Not all Soy Sauces are Created Equal

I love Asian foods; Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, Thai, you name it. And with many cuisines (but not all… not all…) soy sauce is either an ingredient or provided table-side as a condiment.

SOY

Long before I did any research at all, I knew that there was a stark difference between the two major brands that are commonly known in America: Kikkoman and LaChoy.

The first, my preferred sauce in the kitchen, is a Japanese-type sauce, brewed in the traditional manner over a period of six months (although traditional Japanese soy sauce can take 18 months to make, or much longer):

soy2

Fermenting soy beans and wheat at the Kikkoman factory in Wisconsin – from the July 1987 National Geographic article, “The Prodigious Soybean.”

The second is what’s known as a “chemical soy sauce.” From an article at Serious Eats by Jenny Lee-Adrian:

Chemical soy sauces: These are made over the course of about two days by hydrolyzing soy protein and combining it with other flavorings. Their flavor is far removed from traditional soy sauces made with fermented soybeans.

Harold McGee explains the process in On Food and Cooking by saying:

Nowadays, defatted soy meal, the residue of soybean oil production, is broken down—hydrolyzed—into amino acids and sugars with concentrated hydrochloric acid. This caustic mixture is then neutralized with alkaline sodium carbonate, and flavored and colored with corn syrup, caramel, water, and salt.

LaChoy is popular, but it’s pretty much in harmony with their old jingle ¹- “LaChoy makes Chinese food… swing American.” It’s what you’d expect to pour on a can of their store-bought Chow Mein. I’ve never seen it in a Japanese restaurant anywhere, they either use Kikkoman or one of the many national brands available now – even in traditional grocery stores. Somehow it just tastes… wrong. But as in all things, that’s just my opinion – and your mileage may vary.

National Geographic also has a lovely 5 minute video on how soy sauce is made in the town of Yuasa, Japan.

Another article at Yum of China by Tiana Matson lists some of her favorite sauces, most of which could probably be found at your local oriental grocery store if you’re fortunate enough to live close to one.

A lot of local Chinese places here in Maine provide little packages of “soy sauce” (those scare quotes are there for a reason) made by Kari-Out Co. If you want brown salt water with hardly a hint of anything else – think LaChoy cut to homeopathic levels – by all means feel free to use it.

5152o_to_go_kari_out_soy_sauce

As for me and my house, Old_Wolf_Sick.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 


¹ And, if you’re old like me, you might recognize the ubiquitous voice-over tones of Mason Adams (“With a name like Smucker’s, it’s got to be good!”) who was a friend of my mother back in the day.

Critics: Anton Ego and Mr. Cranky

There was a time when I didn’t know what a film or restaurant critic was. These were in the halcyon days of my youth, when I would go to restaurants or movies in New York City with my mother, the internet didn’t exist, and the only critics I knew about were “us.” [Of course, my mother, being a stage and commercial actress was well acquainted with reviews since the earliest days of her dramatic career, beginning in the 1920s (I think she appeared in an elementary school play at age 4), but she charitably kept me insulated from their mercuriality.]

We had successes and failures. As I have written about before, we loved Fonda del Sol, Xochitl, Mamma Leone’s, Proof of the Pudding, and many others.

We loved Peter Sellers as a comedian, but when we went to see “Only Two can Play,” my mother was mortified and I – at age 11 – was uncomfortable – we left the theater and mom demanded a refund.

Bottom line, we knew what we liked.

Then came the electronic age, with Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster, Yelp!, Wikipedia, UrbanSpoon (much better than Yelp, but sadly defunct), and access to reviews from hundreds of sources. And because these things are highly subjective and largely a matter of personal opinion¹, reviews varied widely from one pole to the other, and I often found that if reviews of a movie were negative I would come away from a movie I had enjoyed, wondering what the critics were talking about.

The best summation of a critic’s rôle I think I ever heard came in the beautiful soliloquy of Anton Ego in the dénouement of “Ratatouille,” for which credit must be given to the inestimable Brad Bird:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

Over time I came to see that most critics indeed would shred films because negative publicity got more traction, more buzz, or in modern parlance, more clicks – and hence more exposure for their particular brand. (There were exceptions of course – Siskel and Ebert’s point/counterpoint usually gave a good feel for consensus, and the Deseret News’ Chris Hicks tried to be honest without being snarky, meaning that I usually found myself in agreement with his assessments.)

