October 27th, 2013



1. From the FFL, an animated flyover/ flythrough of Elizabethan London. I wish it had been slower so I could see the details.

2. Possibly my evening habit of reading by insufficient light out of one eye, but I didn't notice until yesterday afternoon that A Novel on Yellow Paper is actually printed on yellow paper.

3. Definition of shamanism, out of Kendall though not hers:
William Lebra provides a useful working definition of shamans. Shamans wield recognized supernatural powers for socially approved ends, and have the capacity to enter culturally acknowledged trance states at will.
Shall apply this at need to Kate Griffin, who I think has already taken liberties with it.

4. Illness is kind to the pocketbook so, with money left over this week, I decided to buy some Happy Steer stewing beef (not called that, but the label does eulogize the family farm the meat came from) and try a slow-cook recipe for beef stew out of the Guardian. (Actually a slow-cook gratin, but I'm adding veg to it, so stew/ boeuf bourgignon it is.) Doubtless slow-cook (*and* that bottle of wine they call for) would make even unhappy steer edible, but these days I'm antsy enough about beef to want to be sure my animal had a happy life before going to his useful death.

I used a de-alcoholized wine (was raining y'day and I didn't feel like tramping up or down to the wine store.) It works, but the real thing would have been better. I could have drunk some for the back pains cooking gives me.

S-i-l mentioned the proper/ Julia Child method of cooking mushrooms before adding: very hot frypan, very little oil. End results seems OK. But now I remember why I've never made stew in my life: my mother used to put kidneys in hers. Poking among the veg I kept expecting to encounter that awful offal taste. Luckily it's only a firm mushroom every time.

5. I'm really tempted by that quince recipe in the Guardian article, but quince doesn't grow in NAmerica "due to its susceptibility to fireblight disease caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora." Suggestion is that Whole Paycheque may carry them. Hmm....