Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still buried in British stuff

It takes a darn long time to finish a 900-page novel that purports to cover the entire history of England. But I'm within 40 pages of shutting Sarum forever and moving on to the other one I couldn't finish, Austerity Britain. (Not because it it isn't good. It's just finding the time to tackle a 600-page book. And not fall asleep while I read.) (Not that the book's so boring, it induces sleep. I just . . . doze off alot these days. New Year's resolution: take a daily nap. Start before New Year's Day.

Meanwhile, First Day of the Blitz was fun, even if it showed a lot of people running around in a panic. Yes, indeed, we saw some pocked and gauged buildings as we walked through London.

And The Diana Chronicles was wonderful to come home to after a day of navigating subways, walking in chilly fall breezes, and reading maps with too-small print.

The first and last chapters cover Diana's death more fully than I've ever read before, even describing what the first photographer saw when he opened the car. And in Paris, they know we tourists want to know all about her last moments. I didn't have to embarrass myself asking about her. They just offered up the info. "That's the Ritz Hotel, where Lady Diana stayed," they say in their adorable French accents. "Dodi bought the ring at that jewelry store over there." "Here's the tunnel where the accident happened, there at the 13th pillar."

Harrod's in London, owned by Dodi's father (until about three weeks ago) has an over-the-top Egyptian shrine in the basement. Ride the $33-million escalator down into the dark green-and-gold cavern and see Dodi and Diana's pictures, the ring, and a Sphinxy statue. And a lot of tourists armed with cameras. It was wild.

As for your recipe, I'm going to share my favorite rolls. I hope you have a bread machine, but if not, maybe you are clever enough to work around that point:

Buttery Rolls

So easy, I made them for a dinner a week before Thanksgiving, knowing I'd have to turn around next week and make rolls again.

Next time: the rolls we actually had for Thanksgiving. They're not as easy, but they were huge and squishy. That's how we like them around here.