August 21st, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

Knife to paper

I've never had the pleasure of checking out and reading a library book which had not already had its pages sliced. This one was a brochure of 24 pages printed in 1902. Clearly no one had read it before, as it needed a fair bit of slicing in order to be readable.

I presume the appelation "letter opener" refers to the same thing as a "paper knife". But does it? Are they the same sharpnesses? If so, at what point did the paper knife become so obsolete and specialized as to only be used for opening letters?
Fishy Circumstances

Heritage Veggies

Ever since my sister gave me my first Moosewood cookbook, I've been hungrily curious about heritage fruits and vegetables. Before this summer is over, I'd like to seek out some good local farmer's markets and see if I can't sample some. From all I've read, they're more interesting, and more flavorful than the fruits and vegetables you can buy in the grocery store, whose primary virtues lie in being pretty and easily transportable.

When I was at home for a week earlier this summer, I talked to someone about them, and they mentioned that there's a selection for sale every Thursday afternoon in front of the Art House café on Ingersoll, if those of you in Des Moines want a venue for trying them. I know the Art House promotes them, since last year my parents went to a dinner there featuring all courses with heritage tomatoes. Alas, my trip was short enough I never made it down there to buy any when I could.

Cronaca recently posted on the subject in Britain, where it is generally illegal to sell heritage fruits and veggies because the breeds are not stable, nor registered with the government for a fee of 1000 pounds, a bit much for a local grower. The seeds are not illegal to give away, and they can be legally grown in Britain, but lack of ability to legally sell them does put a major damper on the market. The article that Cronaca cites is here.
Fishy Circumstances


For the first time in all these years of using the U of T's online catalog, I've run across a journal I want to see... there is absolutely no information in the entry as to which library it might conceivably be in.

Update: The information available when you Mark the records and then either view the raw data or have it emailed to you is more informative than the catalog itself. In this case, the journal has a call number at St. Mike's, but under number of copies, it lists "None." Curiouser and curiouser.