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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

Missed yesterday because of deadlines -- I'll post two for the weekend:

 

 

The Skeleton Dance

After the German of Goethe

The warder looked out at the mid-hour of night,
Where the grave-hills all silently lay;
The moon-beams above gave so brilliant a light,
That the churchyard was clear as by day:
First one, then another, to open began;
Here came out a woman - there came out a man,
Each clad in a shroud long and white.

And then for amusement - perchance it was cold -
In a circle they seemed to advance;
The poor and the rich, and the young and the old,
But the grave-clothes impeded the dance:
And as no person thought about modesty there,
They flung off their garments, and stripped themselves bare,
And a shroud lay on each heap of mould.

They kicked up their heels, and they rattled their bones,
And the horrible din that they made
Went clickety-clackety - just like the tones
Of a castanet noisily played.
And the warder he laughed as he witnessed the cheer,
And he heard the Betrayer speak soft in his ear,
"Go and steal away one of their shrouds."

Swift as thought it was done - in an instant he fled
Behind the church portal to hide;
And brighter and brighter the moon-beam was shed,
As the dance they still shudderingly plied;
But at last they began to grow tired of their fun,
And they put on their shrouds, and slipped off, one by one,
Beneath, to the homes of the dead.

But tapping at every grave-hill, there staid
One skeleton, tripping behind;
Though not by his comrades the trick had been played - 
Now its odour he snuffed in the wind:
He rushed to the door - but fell back with a shock;
For well for the wight of the bell and the clock,
The sign of the cross it displayed.

But the shroud he must have—not a moment he stays;
Ere a man had begun but to think,
On the Gothic-work his fingers quickly he lays,
And climbs up its chain, link by link.
Now woe to the warder - for sure he must die -
To see, like a long-legged spider, draw nigh

The skeleton's clattering form:
And pale was his visage, and thick came his breath;
The garb, alas! why did he touch?
How sick grew his soul as the garment of death
The skeleton caught in his clutch - 
The moon disappeared, and the skies changed to dun,
And louder than thunder the church-bell tolled one - 
The spectre fell tumbling to bits!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY


The Witches’ Spell
 gif
Act IV, Scene 1 from Macbeth (1606) by William Shakespeare
clr gif

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
Enter the three Witches.
1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

"How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
 
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow." 

-   Elsie N. Brady, Leaves


Falling Leaves by Tim Simboli

 

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year."
-   Emily Dickinson

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becke_davis
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Re: Happy Guy Fawke's Day!

[ Edited ]

Remember remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot...

 

 

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/remember_remember_the_5th_november.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes

guy_fawkes_day_bonfire_1.jpg
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Choisya
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Re: Happy Guy Fawke's Day!

November 5th was very quiet this year Becke, unless folks are saving the celebration and their fireworks up for the weekend.  It is thought that the recession is preventing folks from sending their hard earned cash up in smoke:smileysurprised:.  

 

I like fireworks and all the foods which go with bonfire night - potatoes and sausages roasted in the fire, yorkshire parkin, crisp treacle toffee, toffee apples ....

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becke_davis
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Re: Happy Guy Fawke's Day!

 


Choisya wrote:

November 5th was very quiet this year Becke, unless folks are saving the celebration and their fireworks up for the weekend.  It is thought that the recession is preventing folks from sending their hard earned cash up in smoke:smileysurprised:.  

 

I like fireworks and all the foods which go with bonfire night - potatoes and sausages roasted in the fire, yorkshire parkin, crisp treacle toffee, toffee apples ....


 

 

Choisya - That sounds delicious! What is Yorkshire "parkin"? Is that like Yorkshire pudding? (Love it!)

 

When I lived there, November was usually cold and rainy. I've heard the weather is changing. What do you think?

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

"The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Loveliness"
-   John Updike, A Child's Calendar  

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done.  ~Author Unknown

 

Heavy rain falling on a garden courtyard

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Choisya
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Re: Yorkshire Parkin & Pud.

