Monday, November 12, 2012

Re Memorial Day, Earring, Latest Book. Bangers.

Gracie FieldsThe radio were playing a bunch of war songs and I was astounded to hear Gracie Fields singing Ave Maria. She was so popular during the second world war and now only old fogies like Matt and I even know who she was. Although untrained, she had an absolutely marvellous voice. This is a recording of her singing Now is the Hour – its followed by some version o; Lollipop, Lollipop. I found Ave Maria and this is worth a listen. You have to remember she was untrained as I said. She was referred to as Our Gracie, presumably because she was a Lancashire lass; Gracie travelled to the front lines many times to entertain the troops during the second world war. She made a lot of money in her career and was extremely generous with it setting up charities and funding travel for troops in her home town of Rochdale during the war years. She eventually moved to Capri, Italy to live and finally died there in 1979.

Getting ready for bed the other night, I discovered I had lost an earring. The only place I had been was the bowling alley but so far, it hasn’t turned up. It was a gold hoop and I was very fond of wearing them. I hope I can claim it on insurance. Its been a weekend for problems, my computer guy has been in twice to fix problems with my computer caused by all the dust when the floor was laid. I phoned the flooring company and they said the computer guy should call them and they would see what they could do. He still has to come back so its not over yet.

I ordered a book from the library, don’t know who told me about it;  by Thieftakerthe time it arrived it didn’t strike me as very appealing. I’m glad I didn’t just take it back, its turned out to be an excellent story. Its Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson and is set in Boston prior to the American Revolution. There is a long blurb on Goodreads if you would like to read about it (maybe that’s where I heard of it, but I don’t think so). I don’t know this author but on the cover I read he has been writing epic fantasy for 15 years and is now combining that with his love of American history. I will have to look out for other books by this author. I have another book to read after this one, its by Brandon Sanderson who usually writes huge books. This is a slim little book called The Emperor’s Soul. I was very surprised. I have yet another book waiting for me Storm from the Shadows by David Weber who wrote the Honor Harrington books, this is set in the same world I understand. I have all the Harrington books as ebooks.

English sausagesI have, for some reason, had a craving lately for English bangers (sausages) something I won’t be able to satisfy. I like Jimmy Dean sausages too, but can’t get them here, only in the States although, in fact, I don’t remember seeing any when we were in NC during the summer. We get some reasonably good sausages locally, but not like the English ones I used to buy at my local butcher’s. Oh well, hope the craving passes off soon. I used to like it when some of the sausage meat crept out of the ends and became crispy on the outside, yum.

This is a recipe intended for Thanksgiving in the States. Obviously it would make an excellent hors d’oeuvres for any occasion.

Wild Mushroom Crostini

Contributed to Food and Wine by Ford FryWild Mushroom Crostini


Southern cooking is often very meat-focused, but chef Ford Fry likes to emphasize vegetables. For these crostini, he tops creamy ricotta with a mix of garlicky mushrooms and a handful of herbs.

  1. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  5. 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  7. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  9. 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  11. Kosher salt
  12. Freshly ground pepper
  13. Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of rustic sourdough bread
  14. 1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese (1 cup)
  15. 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
  16. 1/4 cup snipped chives
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shiitake and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, 4 minutes. Add the oyster mushrooms and cook until softened and lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, lemon juice, thyme and the 1 tablespoon of parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the bread with olive oil and grill until toasted and charred in spots, about 1 minute per side.
  3. Spread each toast slice with 1/4 cup of the ricotta. Spoon the mushrooms on top and and sprinkle with the tarragon, chives and additional parsley. Cut the crostini in half, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo - hope you find your earring .. I've done that - very frustrating .. I then have to find a new favourite!!

    The book - I've heard of ... and should be a good read - enjoy it ..

    Bangers for breakfast - not a bad idea .. just don't have any! Cheers and have a good week - Hilary

    1. Haven't found it yet Hilary. Maybe at the bowling alley when we go later.

      It was a good read. Loved it.

      At least you can get English bangers.

  2. O haven't heard Gracie for ages. However it's great listening to Lincolnshire sausages sizzling in the pan!

    1. Nor had I Bob, it was a reminder of many years ago.

      As I said to Hilary, at least you can get English sausages.

  3. Sausages are one of those food items that's a treat maybe once a year. That usually satisfies the craving.

    1. Ah but, English sausages are delicious Alex. Haven't had them in years.

  4. Wow, I am getting so many good recipes from you.

    1. Glad they are good ones for you, I hadn't really registered this fit the bill for a vegan but I'm glad it pleases you.

  5. Mu dad was a Gracie Fields fan and as I read your post this melody came to mind - - "Wish me luck as you wave me good by - -" Was this a Gracie Fields song? He had a huge record collection and somehow this is in my memory.

    1. Yup it was. There is a YouTube version here

  6. Thanks, Jo. It was a pleasure to hear it again and remember my dad.