Brightening the Dark Days of Winter

LightNicola here. Today is known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Twelfth Day. For many the date marks the end of the Christmas festivities, the day people take down their decorations if they haven't already done so the day before. It’s also the last of the Word Wench festive posts for this season as we head out into 2017!

We’re lucky that these days we have artificial light to help us face the long, cold and dark days of winter. Candles and firelight may sound romantic but I imagine that if I was trying to read or write in that sort of light on a daily basis it would get very difficult. Travel, work, cooking, all the elements of daily life are aided by light. Importantly a lot of people also find their mood is affected by an absence of natural light and so the darkness can pull us down and at the start of the year in particular, when Christmas is over, it’s important to have things that lift our spirits.

Many of the events and entertainments that are going on at the moment have their roots far back in history. The fun fair, the Three kings
pantomime and the carnival were all winter activities designed to entertain people when life was bleak. Coming back to Three Kings Day, El Dia de Los Reyes, is a particularly important festival in Spain and Latin America, but there are celebrations on 6th January across the globe, ranging from pageants and parades to the creation of special bread to share at family and community meals.

Here in the UK it’s pantomime season (Oh no it isn’t!) The origins of the panto date back to the Middle Ages and over the years have incorporated lots of different traditions from Tudor masques to Victorian music hall. The pantomimes are nearly always based on well known children's stories such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty etc. Pantomimes are performed not only in the top UK theatres but also in village halls throughout the country. Our local one is Jack and the Beanstalk. Audience participation is a very important part of a pantomime and it’s all very silly and fun. The audience are encouraged to boo the villain whenever he enters the stage, argue with the Dame (who is always a man) and warn the Principal Boy (who is always a girl) when the villain is behind them by shouting out "He's behind you!" It’s completely eccentric but it gets us through the winter!

BreadThis evening I'll be making cheese and rocket bread, in honour of Three Kings Day. It's delicious eaten warm, with a bit of butter and extra cheese! Are you a fan of speciality breads? What would you recommend to share to celebrate Twelfth Day? 

135 thoughts on “Brightening the Dark Days of Winter”

  1. The cheese and rocket bread sounds yummy, Nicola. I often make Delia Smith’s goats cheese and thyme bread — it’s delish with soup.
    I have never been to a Christmas Panto and I know I’d love it if I did. If I’m ever in the UK at Christmas, I’ll go to one.

    Reply
  2. The cheese and rocket bread sounds yummy, Nicola. I often make Delia Smith’s goats cheese and thyme bread — it’s delish with soup.
    I have never been to a Christmas Panto and I know I’d love it if I did. If I’m ever in the UK at Christmas, I’ll go to one.

    Reply
  3. The cheese and rocket bread sounds yummy, Nicola. I often make Delia Smith’s goats cheese and thyme bread — it’s delish with soup.
    I have never been to a Christmas Panto and I know I’d love it if I did. If I’m ever in the UK at Christmas, I’ll go to one.

    Reply
  4. The cheese and rocket bread sounds yummy, Nicola. I often make Delia Smith’s goats cheese and thyme bread — it’s delish with soup.
    I have never been to a Christmas Panto and I know I’d love it if I did. If I’m ever in the UK at Christmas, I’ll go to one.

    Reply
  5. The cheese and rocket bread sounds yummy, Nicola. I often make Delia Smith’s goats cheese and thyme bread — it’s delish with soup.
    I have never been to a Christmas Panto and I know I’d love it if I did. If I’m ever in the UK at Christmas, I’ll go to one.

