All Is Revealed

Well not all but ……

I know you were just sitting on the edges of your seats waiting to find out what those odd objects were that I pulled out, polished, and put back away, were and what they were used for.

Woody in Ohio came up with the answers to both, closely followed by Old Lurker who was right about one. Over at FaceBook Simonetta showed up in third place.

Back in the days before it became Disneyland Harrod’s was a very classy store and sold many unusual and interesting things (sort of the way Neiman-Marcus use to be). And this was particularly true at Christmas in their Food Halls. One Christmas I was in London shopping – as I did in those days – and came across their Baby Stilton. Just the thing for a Stilton lover who could not afford nor had the need for the full 10lb wheel. So a tradition was begun. The next year just before Christmas the ever thoughtful Uncle Pervy*, presented me with this Stilton Cheese scoop on my Birthday. Sadly the traditions vanished when Harrod’s was sold to some type who turned it into an amusement park and they ceased to be providers of these delicious rounds of blue cheese goodness. That and I stopped going to London to do Christmas shopping because it was too damned expensive.

*It should be mentioned that Uncle Pervy’s doesn’t remember this kind gift at all.

It is suggested that sardines seldom graced the breakfast buffet in the homes of the quality except perhaps in the staff kitchen. They did however appear on the morning tables of good solid upper-middle class homes as a staple to be replaced with finnan haddie only on high days and holidays. And because it was served there had to be a serving utensil for it: the sardine fork. The tines were blunted so as not to pierce the delicate flesh. This would have been part of a set including a knife that was smaller in size than the standard fish knives shown yesterday.

The word for May 22nd is:
Sardine /särˈdēn/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1. A young pilchard or other young or small herring-like fish.
2. To pack in closely together
Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin sardina, from sarda, from Greek, probably from Sardō ‘Sardinia’.

No Cause for Concern

I apologize if the beginning of my Sapa post was the cause of some concern for my faithful reader. That certainly was not my intention and I am touched by your concern. As with, it would seem, many people I know I have been going through a period of winter depression since the beginning of the year.

…. in pensive or vacant mood

I will not go into details just to say that it has been a long rough winter on many levels. However “Sumer is icumen in” and loudly caw the crows; a few trips are on the horizon; we are booked again this year for French River and our best friends will be joining us for some of our time there. So there is much to look forward to in the next six months. (You notice faithful reader I didn’t mention Spring – well for the two days it lasts it’s really not worth all the effort I’m taking in typing this sentence!)

Again thank you for your concern however I assure you this too will pass, as the actress said of her kidney stone!

The word for May 1st is:
Ennui /änˈwē/: [noun]
A feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
Mid 18th century: French, from Latin in odio(n- ), from mihi in odio est ‘it is hateful to me’.

Things I Have …

… that I never knew I needed!

Given that PEI potatoes are one of the main industries here it’s no wonder a pair of Potato Gloves has finally found their way into our kitchen.

I have yet to use them but apparently they clean the dirty off potatoes in a flash while leaving the nutritious (and flavour packed) skin as unblemished as a baby’s bottom! We shall see tonight!

The word for March 16th is:
Potato /pəˈtādō/: [noun]
1. A starchy plant tuber which is one of the most important food crops, cooked and eaten as a vegetable
2. The plant of the nightshade family that produces the potato tubers on underground runners.
Mid 16th century: from Spanish patata, variant of Taino batata ‘sweet potato’. The English word originally denoted the sweet potato and gained its current sense in the late 16th century.

Odds and Sods Around Our House

One of the sad facts that my generation has to face is that few people want any of the nick-knacks that we have acquired over the years. There is no market for chinaware, silver or crystal; those six sets of candle sticks or Iranian carpets will find very few buyers at the consignment auction; and who uses linen table cloths and napkins now? For many of us the contents of our china cabinets will merely be items at some garage or charity sale. I say that with perhaps a sense of melancholy but certainly no bitterness of scorn. Time passes and tastes change. But in the meantime let’s celebrate and enjoy those things we treasure – and perhaps more importantly use them.

This pressed glass dish was in my mother’s china cabinet for as long as I can remember. Where she got it or who may have given it to her I’ll never know. As a kid I was always fascinated by the colours that appeared in certain lights almost like a prism. We use it today as a candy dish at Christmas or Easter though one Christmas it was filled with miniature sugar plums as part of a centrepiece.

This glass cup is 121 years old and according to what I was told was given to my father on his first Christmas. There is a slight problem with that: my father was born on March 19th 1902 according to his Birth Certificate but the cup is engraved 1901?? It is a bit of a mystery – much like the train conductor’s watch I wrote about previously.

The word for March 4th is:
Pressed glass: /prɛst ɡlɑːs/: [compound noun]
A form of glass made by pressing molten glass into a mold using a plunger. It was first patented by American inventor John P. Bakewell in 1825 to make knobs for furniture.

It Only Takes a Minute

A FB friend shared a very short (less than 3 minutes) film that touched me deeply. In looking for it on YouTube I found several others by Iranian film maker Mohammad Reza Kheradmandan. All of them tell a story of everyday life anywhere in a few words and images. I thought I’d share two without comment.

One of the several that showed up on that search:


And the one that sent me on that search:


The word for January 20th is:
Hesitation /ˌhezəˈtāSH(ə)n/: [noun]
The act of pausing before doing or saying something, especially through uncertainty.
Early 17th century: from Latin haesitat- ‘stuck fast, left undecided’, from the verb haesitare, from haerere ‘stick, stay’.

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