But without question, the most savage movie reviewer of all time was Mr. Cranky, otherwise known as Jason Katzman.

cranky

From 1996 until 2008, Mr. Cranky reveled in writing the snarkiest, most deprecatory reviews one could imagine. His rating scale was only negative, with “one bomb” being the best one could hope for:

bombs

I once wrote to him, asking if there were any movies he liked, and he responded, “I don’t like movies.” As I learned when his website came to a close, this was simply part of his online persona. Much was revealed in his departing essay, making clear that his efforts over time were less about shredding movies than they were about shredding reviews and reviewers in general. I reproduce the entire essay below:

Mr. Cranky says “Goodbye!”

MESSAGE FROM YOUR HOST: In the summer of 1995, Hans Bjordahl and I were sitting in a friend’s dining room drinking beer when he posed this question: “Do you have any good ideas for a web site?” Hans was the creative director for a small internet firm about to build its first internet mall. I was the film critic for a local newspaper. After a few more beers for creative inspiration, Mr. Cranky was born.
The site began building in October of 1995 and was launched in February of 1996. It was an instant hit and the mall’s most frequented property. Traffic skyrocketed within the first three months. Emails came in fast and furious. Some were actually furious – mad at Mr. Cranky for trashing some recent film. There were death threats. However, most emails were ecstatic, thrilled that finally somebody was out there not blowing smoke up the ass of Hollywood, but dragging it over the coals for its failures. Mr. Cranky received mention in “The New York Times”, “The Guardian”, and many, many others. We were the “Cool Site of the Week”. When books printed lists of the best movie web sites, we were on them. The phone started ringing with offers of advertising revenue and such.

Much of the reward for doing Mr. Cranky all these years has been the excitement it created. There was a lot going on during the 1990’s and we frequently found ourselves in the midst of all kinds of developments. We were flown to San Francisco and wined and dined by an up and coming Internet company. We had our pictures taken for the Hollywood issue of “Vanity Fair”. We found ourselves with an agent and discussing book deals. Like most things that seem “pie in the sky” when you hear them, most of them fizzled out. Like most things, the excitement was never met by the potential financial rewards that seem to be mentioned in the same breath. That being said, Mr. Cranky did turn into a pleasant hobby with a small financial reward at the end of the year.

Even after the end of the Internet boom, Mr. Cranky still got by. We were excited to be picked up by “Redeye” in Chicago, a new type of daily directed at Gen Y. The feature was so well received that the editor of the Chicago Tribune mentioned it in one of her meetings. Google contacted us to assign our account its own ad representative – something they probably do for most accounts or groups of accounts, but still, it made us feel important.

Well, as they say, all good things…. Let’s face it, Mr. Cranky has been dying a slow death for a number of years now. It’s increasingly irrelevant, if not completely irrelevant. We’d rather sign off before that becomes the case and we’re probably already too late. Are there other reasons? Well, it’s not bringing in the revenue it once did. The time it takes to keep the site going is substantial. There’s too much other stuff to do. When I first started writing Mr. Cranky, I would sometimes see 8 movies in a week and make 6 trips to Denver from Boulder (70 miles RT). That was great when gas was $1.99. Now, not so much.

Before we retire Mr. Cranky, there are some questions that seem worth answering. Did one person write all the reviews? The answer: about 98% of the reviews were written by me, Jason Katzman. The other 2% were written by others, but mostly Hans, who took up the mantle when I was too tired or had a conflict. Not a single person ever figured out who wrote what even though we got many emails from people asking where “the real Mr. Cranky had gone”. In every instance, they were comparing two reviews I had written, just in very different styles.

Another question that was asked of me often was “Are there any movies you like?” I’m proud to say I never once answered that question and we never tried to pander to the people who just didn’t get it. Not only are there movies I like, I usually enjoy most movies in some way, shape or form. It’s actually pretty rare when I watch a film that has no redeeming value. Is there anybody out there who really thinks that I would spend as much time as I do watching movies if I didn’t enjoy it?

