The importance of bread in society: the etymology of Lord

The importance of bread in society: the etymology of Lord

In listening to The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition by Seth Lerer (Lecture 8), I came across an interesting word etymology which foodies and particularly bread fans will appreciate.

Dr. Lerer was talking about the compression of syllables at the border of Old English and Middle English circa 1100 which occurred in such terms as hlaf weard, the warden (or guardian) of the loaf.

Who is the guardian of the loaf? The hlfaf weard << The hlaweard << the laweard << the lord. This is the etymology of the word 'lord'. Lord is the guardian of the bread, the mete-er out of bread in a cereal society.

An interesting linguistic change that tells us a lot about power, structure, religion, and society surrounding bread of the time. I suppose one could also look at Christian traditions of the time which looked at the transubstantiation of the symbolic bread of the Last Supper which is ritually turned into the body of Christ–Christ, our lord.

One can’t help noting the slang use of the word “bread” to mean “money”. Perhaps it’s time to go back and re-visit Jeremy Cherfas’ excellent podcast series Our Daily Bread?

Featured image: Bread flickr photo by adactio shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

How is it that the saturated fats in Spam are so incredibly high, yet it doesn’t self-lubricate when cooked in a skillet?

This post was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Ordering In-N-Out by Chapter and Verse: Hot Cocoa Edition

Ordering In-N-Out by Chapter and Verse: Hot Cocoa Edition

In a very rare move in January 2018, In-N-Out  added a new item to their sparse menu: hot cocoa. As part of their roll out and for marketing purposes, they serve free hot cocoa on rainy days to children under 12 years old. 

A few years back, I had written about the bible verses that In-N-Out “hides” on their product packaging. I remember hearing about the hot cocoa addition to the menu when it was initially released, but had forgotten about the bible verses until I had the occasion to visit on a recent rainy day.

So to complete the enlarged canon, here are the details for the bible verse found on In-N-Out’s hot cocoa cup.

Products and Bible Verses (continued)

  • Hot Cocoa:

    A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

    John  13:34
    In-N-Out Hot Cocoa Cup with a reference to bible verse  John 13:34

Notes

This certainly seems an appropriate verse to put on a product that they give away on rainy days. And who doesn’t love commandments involving hot cocoa?! I do notice that the verse isn’t hidden underneath the cup, like it is on the soda cups, but instead it’s front and center in relatively larger bold font on the side of the cup.

If one takes my prior call to replace the deity references with the product, then we’ll know that everyone who loves one another is a disciple of hot cocoa. They’re also likely to avoid improper microwave use too.

Ordering In-N-Out by Chapter and Verse: Hot Cocoa Edition was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Spoils from a cow party

Spoils from a cow party

A few months back, I got roped into joining in on a co-op purchase of a whole cow that was estimated to come in at around 600 pounds. It was grass fed, organically raised, and was to be humanely butchered, packaged, and frozen. I made an initial $200 deposit, and this morning I paid the $290.50 balance at what was billed as a “Cow Party”.

Thirteen of the “partners” got together at 11:30am to draw lots to form a line to take turns choosing individual cuts from the cow. Though it was just one entire cow, the butcher threw in some additional tongues, testicles, and other additional offal for us to select from as well.

Here’s what was included in my 18 turns:
1.2 lb New York steak, bone in
1.0 lb New York steak, bone in
1.2 New York steak, bone in
1.4 lb Ribeye, bone in
0.5 lb top sirloin steak
0.5 lb top sirloin steak
2.4 lb bottom round roast
2.5 lb beef tritip large
0.4 lb top sirloin steak
1.9 lb beef short ribs
1.1 lb stew beef
1.1 lb stew beef
1.1 lb stew beef
1.2 lb beef cheek
1.4 lb beef oxtails
0.9 lb beef oxtails
1.4 lb beef testicles
1.3 lb beef fat

Everyone also went home with an additional box of ground beef. Mine contained 16 packages of 1lb each of ground meat as well as 2.2lbs of beef ground with heart and 0.9lbs of beef ground with liver.

This comes out to 41.6 pounds of meat in all and price of roughly $11.78 per pound.

