Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Books

February - 5

7. Overdue - book two in the Village Library series
by Elizabeth Spann Craig
mystery 2019
finished 2/6/20

I liked this, and will read on in the series.

8. The Man of Property - book one in The Forsyte Saga
by John Galsworthy
fiction 1906
finished 2/20/20

It was The Forsyte Saga that made Tom and I television Anglophiles. I think it was on in the US in 1969, but was seen a couple years earlier in England. Beautifully written about a certain branch of society at a certain time in history. This is a family that shows hardly any real emotion and whose raison d'être is to accumulate property and money. The property sadly includes human beings, like wives. Well worth reading. I'm going on with the series.

9. Bread and Jam for Frances
by Russell Hoban
Illustrated by Lillian Hoban
children's fiction 1986
library book that Margaret took out for Hazel
finished 2/21/20

The other day we were down at Hazel's house. She was quietly playing and Tom was sitting down, and I began reading aloud a most beloved Frances book. I wrote about this series years ago here. As I read along, Hazel went upstairs for something but I kept on and Tom and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It tells of a very wise mother's handling of a tricky situation - that of a child not liking too many foods and not wanting to try any new foods. Being myself what the world calls "picky" and I call "discerning", I appreciated how there was no cajoling on the parents' part to eat what she didn't want to eat. My folks were excellent about this. If I wanted spaghetti with butter in a restaurant, they had no problem ordering it for me. My mother never made me eat tripe which I found unbearably disgusting. I have grown up to still be a "discerning" eater, but I eat a lot more foods than I did as a child. Becoming a vegetarian introduced me to a world of eating I had never known growing up.

10. Indian Summer of a Forsyte - an interlude between The Man of Property and In Chancery
Now would be called 1.5 in a series
55 pages long
by John Galsworthy
fiction 1918
finished 2/23/20

This short novella, what Galsworthy called an interlude, was sublimely beautiful. Old Jolyon is different from his brothers and sisters, and especially so when he is in his eighties. He is mellower, and a great appreciator of nature, and beauty, and his grandchildren. The writing is lovely.

11. Lassie Shows the Way
by Monica Hill
pictures by Lee Ames
children's fiction 1956
my childhood Golden Book
finished 2/25/20

Hazel ate supper at our house on my birthday as her parents had to go out. We rented the movie Home on Amazon Prime. It is currently her favorite movie. It was really quite delightful, and warm spirited. Afterwards, she picked up one of my childhood books, and "read" through it, and then asked me to read it to her. I so enjoyed going back in time. Lassie was very popular when I was a child, in books and movies and television. Though played by a male dog, Lassie was a female in the shows. I have had a lifelong love of Collies, and we had one for seven years until the dear boy died young.

This is our MacIntosh in 2002.

I wrote about him on the blog here, and just a few months later wrote about his death here.

We wanted to get another but just didn't dare. We didn't think bear going through possible epilepsy again.

Anyhow, back to the story. Timmy stops in at the store for his mother, and there is a stranger there. The guy thinks his dog will win the dog show. As Timmy leaves he hears the man asks for his address. Today a store keeper would never give a stranger a child's address!! Lassie is later stolen, but comes back home as she always does! And leads the sheriff to the "bad guy". Pretty much par for the Lassie course, but to Hazel it was all new and she enjoyed it.

So that ends my reading month. Not many finishes, but lots of reading joy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Today's song - All Things Must Pass/George Harrison

On this our shared birthday here is George singing. I'm sorry there wasn't a live version, but this one is kind of nice because it shows the lyrics. Such a loss to this world.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Today's poem by Midge Goldberg

Busy Signal

No busy signal from his cell,
Instead I'm on "call waiting."
I can't hang up the phone and so
I'm left anticipating

Whether when he sees my name
He'll want to take the call,
And if he doesn't, am I on
His contact list at all?

Or am I still a nameless number
In this three-way hell,
Will he know it's me or think
"That doesn't ring a bell"?

And who is on the other line
He might prefer to me:
His mother, sister, college friend,
That girl on speed dial 3?

But if I choose to end it then
"missed call" gives me away.
No anonymity will hide
The things I didn't say.

Times have changed, these days there are
No hang-ups any more;
I'm strong enough, so go ahead:
Accept or else Ignore.

Midge Goldberg
from Snowman's Code

2020 Book Facts

Only a collecting post.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

My mother's muffin recipe

These were the best cranberry muffins I've ever tasted. In fact, I had a couple other recipes for them in the recipe box, and I threw them away, knowing this is IT from now on. So many recipes I see call for 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar. That's a lot for twelve muffins, I think. This one calls for 2 Tablespoons, and even with tart cranberries, they were perfectly sweet. The same goes for butter - most of the time, recipes call for more than 3 Tablespoons.

The things I changed - I didn't separate the egg, and I used the whole egg. Also, as you must know by now, I only ever use butter in baking. And I greased the muffin pan with cooking spray.

Can you tell what is under the word "preheated"? Is it 400? Well, I wasn't sure enough so I put the oven at 350 F. I've made these muffins almost half a dozen times, and they have turned out perfectly. I baked them for about 20 minutes, but check because all ovens are different.

You may use fresh or frozen cranberries, and I put them in the food processor to break them up.

I love that she called them "standard" and that the cook can use any fruits she or he wants.

Please visit Weekend Cooking for more food related posts.