Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Episodes Ninety-three through Ninety-five: Aye Aye Cap'n

Prepping so I don't leave you high and dry while on the cruise. The show notes won't change, but new episodes will appear as though by magic.

How cool is that?!

Checkout SpinningErin's new 'Cast: Faery Knitting.

Congrats to our April Winnah Meghan from IL!!! You'll be talking to Dixie at YellowDog!

Limey info for you:


"To pickel LEMONS.
Take twelve Lemons, scape the with a Piece of broken Glass, then cut them cross in two, four Parts down right, but not quite through, but that they will hang together; then up in as much Salt as they will hold, and rub then well, and strew them over with Salt. Let them lay in an earthen Dish for three days, and turn them every Day; then slit an Ounce of Ginger very think and salted for three Days, twelve Cloves of Garlick parboiled, and satled three Day, a small Handful of Mustard-seeds bruised, and searched through a hair-sieve, some red India Pepper, one to every Lemon; take your Lemons out of the salt, and squeeze them very gently, and put them into a Jar, with the Spice and Ingredients, and cover them with the best White Wine Vinegar. Stop them up very close, and in a Month's time they will fit to eat."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 133)

"To Pickle Lemons, and Limes. Excellent. Wipe eight fine sound lemons very clean, and make, at equal distances, four deep incisions in each, from the stalk to the blossom end, but without dividing the fruit; stuff them with as much salt as they will contain, lay them into a deep dish, and place them in a sunny window, or in some warm place for a week or ten days, keeping them often turned and basted with their own liquor; then rub them with some good plae turmeric, and put them with their juice, into a stone jar with a small head of garlic, divided into cloves and peeled, and a dozen small onions stuck with twice as many cloves. Boil in two quarts of white wine vinegar, half a pound of ginger slightly bruised, two oundes of whole black pepper, and half a pound of mustard-seed; take them from the fire and pour the directly on the lemons; cover the jar with a plate, and let them remain until the following day, then add to the pickle half a dozen capsicums (or a few chilies, if more convenient), and tie a skin and a fold of thick paper over the jar. Large lemons stuffed with salt, 8: 8 to 10 days. Tumeric, 1 to 2 oz; ginger, 1/2 lb; mustard-seed, 1/2 lb.; capsicums, 6 oz."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, reprint of 1845 London edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex 1993 (p. 445)

Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton (use your browser's "find" feature to locate pickled lemons)

"Pickled Limes.--Make a brine strong enough to float an egg; stick your limes on two sides with a silver fork; then put them in the brine with a weight on the limes to keep them well under the brine; let them stand in a warm place for a week; they are then fit to eat. You can add some red peppers to the brine.--West India Woman"
---"Receipts," New York Times, August 7, 1881 (p. 9)

"There are many recipes for pickled lemons and limes. In each you can substitute one for the other. The commonest recipes call for making slits in the fruit without cutting them through. You add salt, which dissolves as it stands. The lemons or limes are left to stand for a considerable period before serving. In India, where pickled lemons and limes--called achar--are served sweet or hot, various spices are added, including cumin, chili pods, mustard seeds, fenugreek and so on."
---"Q & A," New York Times, April 1, 1981 (p. C9)
[NOTE: achar' simply means pickle, not pickled limes.]

4 thin-skinned lemons, scrubbed and quartered
1/4 cup kosher salt
Juice of 8 or 9 lemons
In a 1-quart widemouth jar, combine the lemons and the salt. Add the lemon juice to cover the lemons by 1/2 inch. Cover and store at room temperature, shaking the jar twice a week, for two to three weeks. The lemons are ready when the rind is soft. Discard any skin that might develop on the surface of the jar. If you wish to speed up the pickling process, gently heat the quartered lemons before packing them in lemon juice and salt. To heat, arrange the lemon wedges in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the lemons are warm to the touch. Pro ceed as directed above. The lemons will be ready in four to five days."
---"Internet site reveals recipe for Exotic Chicken," Geissler Janet, Lansing State Journal, April 9, 2001, Pg. 3D

Don't forget to read your Bunyan.


