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rosefolly

Books on epidemics

Rosefolly
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Some years ago we had a thread of books on epidemics. I read two that I really liked quite a bit, The Great Influenza and The Ghost Map. Years before that I had read Guns, Germs, and Steel, and many, many years before, Rat, Lice, and History, which I re-read at the time, finding it less accurate than I thought the first time around. At the time, these quenched my interest.

When our current epidemic started I thought about reading some more, but not knowing how this was going to develop, set that idea aside. Now I am interested again. I know that several people on this forum share my interest so I am looking for ideas. I prefer books that lean more to the history than the science, but I want the science that is in them to be accurate. And I want books written for a general audience rather than ones intended a scholarly one. I want to be informed but I don't want to work too hard for it. If they are too heavy, I won't finish them.

I'd rather not read about COVID, as I get enough of that daily, but I am open to learning about polio, yellow fever, malaria, bubonic plague, typhus, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, or any other disease that has influenced the fate of mankind. Please offer your suggestions!

Comments (100)

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    Rosefolly. re 'international travel'. Here in the UK all incoming passengers now have to go into quarantine at special designated hotels near the airport for a fortnight . . . and paid for by the 'guests' themselves. Not a fun way to start a business trip and a holiday would probably be over before it had begun.

    It seems half the population here want to 'open up' to visiting, eating/drinking 'out', shopping etc, while the rest are more cautious and are aware of the burden being placed on hospitals and staff and the lives of the vulnerable among us; although I can see the sense of getting children back to school.

    And for the time being the extremely cold weather has floated away towards the Continent to be replaced by rain. In some Northern and Scottish areas it was the coldest it has been for 60 years and even the River Thames froze over in places.

  • annpanagain
    3 years ago

    Was it frozen enough to skate on as happened once, I believe?

    It is nasty and humid and although I can now go out without a mask, I still find it uncomfortable to breathe! I spent some of this afternoon looking up Jackie Weaver info and memes. Wonderful woman! Luckily the meetings I have had to attend have been well conducted but oh, so boring usually!

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  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Vee, any international travel we are considering would not be until the fall, perhaps September. Things could be a lot different by then. Or perhaps not. I'm planning on it, but I'm not counting on it.

    This is a trip we had scheduled a year and a half ago, and have rescheduled once already. We can always do that again if we must. In the light of what is going on in the world, a delayed vacation is pretty small stuff.

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    Over here we have heard much in the press about people's right to take a holiday/vacation "I have worked hard to follow the rules during the pandemic now I feel I must get away to . . .. (Barbados, my villa in Greece/Spain/Italy, my shooting lodge in Scotland etc) I owe it to myself to take a break."

    As Rosefolly points out compared to the horrors of serious illness even death, the need or right to 'get away' is very small stuff.

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    Annpan, re the freezing of parts of the Thames, I think it was probably only frozen around the edges! I don't think it has frozen right across in central London since the Embankment was built (under which the huge Victorian sewers ran). This caused the river to become narrower and faster flowing with less chance of ice forming.

    We have an old photo maybe from the 1890's of 'my' river, the Avon at Stratford, showing what might be an ox-roast on the ice surrounded by groups of mainly young people . . . probably eyeing up how far it was to the bank in case the ice gave way.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    3 years ago

    We are experiencing below freezing temps for several days going forward and with up to 8 inches of snow predicted for this afternoon and tonight. There was an article in this morning's paper about homeless people and their right to housing. Certainly I am not against finding a warm place for people to stay, but I thought the word "right" was probably not the correct one. In the past we have been told of many people who refuse housing no matter the weather. Would that also be a "right"?

    The Ohio River is not as big a river as the Thames, but it has been frozen over enough to walk across to Indiana a couple of times in my memory, and it was the river depicted in Uncle Tom's Cabin over which Eliza escaped to freedom via the ice.


