Monday, March 7, 2011

Sucking Eggs

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First of all, I like the play on the words "sucking eggs". The exact turn of phrase is "teaching your grandma to suck eggs", meaning teaching an expert advice that they already know, or as we say in Mandarin, 班门弄斧.

I think this book by Patricia Nicol is really excellent. Well, not exactly because of the cost saving and recycling techniques she advocates that we learn from our grandparents, but rather how admirable the English were during WWII, saving, and scraping for their country. Their patriotism was really amazing,  e.g. billeting the children in Wales and the countryside to save them from the relentless Blitzkreig, Land girls, collecting scrap metal (if I am not wrong, the Germans did this too). but what was even more amazing was the level of care and consideration Churchill government (more specifically the Ministry of Food) put into caring for the dietary needs of its people, tearing up the Kensington Gardens to grow vegetables, having pig clubs, wartime celebrity chefs, Mrs Sew and Sew, Dr Carrot and Potato Pete. They even came out with war cookery leaflets.

I guess the indomitable spirit was what impressed me the most, and the gentle brilliancy of the  wartime government, which is something we don't see much nowadays.

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