In 1971 I bought The Pauper’s Cookbook. I spent what little money I had on paints and canvas, not on food. There were a lot of recipes that called for pigeon and I had plenty of them roosting right outside my apartment window.
One recommendation was that “no matter how poor you are, use butter instead of margarine. When you taste butter, you will feel like a queen and forget your poverty. I was brought up on oleo margarine. As soon as I read those words, I switched to butter and have never looked back. The cookbook was written and published in England, thus the pigeon recipes. Throughout the book there are anecdotes about food and survival, both emotional and physical. It turns out that the English were able to maintain their health throughout war times thanks to their window gardens where herbs thrived in the sun. They supplemented their meager diet with an abundance of nutritious herbs.
This time of year, when the chill factor in New Jersey is well below zero, when I can’t take evening walks due to the icy roads, when the wind howls at the windows, my potted herbs nurture my sanity even more than they nurture my body.
Image: Potted Sage – Drawn first in ink with Lamy Safari EF nib fountain pen filled with Noodler’s black ink, followed by watercolor. I began to play with the idea of suggesting a transformation of the potted sage into a stained glass window. Jocasta Innes, author of The Pauper’s Cookbook, might have liked a window like this.