  • Rosefolly thanked masgar14
  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Masgar14, thank you for the suggestion. However I'm looking for strictly nonfiction, not dystopian novels. I have to be careful about those. They sometimes depress me in an enduring way, not something I want to undergo at this time, or any other time for that matter. I understand that Atwood's books are well written which almost makes it worse. I find it easier to dismiss a badly written novel than a well crafted one.

    I should have mentioned that I have a nice stack of epidemic books that will take me some weeks to finish. By then I'm pretty sure I will be headed back into the world of imagination - fantasy, mystery, and light fiction. In fact, but the time I finish, it will probably be time to start reading for the Hugos again.

  • masgar14
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Through Librarything I have extrapolate this link , they should be books tagged epidemic.

    hoping it will be useful to you

    https://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=epidemic&searchtype=tags&searchtype=tags&sortchoice=0


    Rosefolly thanked masgar14
  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hurray! I had my second vaccination today, and Tom is scheduled for his tomorrow. So far I have no more than a sore arm and a little tiredness. I have heard that one is more likely to have a flu-like reaction to the second shot, but so far it looks as though I may escape that. I generally don't have a strong reaction to vaccinations. Good thing. With all the variants, and with the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated leading to even more variants, we are likely to need more shots as time goes on.

    Oh, and I got a new Covid vaccination card with my correct name on it. I've tucked it away with my passport so I'll have it when I travel.

    I'm still reading disease books, with romance, mystery, and SF interspersed. Currently I am a bit past halfway through Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World by Irwin W Sherman. At this point he is reviewing ground that other authors previously covered, though sometimes with a slightly different point of view. I read a chapter a day, then a more amusing novel. You can tell I am slowing down a bit.

    Masgar14, thank you for your kind helpfulness. At this point I have read about a half dozen disease book. I have several more sitting on my bedside table. By the time I finish those I think my curiosity on this subject will be well and truly satisfied. I'm learning about diseases I never even knew existed!

  • Carolyn Newlen
    3 years ago

    I invited my sister to come home with me after our second shots in case we had side effects since we both live alone. The second day, her arm was somewhat sore and she had a bit of a headache. I just felt sluggish and didn't want much to eat. By the next day we were both fine.

    She spent the rest of the week with me and helped me put beginning and ending dates on my multiple photo albums. She was a big help, too, since I have lots of pictures of her children and grandchildren and she spent last winter going through her own pictures. We had a good visit, and now all four of us siblings have had our vaccines and are ripe for a trip together possibly to Raleigh, NC, where a niece lives. It's not too far from there to Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington, and has a terrific seafood restaurant on the beach that our youngest brother just loves.

    Rosefolly thanked Carolyn Newlen
  • annpanagain
    3 years ago

    Carolyn, that trip sounds delightful.

    I am fond of seafood and we had a lot over Christmas. The price of rock lobsters came down due to the Chinese ban so we had a feast! I particularly like garlic king prawns. I think you would call them shrimp?

  • Carolyn Newlen
    3 years ago

    Ann, I think sometimes we call the little ones shrimp and the big ones prawns, but they are all good. I read on a travel forum about your cheap oysters. I like seafood a lot and particularly good scallops when I can find them. Kentucky is inland, of course, so a lot of our seafood arrives frozen or is quite expensive in specialty markets. The only food I've ever had a reaction to is soft-shell crab. It breaks me out in a measles-type rash, so I haven't tried it since the second episode. Didn't make me sick or itchy, just the rash, but I haven't wanted to push my luck.

    Rosefolly thanked Carolyn Newlen
  • annpanagain
    3 years ago

    I prefer oysters cooked rather than natural. I had some huge ones when I was on holiday in Brisbane, picked off the rocks near the restaurant! Sorry that you can't tolerate soft shell crabs, I have had them without any ill affects.

    My son emailed me the notice of a show he was doing at a local place. After a reminder to book a table to catch him, the thoughtful management added that the special was chili mussels. Both very enjoyable apparently!

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    In my ignorance I never realised until recently there was a difference between seafood and fish.

    Is seafood made up of creatures with a shell on . . . and fish is shell-less?

