Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Orchids, reading and domesticity

Orchids and willows.

Recent reading
The Flame Trees of Thika. Some of us may remember the television series. I much enjoyed the book about Elspeth Huxley’s wild African childhood before WWI. With her valiant mother and her gullible, kindly father, she trekked out to make a home in the Kenya wilderness. They built a grass house, they ate off packing cases spread with damask table cloths, they learnt how to train oxen, grow coffee and understand something of their African neighbours.

Who’s That Girl? by Alexandra Potter. I grabbed this in the supermarket by mistake, thinking it was by a different author. Fun chick lit but not my kind of thing. More suitable for the under 30s.

Use clothes pegs to seal opened items in the larder like bags of flour, loaves of bread, cereal bags. Much easier than twists of wire and seals that come unstuck.

The other night I cooked one of Jamie Oliver’s tasty chicken-breasts-in-the-bag recipes, though life is too short to grate parsnip. Instead of peeling and chopping ginger root I used crystallised stem ginger left over from cake-making – OK, more calories but quicker, and equally delicious.

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