I love cookbooks.
My husband’s cousin, John, knows this and brought me back a cookbook from his trip to Scotland.
There are only 50 or so recipes in this book and some sound amazing. Like Butterscotch Shortbread or Brüléed Raspberries with Whisky. As for the other recipes...not so much. Like Oatmeal Sausages or Boiled Cake.
No thank you.
Some recipes read so foreign that their titles give me no clue as to what they might be. Like Claggum - also known as Teasing Candy. I’ve been accused of this once or twice but no one’s ever said, “That girl’s such a claggum.”
Or Mince and tatties - ground meat and boobies? I dunno.
Speaking of boobies, there’s a recipe titled Roastit-Bubbly Jock.
“Bubbly Jock?” you say.
My husband had an employee, Glen, who had a bad case of the Bubbly Jock. A real nice guy who loved poetry and Jesus and bluegrass, too. A real nice guy, but his pants were too tight. It distracted the other workers. They complained and my husband had to bring Glen into his office and give him a talking to.
“Um, Glen...you know you’re a great employee and all... but your pants...uh...they’re a little small...in um...some key areas…I don’t know how to say this, Glen, but...
...you have a bad case of the Bubbly Jock.”
“Do you think you could wear some less revealing pants, tomorrow?”
With such a suggestive name, I was disappointed to learn that Roastit-Bubbly Jock is just plain old turkey and stuffing. Bubbly Jock refers to the sound a turkey makes. Say Bubbly Jock three times fast. Does it sound to you like something a turkey might say? I don’t think so. Whatever happened to ‘gobble gobble’? Maybe turkeys sound different in Scotland.
Anyway, it seems that most countries have strange and suggestive recipe names. France has a pastry called Pets de Nonne or Nun’s Farts. Yummy. The Brits have Spotted Dick - a pudding made with currants. The Brits also make Bubble and Squeak - a breakfast dish made primarily of cabbage. If you eat that much cabbage for breakfast be prepared to bubble and squeak.
Even packaged treats from the UK have dirty names. There’s a popular tea cookie called Finger Marie - a biscuit created by a London bakery to commemorate the marriage of the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia to the Duke of Edinburgh. I guess we know what the Duke was up to on his wedding night.
For those women who aren’t the marrying kind, there’s an Italian dish called Spaghetti alla Puttanesca or Whore’s Pasta. It’s a recipe made with olives, capers, garlic, tomatoes, hot pepper flakes and anchovy.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca was invented during WW2 and there’s a lot of speculation as to how it got its name. Some say it refers to a quick meal that a ‘lady of the night’ could make between clients.
Some say it's the aroma - reminiscent of the scent of a 1950’s Italian prostitute - salty, spicy and briny like the sea. No matter. It’s a good dish and you don’t have to pay by the hour to enjoy it. Besides, I bet those ladies went their whole lives without ever once being called a claggum. Recipe names sure are funny, though.
So when I told my friend that I would be spending my day making Chocolate Salami her mind went straight to a dark place. After all, that is why we are friends.
“You’re making Chocolate Salami?”
“Sound like a bad title for a dirty movie.”
“I want some,” she says.
“It’s probably bigger than a regular salami,” I think, but I don’t say that.
“You know...like the ones from our field trip to Adult World.”
I don’t say that either.
“Okay,” I say instead.
“Only if it’s tasty.”
Chocolate Salami is a legitimate Italian dessert well-endowed with lots of chocolate, nuts, and crumbled Italian cookies. It’s rolled into a log of your desired length and girth, chilled, then sliced.
Sorry Chocolate Salami.
I had to cut you.
You’ve been a bad salami but you taste so good.
Maybe this is how Lorena Bobbitt felt - cutting off her husband’s member and throwing it out her car window. The police found it and put it on ice in a Big Bite hot dog box from 7-Eleven.
John Wayne Bobbitt had it reattached and enlarged and went on to star in the x-rated film, John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut. He was also a member of the short-lived band, Severed Parts.
Those are funny names, too, even though they’re a product of real pain.
But there’s no pain in the giving or receiving of Chocolate Salami, so indulge yourself. And the next time you’re not sure of a recipe, or a person, or a thing, or a whatever, don’t be swayed by its name or how it looks. Judge it by it’s ingredients, what’s inside, what it tastes like - how it makes you feel.
Like Chocolate Samami. It makes me feel so good.