    Reply
  6. Today is also known at Christmas Eve! Everyone calls this “Orthodox Christmas”, but I’m Ukrainian Catholic, and this is also our Christmas!
    We have just finished our Christmas dinner, which is supposed to be twelve dishes.
    I say it every year, but I do become upset that everyone tears down their decorations before we’ve even had Christmas Eve! We celebrate by the original calendar, so everyone deserves a glass of wine now. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Today is also known at Christmas Eve! Everyone calls this “Orthodox Christmas”, but I’m Ukrainian Catholic, and this is also our Christmas!
    We have just finished our Christmas dinner, which is supposed to be twelve dishes.
    I say it every year, but I do become upset that everyone tears down their decorations before we’ve even had Christmas Eve! We celebrate by the original calendar, so everyone deserves a glass of wine now. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Today is also known at Christmas Eve! Everyone calls this “Orthodox Christmas”, but I’m Ukrainian Catholic, and this is also our Christmas!
    We have just finished our Christmas dinner, which is supposed to be twelve dishes.
    I say it every year, but I do become upset that everyone tears down their decorations before we’ve even had Christmas Eve! We celebrate by the original calendar, so everyone deserves a glass of wine now. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Today is also known at Christmas Eve! Everyone calls this “Orthodox Christmas”, but I’m Ukrainian Catholic, and this is also our Christmas!
    We have just finished our Christmas dinner, which is supposed to be twelve dishes.
    I say it every year, but I do become upset that everyone tears down their decorations before we’ve even had Christmas Eve! We celebrate by the original calendar, so everyone deserves a glass of wine now. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Today is also known at Christmas Eve! Everyone calls this “Orthodox Christmas”, but I’m Ukrainian Catholic, and this is also our Christmas!
    We have just finished our Christmas dinner, which is supposed to be twelve dishes.
    I say it every year, but I do become upset that everyone tears down their decorations before we’ve even had Christmas Eve! We celebrate by the original calendar, so everyone deserves a glass of wine now. 🙂

    Reply
  11. We have never celebrated Epiphany in our family, other than taken the decorations down during the weekend closest to that day. The children and I sometimes talked about WHY it was three kings day and maybe sang “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as being particularly fitting for this day. Other than that there was no particular notice of the day.
    As for specialty breads, the children and I made of pans of cinnamon rolls to give to the family on Christmas day. And we have learned to make other breads. Sadly, baking is one of the activities age is taking from me. I don’t seem to have the patience to oversee even a bread maker, and I no longer have the strength to knead a batch.
    We are lucky that we can buy some good specialty beads locally, and we frequently do so, not necessarily for a special occasion. And not limited to a particular type of bread.

    Reply
  12. We have never celebrated Epiphany in our family, other than taken the decorations down during the weekend closest to that day. The children and I sometimes talked about WHY it was three kings day and maybe sang “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as being particularly fitting for this day. Other than that there was no particular notice of the day.
    As for specialty breads, the children and I made of pans of cinnamon rolls to give to the family on Christmas day. And we have learned to make other breads. Sadly, baking is one of the activities age is taking from me. I don’t seem to have the patience to oversee even a bread maker, and I no longer have the strength to knead a batch.
    We are lucky that we can buy some good specialty beads locally, and we frequently do so, not necessarily for a special occasion. And not limited to a particular type of bread.

    Reply
  13. We have never celebrated Epiphany in our family, other than taken the decorations down during the weekend closest to that day. The children and I sometimes talked about WHY it was three kings day and maybe sang “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as being particularly fitting for this day. Other than that there was no particular notice of the day.
    As for specialty breads, the children and I made of pans of cinnamon rolls to give to the family on Christmas day. And we have learned to make other breads. Sadly, baking is one of the activities age is taking from me. I don’t seem to have the patience to oversee even a bread maker, and I no longer have the strength to knead a batch.
    We are lucky that we can buy some good specialty beads locally, and we frequently do so, not necessarily for a special occasion. And not limited to a particular type of bread.

    Reply
  14. We have never celebrated Epiphany in our family, other than taken the decorations down during the weekend closest to that day. The children and I sometimes talked about WHY it was three kings day and maybe sang “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as being particularly fitting for this day. Other than that there was no particular notice of the day.
    As for specialty breads, the children and I made of pans of cinnamon rolls to give to the family on Christmas day. And we have learned to make other breads. Sadly, baking is one of the activities age is taking from me. I don’t seem to have the patience to oversee even a bread maker, and I no longer have the strength to knead a batch.
    We are lucky that we can buy some good specialty beads locally, and we frequently do so, not necessarily for a special occasion. And not limited to a particular type of bread.

