New Dumpties

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again

There are a variety of explanations offered up as to the meaning of this rhyme, it’s a drink of brandy boiled with ale (sounds awful), a short and clumsy figure, or various persons, but the true origins are unknown. The real mystery is how the King’s horses were expected to do the job.

There is some mad artist in town who is enamored of these anthropomorphic eggs, and I assume that Mr. Humpty Dumpty was his inspiration.

This nattily dressed figure is in fact, sitting on a wall, but it seems unlikely that he might be seriously injured from falling off of it. So, he’s pretty safe sitting here and it’s just a short ride to the nearest hospital (but quite a bit farther to the nearest stable should the need arise).

Located nearby, again sitting on the walls are the newest of his fellow Dumpties. Careful Pizza Man, you might drop that pie on some unsuspecting tourist.

This Dumpty seems to have been out fishing before settling in to his perch high above the street. Be careful Mr. Fisher-Dumpty, I’m not sure if it is legal to keep a fish that small, and where are your shoes?

I’m not sure about this fellow. Because he’s wearing breeches, waistcoat and a wig, perhaps he is a time-travelling barrister (we don’t get too many of these here).

This is from a book I read as a child, and it supposes that the rhyme is a riddle, and one is meant to guess that HD is an egg (and a rather old-fashioned egg at that). But whatever, I just enjoy seeing the various iterations of this figure and I hope that the artist never gets tired of him.

What’s cooking pt.2

So I previously mentioned that I learned to cook from the back of the package, newspapers and magazines so here are a few samples from my repertoire.

Food companies have used the back of their package (pretty much ever since they invented packaging) to give one a recipe that uses their product. So you don’t really need to keep a copy of the recipe, it will always be there when you need it (you hope). And hopefully the recipe will be adjusted for the constantly shrinking package size.

This recipe has proved to be quite popular every time I have made it (interesting that this and the previous recipe use butterscotch). This recipe came from the Jamestown Sun (in North Dakota), and it looked unusual, so I tore it out and tried it. Definitely a keeper, I think it might have been in an article about Christmas cookies or possibly not. I’ve been making this recipe for years, but only for special occasions. (It’s so good I don’t really want to share the recipe with just anyone.)

Here’s a nice example of a recipe that I kept from a magazine, again the recipes are from a food company. Although I saved the entire page, I have only tried the pumpkin bread, but I also use this recipe for banana bread, it’s a pretty basic sort of thing. This recipe has been floating around the house since sometime in the late 70’s (maybe it needs a touch of butterscotch).

I did learn how to cook some things from my mom (honestly, not just sweets), I think I asked her for this recipe to put in one of those local cookbooks. This is something that Mom made often, because it didn’t require eggs or butter, and us kids were not exactly gourmets. She probably learned to make this when she was a young woman during WWII (before invention of butterscotch morsels).

As you can see I still know how to make lots of sweets, but these things require a crowd to gobble them up, and I seldom have one. ( I made a half recipe of the cookies for my group, and I still ended up eating a number of them. Oh well that’s the danger.) Food is meant to be shared and most everyone will take at least a nibble of a freshly baked sweet.

What’s Cooking

I think that people have been cooking ever since the invention of fire (it really makes foods quite tasty). Remote instruction in the art of cooking delicious food had to wait for the invention of writing, then for the invention of printing. The first written cookbook by a woman in English was published in 1661 and things took off from there. My mother had a 1948 copy of “The Gold Cookbook” that was probably a wedding present, and I don’t recall ever consulting it, but it had it’s special spot in the kitchen. When I learned to cook I sort of remember using recipes on food packaging (Hershey’s cocoa), the newspaper, and the occasional magazine. Now I have been cooking for a large number of years and I now own a small collection of cookbooks.

My mother bought this probably as a magazine promotion in the early 60’s. It’s a beautifully photographed book, with many of the sort of recipes that require special ingredients like lobster (never ever served at my house). It’s pretty much a fantasy of what to cook, certainly not the ordinary sort of recipes (most everyday cooking doesn’t need a written recipe). But there was one recipe in here that I tried, and I have made it often.

And of course since I have made it often, I don’t need to look at the directions anymore, and change bits depending on what’s at hand. It’s very ordinary, easy and delicious.

This booklet is also from the early 60’s and M got this from his favorite restaurant. This was a lucky purchase, because the restaurant decided to stop selling their secret recipes (I’m sure they have a few more up their sleeve).

You can tell from the red chile stains on the page that I have used this recipe a time or two, but it’s also something of a pain to make, so it’s only for special occasions

I didn’t get this book until 1970, when my first boyfriend bought it for me. And I would guess that he bought it because his mother probably had a copy and I suppose it was a hint. At that point I only knew how to make simple things and sweets, pies, cakes and candy. Since I was a grown-up (sort of) person, I learned how to make regular sorts of things, using this as my guide.

This is another recipe that I have used a zillion times. Even with my annotation, it’s a pretty basic recipe that presumes some sort of experience in the kitchen. What’s interesting to me about my cookbooks, is even though they have lots and lots of recipes, I have kept them for just a few tried and tested ones. Now there are infinite recipes and cooking styles available from the internet, but there are still physical cookbooks floating around out there in our homes and hearts. (A reprint of “The Gold Cookbook” is $35 on the internet, maybe Mom’s copy is around somewhere).

10 Second Tourism

Malls were once the thing, a temple to shopping and a sign of modern times. But, modern times have passed and now going to a mall is more of a creepy experience. My fitness instructor was wearing the most adorable, sparkly shoes and I decided that I must have a pair just like them. So I was off to the half filled, dark and half-shuttered mall nearby. There, located next to the defunct Sears was a play area for children. Of course in our current era, children are not allowed to do the dangerous things that we did as children, so as a play area it seemed rather lacking to me. However it is a great 10 second introduction to local tourist attractions. (Overall, a great time saver).

Here is the state flower (Columbine), a local park (Garden of the Gods), and the cog railway that goes to the top of the mountain (currently, not in service). If one goes to the top of the mountain, one can see the next state (if one so desires) and eat a high altitude donut. I myself have done this once, many years ago.

And here it is, the local mountain! In all of it’s shrunken glory, it should take well under a half a minute to climb to the top, take selfies, and be done.

The river winds around to our favorite bighorn sheep. The real thing can be elusive to spot, and they often turn their backs on people, but this one is ready for the selfies with very short persons or children. So there it is, an almost instant and painless tourist experience. And without the hordes of other tourists, it is easy to photograph, with plenty of free parking (not available at an actual tourist site). Plus one can purchase sparkly shoes and other non-essentials right nearby.