That being said, the reasons we started Mr. Cranky are more than simply “we like to make fun of people”. There are the simple ones, like we wanted to reject the culture of celebrity worship, which is utterly repulsive. Unfortunately, it’s only grown larger since Mr. Cranky started. During my time as a film critic, I did tons of interviews and went on lots of junkets. I can tell you, generally-speaking, most actors aren’t that interesting and aren’t that smart and will rarely tell you the truth about something, particularly what they think about another person in the industry (there are some exceptions, of course: John Sayles, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Guillermo del Toro come to mind. There are also the few stars one meets before they’re stars. I met Kate Winslet when she was 19, before the release of “Heavenly Creatures” and she told a story that I doubt she ever repeated).

A less obvious reason we started Mr. Cranky also emanates from some of these experiences. Film critics, in general (myself included), are full of themselves. They believe that their opinions actually matter. They also believe that somehow there’s a right and a wrong when it comes to film criticism. Mr. Cranky was started to thwart that notion by making fun of film critics and film criticism and pointing out that film writing could be subjective to the point of a critic who didn’t like anything. Besides, if these junkets proved one thing, it’s that most film critics could be swayed by nothing more than a plate of donuts (watching a group of largely fat film critics charge toward a free plate of food while in the midst of a junket in which they’re supposed to form unbiased opinions of the film is its own form of hell). And if the Internet has proved one salient Mr. Cranky point, it’s that anyone can be a film critic. The forums were put in place for just this reason. Mr. Cranky was the first site to invite the reader to challenge the film critic, in fact, to make that challenge a founding principle of the site.

And how could I depart without mentioning the site’s many fans – the Crankizens. There’s no doubt that the activity in the forums have powered the site over the years and become larger-than-life and something we never expected. Over the years, I’ve met a fair number of fans of the site and have been overwhelmed by it all. One of the people I met and befriended through Mr. Cranky is now a successful screenwriter in Hollywood. Early on, a fan from Perth, Australia embarked on a Mr. Cranky World Tour, visiting various places around the world populated by Mr. Cranky fans, culminating with a surprise visit by me in Los Angeles. Then there were the numerous Crankycons that spawned. I went to two: one in Toronto and one in Cedar Point in Ohio where I rode every roller coaster I was challenged to ride (keeping my cool on the world’s fastest, highest coaster, I might add). Heck, people met on Mr. Cranky and got married. I was truly humbled by the invitations and the interest in Mr. Cranky.

And we don’t want to completely close the door on this whole thing. For dedicated Crankizens, there is one sliver of hope: August 31 is our deadline to discontinue the site, but also the deadline to see if there’s any last-ditch means of selling or saving it. We’ve had ‘big plans’ for Cranky 2.0 many times over, but other priorities (not the least among them our “day jobs”) have always intervened, and at some point you’ve just gotta break that cycle and put up or shut up. Serious inquiries along those lines (i.e. those backed by serious levels of funding or remuneration) should be directed to mrcranky@mrcranky.com. Until that time, there won’t be anymore reviews, but the site and the “Goodbye Mr. Cranky” forum will be open for fans to search and recall the past.

Thanks to Randall Gaz for keeping the site going all these years. Thanks to Holley Irvine for all her design work. Thanks to Hans Bjordahl for all the hard work and 12 years of a partnership that was 99% fun with virtually no conflict whatsoever. And most of all, thanks to all the Mr. Cranky readers past and present who made writing Mr. Cranky so rewarding. It’s been a pleasure. We feel like Mr. Cranky introduced a certain style into the Internet world and we hope to hear Mr. Cranky mentioned when the history of the web is written. If not, we’ll be sure to contact whoever is doing the mentioning and tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine as only Mr. Cranky can.