    Over here I think we eat much less of 'seafood' and by tradition much more of fresh fish, though with changing times much of the 'fresh' catch is quick-frozen while on the deep-sea trawlers.

    Annpan you will remember the queues outside the fishmongers every Friday morning. In our household it was always cod (steamed) alternating with plaice (fried) the following week.

    As children we always wanted to taste the 'national quick dish' fish and chips . .. there was a 'chippy' at the other end of our town . . . but my Mother, a dreadful snob, declared it to be common!

    I do remember my Father at his place of work, during the evening, would send a boy to buy a newspaper wrapped package of this greasy deliciousness. Dad would arrive home with the strong aroma of 'Frying Tonight' still clinging to him plus the smell of vinegar in which everything had been soused .

  • annpanagain
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Vee, I have no memory of the queue at the fishmongers at all! My parents were not fresh fish on Friday people and only ate a fish and chips take-away along with the rest of the common people! Sitting down to eat at the shop's marble topped tables was very posh and you would let friends know you were there! Hyacinth Bucket junior!

    It was only when I lodged on weekdays with my grandparents that I had soused herrings occasionally but they did get me to pick up fish and chips on Fridays for lunch. They would have shopped at the open food market, have the lunch and then go to the cinema for the pensioner's matinee whatever was showing! Brighton had several picture houses so there was some choice.

    I would dash to the chip shop in my hour lunchtime, drop off their lunch and then pick up my luggage and some of the groceries my grandparents had bought to go back to work. I finished early and then went to my parents place for the weekend.

    It was such a regular ritual each Friday to Monday that after a few years I decided to migrate to Australia to break the cycle! I was twenty-two, a number that strangely keeps popping up in my life.

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    Annpan, our chippy was just a counter with no place to eat.

    Apparently Dad went in one day followed, unnoticed, by our dog. It wasn't until an angry fish-fryer yelled "Who's b b b dog has got his head in the batter?" (carelessly left on the floor at dog-height) Of course Dad didn't own up to the dog knowing he would make his own way home.

    This was long before the days of 'elf and Safety!

    As for soused herrings. My Mother 'did' them now and again. Bones removed, opened flat, slices of onion and pickling spice added. Rolled tightly and cooked in a juice of vinegar in a low over. Eaten for breakfast and meant to be a good cure for a hangover!

  • annpanagain
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Grandmother's soused herrings were done plainly, bones and all. Usually for an evening meal on Thursday, the pot luck day after the Sunday joint ran out after Wednesday.

    I mentioned OT that I am watching TV more as reading is a bit of a strain on the fake new eyes. I don't usually watch police shows but we have so many from the US, UK and local that I can't avoid them. They all seem to feature a disabled woman who is a whiz on the computer. I would like to be similar being somewhat disabled but am only a two fingered typist and no geek...

  • Carolyn Newlen
    3 years ago

    Re "seafood," that would include all fish, fresh, frozen, or shell, where I live. Isn't our common language fun?

  • vee_new
    3 years ago

    Thank you Carolyn. Wasn't it George Bernard Shaw who said we were "two peoples separated by a common-language"!

    I heard on the radio that during this epidemic people have started buying pets to liven up their boring days. Many mistakes have been made by some thoughtless folk who seemed surprised that puppies chewed the furniture or made puddles on the carpet. One woman even sent back her dog as she said it didn't match the decorative scheme of her living room . . .

  • annpanagain
    3 years ago

    Chewed furniture and puddles are not the worst crimes! I often had cats bring me gifts, such as venomous snakes, live rabbits, mice and dead maggoty birds. All presented with cries of triumph and great pride.

    I live alone but after my little Cavalier spaniel died, told the family not to bring me any kind of replacement. The retirement village apartment was not really a good place for a pet even though I had an enclosed courtyard added. Our many animals had always been able to roam freely.

  • yoyobon_gw
    2 years ago

    Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

    *A New York Times Best Seller*
    *One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year*
    A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

    “Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life… here is a novel … so gorgeously written that it transports you." —The Boston Globe


    In 1580’s England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this “exceptional historical novel” (The New

  • msmeow
    2 years ago

    Carolyn, I thought you lived in Charleston! Must be someone else here at RP.