    Reply
  15. We have never celebrated Epiphany in our family, other than taken the decorations down during the weekend closest to that day. The children and I sometimes talked about WHY it was three kings day and maybe sang “We Three Kings of Orient Are” as being particularly fitting for this day. Other than that there was no particular notice of the day.
    As for specialty breads, the children and I made of pans of cinnamon rolls to give to the family on Christmas day. And we have learned to make other breads. Sadly, baking is one of the activities age is taking from me. I don’t seem to have the patience to oversee even a bread maker, and I no longer have the strength to knead a batch.
    We are lucky that we can buy some good specialty beads locally, and we frequently do so, not necessarily for a special occasion. And not limited to a particular type of bread.

    Reply
  16. I’d quite forgotten the pantomimes, after all my years in Canada. Thanks, Nicola for bringing them to mind, for they were a highlight when I was younger. As to the cheese bread, I was able to tease my husband who will put cheese (cheddar only, blah lol) on anything, that today is the day to indulge with a reason 😉
    On another note, my love for cabbage rolls and perogies comes from our Ukranian neighbours, who befriended us when we first moved to Canada, so I wish Sonya a merry Christmas.

    Reply
  17. I’d quite forgotten the pantomimes, after all my years in Canada. Thanks, Nicola for bringing them to mind, for they were a highlight when I was younger. As to the cheese bread, I was able to tease my husband who will put cheese (cheddar only, blah lol) on anything, that today is the day to indulge with a reason 😉
    On another note, my love for cabbage rolls and perogies comes from our Ukranian neighbours, who befriended us when we first moved to Canada, so I wish Sonya a merry Christmas.

    Reply
  18. I’d quite forgotten the pantomimes, after all my years in Canada. Thanks, Nicola for bringing them to mind, for they were a highlight when I was younger. As to the cheese bread, I was able to tease my husband who will put cheese (cheddar only, blah lol) on anything, that today is the day to indulge with a reason 😉
    On another note, my love for cabbage rolls and perogies comes from our Ukranian neighbours, who befriended us when we first moved to Canada, so I wish Sonya a merry Christmas.

    Reply
  19. I’d quite forgotten the pantomimes, after all my years in Canada. Thanks, Nicola for bringing them to mind, for they were a highlight when I was younger. As to the cheese bread, I was able to tease my husband who will put cheese (cheddar only, blah lol) on anything, that today is the day to indulge with a reason 😉
    On another note, my love for cabbage rolls and perogies comes from our Ukranian neighbours, who befriended us when we first moved to Canada, so I wish Sonya a merry Christmas.

    Reply
  20. I’d quite forgotten the pantomimes, after all my years in Canada. Thanks, Nicola for bringing them to mind, for they were a highlight when I was younger. As to the cheese bread, I was able to tease my husband who will put cheese (cheddar only, blah lol) on anything, that today is the day to indulge with a reason 😉
    On another note, my love for cabbage rolls and perogies comes from our Ukranian neighbours, who befriended us when we first moved to Canada, so I wish Sonya a merry Christmas.

    Reply
  21. Thank you. 🙂
    Back when I was little, we did all the presents twice. Now we just have one or two little things each the second time. This time of year gets expensive – and then we have two Easters soon after!

    Reply
  22. Thank you. 🙂
    Back when I was little, we did all the presents twice. Now we just have one or two little things each the second time. This time of year gets expensive – and then we have two Easters soon after!

    Reply
  23. Thank you. 🙂
    Back when I was little, we did all the presents twice. Now we just have one or two little things each the second time. This time of year gets expensive – and then we have two Easters soon after!

