I have always had an aversion to card playing, of any description which I rather imagine stems back well over half a century to when, as a small child, I was often required, presumably when my older siblings were not free to "mind" me at home, to sit quietly for seemingly endless boring evenings while my parents played cards with friends. Mum and dad were both were very fond of the social environments card playing engendered...visiting friends homes or having them at our house in order to enjoy canasta, bridge, euchre, whist, cribbage and other games. Mum also attended bridge parties most weeks, from memory on a Thursday afternoon.
The card evenings always included the saving grace, for me, of a delicious supper with fancy sandwiches and dinky little hot savouries...I think also the hostesses all really vied with each other to produce novelties to astound and astonish their visitors at these times, having been witness to, and involved in my mother's additional culinary and domestic efforts at these times.
For example, one of my mother's best party tricks involved the making of brain and walnut sandwiches which everyone ate with great gusto, wondering what the delicious flavour of the contents actually was...the more sensitive souls always asked next time before they accepted a sandwich that came from my mother's kitchen!
I am an avid reader of old recipe books, and found, at one little country cottage I stayed in years ago, a handwritten recipe book dated 1931 in the kitchen drawer, in which was a recipe for "Bridge Dainties". These entailed tinned sardines, drained well and rolled in thin shortcrust pastry rectangles to make "sardine cigarettes". These were then deep fried until brown and very crisp, garnished with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges to serve during supper to ones bridge playing friends...it also mentioned that one needed to ensure the cook drained these well before sending them in warm to the supper table, so maybe not for those of us without domestic assistance...
I sometimes was roped into the card games of childhood when my own children were small, and despite my comments above I am not entirely averse to a game of patience if I have absolutely nothing else to hand to occupy me. Cards do have the advantage of being small and portable...the online versions even more so, using a tablet or phone app. Useful for lengthy delays at airports or hospitals, but only if one doesn't have a book or knitting to occupy ones hands and thoughts. Even some of the crib boards I remember were rather beautiful polished objects of inlaid wood, metal and ivory. My brothers all made crib boards of a more prosaic nature during woodworking classes at school, but this was before television put an end to socially interactive evenings at home...Oh, and of course there is always the building of card houses...never very successful when one is blessed with older brothers, and cats, but still great fun and useful for teaching oneself both strength of mind and patience...I also remember how much I liked the often curious and cunning made little boxes and containers that held the card packs, pencils, score cards, even some of the games tables were ingenious...these were often very desirable objects to my young eyes.
Getting away from all the blather, this week I decided to simply photograph some of the playing cards I have in my stash...I like use these as a base sometimes for journaling cards. Their robust nature makes them a like but sturdy addition to a journal when backed with a file card, photograph or plain card stock.
The weather continues warm, although night temperatures are beginning to drop, finally. This week promises to be quite warm again, with several days in the thirties...roll on Winter, I cannot sleep when I am too hot and I long for cooler nights.