Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life This Week: April 3, 1939

Can you believe it's April already? Doesn't seem possible! I keep thinking that it can't be spring since we never had our blizzards. Among the weeds in my kitchen garden, I found a couple sprigs of parsley. It never got cold enough to kill them off! As unpleasant as winter can be, it seems wrong to skip it entirely.

Anyway, it's Life This Week time. This week's issue has several interesting items:

The "Movie of the Week" is Wuthering Heights. Not that the film isn't well-done and well-cast and all that, I just am not a fan of Wuthering Heights. I think Emily Brontë does a great job of creating a creepy atmosphere, but I had a difficult time finding a sympathetic character. I finally made it through the book, but I didn't care one jot what happened to Cathy or Heathcliff. While I was watching the film, I kept thinking it wasn't quite how I remembered the book. According to IMDb, this film version only uses the first half of the chapters!

I could have made these "Gay Chocolate Cup Cakes" this week (they are pretty adorable), but we're still getting through fruitcake, so I made Yorkshire Rabbit to go with Wuthering Heights. If you're out wandering about on the moors, it might be nice to come home to something savory and hearty. Yorkshire Rabbit, also called "Buck Rabbit" and perfect for "traditional High Tea" according to Yorkshire Teatime Recipes, is Welsh Rabbit with poached eggs. Paul and I had them for lunch this weekend with some slightly overcooked and very buttery boiled broccoli.

Yorkshire Rabbit

4 thin slices homemade (or good bakery) white bread
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 poached eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, to serve

Toast white bread and set aside. Preheat broiler.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the cheese, butter, cream, mustard, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce together over medium heat. (Add salt if needed.) Melt just until the cheese is almost completely melted. I like to make a paste rather than a pourable sauce. Spread this paste over the toast, place on a baking sheet and broil until browned. Top with poached eggs and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Adapted from "Yorkshire Rabbit" in Yorkshire Teatime Recipes (Sevenoaks: J. Salmon Ltd.), 27.



  1. I want to eat this NOW.

    Also, I am all over that shoe article. Thank you.

    1. I thought you might enjoy those shoes! They're quite spectacular.

  2. When I saw this cover my first thought was "The Bad Seed!!!" lol, surely you've seen that classic?

    Wuthering Heights is an interesting book. While I much prefer Jane Eyre as a novel, I can appreciate Wuthering Heights as the breakthrough original work that it was. It was violent, it was emotional, it was dark, and it was written by a woman. I do think Emily Bronte herself was an interesting woman. A wonderful book about her and the Brontes is "Emily's Ghost." Its a work of fiction, so its not a true biography, but it is so moving.

    And I'll have to make some Yorkshire Rabbit! I'll tell my husband it's from his 'home land' :)

    1. Oh my goodness, she does look exactly like the girl in The Bad Seed. I knew there was something creepy about this week's cover...

      I have to admit to being much more a fan of Charlotte and Anne, but Emily's Ghost sounds like a fun read. I'll have to check it out.

  3. First of all, I am ashamed to admit I have never read Wuthering Heights but have adored the movie since I was a little girl. Of course in later years I loved it for camp reasons as well. Those gay cupcakes would make a fabulous gay pride post. I love them! The fruitcake as well but that might be offensive to some. That Yorkshire Rabbit looks fantastic!

    1. I hadn't read Wuthering Heights until January 2009. I read Jane Eyre in high school, loved it and just assumed that I would love Emily Brontë, as well. It's not a bad book (and has it's good points), I just disliked most of the characters!

  4. How funny that you mentioned "coelacanth." It was one of the words in "Old Filth" that I had to look up. I enjoyed reading about it. Your Yorkshire Rabbit and poached eggs and broccoli look delicious! I loved "Wuthering Heights" because of the love story. But I agree that there are no sympathetic characters, though I did have sympathy for Heathcliff. The cupcakes are very cute!

  5. Well now I feel like an idiot. I never realized Yorkshire Rabbit doesn't have actual rabbit in it hahaha

  6. I love, love, LOVE Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in that movie. It was so disappointing to me to read later that though they worked together amiably enough on the set of "Divorce of Lady X", Olivier was so ticked they wouldn't put Vivien Leigh in as Cathy on "Wuthering Heights" that he was barely civil to Oberon over the course of filming.

    I'm nuts about that book but specifically BECAUSE there isn't a likable character in it... so different from most love stories of that time when everyone was essentially "good", Cathy and Heathcliff are so stubborn and selfish and awful that the only redeeming characteristic of each IS their love for one another, which, owing to the preceding traits, they managed to completely foul up in the course of the narrative. It's certainly atmospheric, too, as you said. But, to each their own. And to me, that "rabbit"! Oh, it looks OH. SO. GOOD. And those shoes in the Life magazine article ARE killing me.

  7. The cupcake ad is so cute! Your Yorkshire rabbit looks fabulous and wonderfully comforting. Want it for dinner tonight. The ad for Wuthering Heights is soooo dramatic.

  8. Love your Yorkshire Rabbit! And topped with a poached egg? Heavenly. I'm with you on Wuthering Heights. The characters are fascinating but so unsympathetic - yet I couldn't stop reading (or look away).


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