    Reply
  24. Thank you. 🙂
    Back when I was little, we did all the presents twice. Now we just have one or two little things each the second time. This time of year gets expensive – and then we have two Easters soon after!

    Reply
  25. Thank you. 🙂
    Back when I was little, we did all the presents twice. Now we just have one or two little things each the second time. This time of year gets expensive – and then we have two Easters soon after!

    Reply
  26. Yesterday, we had no electricity for most of the day. [We knew it was coming. They were cutting down trees around the power cables] But it gave me a taste of what it’s like to have no lights or electrical appliances to switch on. Had to carry around a torch for dark corners because it was a very dull day. Not enough light to read by, unless I was right next to a window. And no computers, of course. We got the electricity back before it was too dark so I didn’t have to light candles but it does make me sympathise with those who lived in candlelit times.
    Happy New Year — and light! — to all

    Reply
  27. Yesterday, we had no electricity for most of the day. [We knew it was coming. They were cutting down trees around the power cables] But it gave me a taste of what it’s like to have no lights or electrical appliances to switch on. Had to carry around a torch for dark corners because it was a very dull day. Not enough light to read by, unless I was right next to a window. And no computers, of course. We got the electricity back before it was too dark so I didn’t have to light candles but it does make me sympathise with those who lived in candlelit times.
    Happy New Year — and light! — to all

    Reply
  28. Yesterday, we had no electricity for most of the day. [We knew it was coming. They were cutting down trees around the power cables] But it gave me a taste of what it’s like to have no lights or electrical appliances to switch on. Had to carry around a torch for dark corners because it was a very dull day. Not enough light to read by, unless I was right next to a window. And no computers, of course. We got the electricity back before it was too dark so I didn’t have to light candles but it does make me sympathise with those who lived in candlelit times.
    Happy New Year — and light! — to all

    Reply
  29. Yesterday, we had no electricity for most of the day. [We knew it was coming. They were cutting down trees around the power cables] But it gave me a taste of what it’s like to have no lights or electrical appliances to switch on. Had to carry around a torch for dark corners because it was a very dull day. Not enough light to read by, unless I was right next to a window. And no computers, of course. We got the electricity back before it was too dark so I didn’t have to light candles but it does make me sympathise with those who lived in candlelit times.
    Happy New Year — and light! — to all

    Reply
  30. Yesterday, we had no electricity for most of the day. [We knew it was coming. They were cutting down trees around the power cables] But it gave me a taste of what it’s like to have no lights or electrical appliances to switch on. Had to carry around a torch for dark corners because it was a very dull day. Not enough light to read by, unless I was right next to a window. And no computers, of course. We got the electricity back before it was too dark so I didn’t have to light candles but it does make me sympathise with those who lived in candlelit times.
    Happy New Year — and light! — to all

    Reply
  31. When we left England many moons ago and came to live in Ireland with my grandmother, there was no electricity in the cottage. We had oil lamps which hung on the walls by the fireplace during the evening and one left standing on the table during the night. My abiding memory is of my father trying to read the paper by holding it up sideways to the light. No wonder he ended up with glasses:)
    We had no running water and no bathroom. Sometimes when I read these things in novels I say ‘yes I understand that’. Tough times but they didn’t do us any harm.

    Reply
  32. When we left England many moons ago and came to live in Ireland with my grandmother, there was no electricity in the cottage. We had oil lamps which hung on the walls by the fireplace during the evening and one left standing on the table during the night. My abiding memory is of my father trying to read the paper by holding it up sideways to the light. No wonder he ended up with glasses:)
    We had no running water and no bathroom. Sometimes when I read these things in novels I say ‘yes I understand that’. Tough times but they didn’t do us any harm.

    Reply
  33. When we left England many moons ago and came to live in Ireland with my grandmother, there was no electricity in the cottage. We had oil lamps which hung on the walls by the fireplace during the evening and one left standing on the table during the night. My abiding memory is of my father trying to read the paper by holding it up sideways to the light. No wonder he ended up with glasses:)
    We had no running water and no bathroom. Sometimes when I read these things in novels I say ‘yes I understand that’. Tough times but they didn’t do us any harm.

