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Herb Bread

I am reading Victoria Price’s biography of her father and it is GRIPPING.  I am just loving it.  When I read an account of Vincent’s first ever meeting with Greta Garbo and how they talked about his recipe for herb bread I just knew it would be the next thing I would try.  And there it is, two beautiful loaves of it.

I’ve got 4 days off work to write, which is absolute bliss.  I’m having my first attempt at NaNoWriMo and I’ve written 12,338 words in 2 days which is sort of unbelievable.  But there they are there in black and white, in my Scrivener.  I’m finding it such fun and I’ve made myself laugh out loud today several times which I probably shouldn’t admit.  It is absolutely NOT for publication, it is way too personal and there is far too much swearing, but I am heartily enjoying myself.

Every time I had a break from writing, I did a little bit of preparation for the herb bread.  It’s definitely something that you need to be around the house for, that’s for sure.  I forgot about the yeast for a bit.  Ha ha!  It was like Mount Vesuvius beside my radiator.

I haven’t actually been hungry for two whole days after having dinner at  York & Albany on Monday night.  I decided to be adventurous with my selections and had lamb shank ravioli with salsa verde and crispy lamb tongue (!), then braised ox cheek with smoked pomme puree, tongue (from an unidentified beast) and capers.  For desert I had chocolate peanut butter parfait sandwich with caramel ice cream.  Heather would say, “greedy fat pig” and she’d be absolutely right.

It was a work dinner and a momentous occasion for many reasons.  We were a merry throng of 9 and I was at the far end of the table sitting opposite the guest of the guest of honour.  Basically he was the only person there not in the film archive business.  He was an art historian and collector and a friend of the main man.  We had a long conversation about art and I was itching to mention Vincent Price and his involvement with art.  Eventually I could wait no longer and did.  And he seemed surprised that I knew about Vincent and told me that he had met him in his youth.  He had shown Vincent some of his work and Vincent had been very kind and encouraging about his talent.  Oh how lovely.  It was a wonderful thing to hear.

And even though I was as full as a bull, my boss encouraged me to try one of the teeny tiny petits fours just as we were leaving.  I thought I would burst if I ate it but it was so melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous I managed it.  A perfect end to a perfect evening.

I’ve been so proud of myself being distraction free for two whole days.  I’ve been all alone for more than 48 hours apart from a fleeting visit from Corrina to borrow my copy of Cooking Price-Wise.  Charlie has invited me for a Margarita Breakfast tomorrow morning though, and as I have a scene in my novel that takes place at just such an event I shall consider it research!  Bottoms up!

About Jenny Hammerton

I am a film archivist living in London, making film star fodder and writing about movie stars and their recipes in my spare time. My main website is at - over there I record my attempts to cook the favourite dishes of the greatest film stars of Hollywood's Golden Era - 10 years of nonsense and counting!

4 responses to “Herb Bread

  1. Lauren

    Lord! The last time I wrote that much I was in grad school (the thought of which gives me an eye twitch). Congratulations and I’m glad you’re enjoying your writing marathon.

    How great is it that Vincent Price and Greta Garbo talked about bread?! And how great is it that a margarita breakfast now goes under “research!” 🙂 One should always set books in interesting places–makes the research lots more fun.

  2. Haha – it’s crazy but a really good experience. I never knew I had so many words in my brain waiting to be spewed out. Why don’t you have a go next year?!

    I’m going to put the whole Vincent / Garbo story in a post soon, it is just SO FABULOUS! Thought I’d written a bit too much in this here post so will do it next time I make the bread. UTTERLY delicious and an amazing texture. Like really posh health food shop bread. I did it exactly as Vincent’s recipe except I didn’t have any Summer Savory (never seen it here) so I just put in more fresh rosemary and thyme. I also substituted vegetable bouillon for the chicken stock as I knew I would give one loaf to Charlie – he’s a vegetarian and he loved the bread.

    I had two Margaritas and a pint of beer. Still managed to meet my writing target – ha ha! Now I am having a vodka martini in bed as I embark on a late night writing session to try and write a love scene. Tricky….

  3. Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I’m glad you like it. The food on your blog looks sooooo yummy 🙂

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