Pandemic Diary 38
May 1, 2020
“This wasn’t food — it was what food became if it had been good and gone to food heaven.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series has given me years of true and utter joy. The characters quickly became friends and Pratchett’s death was mourned by me and millions of others knowing we would never see these friends we had grown to love, in another adventure.
There are several characters I loved, Death for one, he had a wonderful sense of humor, Rincewind and his magical suitcase and of course Nanny Ogg.
I have Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook, and while it specifically says that most of the recipes have been tried out on people who are still alive, it took a while for me to find a recipe in her book I thought would be good to try.
So I made Strawberry Wobbler, and to quote the book “How can I put this it’s pink and it wobbles”. Just think strawberries and cream blended to a pulp and placed in champagne glasses, great spring time dessert. Why champagne glasses? Because the containers preferred by Nanny Ogg were as they say “unavailable”, which is code for she ate out of anything she found nearby, lined or not with critters.
On the more serious side of the aisle is Brunetti’s Cookbook. Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti is stationed in Venice where he grew up, married the sophisticated, smart and charming Poala and sired two children Raffi and Chiara. Food plays a central role when the family is together. For the author to collaborate on a cook book was a no-brainer. I couldn’t resist doing Risotto after reading Unto Us A Son is Given.
Then there is the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. The characters in the books are all anthropomorphic animals capable of speech, and the long tables in the abbey dining hall are often front and center in the books. The mouth-wateringly detailed descriptions of the food can cause such a distraction when I hit those pages. When that happens I often wander into my kitchen hoping that something from their groaning board will magically appear there. Jacques is another of my favorite fiction writers who has died, I miss all of the delightful animals, especially Log-alog, Brother Anthony, Mrs. Churchmouse, and of course Martin the Warrior. Loamhedge Legacy Nutbread was the treat from the Redwall Cookbook.
I have celebrated cocktail hour with a French 75 (or two) from the Great Gatsby and can’t wait to try a Jack Rose from The Sun Also Rises. I also found a book that sounds intriquing Drinking with Dickens written by Cedric Dickens, the great-grandson of Charles Dickens.
There are so many more recipes to consider such as seed cake from Jane Eyre, or roasted potatoes from Secret Garden.
I found a list of 100 cookbooks from fiction, so if you are looking for a new distraction, maybe cooking from your favorite escapism literature is for you.
Shelter in Place is sending me down paths I hadn’t expected.
A little personal note here. I have been writing this diary for 38 days, and it has been one of the best things I have done. It has kept my mind active, my love of research satisfied and basically I love to write. The thing is, I am running out of things to say (yeah right). So, I am not quiting, but I am going to move this to once a week, and let my brain take a break from 24 hour news and the 10 newspapers I read daily in order to find subjects.
I will try as hard as possible to keep consistent and post on Mondays.
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As a Californian I have at least one more month of SIP. If you have been a regular reader, you are as aware as I, that this is going to be a 12 to 16 month slog, with reprieves here and there. That is far longer than the happy talk coming from Washington.
I will keep at this, and probe those dark corners and silly places as long as this goes on.
My Horoscope for today: Your mind will enjoy being engaged with practical tasks it can solve, instead of fretting over a future it cannot predict but tries so desperately to.
The NYT Crossword Puzzle: Tough getting started and then somewhat interesting. I did not know that zzz was an acceptable Scrabble answer.
San Francisco weather: 62 degrees and breezy
NYSE DOW opened at: 24120
Italian word of the day: esagonale (hexagonal)
Spanish word of the day: el sindicato (labor union)
OED word of the day: dulciloquent (Of a person: sweet-spoken. Hence also of an utterance, style, etc.: characterized by pleasing or mellifluous language)
Days under Shelter In Place: 49
The Gay Metropolis by Charles Kaiser
Studying Canto X, XI and XII of Dante’s Purgatorio
My Black and White Picture of the Day
Something Silly From the Internet:
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