The site is now passworded, but thanks to the miracle of the Wayback Machine, all of Mr. Cranky’s reviews are still accessible; if it ever comes to the Zombie Apocalypse and our electronic information vanishes, 100 of his most snarky reviews were published in a dead-tree edition. The reviews are interesting to peruse, especially the one-bomb category – if Cranky “hated a movie less than most,” it was usually guaranteed to be pretty good. That said, we didn’t always agree. The most scathing review he ever wrote was of “I am Sam,” and I thought that was a pretty tender film. (Note: Don’t read it if you either like the movie or have a sensitive soul.)

Nowadays, Rotten Tomatoes gives one a pretty good idea of which way the wind is blowing. A movie can have good critic reviews but be reviled by the general public, or vice versa. But for myself, it’s rare that I’ll read a review one way or another and decide to see or not see a movie based on critics’ opinions; I’ll generally give more credence to how the movie was received by viewers.

And in the end, like Mr. Cranky said, there are few movies that I don’t like on some level or other. Only rarely do I see a film and say at the end of it, “I want those two hours of my life back.” The last one to do that to both me and my wife was “The Lobster,” despite its 87% rating at RT, but an earlier one I actually took the time to write up myself at my Livejournal was “A Sound of Thunder;” my wife agreed.

Mercifully, those are few and far between.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ My opinions about food are, in the eyes of many people, questionable. Visit my Banquet from Hell for a taste.

Grits *is* good.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing cans of Hominy in the grocery store.

The fact that it looked like alien bloated corn that had been exposed to gamma rays and gotten very sick (oh wait, that’s huitlacoche) didn’t do much for my desire to ever try it.

Image result for hominy

I became more aware of its presence because I worked at  the Daitch Shopwell on 1st Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets in New York, and had to price cans with these stamps and purple ink:

Price Stamps 2

But time heals all things… or at the very least tends to change things, particularly one’s tastes. You can visit my Banquet from Hell, and see why I was awarded the honorary title of “Grand High Culinary Inquisitor” by Howard Tayler, author of Schlock Mercenary.

I am passionately fond of Menudo, a wonderful, hearty Mexican dish which includes both tripe and hominy, and later fell deeply in love with grits, a porridge made with ground hominy and very popular in the south. Again, I had heard of this as a kid and had no desire to try it because it sounded like eating finely crushed gravel. Fool that I was.

Grits is related to the Austrian Grieß, although the latter is made with semolina and makes wonderful dumplings. Nothing is more warming and comforting on a cold morning than a steaming bowl of buttery, peppered grits:

Image may contain: food

You’ll notice that I use the singular when describing grits, and that’s because it’s not plural. Grits is singular, and grits is wonderful.

For authentic confirmation of this fact, I turn to a lovely oral essay by Kathryn Tucker Windham,¹ an American storyteller, author, photographer, folklorist, and journalist:

I never remember sitting down to breakfast in my childhood home in Thomasville without having grits. And it wasn’t the instant kind, either. My mother, before we went to bed at night, would put the grits on to soak, put the grits in the top of a double boiler, let the grits soak overnight, so it would be ready to cook in the morning. And oh, I guess it tasted… I was just accustomed to good grits.

And I will now stop a minute to carry on my campaign for trying to convince people that grits is a singular noun: you say “the grits is good, the grits is hot.” Just because it ends in an “s” doesn’t make it plural; it’s in the same category with “news” and “measles.” So bear that in mind.

But… on special occasions, sometimes for supper we’d have grits again. Cheese grits, sharp cheddar cheese, grated and stirred up and hot grits. Aah, it was marvelous. And if my brother had gone hunting and had come back with quail or dove we’d have grits with the dove and quail. There’s just no finer eating in the world than that on a cold weather’s day. And the baked sweet potatoes that were always better in the winter time. Just slathered with butter and baked until they were soft, and almost mushy inside. Slit ’em open and put butter that we got down at little Miz Anderson’s, bought butter from her, she had a good cow that had rich milk and wonderful butter.

And the soup that my mother used to make, vegetable soup, I’ve never had any as good as she made, and I don’t know how… I’m sure she didn’t have a recipe, she just used what was available – but sustaining, comfortable winter food and somebody would have a hog-killin’ and we’d get some of that fresh meat, the ribs and he pork chops, and the… oh, it was all so good, and that was … the hogs were killed only in the wintertime on a very cold day, and they were a treat to have, and I always looked forward to them. But it was the grits, that stuck to your ribs and was sustaining, comfort food. And if you want it really comforting, add cheddar cheese, sharp, and stir it up, and eat, and enjoy.

