By Georgia Mierswa
This Valentine’s Day-themed tech post was supposed to be just that—a way to show that all that sexy metadata powering the Oxford Index’s sleek exterior has a sweet, romantic side, just like the rest of the population at this time of year. I’d bounce readers from a description of romantic comedies to Romeo and Juliet to the three-act opera Elegy for Young Lovers, and then change the Index’s featured homepage title to something on the art of love to complete the heart shaped, red-ribboned picture.
I didn’t do any of these things. I got distracted. As it turns out, searching the word “chocolate” (“It is not addictive like nicotine but some people, ‘chocoholics’, experience periodic cravings”) reveals a whole smorgasbord of suggested links to delectable food summaries and from my first glimpse at the makings of a meringue, I was gone—making mental notes for recipes, stomach rumbling, eyes-glazing over. Mmm glaze.
In the end, my “research” was actually quite fitting to the season. Because, really, when it comes to Valentine’s Day in the 21st century, only a handful of things are reliable and certain—and almost all of them are made with sugar.
Best Mouthwatering Dessert Descriptions
Best Quote About Doughnuts…or Anything
“When Krispy Kremes are hot, they are to other doughnuts what angels are to people.”
– Humor writer Roy Blount Jr, New York Times Magazine
Best Etymology Entry
→ Snack was originally a verb, meaning ‘bite, snap’. It appears to have been borrowed, in the fourteenth century, from Middle Dutch snacken, which was probably onomatopoeic in origin, based on the sound of the snapping together of teeth… The modern verb snack, ‘eat a snack,’ mainly an American usage, is an early nineteenth-century creation.
Top 5 Favorite Random Food Facts
- Attempts to can beer before 1930 were unsuccessful because a beer can has to withstand pressures of over eighty pounds per square inch.
- Brownies are essentially the penicillin of the baking world.
- Boston is the brains behind Marshmallow Fluff.
- There is such a thing as the “Queen of Puddings” …and it sounds amazing:
→ Pudding made from custard and breadcrumbs, flavoured with lemon rind and vanilla, topped with jam or sliced fruit and meringue.
- Cupcakes are known by some as “fairy cakes”.
Best Relevancy Jump
The overview page for “cake”….
→ Plain cakes are made by rubbing the fat and sugar into the flour, with no egg; sponge cakes by whipping with or without fat; rich cakes contain dried fruit.
….leads to a surprising related link: “Greek sacrifice”
→ Vegetable products, esp. savoury cakes, were occasionally ‘sacrificed’ (the same vocabulary is used as for animal sacrifice) in lieu of animals or, much more commonly, in addition to them. But animal sacrifice was the standard type.
The Entry I Wish I Hadn’t Found:
→ Flaky crescent-shaped rolls traditionally served hot for breakfast, made from a yeast dough with a high butter content. A 50‐g croissant contains 10 g of fat of which 30% is saturated.
Best Food-Related Band Names
Best Overall Summary of What Food Is
→ Food is a form of communication that expresses the most deeply felt human experiences: love, fear, joy, anger, serenity, turmoil, passion, rage, pleasure, sorrow, happiness, and sadness.
Georgia Mierswa is a marketing assistant at Oxford University Press and reports to the Global Marketing Director for online products. She began working at OUP in September 2011.
The Oxford Index is a free search and discovery tool from Oxford University Press. It is designed to help you begin your research journey by providing a single, convenient search portal for trusted scholarship from Oxford and our partners, and then point you to the most relevant related materials — from journal articles to scholarly monographs. One search brings together top quality content and unlocks connections in a way not previously possible. Take a virtual tour of the Index to learn more.
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Image credit: Croissants chauds sortis du four. Photo by Christophe Marcheux/Deelight, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
The post Comfort food appeared first on OUPblog.
Here's a quick digital painting for this week's Illustration Friday. Cupcakes have become so popular in recent years and you will be too if you take them to work or school.I suffer from a fierce and demanding sweet-tooth, but so far the trendy cupcake has failed to seduce me. Cookies, ice cream, and tiramisu - I'm still yours and yours alone. For now....
I made the mistake of walking into a small candy shop in the village. I'm not a huge devourer of sweet things, but I am hugely attracted to their bright colours, shapes and oh-so tempting shine. These liquorice allsorts for example ... they were far too gorgeous to resist: I just had to draw them. There's a whole bag of them sitting on my desk now looking quite mournful at being so intently ignored -- so if any of you would like some, you're welcome to come over and have as many as you wish ... Cheers!Liquorice Allsorts cards and gifts
at Floating Lemons at Zazzle
Used watercolour pencils for these, in attempt to play with the unfamiliar looser feel of brush and paint, while still managing to control finer details with the far more familiar pencils. I did several base washes for the background texture and used pencil on the final layers for the bitsy bits. Discovered that the quality of the watercolour paper makes a HUGE and wonderful difference too. Learning as I go along.
