Eat Your Words: Euphemism and Gravy
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 bring you literary devices and culinary terms everyone should know.
Euphemism (noun): a manner of describing an undesirable topic -- such as sex or death -- in milder, more palatable terms.
Example: J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, plays with euphemisms from the start. The book's title apparently came about when Rowling came across the term in a book on local government (appropriate, considering the content of the novel). Further research reveals that a casual vacancy refers to an assembly seat that opens up during the term. In such a case, "casual" is a euphemism for "accidental" or "unexpected." Considering that Rowling's casual vacancy results after the sudden and unforeseen death of Barry Fairbrother, there is no doubt that her book's title is a euphemism.
Gravy (noun): the sauce used for meat, potatoes and other food items created from the drippings of fat and juice extracted while cooking meat.
Example: Katie used chicken gravy in her easy crock pot chicken pot pie to infuse flavor and moisture into the meat as it cooked all day. Since this was an easy recipe, Katie took a shortcut by using canned chicken gravy. If you have the time to make it from scratch, though, you'll taste the results. Simple is usually the best, so take a look at this recipe, which calls for all-purpose flour, water, and chicken drippings. That's it!