Tag Archives: Jane Austen

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane_Austen_coloured_version

Many happy returns of the day!

Jane Austen was born this day in 1775, making this the 240th anniversary of her birth.

And shortly thereafter in 1779, this book was born….

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell'uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

Giovanni Anfossi, Dell’uso ed abuso della cioccolata (Venice, 1779).

This book is all about how BAD chocolate is for you. Jane Austen did not agree.

For although there is plentiful tea in the collected works of Jane Austen, there is also a little chocolate

He took his own cocoa from the tray, which seemed provided with almost as many teapots as there were persons in company —

Miss Parker drinking one sort of herb tea and Miss Diana another — and turning completely to the fire, sat coddling and cooking it to his own satisfaction and toasting some slices of bread, brought up ready-prepared in the toast rack; and till it was all done, she heard nothing of his voice but the murmuring of a few broken sentences of self-approbation and success. When his toils were over, however, he moved back his chair into as gallant a line as ever, and proved that he had not been working only for himself by his earnest invitation to her to take both cocoa and toast. She was already helped to tea — which surprised him, so totally self-engrossed had he been. “l thought I should have been in time,” said he, “but cocoa takes a great deal of boiling.” “l am much obliged to you,” replied Charlotte. “But I prefer tea.” “Then l will help myself,” said he. “A large dish of rather weak cocoa every evening agrees with me better than anything.” lt struck her, however, as he poured out this rather weak cocoa, that it came forth in a very fine, dark-coloured stream; and at the same moment, his sisters both crying out, “Oh, Arthur, you get your cocoa stronger and stronger every evening,” with Arthur’s somewhat conscious reply of “Tis rather stronger than it should be tonight”
–Sanditon, by Jane Austen, 1817

Printing

This iconic Walter Baker Chocolate logo was painted in the 18th century

Because the weather is supposed to cooler – it’s practically Winter, so it might even be COLD (but I’m not complaining) and the sound of Christmas carols is everywhere, and I saw this use of a Pilgrim reproduction object:

beercup with marshmallow

It’s a beer cup, re-purposed as a hot chocolate with marshmallows cup. Genius!

A Chocolate Cup Jane Austen might recognize:

Chocolate_cup_Chantilly_porcelain_18th_century

And a hot chocolate recipe she might use:

From Mrs Rundell’s Domestic Cookery, 1859.

books_003

And a little https://www.youtube.com/embed/E3fX2_bxEkg” target=”_blank”>Hot Chocolate from a little more recently…..

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Filed under Recipe, The 1970's, winter

Cuppa, cuppa burning love

Long, long ago, when I was young and Mr Nixon was president,

RMNI started reading books.

Actually I started reading books – and newspapers and magazines and Sear and Roebucks catalogs and the backs of cereal boxes, much, much earlier, but I started reading books set in England and by English authors during the Nixon administration. For reasons I do not remember, I chose to narrow my reading to England for a year. Winnie-the-Pooh? Been there, read, that.

William Shakespeare? Working my way through.

Wm Shakes chandosWatching movie versions to help sort it all out.

I remember.

It was all about Shakespeare. Writing these words – the collected works of William Shakespeare, I remember.

But not just any ole Shakespeare….

Romeo and Juliet.

The Movie.This Movie.

Romeo and Juleit Zeffer

THIS is why I wanted to read ALL of Shakespeare. Sexy. sexy Shakespeare.

Which led to a major Agatha Christie Read-a-thon. Not the non-sequester this seems.The Library had scads of them. It put me in England.  I tried to read them in the order in which they were written – or just the way they were on the shelves.

Dame Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Christie

All the detectives…..I would eventually re-read many of them by character series.

Hercule PoirotTommy and TuppenceHarley Quinn

Miss Marpleand so on and so forth…..

and then there was Thomas Hardy

hardy

far-from-the-madding-crowd-dvd

Far from the Maddening Crowd – the 1968 movie

The movie gave me a visual….each time I read Hardy I still make new discoveries. I loved the flow of the words, the poetry  – there’s no way I understood HALF of what he was writing about when I first read him.

Jane Austen….

Jane Austin

Jane Austen

I started with Emma.

3panel book reviewMy Great Aunt Eileen had given me three volumes of Jane Austen when I was nine – before cookbooks, she gave me Austen so  the books would be waiting for me to be ready for them. I had forgotten them.

They had become part of the backdrop, three red covered hardbound volumes. Until  my then brand new best friend came into school with a paperback book:

Emma Jane Austen.

Emma Jane Austen? Who’s that? I asked.

Oh – Emma by Jane Austen.

Well, yeah, I’ve heard of Jane Austen (quick brain scan, can’t remember a thing – wait!  She’s English. Fits in with my read only English authors plan for the year. Where exactly did I leave that book?)

And while I read, I drank tea.

Tea made the books more English.

Tea made me more English.

Proper tea is made in a teapot, so I wanted a tea pot.

I got one at a yard sale and it was a beauty.

I'm a little teapot...

I’m a little teapot…

Little, orange, luster-ware. It was like a little bit of sunshine on the morning table.

Considering that much of the coffee I was drinking at this period was Freeze-dried…..hey, it was the ’70’s!

sanka 1970's

He played a doctor on TV, and he sold coffee, too. Robert Young.

Back to  tea. Pots and pots of tea. Hot tea, never iced or sweet. Pots and pots of hot tea poured into cup after cup.

That’s Salada Tea

Salada_PackShot691-164639and also Red Rose and Lipton.

Constant-Comment-1-300x271

Lots and lots of Constant Comment. Perhaps the signature tea. Thank you, Judith!

Earl Grey. English Breakfast. All day long.

Drank tea while I read. And I read every day.

Sharing pots of tea as part of the conversations of the books, the characters, the plots, the places, the movies.

Often in a China cup, also purchased at yard sales and received and given as gifts, often given as gifts between those of us reading the books and discussing them. A proper cuppa. Book love = Tea love. tea cup lady carlyleThe kettle was always on. The pot was always warmed.The good China was out, singular and mismatched as it was.

Tea was served. Sometimes with milk, sometimes with lemon, sometimes with something a little sweet, sometimes with friends, sometimes with family.

The Rule of Three was established in the ancestral home – you always put the kettle on with enough for yourself and two others, even if you were alone. Someone could come in! Be prepared!

It’s June. Strawberry season. Time to read Emma again.

But first, put on the kettle.

tea-kettle-with-whistle

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Filed under Influencers, Perception ways, Summer, The 1970's