Thursday, 23 January 2020

WWII Fiction Reprints

The Imperial War Museum has joined the other publishers who are reprinting fiction from the 1940's. Books that have disappeared and been forgotten.

I'm not sure where I found out about this one but the library had it in stock. It is one of 4 Wartime Classics the IWM published last September.

London, 1942. Flight-Lieutenant David Heron, home in London on convalescent leave, awakes to the news that a murder victim has been discovered in the garden of his boarding house. With a week until his service resumes, David sets out to solve the murder. Drawn into a world of mystery and double dealing, can he solve the mystery before his return to the skies?

An interesting story, first published in 1943, but not a lot of depth to it and although it's 1942, there are very few mentions of the war and everyone seems able to move about in the blackout easily which seemed odd compared to others I've read.

The other 3 wartime classics they published last year are all set over-seas ......... one in Malaya, another in Normandy and the last in Albania. I'm not planning on reading those. There is no mention of more fiction from IWM archives being published but I'll make a note and check up again later this year.


I'm glad our weather is changeable as I wouldn't want a whole winter like yesterday - it was foggy all day, very dull, damp and gloomy. So just three days of sunshine and frost. The roses that were still in bud in November have opened, all sorts of primula are flowering and the cyclamen and hellebore are colourful too and the grass just keeps growing but much, much too wet to cut. All seems a bit too early.

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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Butternut Squash

Up until about 10 years ago I'd never grown butternut squash. Then we stopped growing Brassicas out on our field at the smallholding because of the increase in pigeons and other pests, leaving us with space for something else. Pumpkins and Butternut Squash were the best solution, they didn't need much care after planting and extended the vegetable selling season.

 I found a photo from the old blog from May 2014. The Squash and Pumpkins, planted out on the field. Each one has a little 'wall' of soil pulled round them to protect against the wind twizzling them out of the ground.

 Since we moved here I've grown a few plants each year with varying success, last year after good germination the plants didn't do well at all - the didn't seem to like being in the same bed as courgettes, and I think I ended up with about 7 small squash. To make the most of them I roasted several with lots of other homegrown chopped vegetables and stacked meal sized boxes in the freezer - I've still got a few boxes left.
I'd almost forgotten there was one squash left sitting in a basket on the kitchen widow sill until I moved the basket the other use it quickly.

That last squash was strangely shaped but actually that makes more useful flesh than the usual shape.
I chopped it all and added to a pan with chopped onion, a couple of chopped leeks from the garden, a few small potatoes peeled and chopped and an apple. Softened everything in a little rapeseed oil
Added curry powder, a tablespoonful of flour and stirred the mix up 'til the flour and curry powder were cooked then added a splash of vinegar, a spoonful of sugar and boiling water. Cooked that all for a while covered adding boiling water and stirring often. Finally chucked in the last three frozen spinach balls I found in their pack  tucked  in the corner of a freezer draw.
 Once the spinach had defrosted and I'd stirred it all in I ended up with 5 portions of curry, one to eat and 4 for the freezer.

Not many days later I was going through the seed catalogues deciding what I needed this year and found a  variety of squash called Tahiti Melon  - HUGE fruits with a long neck and small seed cavity.

Even if I only get a few it will be enough for loads of roast and tons of curry!

I do love trying things I've not grown before - all part of the optimism of gardening.

Thank you for comments yesterday and Monday, welcome to some new followers, hope you like reading my ramblings about a quiet  Suffolk life.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

First Jumble Sale of the Year

The first jumble sale of the year was well advertised - which caused problems as it was in a tiny village hall on some very narrow roads. Everywhere was completely jammed up and I ended up having to reverse quite a long way because someone coming the other way couldn't!
I thought about giving up and going home because by the time I'd gone backwards, turned round and found a space to park a long way up the road, the queue to get in was about 50 people.
But I stayed and everyone eventually squashed in and I fought to get to the tables of bric-a-brac and  then the book table and after all that..............I spent just £1 on 3 things

Never had an apple corer and slicer, so thought I'd try one. The 12 tiny nail varnishes will be for Christmas for the eldest of the 4 children in the lane. I always get them a little something and pretend that Santa delivered them to the wrong address - although the eldest two are way past believing!
And the book - Suffolk Author and Suffolk Illustrator - a book for children - curious to see what it was.

Next jumble sale in 2 weeks time I think...........a waste of time and money? probably, but they get me out of the house on a Saturday until the car boot season at Needham Market starts in March - a month later than usual...............I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!(And they are  finishing at the end of October instead of early December - very sad news for me)

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