I heard this piece on NPR years ago, and you can still listen to it at WLRH in Huntsville. Add that beautiful, mellow southern accent and you can feel her joy in the memories of her childhood, and the rich goodness of the foods she relished… including grits.

Which is divine.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ Many of Windham’s works, including audiobooks, are available over at Amazon.


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Jukmifgguggh

Jukmifgguggh

(Four servings)

Ingredients

  • 400 g tripe
  • 100 g crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 C Chunky peanut butter
  • 50 g chocolate bark
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Basil, a handful

Preparation

  1. Wash and pat tripes dry. Set aside.
  2. Sautee mushrooms, onions, basil leaves and crushed garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil until the mushrooms are soft and the onions translucent.
  3. Add the tripes and a bit more oil if needed. Fry until golden brown.
  4. Remove tripes and on a cutting board, coat liberally with peanut butter.
  5. Grate chocolate bark onto tripes, and serve with sauteed vegetables.
  6. While eating, try to pronounce “Jabberwocky.”

Jukmifgguggh!

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

 

Try Moxie, they said.

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My first introduction to Moxie came as I read Stuart Little in the 1950s. Stuart, on his journey to find his lost love Margalo, stopped at a gas station and asked about something to drink.

“Have you any sarsaparilla in your store?” asked Stuart. “I’ve got a ruinous thirst.”
“Certainly,” said the storekeeper. “Gallons of it. Sarsaparilla, root beer, birch beer, ginger ale, Moxie, lemon soda, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Dipsi Cola, Pipsi Cola, Popsi Cola, and raspberry cream tonic. Anything you want.”

At the time I had no idea what Moxie was, but was delighted to find out later that it was a real thing, unlike the Dipsi, Pipsi, and Popsi colas mentioned. And yes, it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s reminiscent of root beer or sarsparilla, but the dominant flavoring is gentian root, which brings a bitterness to the drink not found in other soft drinks (unless you’re fond of Campari soda, not usually found outside of Italy.) God forbid anyone should make a soda version of Fernet-Branca!

But Moxie is different, and refreshing. The bitterness doesn’t bother me, in fact it makes the concoction more satisfying on a hot day than something that’s just overly sugary. I may like it for the same reason I like chestnut honey, which I discovered on a trip to Slovenia – wonderfully full-bodied, with that same distinctive bitterness which offsets the sweetness nicely.

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Originating around 1876 as a patent medicine called “Moxie Nerve Food,” Moxie is closely associated with the state of Maine and was designated the official soft drink of Maine on May 10, 2005. Its creator, Dr. Augustin Thompson, was born in Union, Maine. (Extracted from Wikipedia)

For the longest time, Frank Anicetti ran the Moxie Museum in Lisbon, Maine; this year saw the closure of the store, which was at the heart of Maine’s annual Moxie Festival since 1913.

FrankAnicetti

Frank Anicetti serves up Moxie ice cream

But even though the Kennebec Fruit Company store is gone, Moxie will stay close to the hearts and stomachs of Mainahs; there’s still the Matthews Museum in Union, which has an entire wing devoted to Moxie.

MoxieExhibit

The Moxie Wing at the Matthews Museum in Union, Maine

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Now in the interest of full disclosure, I’m still a Pepper, and always have been. In my years sojourning in Europe, I discovered that Europeans – while they find Coke and Pepsi palatable – generally look upon Root Beer and Dr Pepper as tasting like medicine. With that in mind, I suspect Moxie wouldn’t find much of a market in Vienna or Ljubljana… in fact, it might be just enough to turn even our best European friends into a torch-and-pitchfork waving mob.

But such is life. The poor souls probably wouldn’t appreciate nattō either. They have my sympathy. For the moment, I’m happy to be in Maine, where Moxie is readily available.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Whistleberries and hounds, a pair!

