As is the custom, today I lit two candles on my Advent wreath:
The Adventskranz amongst some of my plants
I am spending today baking two cakes (Reine de Saba from Julia Child's classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Turkish Yoghurt Cake from Claudia Roden's Arabesque) for a holiday party and otherwise working on two term papers. For one of them I am translating a section from an obscure agricultural manual written in Persian in Bihar in northern India in the early 19th century. The portion I am dealing with contains charts of vegetables to be planted in the various seasons, and I am having rather too much fun hunting down the exact species behind the colloquial and sometimes regional names used in the text. Some of the vegetables listed turn out to be quite exotic and make me want to get some hands-on experience growing them. Amorphophallus campanulatus or Trichosanthes cucumerina anyone?