I have found two books I must say I am really enjoying. The first came recommended to me by English blogger Catherine of the Read-Warbler blog. After my last post she suggested a book she was enjoying entitled: Footnotes: Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers by Peter Fiennes. Amazon describes it as:
“Peter Fiennes follows in the footsteps of twelve inspirational writers, bringing modern Britain into focus by peering through the lens of the past.
The journey starts in Dorset, shaped by the childhood visions of Enid Blyton, and ends with Charles Dickens on the train that took him to his final resting place in Westminster Abbey.
From the wilds of Skye and Snowdon, to a big night out in Birmingham with J. B. Priestley and Beryl Bainbridge, Footnotes is a series of evocative biographies, a lyrical foray into the past, and a quest to understand Britain through the books, journals and diaries of some of our greatest writers.
And as Fiennes travels the country, and roams across the centuries, he wonders:
‘Who are we? What do we want? They seemed like good questions to ask, in the company of some of our greatest writers, given these restless times.”
I downloaded it from Audible and have only listened to the first two chapters. The first is about the life Enid Blyton who I had no idea was such a difficult person with, what sounds like a lot of personal issues and the second is about the life of Wilkie Collins, author of the Moonstone and The Woman in White. The description of his life makes me want to read the Moonstone again and also the Woman in White which I have never read. I listen to 30 to 60 minutes at night before I fall asleep or as I lie down for a short rest in the afternoon. Peter Fiennes, the author, also narrates it and does a splendid job of it.
The other book in print I began last night is one I’m hearing quite a bit about. In this
book I am visiting a castle in Italy with four women who share the rent in the early 1900s. Some of you may have guessed by now. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. I only began it this morning with my morning coffee and toast with Ollie (who I learned loves apple slices). I’m not far into it so will comment later.
The rest of the day will centre on taking our 15 year old Molly to the vet later for her monthly arthritis injection. I think running around the yard with Ollie has been good for keeping her young though observing the looks she gives him at times might disagree with this though. Molly is a terrier mixture of about 9 different breeds according to the DNA sample we sent in. She is a sturdy little dog that just doesn’t quit and is certainly in charge of this household. Ollie has a healthy respect for her having been shaken by her at least twice since he arrived in this household. Those boundaries were established early.
Mr. Penguin has gone to the grocery store and will be picking up some ingredients for a Moroccon chicken recipe I found online that looks pretty good and also quite easy. I will print it here in case you’re interested. I’m not a big cook anymore. I cooked the first 25 years of our marriage and Mr. Penguin has cooked for the past 25 years. Once we hit our 50 year mark I’m not sure how we will divide that up. During these days of isolation and watching the Great British Bakeoff show on reruns I feel a bit like getting into the kitchen at times.
Here is the recipe
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces baby carrots with tops, trimmed, or baby carrots, halved lengthwise if large
- ½ cup pitted dried plums (prunes)
- 1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
- 1 ¼ teaspoons curry powder (I brought back some spices from Morocco when I was there last year I will use)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Step 1 In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine onion and carrots. Add prunes and broth. Top with chicken. In a small bowl combine curry powder, salt, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over chicken.
Step 2 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Remove chicken, fruit, and vegetables from cooker with a slotted spoon. Spoon some of the cooking juices on each serving. Makes 4 servings.
I’ll have to let you know if it is good or not or of any adjustments I make to it.