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Words to eat by

February 1, 2011
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I’ve been thinking, lately, about words. (And also about homemade egg rolls, as evidenced by the lifetime supply pictured above.)

All writers have favorite words, the ones they come back to over and over again in their writing. For instance, I was reading a collection of essays by Erma Bombeck and noticed she was particularly fond of the word shinny. As in, “Shinny up the rain gutter.”

I read once that Beatrix Potter loved the word pickle.

I tend to use grand, sweeping words, like “grand” and “sweeping.” I must be prone to exaggeration.

Lately I’ve been thinking about favorite foodie words. Am I the only one who reads cookbooks for fun? (No, all my boys read cookbooks. This is our most-beloved kitchen read.

So, favorite food words:

I’ve always been fond of pickle myself, which is just further evidence that Beatrix and I will be best friends in the afterlife.

The word pizza does nothing for me, but if you call it a pizza pie its status is instantly elevated.

Crumble and crisp. Yum. Also buckle, as in blueberry buckle.

I’m learning to like foreign words, rolling them around on my tongue: Béchamel and roux.

Ganache sounds horrific, until you pair it with bittersweet. Then it is a proper confection, thick and chocolatey. Caramelized is a good one, especially when talking about onions.

But nothing makes me more prone to boil a pot of salted water than the phrase: Toss with hot pasta.

When I read that, you might as well pick me up out of a pool of melted butter and add shrimp.

What words send you to the kitchen?

  1. Jennifer whiting permalink
    February 1, 2011 12:26 pm

    I do enjoy your thoughts and enthusiasm for life.Miss you!!!!!!!

    • February 1, 2011 2:25 pm

      Jennifer! So glad to see your comment here! I think about you all the time…and wish you could raise my kids for me! –Love, Tiffany

  2. February 1, 2011 2:18 pm

    Watch out GSBL! Some of my favs:

    butter, or better, buerre…and buerre blanc sounds fantastical and impossible, not to mention deliciously alliterative…

    thyme (deep flavor and deeper meaning when it comes to slow-cooking meals)

    garlic (oh the onomotopia “ghhaaarrrlic” and the way it makes me weak in the knees when sauteed in olive oil)

    crust (the best part of any food – bread, brownies, gratins, creme brulees…oh creme is a good one too!…ok, must stop now…)

    • February 1, 2011 2:29 pm

      Zeyna–GSBL is hot on my heels. If only I didn’t like to cook so much. Garlic is a great one. I once ate three heads of roasted garlic before a family road trip and nearly killed Seth with the fumes. Now I’m only allowed moderate amounts. One of these days I’ll come to France and we can have a garlic fest and sing Girl’s State songs. Sound good?

      • February 2, 2011 7:15 am

        Venever you’re ready, Peta…

  3. Jill Turner permalink
    February 1, 2011 9:13 pm

    Your egg rolls look professional! I don’t love to cook, but I do love to bake, and I’d say Ganache and chocolate are a beautiful concoction! You have such a way with words; I love everything you write!!

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