Continuing on my theme of researching shit that will do me absolutely no good….
I recently accepted a challenge to write a blog about a piece of knowledge that I hadn’t previously known, and had just found out.
I am reading a book wherein the 30-something, male hero returns to the family mansion in southern Louisiana, situated on the mud of a small bayou island, about six inches above high tide, to do some hunting. His Papa, drinking beer on the porch, tells him that his 60ish Maman, is cooking in the kitchen, and has disassembled, cleaned, oiled, and reassembled his hunting rifle.
Down there, everybody knows guns. Guns are important. Guns provide food. There are no Applebee’s or Tops Friendly Markets out in the swamps. She has also packed him a cooler with food and drink, including chitlins and boudin.
These people are French(ish). For just a second, I wondered if this was a variant spelling of poutine. Then I remembered, they’re Cajuns, who are rednecks with hot sauce. They might make jambalaya, but not poutine, which needs to be eaten immediately, because it doesn’t pack well or last long. Only the Frogs of Quebec would concoct ‘Heart Attack on a Plate.’
Chitlins are actually chitterlings, a difficult word to pronounce when you have a mouthful of them. She probably packed him some pork chitlins. We eat beef chitlins once a year, at New Years, when we have prime rib, and baby potatoes roasted in beef suet.
We render down steak and roast trimmings for the fat, and then sieve the crisp, meaty bits out, sprinkle them with salt and serve them in a bowl, like popcorn. You could put some of them on the top of your head and your tongue would beat you to death, tryin’ to get at them.
Then there’s Boudin, a new word, and a new food. I gotta look that up. Boudin, I found, is a French, poultry sausage, chicken or turkey. There’s boudin noir, and boudin blanc, the equivalent of the German ‘blutwurst’ and ‘weisswurst.’ The dark version is made with blood, while the light version has milk.
Like a recent rant I had about a single newspaper, DICTIONARY DOT COM IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!
Whenever I look up a word, below the definition are a few example sentences, showing its meaning/usage in context. Below BOUDIN were two each, from two different English-language books, about two Frenchmen, who each called their wife/girlfriend, Boudin. “Don’t worry about the animals Boudin. Come back to bed.” Not much demonstration of the proper use of a French sausage there.
When I looked up ‘prerequisite’, there was a link to ‘fair territory.’ HUH?! A batter must hit a baseball between the foul lines – into ‘fair territory’ – for it to be a prerequisite for a ‘safe hit.’ Quite a diagonal relationship. The two examples were from the same British book, trying to preserve the English countryside – ‘this fair territory.’ The Brits don’t even have Baseball. The riff-raff play ‘rounders.’
A man in my hometown had the nickname of ‘Potlicker.’ When I looked that term up, Dictionary dot Com told me that it was ‘a poor person, often uncouth and uneducated.’ That describes my guy. And….the sample sentence read, “She used a spoon to dip vegetables from the mug of potlicker.” Apparently a cheap stew, not mentioned in the definition. 👿
So, I’ve learned that Boudin is a French-style chicken or turkey sausage, and that Dictionary dot Com is the vanguard for Skynet, and/or The Matrix. There are no human beings within it, only robots and sentient programs who, despite the non-relevant examples, speak better English than most people.