Friday, 1 April 2011

Bookish Delights

Today I received a belated birthday gift; done up in Tiffany Blue paper, a sage green book slid out. A volume of poetry by Edward Thomas. The cover itself is really tactile, smooth heavy card with a slight grain, which opens to reveal ever so slightly cream pages. Alas, it does not say which font they have used, but it is elegant, and slightly spare, so the words carry all the impact themselves. I am not yet familiar with Edward Thomas, but I have a feeling that he will be a new friend. I came back from town today with Easy Living Magazine and Good Housekeeping. Easy Living jumped into my basket because it has a trinket tray by Celia Birtwell free on the front. There were two designs; a dark tray with birds, or a paler tray with Parisian detailing. I chose the latter! I am rather taken with trays at the moment. I have my cold cream, pears soap and witchazel on a tray in the bathroom, so all my cleansing products are together. I want to put my tea things on a tray next, but this one is too small for that. Perhaps I shall use it on my bedside table. Good Housekeeping came home with me because there is a feature by Kirstie Allsopp on throwing a Street Party in honour of the Royal Wedding. I love Kirstie, and I am really looking forward to the Royal Wedding, so I had to have it! I am not having a street party, but I am throwing a small afternoon tea, inviting some friends to watch the wedding and partake of some tea, sandwiches and cakes. One of my friends is vegan, and another does not eat wheat, so Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is a book I have borrowed from the library and bought home today. I need to start planning the menu, and have decided that wheat free bread cucumber sandwiches should tick both boxes, and I hope to find some cupcake recipes that will keep everyone happy too! I will be happiest if I can manage a menu where everyone can eat everything rather than trying to remember who can eat what! As I mentioned in my previous post, I have just finished Miss Buncle Married, the sequel to Miss Buncle's Book. It was a real delight. The way Stevenson captures thoughts about certain things reminds me of Mrs Miniver. Miss Buncle (now Mrs Abbott) is house hunting and cannot find a satisfactory house, because she has an image of the perfect house in her mind, and none of the ones she has seen so far are that house! It is book club tonight. We have read The Hidden Heart of Emily Hudson, and our next book is Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I enjoyed the former and am looking forward to the latter. I think of Niffenegger as a 'good' author, which I know is terribly subjective, but I think of as good quality writing, and also enjoyable. A book that I have had in mind to read for a while, and finished last night was Mr Rosenblum's List which is about a Jewish refugee who arrives in London with his wife during World War 2, and is issued a booklet of instructions about how to live well and fit in in England. (It includes things like 'talk halting English rather than fluent German and do not talk in a loud voice). He adds to his list, and the last thing he needs to do is to join a golf club, but because he is a Jew, no club will accept him. At last he decides that if cannot be a member of a club, he will make his own! I thought it was going to be a gentle read, and it is indeed gentle and whimsical on the whole, but also there is a lot of depth and sadness. It is quite deceptive really, light to read but some of the observations really do pierce you. I was intrigued to read about a cake that his wife makes, called Baumkuchen, which you make by spreading a thin layer of batter then grilling it, then adding another layer and another. When it is cut, it resembles the rings in a tree. Each layer is in remembrance, perhaps of a person, or an event. In the book it is made as Sadie tries to come to terms with losing her family, and it is described as tasting of sadness, which reminds me of a novel I have read reviews of, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, which is about a girl who can taste the emotions of the person who has prepared her food, which gives her an insight into their interal lives. I must put that on my list of books to read! When I got home this afternoon, the postman had been, and a day before I expected it, I have The Skinny French Kitchen by Harry Eastwood, who also wrote Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. It is full of French recipes which she has made a little kinder to the waistline. I really like the quirky whimsical nature of her writing, and I find her recipes work really well too. I think I won't have too much time for cooking over the next few weeks, but once I am settled into my new kitchen, it will be nice to have a new book to cook from. I have also just subscribed to a new craft magazine called Molly Makes. It launches in May, and has the feel of being a cross between Making magazine and Selvedge. So that is my little round up of my reading for now....what are you reading?

1 comment:

Dinahsoar said...

I'd have chosen the Parisian tray too--I love anything Parisian.

The tea party gathering to watch the royal wedding sounds great. What fun to plan and what fun for your guests.

Such a shame that Jewish people are excluded for being Jewish. The cake you mention them making sounds like the cake we call a 'stack' is southern (US) and consists of very thin baked layers--a dozen--filled with an apple filling made of dried apples. It is one of my favorite.

Last April I got a Mrs. Miniver book at the annual library sale. Which reminds me-- it is April and this years sale will take place soon. I need to check the dates.