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General Discussion > The Blue Boar

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message 1: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Hello Fellow Curiosities,

welcome to the Blue Boar, which will be the place where we can meet for a friendly chat during our time with David Copperfield. Actually, the Blue Boar can also be The Blue Bull or The Blue Bell, because David cannot really remember beyond a doubt.

Whether Bull, Boar or Bell, I am sure that the fireplace is inviting (at the moment, however, I'd recommend a place outside, near the front door so that the supply with beveredges won't be interrupted), and that they have lots of nice things on tap.

So, a jolly welcome to all of you!


message 2: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Whether by the fireside or seated outside, our gatherings take social distancing to a whole new level. But I surely do enjoy our time here. Waiter! a batter-pudding for the table, please, and help yourself to a bit as well!


message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
I hope we don't have the same waiter David did. And it better be somewhere other than Pennsylvania, we can't go into bars at the moment.


message 4: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
I checked to make sure that the Blue Whatever was not the place where that terrible waiter worked. However, I think he is one of that ilk that only practise their wit on children. He wouldn't dare butter up an adult because he is too cowardly.


message 5: by Bobbie (last edited Aug 11, 2020 02:01AM) (new)

Bobbie | 316 comments Mary Lou wrote: "Whether by the fireside or seated outside, our gatherings take social distancing to a whole new level. But I surely do enjoy our time here. Waiter! a batter-pudding for the table, please, and help ..."

I had to look up "batter-pudding" and find that it is basically a sweet yorkshire pudding, am I right? My experience with Yorkshire pudding is the first meal that I had in a pub in Scotland and I thought it was just about the best thing I'd ever had. When I finally made it to England a few years later, I looked for a place to get that and found it is mostly served on Sunday, and we were leaving England on Sat. I still have a craving for it and now I find there is a sweet version. Now, I am craving that.


message 6: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1075 comments A new movie version of David Copperfield has been getting good reviews.

I saw this one in The Atlantic. It calls the movie “brilliant.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Hello Fellow Curiosities,

welcome to the Blue Boar, which will be the place where we can meet for a friendly chat during our time with David Copperfield. Actually, the Blue Boar can also be The Bl..."


I looked up the Blue Boar and actually found it in a Dickens book! Just not this one. In the 28th chapter of Great Expectations we have this:

Having settled that I must go to the Blue Boar, my mind was much disturbed by indecision whether or not to take the Avenger. It was tempting to think of that expensive Mercenary publicly airing his boots in the archway of the Blue Boar's posting-yard; it was almost solemn to imagine him casually produced in the tailor's shop and confounding the disrespectful senses of Trabb's boy.

I didn't look up the Bull or Bell yet.


message 8: by Kim (last edited Aug 11, 2020 07:22AM) (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
From:

The Dickensian
“Through Whitechapel With Dickens”

By. B.W. Matz

There were few, if any, districts of the great metropolis of Dickens’s time with which he was not thoroughly acquainted. His love of walking took him into many strange places, afterwards to be introduced into his novels and minor writings. To students of his books these places are familiar to a great extent, and have been sought out by the devoted pilgrim in many a tramp with guide-book in hand. One of the lesser-known districts connected with Dickens and his works, however, is Whitechapel, yet Dickens made the East End of London the venue of many a ramble.

“My day’s no-business beckoning me to the East-end of London,” he says on one occasion, “I had turned my face to that point of the Metropolitan compass on leaving Covent Garden, and had got past my Little Wooden Midshipman, after affectionately patting him on one leg of his knee-shorts for old acquaintance sake, and had got past Aldgate Pump, and had got past the Saracen’s Head (with an ignominious rash of posting bills disfiguring his swarthy countenance), and had strolled up the empty yard of his ancient neighbour, the Back or Blue Board, or Bull, who departed this life I don’t know when and whose coaches are all gone I don’t know where; and I had come out again into the age of railways, and I had got past Whitechapel Church and was in the Commercial Road.”


