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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


One for the Lexicon?

I don't know if this is a lexicon phrase or not, but it's a character that crops up a LOT in wholesome American TV series, and sometimes movies. Do we blame the actor, the director or the scriptwriter? Personally, I'm inclined to blame all of them.

Crock Monsieur
Which is to say, like the eponymous toastie, composed entirely of ham, cheese and white bread. (I know the French spell it 'croque', but for reasons I won't mention because of the children in the audience, I think 'crock' is more appropriate.)

Guess that's television told. Next week, Kit takes on the art world!

I was going to post a recipe for how to make a croque monsieur, but then I decided that I'm a vegetarian so I won't. Instead, a tip for making delicious scrambled eggs: grind up a vegetable stock cube, and add a pinch of that instead of salt. Gives a nice umami flavour. With some nice chopped chives and fresh-ground black pepper, maybe a smidgen of wholegrain mustard, cooked until it looks almost done but not quite (because it keeps cooking in its own heat after you take it off the hob), a feast fit for a breakfast-eating king.

Is 'croque' an obscure obscenity? Or is 'crock'? Puzzled.

Anyway, I've always wondered what umami tastes like. I'll go lick a vegetable stock cube immediately.
No, don't! They need to be watered down! Your tongue will shrivel at the roots, and then you'll have to do all your communicating by e-mail. Though as your comments are always delightful, there'd be some compensations.

'Crock' is the obscure obscenity, as in 'what a crock'. Too much of a lady to say what it's a crock of, but I'm sure you're not too little a man of the world to get the gist.
Ah, the poor crock is a victim of metonymy. I'm sure crocks used to contain all sorts of things.

Which reminds me, at the risk of lowering the tone (in terms of both vulgarity and rambling pseudo-erudition), of a discovery I made in my previous researches. Turns out there's a second sense of 'crock' that's perhaps derived from 'crack', which it seems was Middle English for 'whore'. Inevitable synecdoche there I suppose, but also a neat redundancy in the sad phrase 'crack whore'. I'll get me coat.
And in some places, I believe you can refer to an old lady as an 'old crock'. I assumed the meaning was as in, old piece of bashed-up crockery. Language chases its tail into incomprehensibility...
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