    I’m born & raised in central Florida and to me seafood is things with shells and fish is shell-less, whether salt or fresh water fish. I love shrimp, prawns, langoustines (whatever you want to call them) and lobster, but I’m not crazy about things in shells, like scallops, mussels and clams. I like lots of fish, too, except salmon.


    Donna

  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    Msmeow, it is Mary Gatchell who lives in Charleston. I met her for lunch once when visiting the city. I think Charleston is the prettiest city in the U.S.

  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Yoyobon, Hamnet sounds interesting. I could use a nonfiction break. I've placed a hold on it at my library. Thanks!

  • ginny12
    2 years ago

    Re books about epidemics, At the beginning of this pandemic, I re-read two that I had read many years ago, both excellent. 'A Journal of the Plague Year' by Daniel Defoe, fiction but based on his uncle's journal of the bubonic plague in London in 1665 and other non-fiction sources. Defoe was alive during the plague but a small child. A vivid and gripping account. I was struck by Defoe's frequent mentions of religion and expressions of faith, as I have been struck by the lack of same in our current crisis, sad to say.


    The other book is 'Bring Out Your Dead, The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793' by J.H. Powell. Non-fiction but reads like a novel. Horrifying but absolutely full of interesting details of life at that time. I was deeply moved near the end when the young US government was trying to decide whether it was safe for Congress to meet in Philadelphia that fall as it was then the capital. George Washington himself rode on horseback from his Virginia home and then rode slowly up and down the city streets, observing conditions, all by himself. No aides, military, anything. An extraordinary man.

    Rosefolly thanked ginny12
  • vee_new
    2 years ago

    Back to the C19. How are you all doing? Have all 'oldies' in the US/Aus now had both their shots?

    Here in the UK, second doses were held up so as to 'do' as many of the age 50 and above as possible. Both DH and I had our first (pfizer) ones in late January and the second round of doses is just getting going . . . we will be phoned from the Dr's and given a day and time . . . then drive to a central location.So am waiting by the phone!

    We also understand that the US Nocavax (sp) is on the way to the UK. Originally the 'substance/vaccs' was to be shipped to Sweden where it was put into the glass phials, but because of difficulties within the EU and their possibly not allowing these drugs to be carried over borders (ie out of the EU's sphere of influence) they will be 'filled' in a UK factory.

    Interesting that while the UK has surprisingly raced ahead, in Germany only 15% have received a shot and also very low in France where many people don't believe in vaccinations. Both countries are now seeing a huge spike in outbreaks.

    And on another positive note as from 12 April in England non-essential shops will be allowed to re-open . . . and maybe I'll be able to get my hair cut. I'm beginning to feel like a woolly mammoth . . .


    Rosefolly thanked vee_new
  • annpanagain
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vee, I feel for you and your hair problems, I needed a cut badly during the Lockdown of March 2020 as my spiky ends felt like insects on my neck! This can be for real here ! I am very attractive to bities!

    I get the feeling that no one is too bothered about vaccinations in Western Australia at present other than health professionals as we haven't had a big problem with Covid, apart from shutting State borders now and again and being careful. We sign in at shops etc. for contact tracing, just in case.

    I don't think I shall get it done anyway as I don't get flu shots either. I am very susceptible to side effects with meds. My GP hasn't contacted me yet.

    I have just checked today's figures and we have had 938 cases in total, I think they would be mainly from overseas arrivals. Most have recovered or are getting better and nine cases have died, none recently apparently.

    There has been an outbreak in the Eastern States so our border has been shut again. This has upset Easter Holiday plans for so many. One of my hard-working friends had a week's holiday booked that she was looking forward to and has had to cancel it. She had to cancel a dream holiday in Europe with her family last year too!