Sadly I missed out on some nice shoulder cuts, some tongue, and I had tried to get some tripe instead of the testicles, but alas, there were apparently other menudo fans in our group.

My freezer is chock full of some serious meat for a while. Most of the cuts are fairly straightforward and I’ve already got a good idea of what I’m going to do with them. I will have to take a peek at what I ought to do for the Rocky Mountain Oysters. I’m leaning toward turning them into some delicious tacos, but I’ll take any suggestions from those who’ve done other variations before.

I do want to make an inventory of the price per pound for individual cuts versus typical markets to see how the pricing works out, as I suspect that some likely did better than others within the “lottery” system this set up. The tough part will be finding local markets that purvey this high a quality of meat for a reasonable comparison.

Spoils from a cow party was originally published on Chris Aldrich

Our Daily Bread — A short 30 day podcast history of wheat and bread in very short episodes

Our Daily Bread — A short 30 day podcast history of wheat and bread in very short episodes

Drop what you’re doing and immediately go out to subscribe to Our Daily Bread: A history of wheat and bread in very short episodes!

Subscribe: Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

The illustrious and inimitable Jeremy Cherfas is producing a whole new form of beauty by talking about wheat and bread in a podcast for thirty days.

It’s bundled up as part of his longer-running Eat This Podcast series, which I’ve been savoring for years.

Now that you’re subscribed and your life will certainly be immeasurably better, a few thoughts about how awesome this all is…

Last December I excitedly ran across the all-too-well-funded podcast Modernist Breadcrumbs. While interesting and vaguely entertaining, it was an attempt to be a paean to bread while subtly masking the fact that it was an extended commercial for the book series Modernist Bread by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya which had been released the month prior.

I trudged through the entire series (often listening at 1.5-2x speed) to pick up the worthwhile tidbits, but mostly being disappointed. As I finished listening to the series, I commented:

Too often I found myself wishing that Jeremy Cherfas had been picked up to give the subject a proper 10+ episode treatment. I suspect he’d have done a more interesting in-depth bunch of interviews and managed to weave a more coherent story out of the whole. Alas, twas never thus.

A bit later Jeremy took the time to respond to my comment:

I’ve no idea how the series actually came about, or what anyone aside from Chris really thought about it. It would be nice to see any kind of listener engagement, but it’s hard to find anything. There are three tweets over the entire series that use the show’s official tags.

Still, what’s done is done, and I doubt anyone would want to support another series all about bread. Or would they … ?

I’ll admit I did spend a few long and desperate weeks salivating with \hope over that ominously hanging “Or would they…?” statement. Ultimately, I let it pass distracted by listening to Jeremy’s regular Eat This Podcast episodes. Then this past week I’ve been bowled over by discovering what has obviously been fermenting since.

I’d love to take credit for “planting the seed” as it were for this new endeavour, but I suspect that the thousands upon thousands of adoring listening fans that Mssr. Cherfas’ podcast has, he’s heard dozens of similar requests every day over the years. Even more likely, it’s his very own love of bread that spawned the urge (he does, after all, have a bread blog named Fornacalia!), but I’ll quietly bask as if I had my very own personal suggestion box to have a first-class production staff at my beck and call to make me custom podcast content about food, science, and culture.

It’s always amazing to me how scintillating Jeremy Cherfas’ work manages to be in these. What is not to love about his editorial eye, interview skills, his writing, his production abilities? I’m ever astounded by the fact that his work is a simple one man show and not a 20 person production team.

I’m waiting for the day that the Food Network, The Cooking Channel, HGTV, or a network of their stripe (or perhaps NPR or PBS) discovers his supreme talent and steals him away from us to better fund and extend the reach of the culinary talent and story-telling he’s been churning out flawlessly for years now. (I’m selfishly hoping one of them snaps him up before some other smart, well-funded corporation steals him away from us for his spectacular communication abilities to dominate all his free time away from these food-related endeavors.)

Of course, if you’re a bit paranoid like me, perhaps you’d find his fantastic work is a worthwhile cause to donate to? Supporting his work means there’s more for everyone.

Now, to spend a moment writing up a few award nominations… perhaps the Beard first?

 

Our Daily Bread — A short 30 day podcast history of wheat and bread in very short episodes was originally published on Chris Aldrich