As for the macarons, I found them in a new stall at our Friday morning market. Such lovely vibrant colours. Had to buy them! Especially as they were obviously home-made and thus wobbly, wonky, slightly squished with bits falling off ... thus quite perfect as far as I was concerned.
My problem once I've finished any drawing is the design part of the whole process. As I have no formal training whatsoever, I find it truly difficult to figure out how to present my drawings so that they look appealing on the products posted for sale at the online stores. It's tough and sometimes takes far too long as I fiddle around with ideas. I normally end up uploading two designs: one of the drawing exactly as it is against a white background, boring but safe; and two, with whatever background I end up with -- here's what I did with these macarons:
Not quite sure how well that works as I've been looking at it far too long and thus have lost all sense of judgement. Just plain lost all sense, really. Wish I could take some courses in basic design. Am exhausted now as I've been working pretty much non-stop for weeks. My nose has drawn blood from the grind-stone. I've a drawing in progress (faithful pencils again) that I shall complete slowly, but I may go back to doodling for a bit to give my fuzzy brain cell a chance to re-energise. Cheers.
5 Macarons and 5 Macarons stripes gifts and cards at Floating Lemons at Zazzle.
Now Playing -
I Will Survive by The Puppini Sisters
The other night, at 3am, while I was straining to concentrate on my PTCB studies, I decided that I needed a cookie. But not just any cookie. I needed the motivation that comes from a hot, crispy-chewy-scrumptious cookie that can only come from cooking the thing yourself. So I hopped over to AllRecipes and found a basic
Kerry of Picture Books and Pirouettes recently awarded me The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Thankyou Kerry!
Recipients of this award are encouraged to:
Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
Share seven random facts about yourself.
Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
It’s not so long since I shared some random facts about me, so instead I’m going to share seven books about sweetness and baking that I love and think you’ll enjoy:
Baker Cat by Posy Simmonds
Cake Girl by David Lucas
Biscuit Bear by Mini Grey
Yum Yum! by Mara Bergman and Nick Maland
Who Made This Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa and Junji Koyose
The Donut Chef by Bob Staake
Sweets by Sylvia van Ommen
Photo: Terren in Virginia
And here are some very lovely, inspiration blogs that I really appreciate, and hope you’ll explore too:
jama rattigan’s alphabet soup
Kat Cooks the Books
Reading, Writing and Recipes
Storytelling, cooking and kids!
Children’s Books for Grown Ups – look out for Natasha’s Bookish Bites!
The Tea Box
Thank you Kerry once again for the award, and for the opportunity to share some sweet book suggestions and super blogs!
Temptation is difficult to resist, especially when I'm tempted by such attractive morsels like the macaroons above, so brightly coloured and scrumptious looking. Fortunately I find them far too sweet for my taste and am happy to admire the way they look, draw them and leave them for others to enjoy.
I'm finally moved into my new quarters and hope that in a few months this will become my permanent home. Fingers crossed. In the meantime I am so loving being here and the settling down process is being helped along by the presence of a good friend, good food and beautiful surroundings. It's taken time away from blogging, commenting, getting inspired visiting other sites and, most important, drawing! But I refuse to get stressed over it as I know that soon enough it will be winter and I will have tons of time to concentrate on art and work.
Macaroons Card at zazzle
I've become horribly addicted to these chocolate dipped peanut brittle snacks. Delicious. Had to give the last lot of them away to a friend before I turned into one!
Happy 2009 to everyone!
Peanut Brittle Card at Zazzle
The Blue Mint
oil on gessoed ragboard, 2.5 x 3.5 inches, 2010
My grandfather used to keep a stash of these in his pockets.
Little Gold Sweet, oil on canvas, 2.5 x 3.5 inches, 2010
A week ago, Ryan at POM Wonderful offered to send me a case of pomegranate juice to welcome me back to blogging; how could I say no?
After receiving the shipment, I immediately began to think of ways to incorporate those antioxidant filled juices into my diet. Aside from the obvious option of drinking the pom juice, I wanted to create something that I knew my family would enjoy.
I went to something foolproof: I made ice cream. And it’s okay, that I’m feeding my family ice cream, because it’s got antioxidants, right?
Pomegranate Ice Cream
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cups cream
- Combined pomegranate juice and lemon juice.
- Add sugar to liquids and whisk until dissolved.
- Add cream.
- Whisk until soft peaks form.
- Freeze for at least for hours (or overnight).