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 18 comments I looked up Yorkshire Pudding for the first time last week. I had always just said “it’s bread pudding” but didn’t really have an image of what it was in my mind. I was pretty surprised it was basically German Pancakes, as my husbands family calls them. Though they only do the sweet version. I am tempted to make the Yorkshire version with drippings some time!

I have been to England a handful of times, but apparently never come across that. Silly American. To be honest I was never very impressed with British food (with the exception of sweet- yum!). I lived in dorms for a month long literature class and remember trying it cook basic American foods. I have a picture of breading chicken tenders and frying them. And I remember trying to find a taco seasoning packet and basic taco ingredients. I was finally successful with a Taco Bell kit, but it wasn’t quite the same. I usually enjoy food as a big part of my traveling, but I never found anything amazing. So I will need help in the ordering process here.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3333 comments Mod
Oh my. Yorkshire Pudding.

My mother made a wonderful pudding. About once a month, on Sunday, there would be the aroma of a rump roast and I knew the Yorkshire Pudding was on its way.

What a wonderful memory you have evoked.


message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1322 comments Ashley wrote: " I lived in dorms for a month long literature class and remember trying it cook basic American foods. I have a picture of breading chicken tenders and frying them. And I remember trying to find a taco seasoning packet and basic taco ingredients. I was finally successful with a Taco Bell kit, but it wasn’t quite the same.."

So funny, Ashley! I remember being in Spain with a bunch of other American students and we put together a dinner party because we were all craving guacamole dip and beans. American food: chicken and Taco Bell and guacamole.


message 12: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
When I lived in England, I used to go to the local pub whenever they had Yorkshire pudding and roast beef. My wife is an excellent cook, but since she is from Argentina - she can make splendid guacamole, for example and does know how to roast beef to a T -, she has never so far made a Yorkshire pudding. I do like English cuisine, but my wife's trust in its decliciousness is somewhat feeble.


message 13: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Confession: I had no idea what batter-pudding was, except that it was the dessert that David was to have had at the inn, that the waiter "helped" him with. :-)

I did try Yorkshire pudding with my lunch while visiting the medieval village of Lacock a couple of years ago. The one I had would have been most closely compared to a popover - hollow on the inside. I was told that the Yorkshire pudding they served there was vegetarian, and mine didn't have much flavor, but I suppose it's meant to sop up gravy. Of course, being a vegetarian, my meal didn't have gravy on it. Perhaps my husband enjoyed his more.


message 14: by Linda (new)

Linda | 363 comments Hello Fellow Curiosities! I have found you all lounging at the Blue Boar, where you are apparently all ordering batter-puddings! :D

In another GR group I am in, several of us took upon the COVID-19 quarantine task of creating sourdough starters from scratch. We have all had varying successes (mine is nice and active now, and his name is Stanley), but what we did all share in common was an abundance of sourdough discard while trying to create said starters. Anyway, all to get to the point that we were looking for ways to use up the discard in recipes and we came upon popover recipes that used a good deal of discard, so it turned out that popovers were an ideal way to use up discard. I bring this up because then we starting discussing what popovers actually were as none of us had actually made them. Turns out they are similar to Yorkshire puddings, which was interesting to find out since I had never known what a Yorkshire pudding was. My family's favorite popovers is when I include chopped ham and cheddar cheese as I'm filling the tin with the batter. This also led to a discussion of what Ashley had mentioned - German pancakes - which my family always called Dutch babies and my mom used to make periodically for breakfast, finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of powdered sugar.

My experience with English food is brief as my husband and I were in London for only two nights at the beginning of our embarking on five weeks in Europe. My first food as we made our way to our room was a quick pie that included Stilton. I didn't know what Stilton was, just that it was a cheese, and I was jarred at the intense flavor! :D I like strong cheeses, including blue cheese, but Stilton was on a new level.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in to say hi and that I'm keeping up with our David Copperfield reading, but I may find it difficult to keep up with reading all the posts as I seem to always be short on time at the computer lately.


message 15: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 18 comments Linda, that is funny! I had a similar experience in France. I loved the sweet crepes and it’s France, so the cheese should be good, right? Oh boy! The savory fromage crepes are next level (I like that description for this)! I thought I liked strong cheeses too, but I was not expecting that!


message 16: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  Jacobson | 18 comments Linda, that is funny! I had a similar experience in France. I loved the sweet crepes and it’s France, so the cheese should be good, right? Oh boy! The savory fromage crepes are next level (I like that description for this)! I thought I liked strong cheeses too, but I was not expecting that!


message 17: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Tristram wrote: "she can make splendid guacamole..."

