WeWriWa—Elegance after elegance

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from my alternative history, And Aleksey Lived, which is scheduled to be released in exactly a month, if all goes according to plan. I’m currently experiencing computer problems, but I thankfully still have an 11-year-old computer as backup if the issues aren’t fixed in time. It runs a bit slower and isn’t so up to date, but the most important thing is that it works!

This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when soon-to-be Empress Arkadiya had lunch with her future sister-in-law Tatyana and Tatyana’s three surviving children at Yelagin Palace. Everything about this palace and its menu impresses Arkadiya with its unfailing elegance. Now, dessert is served.

Menu for the Romanov Tercentenary, 1913

The cooks had prepared miniature hazelnut and chocolate mousse cakes, a cheese platter, plum tartlets, nectarine pudding, lemon and chèvre cheesecake with rhubarb and wine gelées, and chocolate raspberry roll cake. Arkadiya couldn’t imagine ever becoming used to such high-class dining. It always seemed far too much for one meal, particularly given how many leftovers these meals produced. Common sense would dictate the cooks only prepare as much as was expected to be eaten, instead of making too much and not keeping leftovers for the next day. Giving away the extras was wonderful charity, but the same could be accomplished by deliberately making food to be given to hungry locals and important visitors.

After luncheon concluded, Pavel and Varvara went back to their classroom, and Arkadiya followed Tatyana and Galina to the Poppy Red Salon. They entered through tall double doors of mahogany covered with delicate, gilt bronze decorations and engravings, flanked by very polished white pilasters, and topped by a pediment. As its name suggested, the room was full of poppy red furniture and silk tapestries. The deep red commingled with white, dark mahogany, and gold. In contrast to all the other finery in the room, the floor was plain parquet.

Advertisements

WeWriWa—Lunch is served

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from my alternative history, And Aleksey Lived, which is scheduled to be released in exactly a month, if all goes according to plan.

This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when soon-to-be Empress Arkadiya met her future sister-in-law Tatyana’s children. Ten-year-old Pavel excitedly told her he’s heir to the throne till his uncle has a son, and 8-year-old Varvara said they used to have two other brothers.

Tatyana suggested they talk about more pleasant things, and calls for lunch.

Nicholas II’s coronation banquet menu

Tatyana picked up a silver bell and rang for the waiters.

The luncheon which was brought forward was just as refined and elegant as Tatyana herself—roast beef tenderloin with foie gras butter, oysters in cream and bacon sauce, candied carrots on a bed of greens, mushroom bisque, baked lobster tails in saffron risotto, and karavay bread with intricate curlicues baked on top, with an assortment of carrot, fig, blackberry, and currant jams. 

The tableware was equally elegant.  Besides the usual sparkling crystal and silverware, the plates, bowls, and platters were white china with a delicate pink rosebud pattern.  Arkadiya still wasn’t sure if she were eating everything with the correct fork and spoon, and hoped none of the china and crystal would break.  Her family had only used such fancy tableware on Easter and Christmas.  The rest of the year, it was shut away in a locked cabinet.

To Arkadiya’s great relief, Tatyana mostly spoke about her work as a nurse, instead of the wedding.  Pavel and Varvara also spoke about their lessons in arithmetic, science, art, music, reading, and French.  They pointed out several photographs of themselves with their tutors, on a table of framed candid photographs documenting the family’s normal, everyday life.

WeWriWa—Ice-cream parlor

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when 23-year-old Yuriy tended to his 18-year-old crush Inga’s injured knee one final time. They’re now on their way to get ice-cream before he has to get a train back to Canada.

This has been slightly edited to fit 10 lines.

Yuriy turns into the first ice-cream parlor that appears and finds a green corner booth that almost matches his uniform. He translates the menu for Inga, and she orders a sundae with chocolate ice-cream, hot fudge, cherries, and crushed candy bars, with an orange egg cream, while Yuriy orders a humbler strawberry ice-cream float.

“I’d ask you to kill some Nazis or Japs for me, but I can see you’re a medic,” the soda jerk says when she brings over the food. “Good luck with saving as many guys as you can.”

Inga lingers over her sundae and egg cream, not sure when she’ll next be able to splurge on a little luxury like this. Once they’re done, Yuriy leaves the money on the table and walks Inga home.

“You’ll be fine,” he reassures her. “You’ve got a new family who’s eager to take care of you, and some new friends. The language comes quicker than you think, if you’re constantly immersed in it. I bet you’ll be a real American girl by the time I come to visit again, and you might have a returning soldier for a boyfriend.”

WeWriWa—Thanksgiving bingo

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a bit after last week’s, when Cinnimin Filliard and her best friend Sparky (real name Katharina) headed off on Thanksgiving morning to get a fresh turkey.

Instead of going to Gregory’s Groceries for one of the free turkeys being given away, the girls decided to go to the kosher butcher so Sparky’s family could eat with Cinni’s. The Filliards have a very large house that’s been in the family for generations, long before the Great Depression, so there’s a wing with another kitchen and dining room enabling each family to keep their own dietary customs.

The girls weren’t able to resist the butcher’s bingo tournament, with a 25-pound turkey as a prize. The tournament runs until only five teams are left, and then those five teams play off for the winner. Several times, false bingo is called among all the competitors.

“The winner will not only get a twenty-five-pound turkey, freshly slaughtered, but also a pound each of carrots, beets, large yams, and eggs, and ten cans of potato gravy!  The runners-up will get a pound each of beans, eggs, and yams.”

Cinni put all her focus on remembering the names of each German number and matching up as many as possible on their cards.  Each time another team didn’t call bingo in time, she rejoiced.  Finally, as it started growing dusky, bingo appeared on Sparky’s latest card.

“Bingo, bingo, bingo!  B fünfzehn, I neunzig, N eins, G elf, O fünfundvierzig!” Sparky called.

The butcher verified the win. “The turkey and all the other food is yours.  I’ll go and slaughter the turkey right now.”

In order, the German numbers called are 15, 19, 1, 11, and 45.

If you’re wondering, my new banner goes along with my 12-part series on the 90th anniversary of The Jazz Singer. It’ll run from 13 November–11 December. I had so much fun researching and writing it. This also gave me back my writing mojo. I desperately needed a break away from fiction, where words were no longer coming as prolifically and easily as usual.

Vintage summer food ads and recipes

Owing to the holiday weekend, when many people won’t be reading blogs anyway, I decided to put together another post featuring vintage ads. These ones include magazine recipes for things that would work really well at a Fourth of July party or picnic.

And if you’re wondering, just about all ads from pre-1977 are public domain. It annoys me so much when I see an awesome vintage ad has someone’s URL or logo on it, as though that person is the copyright holder. That’s not their own creative work, and even if they bought or own a physical copy, that’s still not the only one in existence!

What person with a sweet tooth could resist this?

March 1966. I’d prefer if the green were mint instead of lime, but I’m sure it still tastes awesome.

I’d totally make these with kosher and vegan gelatin!

I’m well aware of the fact that Kool-Aid is sugary crap without any nutritional value, but we can’t avoid junk food and drinks all the time.

I love grape pop.

I’ve never been a marshmallow fan, not even of kosher marshmallows. I just don’t like the texture.

1949, when you could still buy things for all of five cents.

Even knowing the role inflation and currency value pay in prices, that still looks like a great deal.

From the 1940s. Canned meat made sense when many people in rural areas didn’t have modern refrigerators.

1952

1955, the only kind of mustard I like. It’s dark yellow for me all the way!

Happy Fourth of July!