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Today in My History

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2001:  Mid-Night Musings
2002:  Take 2 Aspirin and Call Me in 6 Months
2003:  The "E" Word
2004:  I Dreamed I Went Shopping
2005The Grace of a Gazelle

2006:  Too Big for Your Britches
2007: Just Passing Through Again
2008:  Don't Rain on My Shower
2009:  Among My Souvenirs

2010:  Stunned
2011:  Over the Top

Bitter Hack
"In the Other Room, or The Vibrator Play"

Books Read in 2012
Updated: 2/22
"Catcher in the Rye"


102 books for 102 years from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on YouTube

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Christmas 2011

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage
My Compassion Kids
The Pen Pal Project

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My 70th Year


24 February 2012

I received a notice from the SPCA that its thrift shop is in need of donations.  I also know that Logos (the book store) can always use book donations, so I decided to start filling boxes to donate.  I figure if I do even a shelf a day, that's a shelf a day I didn't do before.

I started with cleaning out cookbooks.   There was a time when I collected cookbooks.  Lots of cookbooks. But I find that I rarely use any of them now because it's so easy to just google ingredients or recipe when I'm looking for inspiration.

So I got rid of an entire shelf of Weight Watcher books (some dating back to when WW was first started).  I can't remember when I last opened one and even should I be so inspired to need them again, I could get whatever I wanted on the internet.  That filled almost a whole banker's box right there.  I also included some books that I know I will never look at again.

I was in the midst of sorting through cookbooks when Walt panicked and asked what had become of his beer cookbook. "Beer Cookery" is one of those books which I will always keep, even if only for one recipe.  

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I don't think we have used the "Beer Cookery" (published in London in 1957) for anything but the recipe for "chops" (we use lamb chops) which Walt makes every few years. This year he made it for my birthday.  Here's the recipe:

1/2 pint ale
2 eggs
vinegar (tarragon is excellent here)
nutmeg, lemon, parsley, seasoning

Fry the chops--well seasoned--in the ordinary way, and drain off the fat into a basin.  Pour the ale into the frying pan, season again, and simmer gently until the chops are tender.  When this has happened, take the chops out of the pan and put aside to keep hot.
     Pour the liquor from the pan into a basin, add a little vinegar, some capers, the yolks of the eggs, a grate of nutmeeg and a pinch of salt.
     Beat this up well and add it to the fat that you drained off from the chops.  Pour all back into the frying pan and stir until the sauce thickens, when you should pour it over the chops.
     Serve the chops garnished with a slice of lemon and a spring of parsley.

Other books that I keep, even if for only one recipe, include a soup book where I get my wonderful lamb soup of the Middle East, the pie book I always use for lemon meringue pie, and a bread cookbook that I bought long before I ever had a bread machine.  I would also never give away my Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking (12 volumes) or my Good Housekeeping cookbook that I received for a bridal shower gift.  It was my bible--I liked it much better than "Joy of Cooking"--for many years.

I haven't made a huge dent in the collection, by a long shot, but I have rearranged things, dusted things, and freed up at least half a shelf.  It's a good start. 



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