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literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

Eat Your Words: Narrator and Shrub

Eat Your Words: Narrator and Shrub

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.

Narrator (noun): the person who delivers the events of a work of literature; the storyteller.

Example: Narrators are particularly important to Susan Nussbaum's Good Kings Bad Kings, as Kate points out in her recommendation of the book. This is because, as chapters pass, the narrator changes. Sometimes it is an adult, sometimes it is a child. In every story, the narrator determines the point of view, thereby shaping the way the story is told and perhaps even coloring its presentation. It is important to consider the narrator's personality and motives when reading a first-person work.

Shrub (noun): a cocktail ingredient created by pickling and preserving fruit.

Example: Kate shares a shrub recipe to accompany her recommendation of Good Kings Bad Kings, and with good reason. She's practically an expert. Here's a snippet of a recent article she wrote about the topic for Chicago RedEye:

As colonial kitchen tricks such as pickling and canning come back into vogue, it's no wonder preserved fruits and veggies have hit the cocktail world. Exhibit A is this year's drink of spring: the shrub. No, it's not an herb or a leafy plant; it's a vinegar-based ingredient that more bartenders are making in-house and pairing with diverse spirits from gin to shochu to bourbon. "Shrubs were used back in the day when fruits and vegetables were much more seasonal than they are now," said Paul McGee, head bartender at RPM Italian, Bub City and forthcoming tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash. "You take the fruit or whatever flavor you want, add vinegar to it to pull out all the flavor and preserve it, like pickling. Then you add sugar to it afterward for sweetness." While vinegar in a drink might raise eyebrows, it doesn't taste as strange as it sounds. It adds tartness, but that's balanced by the sweetness of fruit and sugar and some savory flavors, too. Whatever your drink preference—fruity, fizzy, spicy or sweet—there's probably a shrub cocktail to suit you this season.

Here's That Spicy One-Pot Pasta Recipe You've All Been Asking For

Here's That Spicy One-Pot Pasta Recipe You've All Been Asking For

Susan Nussbaum's Good Kings Bad Kings & Cold Rhubarb Shrub

Susan Nussbaum's Good Kings Bad Kings & Cold Rhubarb Shrub