At Least It’s Not February

Hey, folks.  March came in like a lion, howling winds today, leaving me feeling unsettled.  The dogs came down with a nasty cough (vet appointment tomorrow) and I’ve had a few days of poor sleep, tending to them, and being veeery careful in my interactions with other humans because I’m leery of what might come out of my mouth.  So.  Lots of reading books quietly and drinking tea.

I mentioned I can’t smell much of anything, which also means I can’t taste much of anything, either.  Just the basics – salty, sour, sweet, spicy.  It’s been loads of broth and ginger and hot peppers and garlic, really spicy foods, while I wait for life to warm up and the sun to come out and spring to burst forth.

I reread Dune on a lark over the weekend, because it was sitting here.  I’ve never been able to make up my mind about Dune.  Frank Herbert constructed this amazing world, overlaid with so much detail, but he just didn’t bother much with the plot, did he?  And it’s not foreshadowing he goes for so much as a fore-bludgeoning.  I got a whole box of mysteries from my English neighbor that I’ve been plowing through quickly because I get about 30 pages in and think, next.  I’ve never felt an obligation to finish a book – even books critics (or friends) are raving over – if it’s not grabbing me.

I have enjoyed the Miss Read books, they’re English country life, warts and all, not what I expected given their innocuous covers (as Anita laughed about as well) – it’s real life in there, its ups and downs and messy details.

Well, that’s the least inspiring post ever.  If you start a book, do you grit your teeth and finish it?  What’s the next spicy thing I should make to eat?  Any favorites (sweet or savory) with ginger?  I love ginger so much it’s ridiculous, including the extra-spicy ginger beers whenever I see them, and Trader Joe’s triple ginger cookies, and those Scandinavian ginger thins.  Fingers crossed next time I post we’ll have had a freakish burst of warm weather (possible where I live, this time of year) and I’ll have gotten outside for some fresh air.

  • Tigs says:

    Jesús, March, I’ve been under a rock, I didn’t realize you’d had COVID and the related anosmia fallout! Was just thinking of you the other day and realized I had not seen you recently via social media, hoping you were well. So sorry you have the blahs as well as the continued lack of smell and taste woes. I love that you’re hunkered down with tea, dogs and good books, though. (Checked your last post and love “Fire from Heaven”.) I ought to take your and Anita’s example and move on when a book bores me, but I read a lot of non-fiction and do feel a strange obligation to persevere through the occasional doldrums or I’d never get most of the history books done. I’ve just started the “Stuff You Should Know” book, based on the podcast and was enjoying it until… a chapter on Murphy Beds. For some reason, I couldn’t give a sh*t about the history of Murphy Beds.

  • Portia says:

    Pumpkin Soup with ginger.


    Buy some Round Dumpling Cases, make a batch of chicken, pork, veal or beef rissole mix, add a shitload of garlic, ginger, chilli and some Chinese Five Spice. Make dumplings (I just fill, fold in half, wet edges, press together). Fry or steam. Serve with a vinegar/soy/wasabi mix to dip.

    So yummy.
    Portia xx

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    Hopefully the vet has an easy remedy to have your dogs feeling better soon. Rarely do I not finish a book, I slog it out through to the end in the hopes there is some redemption to be found. All I read these days are autobiographies and am amazed at how boring seemingly fascinating people really are. Val Kilmer’s book was an absolute snooze–I mean, the man dated some of the most fabulous women ever and should have the fantastic stories to share, but he doesn’t kiss and tell. Per ginger, it is my fave spice and I enjoy it in my daily cup of ginger lemon tea. Now that you have mentioned it, I think it is time to whip up a batch of extra hot ginger cookies!

  • Millicent says:

    Tomato soup is really good with ginger! This time of year you can cook up canned tomatoes with onion, garlic, ginger and, if you have it, some kind of red bell pepper (fresh or jarred, it helps keep the tomato from being too sweet/intense). When they’re all soft and friendly with each other, whiz it all up with a stick or regular blender, plus some cream if you want it.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m so sorry you’re still dealing with the anosmia. I wish your sense of smell would just come rushing back in to you like the tide returning to the shore. I am a book finisher, and I grit it out until they’re done even if I’ve lost my enthusiasm. I totally agree that Dune was weird. I finished it and looked around the room like, “What happened? I don’t get it. Was this paperback missing some pages?” My husband is a big sci-fi fan, and he made it sound amazing, but for me: meh. I’ve read the Miss Read books, several years ago now, and enjoyed them thoroughly. They always provoked me to do household chores — they’re very domestic. I like the Fever Tree ginger ale and homemade ginger snaps.