  1. Re: Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. I actually read this in graduate school at Columbia in 1989 or so. It was assigned in an excellent course on the history of children's literature. My previous exposure had been through references to Little Women which my mother explained. The professor told us that before the late 19th c. when the advent of wood based paper (pulp paper, actually) made books affordable most people had one book in their house -- the Bible. If they had a second, it was Pilgrim's Progress. That's assuming, of course, that most Americans were Protestant.
    Another factoid from Liza in NYC & NJ!
    Enjoy Seasocks!

  2. Anonymous10:39 AM

    I can't help you on the 'New Testament' stuff, but the Babylonian exile was not undergone by 'pre Moses Hebrews/proto Jews'. Moses and the early Jewish people were well over a millennium before. You might mean that the Talmud was put together during that exile.

    I hope that helps clear up what was probably a slip of the tongue.


  3. Just a few notes from a professional Judaica librarian humbly offered with any apologies for errors and pedantry.
    Scholars don't know exactly when Moses lived. My two favorite theories are that Moses is contemporaneous with 1. Akhnaton (15th c. BCE) or, 2. Ramses II (13th c. BCE). Other theories abound. Take your pick.
    Moses is credited in Jewish tradition with leading the "Hebrews" out of Egypt, where, if one follows the Exodus narrative literally, they became Jews at Mt. Sinai in exactly one year.
    The First Temple was built by Solomon, the 3rd king of Israel. He reigned from ca.971 BCE - ca. 941 BCE. After the First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE ,the Jews were exiled to Babylon.
    The Hebrew Bible (called the "Old Testament" by Christians) was written in Hebrew except for the books of Daniel and Ezra, which have sections written in Aramaic. Scholars generally believe these two books to have been written quite late, in a period when Aramaic was becoming the lingua franca of the Middle East.
    The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE., after which the rabbis began to write the Mishnah (oral law)in Hebrew. Judah haNasi compiled the Mishnah ca. 200 CE in Galilee, north of what had been Judea. After the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Romans ended tragically in 135 CE, the Jews were exiled once again from Judea. Many moved east to Babylon, where the rabbis began to write the commentary on the Mishna in Aramaic for what we call the Babylonian Talmud. However, those rabbis who stayed closer to Judea wrote their own commentary which became The Jerusalem Talmud. Both were "finished" ca. 500CE. However, as Jews never actually finish discussing and commenting on sacred texts, printed copies of the Talmud include medieval commentary! (In print by ca.1500 CE). Much of Talmud, although not the Mishnah it is based on, is written in Aramaic which was was supplanted by Arabic as the lingua franca of the Middle East after the advent of Islam (Mohammed died in 632 CE to give you an idea of the dates.)
    The Gospels are thought to have been written in from the middle to the end of the 1st century CE. I believe (?) that while some may have been written in Aramaic, the oldest versions of the Gospels surved only in Greek.
    Liza (Librarian, Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York)

  4. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you do. I listen to the podcast religiously and am constantly intrigued by the insights you provide as well as those of my fellow listeners. I read "Little Women" in grade school and then again a couple of years ago. Loved it as a child, found it fussy and saccharine as an adult. Now that I have a better historical context for it, I'm finding it much more interesting than I ever imagined. Thanks for helping stimulate my brain!

  5. I listened to episode 94 last night and Marmee's speech at the end made me really think how different it is to read this book as a mother vs. as a child. Marmee says this:

    "Better be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or unmaidenly girls, running about to find husbands, said Mrs. March decidedly. Don't be troubled, Meg, poverty seldom daunts a sincere lover. Some of the best and most honored women I know were poor girls, but so love-worthy that they were not allowed to be old maids."

    As a child I heard the last sentence. As a mother I hear the first sentence (which was a revolutionary thing to say in those days and really in some circles still is today, as demonstrated by a really embarrassing article in the March Atlantic magazine about 'settling' and how the author wishes she had). It is the same book but I am hearing it completely differently from the opposite end of life so to speak.


and then you said...