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literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

Eat Your Words: Character and Divide

Eat Your Words: Character and Divide

Eat your words

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.

Character (noun): one of the people in a drama or novel.

Example: Characters are present in most books, so much so that the term practically needs no definition. In some works, however, the uniqueness of the characters is worthy of note. In her recommendation of Meg Wolitzer's TheInterestings, Saniya says the plot is driven by the characters' evolution and centers around their individual and collective traits. This is a book in which the characters are paramount.

Divide (verb): to separate an ingredient into parts.

Example: In her recipe for Elegant S'mores, Saniya calls for the chilled graham cracker dough to be divided prior to preparation. For a great explanation of why recipes include this directive, we turn to The Kitchn:

"Basically, when you see the word "divided" after an ingredient in a recipe, it is like a little flag or alert to the cook to let them know that this ingredient will not be dumped into the recipe all at once. It will be "divided" or used in more than one place over the course of the recipe instructions.

...

Recipe writers use the word "divided" because it's conventional usage to only mention each ingredient once in a recipe's list. You are not going to list 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and then again, 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Each ingredient should only be listed once, but if it is going to be used in several separate ways, then it's customary to note "divided" after the ingredient.

...

So if you see the word "divided" in an ingredient list, just be on the watch for the recipe telling you how much of that "divided" ingredient is going to be used at any given time in the recipe. Perhaps the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, divided, and yet the instructions tell you to put just 1 tablespoon in the batter, and 1 tablespoon is used later in the topping. Be alert for instructions like these later in the recipe steps."

Source: Merriam-Webster

Happy Birthday to PAPER/PLATES! A Look Back At Our First Year

Happy Birthday to PAPER/PLATES! A Look Back At Our First Year

Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings & Elegant S'mores

Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings & Elegant S'mores