    • March says:

      I wish it would come back in a rush too! I know they’re doing tons of COVID-related smell research now, maybe something will come of that. And I think my love of ginger was created in high school by the mom of a friend — she used to triple the ginger in her ginger snaps, and I thought they were heaven.

  • Musette says:

    oh, my little latke! It’s MARCH! Squee!
    I’m eggs-deep into Georgette Heyer (including a biography by Jennifer Kloester)…. currently re-reading her mysteries, which delight me.
    Food is something to do to keep me alive right now – I have no real interest in it, otherwise. Always spicy because the ancestors built me thus. Ginger is QUING!
    Certain authors I allow to bore (or frighten me that I might be bored) – the vaunted Louise Penny is one (sometimes the first chapter or two can be… meh)… but if it’s a sloppily-written book, out it goes.

    Happy March, March! xoxoxo

    • March says:

      THE SUN IS OUT finally and it’s supposed to be in the 50s (briefly) this week, so there’s HOPE. And yeah, there’s a huge difference between a book being a little slow out of the gate and me thinking, ugh, this thing needed some heavy editing (or proofreading!)

      • Musette says:

        I can’t remember which writer it was who deplored the advent of Word, saying (and I’m wildly misquoting here, I’m sure) that it allowed pretty much anybody who wanted to write a book to… erm..write a book.

        and …omg. Whatever happened to copy editors? Proofreaders?


  • Cinnamon says:

    Hope the pooches are ok. We had beautiful weather for about a week (and the report promised more), but things have now receded in grey and colder. Rain next week… Def abandon books that don’t do it after the first 20 pages. Simply don’t have the will right now. Either engage me or off to the charity shop you go (if I didn’t buy you on iPad). Series … James Oswald’s Inspector McLean (set in Edinburgh with a bit of magical realism), Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway (Norfolk, archeology, a bit of magic sometimes). Ben Aaronovich Rivers of London (London, police procedural, lots of magic). Have the doctors said anything about how long this might last? Sticky ginger loaf is very gingery. Did roast chicken last night and will turn bones into broth with loads of ginger and chilli (sufficient to bring on the hiccups).

    • March says:

      I loved your garden post! You all are about a month ahead of us, so it’s something to look forward to. I really need to check out those Oswald books in particular, I loved Edinburgh when I visited. Time for another library run… my sense of smell, they just shrug. I never tested positive for COVID antibodies, and smell’s such a weird thing, and frankly most docs don’t treat it with much importance the way they do sight or hearing (if they can’t find some terrifying underlying condition that’s causing it), although I think COVID is changing that. For people like us, who LOVE to smell things, it’s a huge loss.

      • Meg says:

        Do you take a zinc supplement, preferably zinc acetate, aided and abetted by quercetin? Both are considered helpful in preventing covid, and loss of smell is a symptom of zinc deficiency. The quercetin makes the zinc more available.

        • March says:

          Huh, I have zinc and always forget to take it — I bet it’s more useful if it makes its way into my stomach. Will try that one on…

  • taxi says:

    I don’t finish boring books or movies.

  • Janet in California says:

    Trader Joe’s pork and ginger soup dumplings! So good.
    Good luck to your doggies.

    • March says:

      One of my kids LOVES those soup dumplings! Laughing because I have them here in the freezer all the time and I’ve never tried one!

  • Tara C says:

    In David Lebovitz’s book Ready for Dessert he has a recipe for an amazing ginger cake, huge overdose of fresh ginger. A must.
    As for boring books, life is too short. Next!

    • March says:

      Oooooh, that sounds FANTASTIC. I do admit to frequently doubling (or more) the amount of ginger called for in any recipe, my kids are used to it now lol.