I’m still trying to teach myself how to crochet, not going tremendously well. Today I crocheted a doll’s shawl, it wasn’t meant to be that, it was meant to be the start of a scarf, but I think I must have been dropping stitches left, right and centre and not counting my stitches properly, as the ‘scarf’ started to curve, more like a collar, as each line got shorter and shorter, so I gave this current project up as a bad job, attached some poppers and made it into a doll’s shawl. I will start again.
I think I’ve almost certainly said it before on here, I am no big fan of Delia Smith but I’m like a bull to a red rag to any sniff of a new major cook book coming out and sadly obviously at least to my subconscious, a new book from Delia Smith counts as ‘major’. Her new book Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking, is out on 15 February and a tiny little bit of me is tempted but a big part of me is screaming “Noooooooo!” very loudly.
Now I do, I admit, own some Delia books, her How to Cook Part One and the one which she wrote with a gardener about kitchen gardens and their associated recipes (yes she got there before Jamie), see I use it (and How to Cook Part One) so infrequently I can’t remember it’s title. What screams at me the most though with Delia’s new book (and the associated TV series) is that haven’t we all been here before very recently? I.e. Nigella Express and I love that book (and the TV show even though it was a bit corny). Ok Delia’s ‘new’ book is actually an updated version of one of her old books so you could say she was there way before Nigella but just reading the blurb for Delia’s new book, to quote
Delia has sourced a range of pre-prepared foods (from tins, chill cabinets, freezers and store cupboards) to help you short circuit cooking times and techniques.
Doesn’t the phrase ‘pre-prepared foods’ sound like jars of pasta sauce etc., I hope not because there is nothing quicker to make from scratch than a pasta sauce, a tin of tomatoes or something as simple as some olive oil and garlic. I don’t know, maybe I’m horrible wrong, I will at least grit my teeth against the patronisation and watch the first episode of the new series and I will report back but I hope this is a good TV series because there is precious enough few TV cookery programmes on TV these days and for the BBC to invest in this series means that another (potentially better) TV series isn’t being shown.
I’m not sure if I’m fully signed up for The Sunday Salon yet, I’ve filled in the form etc. but I’m not listed (as of typing) as a member, but I’ll join in anyway!
Today I’ve been reading The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist, I started reading it last weekend but stopped to read the far more entertaining A Quiet Belief in Angels, but I’ve finished that and I’m now back to ploughing through the very long Glass Book (until I get tempted by another book to read).
I think the idea behind The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters is absolutely fantastic, styled like a Victorian serial melodrama, it was originally published in the UK in ten parts, I’ve just finished reading the sixth part. It is about a trio of adventurers up against an evil Cabal and reading the blurb it all sounded very adventurous, however in reality it is a very long story and although I understand why it is long (as like I said it’s meant to be mimicing the Victorian serial) it could have done with being shortened a bit, there is an awful lot of going up and down in trains / up and down windy country roads / up and down foggy city streets and then getting knocked out, which so feels like padding. It doesn’t help that I sought out some interviews online with Dahlquist, as initially I was very impressed with the planning I thought must have gone into this book, but then I read an interview where Dahlquist more or less said that he didn’t know where he was going when he was writing this (he wrote it during jury service and in twenty minute stints going to and from work on the tube apparently) and everytime I get to a protracted scene on a country road or a train I can’t help but think “he doesn’t know where he’s going”.
Each part features the adventures of one of the heroes (although they do meet up occasionally with each other), I really like the feisty Miss Temple, who I’d imagine if this were a film (and it reads like a film in part, the sort where they’d have filmed virtually all of it in front of a blue screen and coloured it in afterwards), I’d have imagined Miss Temple as Nicole Kidman. The hero assassin Cardinal Chang is also entertaining and I imagine him as Bruce Willis. The third hero however isn’t quite as entertaining, a Dr. Svenson who I’d imagine as Malcom McDowell. The sixth part which I’ve just finished reading features Dr.Svenson so it was a bit of a struggle getting through it and as I’d already guessed there was an awful lot of going up and down on trains and country lanes and getting knocked out. However I am determined to finish this book, I suspect / hope that it will all end spectacularly well and by the end I won’t be able it put it down but at the moment it’s that thought along with the fact that I’ve already invested enough of my time to read 393 pages of this book, are the only things that are keeping me going with this.