    Rosefolly thanked annpanagain
  • ginny12
    2 years ago

    Writing from New England in the USA, I have had both Pfizer shots and am getting on a plane for an Easter visit with family. I had absolutely no reaction to the shot; same is true of everyone I know. In my state, 75% of adults have had at least the first shot and they are predicting all by May. We are still wearing masks, socially distancing etc.


    Countries that are islands and can keep people out will have to do it forever or vaccinate the population if they want to avoid Covid 19. Those are the only two choices.

    Rosefolly thanked ginny12
  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I read half a dozen epidemic books and am taking a break. I have three or four left but will save them so I'm prepared with reading material the next time I get this impulse. I've done this several times in my life. It is an abiding interest.

    One thing I learned from my reading is that yes, this pandemic has been quite genuinely serious, but as pandemics go, it was actually pretty mild. Something like 1% of those infected died, even if you only count the symptomatic patients. Also some who survived have had lingering effects. I don't know the number or severity of those. The untimely deaths were a tragedy. However many historic pandemics had much higher death rates, anywhere from a third to half of those infected and sometimes higher. Even with modern medicines some of those diseases would wreak far more havoc than this one did. It was a sobering lesson. It is my sincere hope that this pandemic serves as a dress rehearsal that will make us better prepared for future pandemics. Epidemiologists worry about bird flu becoming infections person-to-person. It is a bad one.

    Like Ginny, we have been vaccinated. California is opening up to everyone over 50 starting tomorrow so most of my friends will be vaccinated soon. All adults here will be eligible stating a couple of weeks after that. Both of my daughters are in their 30's and have been or are in the process of getting vaccinated. One lives in Arizona where all adults can now get the vaccine. The other lives in California but is a nurse, so she got the vaccine last month. She is a stay-at-home mother, but had volunteered to give vaccines. They never actually called on her, but allowed her to get the vaccine in case they needed her. We feel very safe and plan a trip in early May to visit family, most of whom are now vaccinated. Of course we will mask on the plane. We mask in public of course.

    I have heard that over the next month, the vaccine will be available to all adults in the USA who want it. I do know people who still say they won't get it, but I think more people now want it than did in the beginning. It means getting your personal freedom back, if nothing else. I am earnestly hoping that vaccine availability will quickly spread all over the world. Even if you set aside humanitarian concerns, no one is truly safe until everyone is safe.

    Tom and I finished a difficult jigsaw puzzle a couple of nights ago, the most challenging puzzle of this past year. I think I'm ready to set aside jigsaw puzzles for a while.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    Most of my family are either old, teachers (some retired), or health care workers, who have all had their shots; so we are planning a whole family pre-Easter dinner at the family farm on Saturday. I haven't seen some of them for a year and am quite excited. We pitch in with food. I'm taking a white cake with lemon filling and seven-minute frosting and some store-bought frozen yeast rolls. Daughter is taking chocolate chess pies, one niece bringing ham and dressed eggs (deviled to some of you) and another mac and cheese because her sons like it, sister does home canned green beans and frozen creamed corn and whatever else she decides on, and the others haven't reported in. My mouth is already watering.

  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Carolyn, it sounds like a lovely celebration!


  • annpanagain
    2 years ago

    Ginny, Australia is allowing people to come but generally they need to quarantine before they can move into the population.

    Situations here can change in minutes! A sudden outbreak has immediate repercussions regarding lockdowns and border closures. It makes for difficulties in planning trips interstate.

    A lesson I learned is to keep a stock of food and other goods (especially t/p!) and get things like haircuts done on time in case there is a sudden lockdown.

    Rosefolly thanked annpanagain
  • kathy_t
    2 years ago

    Carolyn - Of all the delicious food planned for your post-pandemic family dinner, your white cake with lemon filling and seven-minute frosting intrigues me the most. I sure would like a piece of that! Enjoy your family. I had a sibling reunion with my two brothers a couple of weeks ago on the day I officially became "fully vaccinated." It surprised me how emotional it was. I got a little teary-eyed being able to hug those two knuckleheads again.