There's no such thing as bad guacamole, is there? :-)


message 18: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
No, there isn't. It's even worse than no guacamole at all :-)


message 19: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments In the most recent segment of David Copperfield, after visiting Mr. Micawber in debtors' prison, David and Mrs. Micawber console one another over a cup of egg-hot. I didn't have a clue what that might be. Here's what I found, which I thought some of you might find interesting. If you scroll to the bottom, there's a recipe and a review. I think I'll stick with amaretto and OJ but, by all means, let us know if you try it!

http://dickensdrinks.blogspot.com/201...


message 20: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 633 comments Linda wrote: "Hello Fellow Curiosities! I have found you all lounging at the Blue Boar, where you are apparently all ordering batter-puddings! :D

In another GR group I am in, several of us took upon the COVID-1..."


The funny thing is, that at least 'Dutch babies' ar definitely not a Dutch dish. I'm not completely sure about German pancakes being German, Tristram could tell more about that, but I do have my suspicions.

When we're talking about food, and so-called Dutch and German food at that, I have a funny story to tell.

A bit of a prequel: I have an uncle who is ... very kind, very single, and very much a man of habits. He asked my parents if he could come over on New Year's Eve a couple of times, but after a while he didn't even ask - he just showed up, or mentioned he'd be there again a short time before. My siblings and I were teens (well, I was somewhere between 20 and 24, but still), and while we dutifully love our uncle, we don't neccesarily like his company. Especially since one of his habits on such an evening would be coming in, eating, snarking at whatever we were watching or whatever game we were playing, quickly calling grandma at midnight, and then leaving for home as quickly as possible. We couldn't imagine he liked it any more than we did.

My parents did not enjoy his company either on those evenings (he is nicer on other moments, although he's still a bit snarky and a man of habits, but New Year's Eve is not his kind of evening).

Anyway, one year they booked a vacation home in Northern Germany to break the habit so to say, which was adjacent to the house of the owners. Those owners told my parents 'oh, when you all arrive (after a long drive, and late) we'll have 'Bohnensuppe'. We translated that directly into the Dutch 'bonensoep', or bean soup, which is a pretty hefty meal with kidney beans. So we ate only a bit of bread on our way, but not too much, because we'd get bean soup!

In the end it turned out not to be 'bonensoep', but 'boerenjongens': rum (I believe, spirits at least) with raisins welled in it. It was funny. As was my dad, after a long drive and having been offered spirits he didn't expect on a not too full stomach.

So both on food and on language, I believe. Even funnier was that apart from this one word, the people in this area spoke the same dialect my dad grew up with ...


message 21: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Jantine wrote:..."Anyway, one year they booked a vacation home in Northern Germany to break the habit so...."

I thought you were going to say when you got there he was already there waiting for you. :-)


message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "In the most recent segment of David Copperfield, after visiting Mr. Micawber in debtors' prison, David and Mrs. Micawber console one another over a cup of egg-hot. I didn't have a clue what that mi..."

I wonder why it's called egg-hot when there's only one egg in it. It sounds like it would smell wonderful, but I hate beer. At least I hated the two I tried decades ago. :-)


message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Tristram wrote: "she can make splendid guacamole..."

There's no such thing as bad guacamole, is there? :-)"


Beats me, I've never had it.


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1322 comments Linda wrote: "My first food as we made our way to our room was a quick pie that included Stilton. I didn't know what Stilton was, just that it was a cheese, and I was jarred at the intense flavor! :D I like strong cheeses, including blue cheese, but Stilton was on a new level..."


