Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Bechamel Smechamel

I have no idea how the title for this post came about. I often have ideas for posts without having the time to write them, so I drop a title into a draft, fully intending to come back to it some point soon to finish my rambling, usually nonsensical thought. 

This time I didn't. Bechamel smechamel? Clearly I was making my famed (in my own kitchen) sort-of-bechamel sauce at the time, and clearly something had been said or occurred at the time of making it. Can I remember? No. And I've been wracking my brain for weeks. 

Oh well, we will no doubt learn to live without my pithy and no doubt witty conclusions on the topic of bechamels. A sad conclusion but we soldier on. Instead, I feel it's time for a book update. 

Oh yes, I have started reading again. After being genuinely concerned that I may never do so again.  Hallelujah. Praise be to whichever deity you prefer. 

It was Twitter what did it. On that entirely rational (not at all a shit-show of crazies crawling out of the woodwork *rolls eyes*), Joanne Harris was tweeting about Chocolat and I realised I hadn't read that in years. 24 hours later, I was still thinking about it, so I picked the book up and started to read. 

Hurrah for Chocolat! What an indulgent read that was. Harris herself has said it's not the best book she has written but it is so very evocative nontheless. I could smell the food she described and see the characters. Obviously having a pre-sleaze, pre-greasy-looks-like-he-needs-a-wash-and-a-good-talking-to Johnny Depp as your point of reference for Roux is always going to help. 

 I then decided I wasn’t ready to leave Europe and headed off to Italy with Extra Virgin and Ripe for the Picking, both of which I’ve read multiple times before (I find it weird when people only read a book once - “oh, it completely changed my life, here you have my copy, I’ll never read it again.” Bizarre. ) but needed for the sunshine, good food and a life that is completely removed from mine. I am now seriously considering an olive tree.

While N watched an umpteenth game of football one evening, I read Cold Comfort Farm. This is my lovely Folio copy with illustrations by Quentin Blake. How perfect are these? I love the book without them, but they are the edible-gold-covered-cherry on the light and fluffy cake. 

I then disappeared to run a bookshop, grow up on a sheep farm, catch up with a journalist/recipe blogger, follow Death's assistant around and laugh my self silly at the monstrous Poppy in The Unfortunates. She may be my favourite appalling character.  

"I said 'We'll probably put you in the Pomegranate Rum, unless the P of W is expected, in which case you'll get bumped to the Willow Rum. And Bobbity will be determined to find you a congenial horse, but you must stand up to her, because no such animal exists. Tell her you have an allergy. I'll tell her. Also, she makes unspeakable soup so be prepared to fill up on bread. And when we have people staying to hunt, be sure to take your bath early. If you don't there'll be nothing left but a miserable trickle of lukewarm water.'"

All of the books are on my affiliate page (see that link there, no not there, there - top right of this blog...there we are, well done), apart from Ripe for the Picking and The Unfortunates. 

 I've already started reading The Lost Gardens of Heligan. A very small to-be-read pile has been allowed to creep back in. It consists of this, a Susan Hill and a PG Wodehouse. That's as many as I'll allow myself just now.  

As I type, the rain is absolutely throwing itself at the window like tiny watery kamikaze pilots. I've taken a quick break from work which has taken off like a rocket thanks to some work from quite a large organisation. My intention to take my foot off the accelerator has been forgotten and I'm pinging from one email to another. But I'm loving it.What bliss it is to schedule my days to my best times of day (note: not between 2 and 3pm). 

Much like Aunt Ada Doom. There be a countin' coming...

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