    Rosefolly thanked kathy_t
  • vee_new
    2 years ago

    Carolyn, I'm not familiar with 'seven minute frosting' Is that the time it takes to 'do' the frosting or how long it takes you to eat it? I like the idea of all the family bringing their favourite dishes to the Easter Feast.

    Do you have Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday in the US?

    Kathy I also saw my brother on Sunday, the first time for almost two years. A little greyer of the few remaining hairs and somewhat stouter but otherwise in good form . . he was too polite to mention my waist-line or greyness . . . We are not a family of huggers by did the required elbow-bumps instead.

    Rosefolly, you mention the pandemic as though it is now a 'thing of the past'. Is that how it is viewed in the US? Over here numbers have declined but have recently leveled out, while in Europe there is a dangerous increase in Germany, Poland and France with a 'third wave' hitting hard.

    And have just had the call for John and I to go for our vaccinations tomorrow . .. hope the side-effects are mild as some have found Pfizer shot 2 is 'felt' more than the first one.

  • annpanagain
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vee, you mention Hot Cross Buns. They have been on sale here since just after Christmas in all kinds of flavours. Our Bread Lady brings us the unsold goods from a shop which costs us a gold coin for a Homeless charity. I have been stuffing myself on them, particularly any chocolate or mocha currant types. Sadly she isn't coming this Friday but I have really had my fill and need room for the chocolates and Easter eggs I am expecting!

    I wonder if people from other religions enjoy eating them? I am very easy going about food myself!

  • vee_new
    2 years ago

    Annpan, what an excellent idea for using up unsold bread. I remember long ago when Good Friday was a proper Bank Holiday (ie a public holiday) the only shops open were the bakers until about mid-day. We used to be sent into town to pick up the order for Hot X Buns. There was a lovely smell of yeast coming from the ovens.

    I don't know about other religions, around here people are mostly Christians to a lesser or greater degree or ??? I have often noticed how people from the US happily tuck into food from diverse cultures something that usually happens in UK cities but little in rural areas . . . although we do have a couple of Chinese and a Balti 'takeaway' that are frequented by the younger generation after the pubs close (and will be if/when pubs etc reopen)

  • sheri_z6
    2 years ago

    I haven't had Hot Cross Buns in ages, though I've seen them at the supermarket recently. I may pick some up for Easter breakfast. This year, I am hosting Easter dinner for just my parents (both fully vaccinated) and the two of us (the DH and I have had our first shots, the next one is in mid-April). The kids are off doing their own things this year, so for the first time in 25 years I won't be making up Easter baskets, which has kind of bummed me out. Just like filling Christmas stockings, I really enjoy doing both waaaayy too much, hence the continuation of the traditions far into the kids' adulthoods.

    We had the first Pfizer shot with nothing more than sore arms. We'll see what the second one is like. My parents had both with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. I'm so grateful we can be together unmasked and I have been able to hug my Mom after months and months of keeping our distance.

    I'm also really looking forward to a haircut. My hair is now the length it was in high school -- too bad it's not the same color! My poor hairdresser will likely keel over when she sees me. Two weeks after the second shot, off I will go.

  • annpanagain
    2 years ago

    Sheri, I also liked to make up surprises for my two for Easter. One year I noticed a stall keeper piping large sugar eggs with flowers and got her to put my kid's names on as well. This wasn't common then but it could be now.

    My two showed them around to their friends and it was the first time the eggs stayed intact until late that Sunday!

  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Vee, the pandemic is certainly not yet a thing of the past, and indeed there has been a recent, modest increase in case numbers. Health officials are warning against giving up our masks and resuming normal activity. On the other hand, many politicians are abandoning health precautions as though everyone had been vaccinated. Definitely mixed messages!


    We and our immediate circle are probably not going to get covid now unless a much worse variant shows up than has so far. That has to color our attitudes. We feel safe, and we want everyone else to get their vaccines so that they can all be safe, too. Perhaps that slipped through, and I did not mean it to do so. But I do realize that if everyone goes back to "normal"; if people give up all precautions; and if not enough people get vaccinated, then things could get very bad again rather quickly, only this time with more virulent /contagious forms of the virus.