[ Edited ]

Becke: Yorkshire Parkin is a particular kind of ginger cake made with dark and light treacle. Here are my grandmother's recipes for parkin, bonfire toffee and Yorkshire pudding:-

 

 

Yorkshire Parkin

 

Ingredients

 

1/2lb plain flour

1/2lb fine oatmeal

1/4lb golden syrup

1/4lb black treacle

1tsp baking soda

1tbs warm water

3oz butter

1/4lb demerara sugar

1tsp ground ginger (or 1tbs plain cocoa powder to make Chocolate Parkin)

1 egg and a little milk

 

Method

 

Grease a 12” meat tin with butter and keep slightly warm.  Put oven on Gas Regulo 4 (moderate).

Beat the egg and milk together.

Using a 2 pint saucepan, slowly melt butter, syrup, treacle on top of the stove over a low light.  (Do not allow to boil or ‘caramel’.)  Gradually add flour, sugar, oatmeal, ginger/cocoa  until well blended and sugar is dissolved.  Add the beaten egg and milk.  Finally and quickly add the baking soda  mixed with warm water and beat well.  Quickly pour mixture into greased, warm meat tin and cook in the centre of the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until risen evenly. (Test middle with a fork – if it comes out ‘clean’ the cake is done.)  Cut into 2” squares whilst warm and in tin.  Remove from tin with a spatula and place on a rack to cool.

 

Traditionally eaten warm on ‘Bonfire Night’ – November 5th,  with milk but stores for many months if kept in an airtight tin with a sound apple (as do most ‘cut-and-come-again’ cakes).

 

 

Bonfire Toffee

 

3 oz Demerara sugar

5 ozs butter

1tbs golden syrup

1 tbs black treacle (or 1tbs melted plain cooking chocolate for Chocolate toffee)

Saucerful of iced water

 

Melt sugar and butter over a low heat, with a wooden spoon in a heavy saucepan.  Gradually add syrup and black treacle/chocolate and slightly raise heat until boiling point is reached.  Test for ‘crack’ by dropping a small amount of mixture into the iced water.  If it sets and ‘cracks’ crisply, it is done.  It should not be ‘chewy’.  Pour into a well greased shallow tin or dish until cool then mark into 1” squares with a greased knife.  Traditionally eaten on November 5.  (Can also be used to dip toffee apples in.  Put apples on a fork or sticks, dip into toffee and then twirl to cover.  Place on greaseproof paper to set.)

 

Yorkshire Pudding (for 4-6)

 

Ingredients

 

2/3 eggs

6 oz plain flour

1/2pt milk

Pinch salt

1 tsp dry English (Colmans) mustard powder (optional)

 

Method

 

Using a pint jug, beat the eggs together, gradually adding the flour, milk, salt and mustard until the mixtures is the consistency of double cream.  Put aside in a refrigerator.

 

Having roasted a joint of beef in a large meat tin (12”) so that the fat juices remain, remove the joint and put aside for carving.  Strain off some of the fat/juices into a basin, leaving at least ¼” in the tin.  Reset Gas Regulo to No 6 (hot) and place meat tin on the top shelf (2/3” from top of oven).

 

Remove Pudding mixture from the refrigerator, add 1 tablespoon of  warm water and whip thoroughly.  Pour onto hot juices/fat in meat tin, distributing evenly, leaving approx 1tbs mixture in jug.

 

Cook for 15 minutes at top of the oven until pudding has risen well and is a golden brown.

 

Whilst cooking, add rest of meat juices from basin (straining off surplus fat) to jug in which pudding mixture was made and add  further ‘gravy mixture’ seasoning such as Oxo, herbs etc.  At the end of the pudding cooking time, pour 1pt boiling water into the jug, stirring thoroughly as it thickens. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook on hob for 1 min.