    Reply
  34. When we left England many moons ago and came to live in Ireland with my grandmother, there was no electricity in the cottage. We had oil lamps which hung on the walls by the fireplace during the evening and one left standing on the table during the night. My abiding memory is of my father trying to read the paper by holding it up sideways to the light. No wonder he ended up with glasses:)
    We had no running water and no bathroom. Sometimes when I read these things in novels I say ‘yes I understand that’. Tough times but they didn’t do us any harm.

    Reply
  35. When we left England many moons ago and came to live in Ireland with my grandmother, there was no electricity in the cottage. We had oil lamps which hung on the walls by the fireplace during the evening and one left standing on the table during the night. My abiding memory is of my father trying to read the paper by holding it up sideways to the light. No wonder he ended up with glasses:)
    We had no running water and no bathroom. Sometimes when I read these things in novels I say ‘yes I understand that’. Tough times but they didn’t do us any harm.

    Reply
  36. Anne do you know if it can be made with spelt flour and soya milk? I love the sound of it but can’t have wheat flour or cow’s milk.

    Reply
  37. Anne do you know if it can be made with spelt flour and soya milk? I love the sound of it but can’t have wheat flour or cow’s milk.

    Reply
  38. Anne do you know if it can be made with spelt flour and soya milk? I love the sound of it but can’t have wheat flour or cow’s milk.

    Reply
  39. Anne do you know if it can be made with spelt flour and soya milk? I love the sound of it but can’t have wheat flour or cow’s milk.

    Reply
  40. Anne do you know if it can be made with spelt flour and soya milk? I love the sound of it but can’t have wheat flour or cow’s milk.

    Reply
  41. I’d like to see a whole WW post on kitchens! They’re one of my favorite spots in historical homes, but I never thought about how they lit them, even when I was visiting one. Very important, even during the day as kitchens were not generally a well-windowed portion of the house. (Or were they?) Same for laundries, still rooms, stables, etc., all the productive parts of a home.

    Reply
  42. I’d like to see a whole WW post on kitchens! They’re one of my favorite spots in historical homes, but I never thought about how they lit them, even when I was visiting one. Very important, even during the day as kitchens were not generally a well-windowed portion of the house. (Or were they?) Same for laundries, still rooms, stables, etc., all the productive parts of a home.

    Reply
  43. I’d like to see a whole WW post on kitchens! They’re one of my favorite spots in historical homes, but I never thought about how they lit them, even when I was visiting one. Very important, even during the day as kitchens were not generally a well-windowed portion of the house. (Or were they?) Same for laundries, still rooms, stables, etc., all the productive parts of a home.

    Reply
  44. I’d like to see a whole WW post on kitchens! They’re one of my favorite spots in historical homes, but I never thought about how they lit them, even when I was visiting one. Very important, even during the day as kitchens were not generally a well-windowed portion of the house. (Or were they?) Same for laundries, still rooms, stables, etc., all the productive parts of a home.

    Reply
  45. I’d like to see a whole WW post on kitchens! They’re one of my favorite spots in historical homes, but I never thought about how they lit them, even when I was visiting one. Very important, even during the day as kitchens were not generally a well-windowed portion of the house. (Or were they?) Same for laundries, still rooms, stables, etc., all the productive parts of a home.

    Reply
  46. Teresa, I don’t know — I’ve never used spelt flour. But I’d try it and see. I think I’ve used soy milk — I know I’ve made it for a friend who doesn’t eat cow-products.
    But it’s a small and easy recipe to make, so it’s not hard to try it out and experiment. Let us know how you went.

    Reply
  47. Teresa, I don’t know — I’ve never used spelt flour. But I’d try it and see. I think I’ve used soy milk — I know I’ve made it for a friend who doesn’t eat cow-products.
    But it’s a small and easy recipe to make, so it’s not hard to try it out and experiment. Let us know how you went.

