Monday, January 01, 2007

words to start the year off right

From my friend Barry, a blog entry called Savior as Decoration:

I actually saw this today on a sign in front of a Baptist church in Missouri City: "The best ornament ever hung was Jesus Christ."
I like to think of this as adages run amok. There is so much wrong with this charlie-horse-inducing-stretch of quippish evangelizing.

From William Kennedy's Ironweed, a wonderful novel I just finished reading, hobo-gritty and penned in shades of gray:
When Francis opened the trunk lid the odor of lost time filled the attic air, a cloying reek of imprisoned flowers that unsettled the dust and fluttered the window shades. Francis felt drugged by the scent of the reconstituted past...
From Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson, a book I've just begun to read that promises a breathtaking color palette and, most enchanting, recipes of exotic sensuality that are delightfully tongue-in-cheek: (It's a long excerpt, but stay with me as it's extremely satisfying.)
Mussels in Chocolate
You flinch? But that's only because you are gastronomically unadventurous. (Your Saturday evening visits to the Koh-i-Noor Balti House do not count. These days conveyor-belt curry is as safe a taste as Mozart.)
2 dozen fresh mussels, shelled and cleaned
Good quantity olive oil
Soy sauce
100 gm fined grated Valrhona dark chocolate
You will need quite a lot of olive oil because you are going to deep-fry the mussels and no, that bright green stuff claiming to be Extra Special First Pressing Verginissimo olive oil with a handwritten parchment label isn't necessary. Anyway, how can there possibly be degrees of virginity?...Heat [the oil] until the small bubbles appear (before it begins to seethe). Toss in a good handful of fresh rosemary. Meanwhile, dunk each mussel in soy sauce and roll it in the bitter chocolate. (Unlike the oil, the chocolate must be of the best possible quality. If it even crosses your mind to use Cadbury's Dairy Milk you should stop reading this book at once and give it to a charity shop. You will learn nothing from it.)...

And some recently discovered words for good measure:

Cruciverbalist: an aficionado of crossword puzzles (courtesy of A Word A Day)

Milt: fish sperm (courtesy of my word-loving, dictionary-delighted daughter)

And now that I am done, I find myself all at sixes and sevens as to what I should do next...

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