Eat Your Words: Tone and Pulse
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.
Tone (noun): a device that helps the reader understand the author's attitude or perspective in regards to a specific subject, such as a person or a place.
Example: In Crapalachia, author Scott McClanahan's tone regarding his home in West Virginia is clear before one even opens the book. He is at once disgusted by and enamored with it, as evidenced by his gross nicknaming of the place. To him, it is an inescapable place, one that will forever hold him, suspended, unable to grow. As Kate Bernot says in her review, "He writes with all the confusion, the yearning and the embarrassment of an adolescence spent in a shitty, passed-over place. He pleads with the reader—'I WILL forever be reaching for you. PLEASE keep reading for me. Please.'—like we are a rescue rope down a coal mine shaft."
Pulse (verb): to blend ingredients in an electric mixer or food processor through short bursts of power.
Example: For her apricot, ginger and date breakfast bars, Kate recommends pulsing the dry ingredients in the food processor. By doing so, they are able to settle between each quick blending session. To do this, turn the food processor on for a short interval (say 1-2 seconds) and turn it off for the same amount of time before repeating. In the "off" time, ingredients will again settle near the blades—although for sticky foods, you can use a spatula to push them back down again—getting them in position to be blended again. Also, working in stages this way allows you, the chef, to keep an eye on texture.
See past installments by visiting our Eat Your Words archive!