Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Change for JASSYL; CNY Janeite Holiday Plans

First, here’s a piece of news about Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies (JASSYL) director Dr. Joanna Manring to warm any Janeite’s heart: She is following the call of romance! Unfortunately for her numerous Syracuse-area friends and admirers, however, she is following it all the way to Lexington, Kentucky, where her young man resides (he is an old schoolmate who recently reconnected with her via social networking). She assures us that this is not “goodbye forever” by any means; indeed, she hopes to return to Skaneateles for a “JASSYL summer camp” in the summer of 2012. We fervently hope so too--and we certainly wish Joanna all the best.

One short-term effect of Joanna’s departure, however, is that there will be no JASSYL Christmas concert in Skaneateles this year. Your RCs have done some mulling over this and several other facts:

(1) JASNA Rochester’s traditional Christmas/JA birthday lunch at the Chatterbox Club, 25 N. Goodman St., Rochester, will be Saturday, December 3, at 11:00 a.m. The speaker will be SUNY Geneseo Professor David Meisel, who will talk about science in the Regency era. As usual, there will be a fee for this luncheon, and advance registration is required. Your RCs are both planning to attend this and hope that as many JASNA Syracuse members as possible will do likewise. We’ll provide a link to the registration form as soon as we receive it ourselves. (P.S.: Click here for the link. We'll also put it in the "Events" listing at right. The cost is $25 per person.)

(2) JA Book Club-CNY coordinator Heather Elia is working on organizing an “each-pays-for-herself luncheon,” JA birthday toast, and discussion of the new anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It (edited by Austenprose blogger Laurel Ann Nattress) in Hamilton, probably on Saturday, December 10, around noon (but now perhaps on Saturday, December 17, depending on what the membership decides). Again, we’ll provide more details about this event as soon as we receive them. (P.P.S.: The luncheon will be on Saturday, December 10, at noon, at the Colgate Inn, 1 Payne St., Hamilton. Again, see the "Events" listing at right for further details.)

(3) As (1) and (2) illustrate, the pre-Christmas social calendar can get complicated very quickly. In addition, we couldn’t book the Sargent Room at the Liverpool Public Library for December 10, and December 17 doesn’t work for a couple of regular Liverpool attendees.

So we’ve decided to combine the JASNA Syracuse Christmas meeting with the Candlemas (February 2) meeting, and hold one winter meeting on Saturday, January 14, at 2:00 p.m. at the Liverpool Public Library. The topic of this meeting will be “Food, Glorious Food!” We’ll talk about meal timing and planning during JA’s era in general; look over Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye’s The Jane Austen Cookbook, which includes several recipes compiled by JA’s lifelong friend and Chawton housemate Martha Lloyd; discuss the role of food in JA’s work (feel free to bring favorite food-related quotes); and say at least a few words about the Rev. James Woodforde, 18th-century country clergyman, diarist, and food lover.

In addition, the Liverpool Library folks have said that they have no objections to a few light refreshments in the Sargent Room, so we’ll lift a glass of something nonalcoholically pleasant for a late toast to JA’s birthday, and try a few “rout cakes” (a type of cookie) prepared according to The JA Cookbook’s recipe. We trust that this meeting will be an antidote to the post-holiday blues, and we hope you’ll join us for this “winter depression disperser”!