Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Night Flipp, but not really and here is what I know bout my old fav Norske author R. Dahl

I shouldn’t say I despised them as much as I didn’t understand them. The first ones I really remember reading were Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and such. And when the movie with Gene Wilder opened in 1971, I wasn’t interested. I didn’t like Gene in that one. I love his late wife Gilda Radner Wilde though, but Gene wasn’t really my style, although, I did laugh at him. Silver Streak and Frankenseen with Bernidette Peters was a hoot.
So, I loved his Matilda.
My children loved his stories, but I must admit, I didn’t read them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I guess that’s just the way it goes with bias’.
So, the BFG, what a curious tale, and one of my childrens’ favorites of his. As was The Twits, The Gremlins, and basically all of them.
After reading Going Solo, I read Boy (kind of backwards).
I read only parts to the children, being these were girls, they were really young at that time and looking at some of the issues that Roald had to deal with at his very young age wasn’t something I did through his books then. For one thing, they were girls in a different era. They weren’t wanting to read them their selves, so that was that.

Roald’s Mom died giving birth to his younger sister. (I read these 12 years ago, or so. So, If I have a fact wrong, I am sorry, I'll check, but I am pretty sure this is accurate, or close)
His father went and married another woman to help raise his children.
Roald’s sister caught Pneumonia and died. His father caught it too, and was so bereaved that he couldn’t fight the disease and died.
His step mother raised him. She moved them to England from Norway because of Roald’s Father’s wishes to get them the best education money could buy.
There he was beaten. I think that is where the BFG aspired.
He talked of the candy that was akin to drugs, tis true, ‘sugar high’ and add other specifics and wah lah!
He talked of his 'ancient' step sister and the car they bought. The first time they went out in it they wrecked and it about cut off his nose.
Later, when he was grown up(his Going Solo story)(but probably not that much older), he went to Africa to work for Shell Oil. He spoke of travel on an ocean liner. One fellow who liked to, jogged in the nude in the mornings. One woman who ate her oranges with a knife and fork saying that your fingers were the dirtiest things, and of meeting these ‘movers and shakers’ on a ship like that being stuck with them really taught you something.
He told some amazing stories about Africa, then the war broke out and he was instantly a commander for the RAF and WOW what tales he had then. First, he had to stop the German’s, who were now POWs. Then he decided to become a fighter pilot, trained and on his maiden assignment, well off with his nose again! So, you may think I have ruined the stories about his life now, but there is so much more in those teeny tiny books. Just like all of his other little stories, they are chalk a block with fascinating and educating matters. Matters of fact, matters of the heart, of life lived and lost and all of the in between. Being a man of his generation; I think he was as one with himself as any one man could be. Hoorah for Roald! He made a girl, and young woman understand life just a little bit more. With life now being more closely related with our earth and her seasons, the stars and stratosphere, I am in need to reflect in the manner, looking at the matters in my life and that of my clan. Taking tea times and dandelion times and saying good bye to my closest link to the next generation. She is an amazingly wonderful young person, I am truly blessed by all of my clan and relations with the human race. I am sorry if I don't sound my gracious and grateful, I am.



Some Resources and stuff

Gipsy House is where Roald Dahl lived with his family in Buckinghamshire, England.

Do you live in England or are you planning a visit sometime soon? You definitely need to visit The Roald Dahl Children's Gallery in Aylesbury.

Story List
The BFG, Matilda, and George's Marvelous Medicine
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
The Compete Adventures of Charlie and Mr Willy Wonka
Danny, the Champion of the World
The Enormous Crocodile
Esio Trot
Fantastic Mr. Fox
George's Marvelous Medicine
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
The Gremlins
James and the Giant Peach
The Magic Finger
The Minpins
The Twits
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke
The Witches

Photo of Roald's Mama's cottage link below; tick the title to go there
During WWII Sophie and her daughters moved here to escape the German bombings in London and eastern England. When Roald returned home from duty in the Royal Air Force in 1941 he at first had no idea where to find his family. Their eventual reunion is described by Dahl on the last page of his autobiography

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Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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