    Reply
  48. Teresa, I don’t know — I’ve never used spelt flour. But I’d try it and see. I think I’ve used soy milk — I know I’ve made it for a friend who doesn’t eat cow-products.
    But it’s a small and easy recipe to make, so it’s not hard to try it out and experiment. Let us know how you went.

    Reply
  49. Teresa, I don’t know — I’ve never used spelt flour. But I’d try it and see. I think I’ve used soy milk — I know I’ve made it for a friend who doesn’t eat cow-products.
    But it’s a small and easy recipe to make, so it’s not hard to try it out and experiment. Let us know how you went.

    Reply
  50. Teresa, I don’t know — I’ve never used spelt flour. But I’d try it and see. I think I’ve used soy milk — I know I’ve made it for a friend who doesn’t eat cow-products.
    But it’s a small and easy recipe to make, so it’s not hard to try it out and experiment. Let us know how you went.

    Reply
  51. Belated happy Christmas, Sonya. Don’t worry about the double posting — I get all kinds of glitches. And if I comment using the email reply facility, for some reason typepad leaves off all my apostrophes. So then I have to go in and edit each of my comments and put them back.

    Reply
  52. Belated happy Christmas, Sonya. Don’t worry about the double posting — I get all kinds of glitches. And if I comment using the email reply facility, for some reason typepad leaves off all my apostrophes. So then I have to go in and edit each of my comments and put them back.

    Reply
  53. Belated happy Christmas, Sonya. Don’t worry about the double posting — I get all kinds of glitches. And if I comment using the email reply facility, for some reason typepad leaves off all my apostrophes. So then I have to go in and edit each of my comments and put them back.

    Reply
  54. Belated happy Christmas, Sonya. Don’t worry about the double posting — I get all kinds of glitches. And if I comment using the email reply facility, for some reason typepad leaves off all my apostrophes. So then I have to go in and edit each of my comments and put them back.

    Reply
  55. Belated happy Christmas, Sonya. Don’t worry about the double posting — I get all kinds of glitches. And if I comment using the email reply facility, for some reason typepad leaves off all my apostrophes. So then I have to go in and edit each of my comments and put them back.

    Reply
  56. Strange co-incidence, Joanna, we have just had a note through the door about power cuts next week! It really does bring home to you how we rely on the artificial light to help us get things done. A Happy – and bright! – New Year to you too!

    Reply
  57. Strange co-incidence, Joanna, we have just had a note through the door about power cuts next week! It really does bring home to you how we rely on the artificial light to help us get things done. A Happy – and bright! – New Year to you too!

    Reply
  58. Strange co-incidence, Joanna, we have just had a note through the door about power cuts next week! It really does bring home to you how we rely on the artificial light to help us get things done. A Happy – and bright! – New Year to you too!

    Reply
  59. Strange co-incidence, Joanna, we have just had a note through the door about power cuts next week! It really does bring home to you how we rely on the artificial light to help us get things done. A Happy – and bright! – New Year to you too!

    Reply
  60. Strange co-incidence, Joanna, we have just had a note through the door about power cuts next week! It really does bring home to you how we rely on the artificial light to help us get things done. A Happy – and bright! – New Year to you too!

    Reply
  61. We are all so much more spoiled these days, aren’t we, Teresa! And actually it can be a novelty having no light, power etc. When we go on holiday to Lundy Island they turn off the electricity supply between midnight and six AM, the bathroom is outside etc and lots of people choose to go there deliberately for a “simpler life”!

    Reply
  62. We are all so much more spoiled these days, aren’t we, Teresa! And actually it can be a novelty having no light, power etc. When we go on holiday to Lundy Island they turn off the electricity supply between midnight and six AM, the bathroom is outside etc and lots of people choose to go there deliberately for a “simpler life”!

