Wednesday, April 15, 2009

a girl after my own heart

Under the tutelage of Miss Rose, she spent the unpleasant years of her puberty balancing a book on her head and studying piano, at the same time growing native herbs in Mama Fresia's garden and learning age-old recipes for curing known maladies and others yet to be learned, including mustard for an indifference to everyday life, hydrangea leaves for ripening tumors and restoring laughter, violets for enduring loneliness, and verbena, which she put in Miss Rose's soup because this noble plant cures the vagaries of bad humor... A lady could not smell of garlic and onion, but Eliza preferred practice to theory and went to all their friends looking for recipes she copied in a notebook and then improved in their kitchen. She could spend entire days grinding spices and nuts for tortes or maize for Chilean cakes, dressing turtledoves for pickling and chopping fruit for preserves.
Daughter of Fortune

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