Friday, April 01, 2011

ocean, surprise, pie

Ocean is the word which  first comes to mind.

Because they are so small and modest,violets when you spot them, as I do today, are always a surprise. Never more so you encounter them, as I do today, growing next to or near primroses.

The smell of shepherd pie drifts through the house. In its preparation, I make a brunoise of carrot, celery and onion. The smell is of the frying vegetables  and now gently braising minced lamb.  I use the word, brunoise but do I really  know what it means? I look up brunoise in an English dictionary to see if the French word has taken root.  No luck. Even Petit Larouse can't help. But Larousse Gastronomique,  confirms that it  consists of diced root vegetables. Juliennes, a term associated with it, are  long thin strips of meat fish or vegetables. I like these words which always seem to connect to the purposeful  atmosphere of the  professional kitchen.

1 comment:

Roderick Robinson said...

Would you also admit that in creating such jargon (as a shorthand for experienced cooks) they are distancing themselves from the amateurs who may not have the same copious library as you. It was ever thus: do you recall a trade in which such words as em, en, par, head, intro, widows, orphans, etc, etc, were bandied about, possibly in order to obscure what was a far from mystical or demanding process?