    Reply
  63. We are all so much more spoiled these days, aren’t we, Teresa! And actually it can be a novelty having no light, power etc. When we go on holiday to Lundy Island they turn off the electricity supply between midnight and six AM, the bathroom is outside etc and lots of people choose to go there deliberately for a “simpler life”!

    Reply
  64. We are all so much more spoiled these days, aren’t we, Teresa! And actually it can be a novelty having no light, power etc. When we go on holiday to Lundy Island they turn off the electricity supply between midnight and six AM, the bathroom is outside etc and lots of people choose to go there deliberately for a “simpler life”!

    Reply
  65. We are all so much more spoiled these days, aren’t we, Teresa! And actually it can be a novelty having no light, power etc. When we go on holiday to Lundy Island they turn off the electricity supply between midnight and six AM, the bathroom is outside etc and lots of people choose to go there deliberately for a “simpler life”!

    Reply
  66. We will have to do that, Mary! As you say, it’s a very interesting topic. Servants worked long hours and in winter especially it must have been a challenge to see what you were doing. I’m off to research the topic of lighting the servants’ quarters now!

    Reply
  67. We will have to do that, Mary! As you say, it’s a very interesting topic. Servants worked long hours and in winter especially it must have been a challenge to see what you were doing. I’m off to research the topic of lighting the servants’ quarters now!

    Reply
  68. We will have to do that, Mary! As you say, it’s a very interesting topic. Servants worked long hours and in winter especially it must have been a challenge to see what you were doing. I’m off to research the topic of lighting the servants’ quarters now!

    Reply
  69. We will have to do that, Mary! As you say, it’s a very interesting topic. Servants worked long hours and in winter especially it must have been a challenge to see what you were doing. I’m off to research the topic of lighting the servants’ quarters now!

    Reply
  70. We will have to do that, Mary! As you say, it’s a very interesting topic. Servants worked long hours and in winter especially it must have been a challenge to see what you were doing. I’m off to research the topic of lighting the servants’ quarters now!

    Reply
  71. Once or twice a year Edison’s power goes down in my little city within the big city of LA, and it’s straight back to the 19th century, because, absent batteries, nothing works in my apartment except running water (cold!) and the gas log fire. With the grounds lights out, it’s really, really dark outside. Winter nights here are in the 40s and 50s and we’ve been having a lot of rain lately (for which we are thankful, but still). Without electricity I have no means of cooking or heating water, let alone washing dishes (cold water? I think not!) or doing laundry. I have battery radio, phone and kindle so it’s not exactly the dark ages, but it does make one think about what might happen if the power went off and stayed off. We are so vulnerable there.
    It gives me new respect for our ancestors. Light and heat, I think, are such assumptions for moderns that sometimes I have read regencies which make it seem as if every dwelling place, rich or poor, was lit to the max (and damn the cost) and nobody ever woke up cold any time of the year.

    Reply
  72. Once or twice a year Edison’s power goes down in my little city within the big city of LA, and it’s straight back to the 19th century, because, absent batteries, nothing works in my apartment except running water (cold!) and the gas log fire. With the grounds lights out, it’s really, really dark outside. Winter nights here are in the 40s and 50s and we’ve been having a lot of rain lately (for which we are thankful, but still). Without electricity I have no means of cooking or heating water, let alone washing dishes (cold water? I think not!) or doing laundry. I have battery radio, phone and kindle so it’s not exactly the dark ages, but it does make one think about what might happen if the power went off and stayed off. We are so vulnerable there.
    It gives me new respect for our ancestors. Light and heat, I think, are such assumptions for moderns that sometimes I have read regencies which make it seem as if every dwelling place, rich or poor, was lit to the max (and damn the cost) and nobody ever woke up cold any time of the year.