If you’ve ever heard that hollered by an overworked server to a harried cook at your local greasy spoon, you might have just ordered a pair of franks with baked beans.

beans-and-franks

Welcome to my stream of consciousness morning.

A recent article at the Sydney Morning Herald provided a fascinating insight into coded language used by healthcare professionals, flight attendants, butchers, and others. (For example, COPD can not only stand for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, but also “Chronic Old Person’s Disease.”) The article is a fascinating read.

That led me to think of diner slang, a subject lovingly researched by John Clarke, the husband of a dear friend of mine whom I knew for over 60 years and who recently left this world (far too soon, I might add.) I’m not sure where his research is at the moment, but I know John has dedicated a good bit of time to exploring the ins and outs of this fine art of colorful communication.

I reproduce below, entirely without permission and acknowledging copyright ©2003 by John Clarke, a diner slang quiz which appeared in the Spring 2003 edition of Gastronomica, the Journal of Food and Culture, but which deserves much wider appreciation. Answers below: Don’t peek!

America’s original quick-bite places – the main-street soda fountain, the corner lunchionette, and the roadside diner – shared a special, often secret, culture of language. During the Golden Age of slinging slang from 1925 to 1945, waitstaff and kitchen workers communicated in colorful shorthand.

How good is your slang? See if you can match the twelve sassy term in Column A with the classic American home-style desserts in Column B.

Bonus Question: “Give me Eve with the roof on, a crow slab covered in spla, maiden and tar, plus a stretch with frost and sissy sticks!” What’s being ordered?

1. Ant Paste A. Apple pie
2. Bellyache B. Chocolate pudding
3. Chinese wedding cake C. Custard pie
4. Gold fish D. Cruller
5. House boat E. Banana Split
6. Matrimony knot F. Fudge
7. Magoo G. Bowl of strawberry gelatin
8. Ploughed field H. Ice cream sundae
9. Shivering Liz in the hay I. Sliced peaches
10. Slab of sin J. Rice pudding
11. Snow White on a stick K. Turnover
12. Windbag L. Vanilla ice cream cone

Answers:

1-B, 2-H. 3-J, 4-I, 5-E, 6-D, 7-C, 8-F. 9-G, 10-A, 11-L, 12-K

Bonus Question: Apple pie with a top crust, chocolate pie covered with whipped cream, cherry pie and a mug of coffee, and a large Coke™ with crushed ice and two straws!

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet which rarely forgets, here’s a list of diner slang assembled by Dave Hutchins over at Discuss Cooking – the list has been alphabetized and edited a bit for clarity:

