bathing Machines” and “The Slave Trade”.

Finding out is so fun.


kate said...

I'm sorry you had a bad day :( I hope the soup helped.

But, wait. Bush beans? You? I'm in awe.

Dave Hingsburger said...

OK, OK, OK, I went to the Shire site and was astonished at the range of books and the, um, oddity of the subjects. I can just imagine the 'pitch' meetings for a book on 'nutcrackers' or the one on 'pen knives' - man, this is a little too weird for me. Can you say 'Fetish' ... come on now Feh-ti-sh'. Good. Now use it in a sentence ... yes, I see the need for these books in school

Gwen said...

Oh, how lovely. Love these kinds of books. Though when you say "quite specific subjects," you're not kidding. I'd like to get "the WAAF," and "Privies and Water Closets," to name a few. Great find, thanks!