    Reply
  73. Once or twice a year Edison’s power goes down in my little city within the big city of LA, and it’s straight back to the 19th century, because, absent batteries, nothing works in my apartment except running water (cold!) and the gas log fire. With the grounds lights out, it’s really, really dark outside. Winter nights here are in the 40s and 50s and we’ve been having a lot of rain lately (for which we are thankful, but still). Without electricity I have no means of cooking or heating water, let alone washing dishes (cold water? I think not!) or doing laundry. I have battery radio, phone and kindle so it’s not exactly the dark ages, but it does make one think about what might happen if the power went off and stayed off. We are so vulnerable there.
    It gives me new respect for our ancestors. Light and heat, I think, are such assumptions for moderns that sometimes I have read regencies which make it seem as if every dwelling place, rich or poor, was lit to the max (and damn the cost) and nobody ever woke up cold any time of the year.

    Reply
  74. Once or twice a year Edison’s power goes down in my little city within the big city of LA, and it’s straight back to the 19th century, because, absent batteries, nothing works in my apartment except running water (cold!) and the gas log fire. With the grounds lights out, it’s really, really dark outside. Winter nights here are in the 40s and 50s and we’ve been having a lot of rain lately (for which we are thankful, but still). Without electricity I have no means of cooking or heating water, let alone washing dishes (cold water? I think not!) or doing laundry. I have battery radio, phone and kindle so it’s not exactly the dark ages, but it does make one think about what might happen if the power went off and stayed off. We are so vulnerable there.
    It gives me new respect for our ancestors. Light and heat, I think, are such assumptions for moderns that sometimes I have read regencies which make it seem as if every dwelling place, rich or poor, was lit to the max (and damn the cost) and nobody ever woke up cold any time of the year.

    Reply
  75. Once or twice a year Edison’s power goes down in my little city within the big city of LA, and it’s straight back to the 19th century, because, absent batteries, nothing works in my apartment except running water (cold!) and the gas log fire. With the grounds lights out, it’s really, really dark outside. Winter nights here are in the 40s and 50s and we’ve been having a lot of rain lately (for which we are thankful, but still). Without electricity I have no means of cooking or heating water, let alone washing dishes (cold water? I think not!) or doing laundry. I have battery radio, phone and kindle so it’s not exactly the dark ages, but it does make one think about what might happen if the power went off and stayed off. We are so vulnerable there.
    It gives me new respect for our ancestors. Light and heat, I think, are such assumptions for moderns that sometimes I have read regencies which make it seem as if every dwelling place, rich or poor, was lit to the max (and damn the cost) and nobody ever woke up cold any time of the year.

    Reply
  76. I am guessing what you call ‘rocket’ is arugula in the States?
    The bread I make most often is called “no-knead” bread, it really is super easy although you need to start it a day in advance of baking. It makes a wonderfully chewy rustic loaf and looks lovely. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting different types of flour and other ingredients. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

    Reply
  77. I am guessing what you call ‘rocket’ is arugula in the States?
    The bread I make most often is called “no-knead” bread, it really is super easy although you need to start it a day in advance of baking. It makes a wonderfully chewy rustic loaf and looks lovely. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting different types of flour and other ingredients. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

    Reply
  78. I am guessing what you call ‘rocket’ is arugula in the States?
    The bread I make most often is called “no-knead” bread, it really is super easy although you need to start it a day in advance of baking. It makes a wonderfully chewy rustic loaf and looks lovely. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting different types of flour and other ingredients. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

    Reply
  79. I am guessing what you call ‘rocket’ is arugula in the States?
    The bread I make most often is called “no-knead” bread, it really is super easy although you need to start it a day in advance of baking. It makes a wonderfully chewy rustic loaf and looks lovely. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting different types of flour and other ingredients. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

    Reply
  80. I am guessing what you call ‘rocket’ is arugula in the States?
    The bread I make most often is called “no-knead” bread, it really is super easy although you need to start it a day in advance of baking. It makes a wonderfully chewy rustic loaf and looks lovely. Once you’ve got the hang of the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting different types of flour and other ingredients. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

    Reply

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