A blond with sand: Coffee with cream and sugar
An MD: Dr Pepper
A spot with a twist: Cup of tea with lemon
Adam & Eve on a raft: Two poached eggs on toast
And cinnamon: Dropped in a bowl of milk
Angel: Sandwich man
Baled hay: Shredded wheat
Balloon juice: Seltzer or soda water
Belch water: Alka Seltzer
Billiard: Buttermilk
Bird seed: Breakfast
Black and white: Chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream
Blood hounds in the hay: Hot dogs and sauerkraut
Blow out patches: Pancakes
Blue plate special: a dish of meat, potato, vegetable also daily special
Boiled leaves: Tea
Bossy in a bowl: Beef stew
Bow Wow, Ground hog: A hot dog
Bowl of Red: Chili con carne
Break it and shake it: Add egg to a drink
Breath: Onion
Bridge Party: Four of any thing (from the bridge game)
Bubble dancer: Dish washer
Bullets or whistleberries: Baked beans (because of supposed flatulence)
Burn one: Fry a hamburger
Burn one, take it through the garden: Hamburger with lettuce tomato, onion
Burn the British: Toasted English muffin
Cackle fruit: Eggs
Canned cow: Evaporated milk
Chopper: Table knife
CJ: Boston Cream cheese and Jelly
Cowboy or western: A western omelet or sandwich
Cow paste, Skid grease, Axle grease: Butter
Creep: Draft beer
Crowd: Three of any thing (as in, “Two is company three is a crowd”)
Customer will take a chance: Hash
Dead eye: Poached eggs
Dough well done with cow: Buttered toast
Drag one through Georgia: Cola with Chocolate syrup
Draw one in the dark: A Black coffee
Draw one or a cup of mud: Cup of coffee
Eighty Six: The kitchen is out of the item ordered
Fifty-five: A glass of root beer
Flop two fry:  Two eggs any style
Frenchman’s delight: Pea soup
Frog sticks: French Fries
Fry two, let the sun shine: 2 eggs with unbroken yolks
GAC: Grilled American cheese sandwich
Gallery: Booth
Go for a walk or on wheels: it’s to go
Grave yard stew: Milk toast buttered toast sprinkled with sugar
Gravel train: Sugar bowl
Hail: Ice
Hemorrhage: Ketchup
High and dry: A plain sandwich with nothing on it
Hockey Puck: A hamburger well done
Hold the hail: No ice
Hot top: Hot Chocolate
Hug one or squeeze one: Orange juice
In the alley: Served as a side dish
Jack Benny: Cheese with bacon )Named after Jack Benny)
Java or Joe: Cup of coffee
Keep off the grass: No Lettuce
Lady Bug: Fountain man
Life preserver: Doughnut
Light House: Ketchup bottle
Looseners: Prunes
Lumber: tooth pick
Machine oil: Syrup
Mike & Ike or the twins: salt & pepper shakers
Million on a platter: Plate of baked beans
Mississippi mud or yellow paint: Mustard
Moo juice, Baby juice, Sweet Alice: Milk
Mystery in the alley: Side order of hash
No cow: without milk
Noah’s boy on bread: Ham sandwich
Noah’s son: Slice of ham (Noah’s second son)
One from the Alps: A Swiss cheese sandwich
Paint it Red: Put ketchup on it
Pair of drawers: two cups of coffee
Pin a rose on it: Add Onion to a order
Put out the lights and cry: Liver and onions
Rabbit food: Lettuce
Radio: Tuna salad sandwich
Sea Dust: Salt
Shake one in the hay: Strawberry milk shake
Shingle with a shimmy and a shake: Buttered toast with jam or jelly
Shoot from the south: Coca Cola™
Smear: Margarine
Soup Jockey: Waitress
Stack or short stack: Order of pancakes
Sun kiss or oh gee: Orange juice
Sweep the kitchen: Hash
Throw it in the mud: Add Chocolate syrup
Two cows, make them cry: two hamburgers with onion
Vermont: Maple syrup
Warts: Olives
Wax: American cheese
Whisky down: rye toast
Whisky: Rye bread
White cow: Vanilla milk shake
Wind mill, Adams ale, city juice, dog soup: A glass of water
Yum yum or sand: Sugar
Zeppelin: Sausage

I got a big kick out of “Put out the lights and cry” – I’m a big fan of liver and onions, but apparently many others are not.

These terms can be very regional and original, so there were likely to be many terms for the same item around the country. A more comprehensive list should be forthcoming when I have the time.

In the meantime, wreck two and make them cry.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

“He takes them to a pastry shop to eat some good cakes.”

For as long as I can remember – my very earliest reading days in the 50s – Babar was one of my favorite children’s books. I always loved this page, where Babar takes his two little cousins Arthur and Celeste to a patisserie… those pastries always looked so good to me, and my mother had already introduced me to the delights of brioches.

Babar

Yesterday was my wife’s birthday, and we spent the day doing a massive Yarn Hop around the local yarn stores of Salt Lake, but before heading home, we stopped in at “Gourmandise,” a French bakery/café that sits at 250 South 300 East, right where the original Ratskeller Pizza Shoppe used to be.

gourmandise

Photo from their website

That display of pastries and other goodies is Babar come to life for me, and the quality is every bit what I would expect. (No, they’e not paying me for this post.)

Here are two of the goodies we brought home last night, the other two were devoured before I thought of writing this, and they were absolutely divine.

Pastries

Yes, they’re pricey – but you don’t find stuff like this for a buck and a quarter at Smith’s. It’s probably a very good thing that I’m not wealthy enough or close enough to patronize these guys on a regular basis, or I’d look like Fat Albert.

The Old Wolf has *belch*  spoken.