Linda, coincidentally I was in a deli yesterday and kind of not thinking too clearly because I was distracted by being in a line in a mask and felt I should get out as soon as possible. So I told them just to pick me out a blue cheese, and they gave me some Stilton, and I have loved blue cheese a long time, but I swear this one makes my tongue burn.


message 25: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Jantine wrote:..."Anyway, one year they booked a vacation home in Northern Germany to break the habit so...."

I thought you were going to say when you got there he was already there waiting for y..."


Kim, I've got alarming news for you: I was thinking the same, so our minds must be working in similar ways ;-)


message 26: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but I am sure that in some part of Germany, "Bohnensuppe" can mean just that very thing, there being lots of words for alcoholic drinks around. In the area my grandparents come from, "black coffee" can mean black coffee, on the square, but more often than not, it is also used to refer to coffee with "Korn", i.e. plain schnapps. It's ghastly.

Does any of you know egg liqueur, by the way? It's made with eggs, yolk at least, and schnapps. My grandmother used to make it. That's a very tasty treat.


message 27: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie | 316 comments Kim wrote: "Mary Lou wrote: "In the most recent segment of David Copperfield, after visiting Mr. Micawber in debtors' prison, David and Mrs. Micawber console one another over a cup of egg-hot. I didn't have a ..."

Another thing we have in common, Kim. I can't even stand the smell of beer. But, you really must try guacamole, it is wonderful, but I do think there are some that I really don't like. I really like to make my own because I like it a certain way but then I have been told I am "picky".


message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1322 comments Bobbie wrote: "Another thing we have in common, Kim. I can't even stand the smell of beer. But, you really must try guacamole, it is wonderful"


Bobbie is right. It's really good.


message 29: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments This is an interesting exercise. What ONE word from his novels would you choose to sum up Charles Dickens? I don't think I'd choose the word chosen by the video's host. I'll have to think about this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw8PD...


message 30: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 633 comments Tristram wrote: "Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but I am sure that in some part of Germany, "Bohnensuppe" can mean jus..."

It's a thing around here too. One of my mom's friends knows how to make it, according to her it's quite a lot of work. It's said to be an old woman's beverage (feels weird to call it a beverage though, it's thick and needs to be eaten with a teaspoon) but I do like it sometimes. At least, the stuff from the farmer's shops around, the stuff from supermarkets is too sharp.

And I should have added that we intently did not tell him where we went xD Talking about the favourite weird uncle, he definitely is one of those, but it's great to have new-year's-eves without him.


message 31: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Jantine wrote: "...while we dutifully love our uncle, we don't necessarily like his company...."

I love the way you worded this. I'll have to remember it for future use. :-)


message 32: by Tristram (last edited Aug 18, 2020 11:36PM) (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "This is an interesting exercise. What ONE word from his novels would you choose to sum up Charles Dickens? I don't think I'd choose the word chosen by the video's host. I'll have to think about thi..."

That's a tough one and requires some thought :-) Right now, I'd be tempted to say, "Gamp", because this character stands for the quaintness of lots of Dickens's characters to me - a quaintness that is very endearing and that I have only found in Dickens.


message 33: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but I am sure that in some part of Germany, "Bohnensu..."


In Germany, Eierlikör also has the reputation of being an old ladies' drink - but nevertheless, I do enjoy it. I traditionally break Lent on Easter Sunday with a glass of Eierlikör.


message 34: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Mary Lou wrote: "This is an interesting exercise. What ONE word from his novels would you choose to sum up Charles Dickens? I don't think I'd choose the word chosen by the video's host. I'll have t..."

Christmas. That was my pick before I watched the video. :-)


message 35: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 633 comments Tristram wrote: "Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but I am sure that in some part of Ge..."


Exactly. Because of my grandmom it is a thing with birthdays too, or sometimes just on a Sunday if we feel adventurous. Here it's called advocaat (seriously, who thought to call something like that 'lawyer'??? It's like calling a beer brand corona! Oh wait ...) or tokkelroom.


message 36: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but I am sure that i..."


