The dolls’ hospital

Once upon a time, if your dolly was very poorly, you’d send her off to the dolls’ hospital. They could do more miracles than a human hospital: replace eyes, furnish missing limbs, and transplant whole sections of hair.

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Russian salad

I’m not talking about the salad that was invented in the 1860s by Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage in Moscow.

No, I’m talking about boiled diced vegetables.

Rosehip syrup

Starting a winter morning with a spoonful of sweet, fragrant rosehip syrup was warming and welcome. The alternative, starting a winter morning with a spoonful of viscous, foul-tasting cod liver oil was far less preferable.

Hospital corners

If you don’t know what a hospital corner is, it’s because you’ve grown up since the revolution in British bedding. Today we mostly use duvets (also called comforters) on our beds but, back in the day, we insisted on sheets and blankets. And how you tucked in those sheets mattered.