Ciambotte and Cornbread

I read and enjoy a blog written by a crofter in Scotland. He related that there is a modern name for this Monday, the third Monday in January, Blue Monday. It is referred to as the “most depressing day of the year”. It is a bit of humour really, not science. But there is a ring of truth to it, at least here in the bush, in the middle of winter, sitting through yet another series of snow squalls that make travel unwise and snow shovelling mandatory.

The snow squalls today are building new snow banks in the trees, so that everywhere you look you see white, or grey, with a few black squiggles here and there, where tree trunks and branches peep out from the white shroud. [Note, language is revealing is it not! Shroud, buried in snow, not a positive way to be thinking about cute little white snowflakes! Blue Monday!] The wind is picking up and the temperature is falling. Chop that wood Attila!

Yesterday afternoon Attila used the new soup pot to whip up a batch of Ciambotte, cabbage soup. What a wonderful lunch it made today, as the storm wind roared, and the white swirled around us. I tried a new cornbread recipe, Aunt Octavie’s Cornbread, Jehane Benoit’s Aunt, to eat with the soup, a recipe that I will definitely be making again. Cornbread is usually dry, but this recipe is moist and delicious. And easy, it has to be easy if I am going to make it again!

My New Calendar of Wisdom project has been neglected for some days now. It is a tough go, finding two wise quotes by women, every day. There are a lot of quotations from literature that women have written, and a lot of quotes written by men about women.

The challenge is that the lives of women draw me in. With each quote I find, I want to know more about the woman who wrote it, or said it.

Because the internet is not really offering me the wealth of wise quotes by women that I would like, books are being used to supplement the research.

For instance, years ago I purchased and read Jean Rhys: Letters 1931-66, edited by Francis Wyndham and Diana Melly. Jean Rhys wrote the Wide Sargasso Sea. Further investigation into the story of Jean Rhys’ life, led me to the book The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys By Lilian Pizzichini, which provided a context for the letters. Following my curiousity around means that it can take a whole day to gather one quote. I like to put two quotes in every day’s posting. I catch up, then I fall behind, then I catch up, then I fall behind, and so it goes. I am having fun with it.

Worldly Distractions


Current Conditions Light Snow (HA! Snow squalls all day long!)
Date: 2:00 PM EST Sunday 19 January 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 99.2 kPa
Visibility: 1 km
Temperature: -5.5°C
Dewpoint: -6.6°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: SW 24 gust 37 km/h
Wind Chill: -13


“Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807 – 1882

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Joan Lansberry

‘Blue Monday’, some here in the States have today off from work for Martin Luther King day. I don’t, but at least I’m over the bug that troubled me this weekend, which renders the day less ‘blue’. I can relate to “a whole day to gather one quote”, I find the kind of research I do is often like that. Sometimes, it’s a whole book for one valuable piece of info. But often the value of that info is worth it.


Funny about this topic, looking for a quote in a book; I was just doing that yesterday after posting a blog about the Brontes… I was looking for a good quote from Jane Eyre and so I pulled out my wonderful old copy of it and started looking. An hour later, there I was re-reading the story along like it was the first time! I never got a particular quote but I did re-read some great segments of that wonderful book – my favourite book of all time. So it was worth the time spent.

Tom McCubbin

I like your “New Calendar of Wisdom” idea. Makes me want to start one myself.