Tokkelroom sounds interesting. I have no idea what it means. Is it Dutch?


message 37: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Mary Lou wrote: "This is an interesting exercise. What ONE word from his novels would you choose to sum up Charles Dickens? I don't think I'd choose the word chosen by the video's ..."

Christmas - what a good choice, Kim. After all, I cannot think of any other writer whose works so much centred on Christmas and who managed to capture the special mood of the Merry Season so thoroughly.


message 38: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 633 comments Tristram wrote: "Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jantine,

I have never heard "Bohnensuppe" used for rum with raisins - and so I, too, would have arrived on an empty stomach - but ..."


Yes, it is. It could be translated as 'clucker cream' or 'clucking cream'. At least, 'room' = cream, and tokkel comes from tokken = the clucking chickens do.


message 39: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
Ah, "room" not in the sense of the English word - but in the sense of the German word "Rahm", which means "cream".


message 40: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments A new book coming out. Not sure if it's just a compilation of Dickens excerpts, or if there's some commentary to tie it all together. Either way, sounds interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Dickens...


message 41: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1075 comments Interesting compilation of movie and TV adaptations. I must say that I am in agreement with most of this list as being very good shows.


https://www.townandcountrymag.com/lei...


message 42: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Oh, a "top 10" list! They're always such fun to dissect and discuss. This one has a glaring omission, and that's the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol, which, in my humble opinion, is much better than either Reginald Owen or Albert Finney versions.


message 43: by Kim (new)

Kim | 6184 comments Mod
Not me, George C. Scott is my favorite Scrooge. As for the rest of them, I never even knew most of them existed.


message 44: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments Back to the Dickens House Museum in London.... Here is a relatively new video tour with a guide to point out a few items of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sG0w...


message 45: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2507 comments The video above led me to site for "blue badge" tourist guides. I wish I'd known about them when we visited, to put together a custom tour and provide transportation! But check out the London Dickens tour they have here:

https://www.guidelondon.org.uk/tours/...

Oh, how I long to go back again.


message 46: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3333 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Back to the Dickens House Museum in London.... Here is a relatively new video tour with a guide to point out a few items of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sG0w..."


Mary Lou

Thank you for this link. I just had a delightful (albeit virtual) tour of The Dickens House Museum.

The next best thing to actually being there.


message 47: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
In present times, the most delightful visits will be virtual ones, I guess.


message 48: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1075 comments Something I came across this morning about whether Goodreads is good for books. The title and the first couple of paragraphs make Goodreads to be some sort of Grendel.

But as I read on, I don’t think they made their case. For me, Goodreads is a real plus and the groups are great. If anyone wishes to read and offer their thoughts, here is the link.

https://www.newstatesman.com/science-...


message 49: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3333 comments Mod
John wrote: "Something I came across this morning about whether Goodreads is good for books. The title and the first couple of paragraphs make Goodreads to be some sort of Grendel.

But as I read on, I don’t t..."


John

Thank you for posting the article. I admit I have never thought about even looking for another book platform. I use Goodreads to write short reviews. These reviews are meant to be a place to store my own thoughts. I never really thought about or cared much about the “reviews” in any other way.

To me, the great thing about Goodreads is the fact that I found a place to talk about and share my enjoyment of Dickens with like-minded individuals. It’s a treat to learn and share thoughts with others. Weird as it may sound, I feel I have found good friends because of Goodreads and the Old Curiosities.


message 50: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4759 comments Mod
John,

That's quite an interesting article you posted there. Interesting in that apart from occasional moments of the site's being down, or some messages not being sent, I never really experienced any technical problems with Goodreads. I really like this site because it allows me to post reviews, comment on other people's reviews, keep track of my reading and, most important of all, stay in contact with fellow Dickens aficionados. Without GR, I'd still be reading Dickens on my own and have missed many of the ideas and suggestions voiced in our discussions.

As usual, I seem to be quite satisfied and at ease with things a lot of people moan about ;-) When the talk is of politics, it is usually the other way around, though.


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