 

Remove Yorkshire Pudding from Oven and cut into 4-6 slices immediately.  Remove from tin with a spatula and serve with gravy as a starter* or with main meal but serve quickly whilst it is still crisp!   (*Traditionally served to the children of the family as a filling ‘starter’ so that father can have more meat!)

 

Note:  If double amount of this mixture is made it can be cooked as a dessert, using another meat tin but substituting 1 oz of Lard/Cookeen instead of meat juices.  Place on top shelf after Yorkshire Pudding is removed or towards end of meal and cook for 15 minutes.  Serve with warm, treacle or jam to which a little warm water has been added.

 

 

Yorkshire pudding should look like this. If cooked with sausages it is called Toad-in the-Hole and should look like this.(The second illustration is a better one of the pud as it should be well risen and crisp around the edges but a little soggy in the middle.)  

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Yorkshire Parkin & Pud.

[ Edited ]

Wow, Choisya, thank you so much for posting these fantastic recipes! I wonder if Yorkshire parkin is a regional treat. I don't remember coming across it when I lived there, but maybe my husband has tried it.  I can tell I'm starting to get over the flu, because after looking at these recipes, I'm STARVING!

 

(I badly want to give you laurels for that post, but I'm restraining myself.)

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TiggerBear
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Re: Yorkshire Parkin & Pud.

 


becke_davis wrote:

Wow, Choisya, thank you so much for posting these fantastic recipes! I wonder if Yorkshire parkin is a regional treat. I don't remember coming across it when I lived there, but maybe my husband has tried it.  I can tell I'm starting to get over the flu, because after looking at these recipes, I'm STARVING!

 

(I badly want to give you laurels for that post, but I'm restraining myself.)


 

(happy dance) Becke's getting bettter! :smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy:

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Yorkshire Parkin & Pud.

Well, my head is better. My stomach and the rest of me hasn't quite caught up, but I'm getting there. I'm hungry at least -- still can't eat much, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!

 

Maxine-sagging.jpg Maxine Dieting image by bettyboop6896

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."
-   Sir Walter Scott

 

File:Red autumn leaves.jpg

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Choisya
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

What a wonderul pic Becke - thanks!  You have much more brilliant autumn colours over there - to do with the land mass I think.

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

It's a combination of things. Some trees are iffy, though - great fall color one year, mediocre the next. Probably the best place for fall color is New England (Vermont, Massachusetts, upstate New York, etc.) Sugar maples are gorgeous there, but they don't do as well in the Midwest. Red maples are wonderful but the species is unreliable for color. The new hybrids offer more consistent color.

 

Here is an October Glory maple:

 

October Glory Maple Trees

 

My neighbor has a half moon maple (Acer japonicum) that has stunning fall color:

 

 

 

The serviceberry (Amelanchier) also has great fall color:

 

 

I also like the staghorn sumac:

 

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

"Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast for all that live."
-   James Thomson

 

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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

November

by Thomas Hood

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--

No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!

 

Painting: November Sunset

http://tiny.cc/LGiPu 

 

 

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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY

November Song


It’s a gray November;
The leaves have all turned brown,
And all the birds of summer
Are packing up to leave town.

Drizzly gray November,
The year is winding down,
And in the sky the sun pales like an ember.

And so it goes –
The frost takes the last rose,
And all the fields are frozen.
And so it goes –
The hills will soon see winter snows,
And I just sing my own November song.

It’s a gray November;
The night is crisp and clear,
And all the stars and planets
So bright you'd think they’re right here.

Velvet gray November;
The woods are dark and still, 
And all around the hills are bathed in moonlight.

And so it goes –
The year draws to a close
Another year’s beginning.
And so it goes –
It won’t be long now, I suppose
‘Til I must sing my own November song. 

Copyright © Winfield Clark 1992-2008 


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becke_davis
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Re: THOUGHT(S) FOR THE DAY - not "tasteless" but definitely gross!

[ Edited ]