Bursting not burning

I think when you’re a fluent reader, and always have been, you can become a careless reader – when I say ‘you’, obviously I mean me, I think I’m a careless reader. I’m also careless at reading what I’ve written myself and see what I want to see, or think I see, rather than what is actually on the page or the screen.

I realised today that something I wrote yesterday had a crucial spelling mistake – it was still a word, it still made sense within the sentence, but it wasn’t the word I meant and it made what I wrote seem rather uninteresting. I was sharing some ‘useful information’ from Nell Heaton’s 1944 book published during the war, ‘Cookery for To-Day and To-Morrow’. I mentioned a couple of her fifty-plus helpful tips on household chores, cooking, cleaning and recipes, trying to pick out ones which we may not necessarily find useful today but which were interesting from what you might call a historical point of view. She was writing this nearly eighty years ago, although her style is fresh and engaging and current.

One of the suggestions I mentioned was ‘To prevent sausages from burning‘ and I used a picture of some sausages in a pan, clearly not burning as my featured image. The trouble was, I wrote ‘burning‘ when I meant to write ‘bursting’; I didn’t just write it once, I wrote it a couple of times, burning not bursting in the text and as the title. In my head I saw what I had written as bursting – the idea of sausages bursting is faintly amusing although it isn’t when it happens! Does it happen these days? We probably have different casings for sausages now. Back to burning/bursting – it was only today when I was looking on my sharing of it on social media that I saw my title was burning, and only when I looked back I saw I’d written burning all the way through! My eyes and brain had ‘bursting’, my fingers and a different bit of brain kept typing ‘burning’… I would be hopeless as a proof-reader – which as a writer is a bit of a problem!

To prevent sausages from bursting
Prick the sausages or cover them with boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and dry before cooking.

It wasn’t a particularly amazing suggestion, nor was how to make a bread poultice which I also mentioned yesterday:

To make a bread poultice
Pour boiling water on some sliced bread, cover and allow to stand for a few minutes. Strain, break up the bread and apply in a muslin bag or direct onto the skin.

Please let me know if you ever use a bread poultice!


    1. Lois

      How interesting – I’m sure a lot of the old-fashioned home remedies our parents and grandparents used worked for a reason we only now understand. Apparently there are still cunning women and men about – who are like white witches and practice herbal medicine successfully. I don’t know of any though!


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