Saturday, January 10, 2009

Forgotten English

I got a one-a-day calendar for Christmas/Birthday and just wanted to share a few of the words.

On my birthday (Jan 6th), the word was: cockwalk. Now, it doesn't mean what you might think. It's "a fine or blackmail levied on a man who courts a woman residing out of the limits of his own parish." Strange...

And today, the 10th of January: corn-coffee. "A drink made of Indian corn, parched and used as coffee (1800s)."

So, for you coffee drinkers, if you're ever out of sufficient beans, there are other alternatives. According to Early American Cookery, the best substitute is "toasted crust of bread, but it is cheaper to drink water, and if taken for little time will be as palatable." And in a vignette by Alan Lomax in his novel The Rainbow Sign, you can do this: "Mama sift[ed] meal and she parch it dark brown and put it in a bucket and pour boilin' water over it, put the lid on it, and let it stand for a while--and that was our coffee."

Now you know what to do if you can't make it to Starbuck's.

As for me, I'm a tea drinker. Earl Grey with honey and milk or straight green tea. If I don't get my Earl Grey in the morning I'm not quite the same person.

How's that for a blog post? It's the best I can do these days. It seems whenever I sit down at the computer one of my kids (or my hubby) comes and pulls me away. Amazingly, no one needed me for these past ten minutes. I'm too tired to write anything witty, intelligent, or entertaining.

Oh, since no one has pulled me away yet: Has anyone been watching Masterpiece's Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It made me positively sick. But I liked it. I can't wait until part two, which airs tomorrow. The storyline isn't the most optimistic, is it? After part one was over I immediately watched Devil Wears Prada just to lighten the mood. Then, today, I got a chance to watch a bit of Pride and Prejudice, which always makes me feel as if someone is pouring warmed golden honey on my soul.


Val said...

Belated birthday greetings!
Happy Birthday and Merry Russian Christmas! ;)
What did you get as presents?

Jacqui said...

I gotta say, the coffe substitutes made me lose my taste for coffee! Maybe that's the point...

Amber Lough said...

Hmm, presents. Yes, I got spoiled by my husband and parents (they went in on the gift, together). I got a beautiful Swiss Army watch. :-)

Vijaya said...

Happy Birthday, Amber!

You mentioned two of my favorite things: Earl Grey and Thomas Hardy. And they go so well together.

One Crazy Adventure said...

Hi Amber! It was great talking to you last night... Erik is looking for your novel. -Kirstin