Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

Briefly 9/21/17: prawn corndogs

September 21, 2017

Noted on the specials board at the Old Pro, a big sports bar up the street from my house, this morning:

PRAWN CORNDOGS

One of several odd crosses between upscale and homey or street food (see FILET MIGNON SLIDERS) available there. As it turns out, the other neighborhood sports bar offers prawn corndogs too.

Yes, shrimp tempura fried in cornmeal batter, on a stick.

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Hot Lips

September 17, 2017

Noted in front of 325 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto, a small hedge of Salvia microphylla (small-leaved sage) ‘Hot Lips’ in bloom — covered in small labiate flowers, some bicolor, some all red, some all white, as in this photo from the net:

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Small-leaved (hence the species name microphylla), intensely scented, fashioned into a hedge. A pleasant plant, which it turns out was created by hybridization fairly recently.

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Steak bombs

September 16, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy:

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Steak bomb as the name of a type of steak sandwich was new to me. Steak sandwiches in general are torpedo-shaped, hence bomboid, but the point of the name is probably to assert that it is in fact the/da bomb, the best: the best of all possible steak sandwiches, because it has everything.

The play of steak bomb vs. stink bomb then just makes the name more memorable.

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Three years of Xmas sweets

September 12, 2017

On the 8th, a posting about Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s notebook of memorable meals at 63 W. Beaumont Rd. in Columbus OH from August 1969 (when we arrived in Columbus) through 1974. After that there are only a few scattered pages, including one in Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s hand that reports on the 1980, 1982, and 1983 versions of a long-standing household custom: making great piles of sweets (candies and cookies) for guests at Christmastime.

These three lists make for warm memories, but also sad ones, since 1983 was the end of the tradition. In December 1984, Ann was too close to death for there to be any kind of Xmas celebration. She died a few weeks later, in January, and the Ohio Christmases came to an end; Christmas 1985 was Jacques’s and my first one in California, in a new and different life.

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Dinners at Beaumont Rd., 1969-1973

September 8, 2017

Samples from a notebook kept by Ann Daingerfield Zwicky (with my help) of dinners at 63 W. Beaumont Rd., Columbus OH, for 1969 through 1973 — dinners that were notable for their food, their occasion, or their company. We moved into the house in August 1969, after Ilse Lehiste engineered my move from UIUC to OSU, so she was our first guest. On a very yellowed page:

(#1) 8/14/69

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Birthday notes

September 6, 2017

As previously announced, today is my 77th birthday — my iridium, or rainbow, birthday (the element iridium, named after Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, has atomic number 77), better, as Ken Rudolph noted to me, than our 76th birthday, the trombone birthday (after the musical number “76 Trombones”, from the musical The Music Man). A hundred or so people from all parts of my life have wished me well in various ways — the electronic equivalent of companionable pats, and much appreciated. Also, some of them were funny.

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Obsolete technologies and middle verbs

September 5, 2017

A pair of Zits strips, from yesterday and today:

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The theme is the looming obsolescence of technologies and their supporting infrastructures and social practices, in this case the system of mail delivery (cue Thomas Pynchon’s novella The Crying of Lot 49), with all its parts and accompaniments: postage stamps, envelopes and postcards, mail boxes, mail transport and delivery systems, posthorns and their tunes, delivery personnel in uniforms, mail slots, post offices, conventions for the form of letters, and more. If you’re young and well wired these days, this all could be as mysterious and exotic as analog clocks.

Jeremy is wary of the whole business.

And yes, Pynchon is relevant.

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Where is Gilroy?

September 5, 2017

Restrain the impulse to reply “Gilroy was here” (I’ll get to that below); the title is an echo of my 7/7/15 posting “Where is Ojai?”, which was about whether the city of Ojai, in Ventura County CA, is in California’s Central Coast region or in in the South Coast region (along with Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties).

Just so for Gilroy, a city in (far southern) Santa Clara county: is it in the Central Coast region, or in the Bay Area region on the northern California coast?

Ojai and the rest of Ventura County are in a cultural liminal zone, between central and south; and Gilroy and neighboring Santa Cruz county are in a cultural liminal zone, between central (with small cities, picturesque open spaces, and extensive rural or semi-rural areas) and Bay Area (mostly dense urban and surburban settlement).

I stumbled onto the Gilroy question through food, specifically through Original California Style Hot Pepper Sauce, made in Gilroy (but encountered on a table at the Peninsula Fountain Grill, here in Palo Alto), whose makers advertise:

Pepper Plant Pepper Sauce was developed by a lover of spicy peppers who wanted to enjoy their unique taste year round. Pepper Plant quickly became a favorite of the California Central Coast.

The Pepper Plant folks seem pretty clear that they’re on the Central Coast (along with Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, and Carmel) — at the northern tip of the region, granted, but in it.

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On the food watch: Texas fried

September 1, 2017

State fair time is coming to an end, and I haven’t posted a word about fair events. But now, reports from my Austin TX friends from the state fair there. Featuring the award-winning Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger:

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A combo of two fair favorites: funnel cake (deep-fried dough) and a bacon cheeseburger.

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On the food watch: iguanas

September 1, 2017

It starts in Miami, with this photo that Kyle Wohlmut took there last weekend and posted on Facebook:

(#1) Floridian street iguana on the prowl

Green iguanas are an invasive pest in Puerto Rico and south Florida; the obvious solution is that they be cooked and eaten, the way they are in Mexico (and elsewhere in Central America). So it was natural for a Facebook reader to ask what sauce you use on an iguana.

Well, clearly, Lizard Lick barbecue sauce.

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