    We are watching Europe with a wary eye, and wish they would get their vaccine programs working well. We'd love to visit safely once again! We are watching South America in particular. That variant from Brazil has epidemiologists on the alert. Unfortunately it is not the only variant of concern. As I said before, none of us is truly safe until everyone is safe.


  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    One year at Easter my mother had a broken shoulder and was confined to bed. I took her a filled Easter basket and told her the bunny had come to see her. She said she had made a lot of Easter baskets but that was the first time the bunny ever came to see her. I felt terrible because she loved chocolates and it had never occurred to me to take her an Easter basket before.

    Vee, the frosting, consisting of egg whites, sugar, a little corn syrup, and vanilla, is beaten (approximately) seven minutes in a double boiler over simmering water. It stays soft and a bit marshmallow-y and is one of those things you either love or hate, and it is much easier to make since the advent of electric hand mixers. Kathy, I'll send you the cake recipe if you like.

    My favorite bakery makes Hot Cross Buns for a couple of weeks before Easter. I like to have one on Good Friday.

  • msmeow
    2 years ago

    Carolyn, that sounds like what my mom called “white mountain frosting”. One tiny drop of yolk would ruin the whole batch.

    Donna

  • kathy_t
    2 years ago

    Carolyn, I would love to have your recipe. Can you message it to me through Houzz?

  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    If you will tell me how to do that, Kathy. Otherwise, we can bore the rest of RP and I'll do it here.

  • kathy_t
    2 years ago

    Good idea - just do it here, Carolyn. I bet I'm not the only one interested.

  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    Buttermilk White Cake

    Cake:

    6 egg whites

    1 tsp. cream of tartar

    1 c. shortening

    2 c. sugar

    2-3/4 c. sifted cake flour

    1 tsp. baking soda

    3/4 tsp. salt

    1 c. buttermilk

    1 tsp. vanilla

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

    Combine egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

    Cream shortening; gradually add sugar. Combine flour, soda, and salt; and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla. Fold in 1/4 of egg whites; blend well and fold in remaining whites.

    Pour into prepared pans and bake for 23 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack; turn out onto racks and cool completely. To assemble, spread cooled filling between layers. Frost top and sides with Seven-Minute Frosting.

    Note: Cake is very tender. You may want to line pans.

    Continued . . .



  • Carolyn Newlen
    2 years ago

    Here is the rest. The site was going crazy.

    Lemon Filling

    1 c. water

    3/4 c. sugar

    3 Tbsp. cornstarch

    Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

    2 Tbsp. butter

    4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

    Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat, and stir 1/4 of hot mixture into egg yolks. Add to remaining filling and return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Let cool.

    Seven-Minute Frosting

    2 egg whites

    1 c. sugar

    2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

    2 Tbsp. cold water

    Dash of salt

    1 tsp. vanilla

    Combine all ingredients in top of a large double boiler. Beat on low speed with electric mixer 30 seconds. Place over (not in) boiling water and beat constantly on high speed about 7 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat. If necessary, beat an additional 2 minutes or until thick enough to spread.





  • kathy_t
    2 years ago

    Wow, Caroyln, that's an impressive recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm going to print it and save it .... and maybe one of these days, give it a try. It sounds so delicious.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    2 years ago

    Coming late to this thread. It was about books, once, right? I skimmed through but found no mention of the classic French work: "La Peste" ("The Plague"). I lived in France and had to study Camus' other works but have never gotten around to reading the one that would be most appropriate at this time.


    Way back in February, I got both Pfizer vaccines. I only had a sore arm and one degree of fever. Covid is certainly not done with us yet, as variants keep appearing all across the U.S.

  • Rosefolly
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I read The Plague years ago - twice - and enjoyed it. But actually I was looking for nonfiction this time around. However, for an excellent novel, I would also recommend Connie Willis's time travel novel featuring not one, but two pandemics, The Doomsday Book. It falls near the top of my ten favorite books ever.

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