Eat Your Words: Satire and Bake
Devouring books and crafting meals is great–but sounding smart while you do it is even better. That’s why we’re teaching you to eat your words. In this weekly guide, we introduce one literary device (PAPER) and one culinary term (PLATES) everyone should know.
Satire (noun): the use of sarcasm, scorn, or irony to ridicule human folly or vice.
Example: In Drown, Junot Diaz includes a short story entitled "How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)." The essay originally appeared in The New Yorker in 2005, and presented a set of dating instructions for a Dominican teenager living in New Jersey. Here's an excerpt:
Wait until your brother, your sisters, and your mother leave the apartment. You've already told them that you were feeling too sick to go to Union City to visit that tia who likes to squeeze your nuts. And even though your moms knew you weren't sick you stuck to your story until finally she said, Go ahead and stay, malcriado. Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator. If the girlOs from the Terrace, stack the boxes in the crisper. If she's from the Park or Society Hill, then hide the cheese in the cabinet above the oven, where she'll never see it. Leave a reminder under your pillow to get out the cheese before morning or your moms will kick your ass. Take down embarrassing photos. Since your toilet can't flush toilet paper, put the bucket with all the crapped-on toilet paper under the sink. Shower, comb, dress. Sit on the couch and watch TV.
As a bonus, you can hear the author himself reading the story. Listen carefully.
Bake (verb): to cook food, covered or otherwise, using dry heat directly from an oven.
Example: In her pear and gouda pastelitos recipe, Kate Bernot bakes fruit-and-cheese-stuffed phyllo dough packets (below). Fifteen minutes at 400°F is enough to transform the raw ingredients into a warm pouch of flaky pastry with a gooey center that, when served warm, is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dessert.