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Summer Begins

Behold, the dead arise and do walk the earth! Oh, wait, that's just the grad students. . .

I think I'm pretty well recovered from the semester by now. Grades came in, and I managed to maintain the 3.85 GPA, yay! I think I have an interesting mishmash of jobs for the summer, including keydesking, working an a professor's research project, and archive/database work in the music library, which starts tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the chance to do some good cooking with farmer's market produce and read trashy novels. Being recently reminded of the series, I picked up a few of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books to read or reread, as the case may be. The writing, never stellar, was definitely better in the earlier volumes. I nearly cried reading The Masterharper of Pern. Bad enough that McCaffrey turned Robinton, formerly one of the series' more interesting characters, into a raging Stu, but she also revealed just how little she actually knows about music. But then, I also have Terry Pratchett's Going Postal to make up for that. And who knows, I might just be able to finish Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.

I was also looking through The Williamsburg Art of Cookery today. It's not just a compilation of old-fashioned recipes. It's the recipes printed just like they would have appeared in, say, 1850. I think maybe I'll try this one, just because I like the text:

Take fome Onions cut in very thin Slices, ftew them till tender, in a fmall Quantity of Water, then add Milk, let it all boil together, at leaft half an Hour, with a pretty many Blades of Mace, and a quarter of a Pound of frefh Butter; a little before it is taken up, thicken it with the Yolks of two Eggs well beaten, and fome Parfley, pick'd and chopp'd very fmall; falt to your Tafte: Serve it up with Toaft cut in Dice.
About four large Onions will do to two Quarts of Milk.

Recipe is from 1753.

Hmmm. Maybe I should go cook dinner now. I've been living on Spanish time as of late. I eat a main meal mid-day dinner, take a siesta in the afternoon, and eat a light supper fairly late. ¡Olé!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
Anne McCaffrey - I do so agree. I still read them as they come out, but it's more habit than enjoyment. But then there's David Eddings. The first series - enjoyable. Each succeeding one - it's like the Beaufort Scale in reverse. In my opinion.

I like recipes that list ingredients in 'some' and 'many'. It gives such a potential for variation.

I have no idea what a 3.85 GPA is, but yay anyway! And enjoy the opportunity not to think. My son handed in his final project yesterday - I don't think he's slept much in the last fortnight, but at least it's now done. His head will probably not leave the pillow for a couple of days.
May. 24th, 2005 05:02 am (UTC)
I feel for your son. One of the great things about my R&R week was that I could finally sleep as much as I wanted. Sleep and food and novels, that's what did it for me.

GPA is Grade Point Average. Most American universities calculate it on a four point scale. 4.0 is perfect, straight A's. Just to make things difficult, The Fairest College had a 14-point GPA scale.

Old-fashioned recipes are so much fun. I have a recipe for pie dough that tells you to mix in enough flour so that the dough feels like your earlobe. And then most of my grandmother's recipes say "bake until done." When my mom is making them, that's just great. On the other hand, my grandmother cannot cook to save her life -- she's been known to screw up sandwiches. So you do have to have at least half a clue before you can use recipes like that.
May. 24th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC)
Not all foods or dishes existed even as little as a few years ago! Find out when foods came to be!

You might love this, then. It also links to old fashioned recipes. I posted this about a month back in my writing club, which is slow, so it's easy to find, along with time lines on music history, and all sorts of other things. lol.

Sounds like you've got the right idea on summer break fun! Might I suggest the Dead Witch Walking books by Kim Harrison? Light, mostly, amusing Modern fantasy. Sometimes even a bit original. Not great works of lit, either, but fun. You'll probably have a blast picking at the alternate history. ;).

May. 24th, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
That website. I do love it. I shall have to explore it in great depth. I notice recipes for Election Cake, and I just wish I'd had them in November. Real cooking with the seasons, that is. But I will probably make a Fourth of July Cake -- a regular velvet cake, one layer dyed red, one layer dyed blue, the whole covered in white icing. Since the "red" in red velvet cake is just red food coloring, I figure you can make a velvet cake in any color you like.
May. 25th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
OOH! Yay! Glad it was all shiny!

I had so much fun with all those time lines. The food one was so great. I had no CLUE that some foods are as ANCIENT as they are. Some of those are what truly astounded me. Many others, I was well aware were much more modern.

One of these days, I am going to have to make some of those recipes. Your velvet cake idea sounds AMAZING. That would be a really fun one to do.

I love the red white and blue cake done with coolwhip and berries. lol. Unfortunately, parts of my cake eating family won't do blue berries (Mom). It's like a FEAR thing. (She was isolated at camp as a girl, during a polio epidemic, because all the kids there were healthy. They quarantined. ALL summer, EVERYTHING was blueberries, because they could pick them. She hasn't been able to look at them since...)

May. 25th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
I would say that's a pretty good excuse for not liking blueberries.
May. 30th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
Is the Williamsburg in your cookery book the one in Virginia? Because I live right down the road from it. I wonder if they follow these recipes at the taverns. I know you can get things like "sallet" and, of course, Sally Lunn. It's been a while since I've been in one of the taverns, though. Peanut soup. I remember that from the revels.

Congrats on completing your first grad year--and in fine style.
May. 30th, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
Yup, it is indeed, Williamsburg, Virginia. The only other Williamsburg that I'm familiar with enough to write about at length is in Brooklyn and is more likely to produce recipes for matzo balls or hamentaschen than The King's Soup.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


by Illsaysheis

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