Everything goes with food. We celebrate birthdays, promotions, engagements, weddings, breakups, death, and everything in between with some sort of refreshment. It's the glue that makes a gathering, big or small, work.
In "Sleeping Roses" Sophie Berkeley is a woman on the edge. The edge of life, love, and possibly death. The pivotal moments always seem to happen to her around food.
She spills her secrets to her best friend over a Cobb Salad “...her heart torn to shreds like the lettuce leaves in her salad.”
Her best friend tells her to talk to a divorce attorney over chicken marsala “...I haven’t been this full in a long time.”
She hears a funny childhood memory about the man she's falling for over soda at the food court “...I'm talking foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lipstick. The whole nine yards.”
Over a dinner of garlic chicken, Sophie's best friend drunkenly confesses. “...Lookgirlie. I'mthemotherlyone, notyou. Stopbugginme anlet's eat.”
Life wouldn't be the same without food. If you'd like to read more about Sophie, and her life, click HERE, and check it out.Thanks for sharing your food for thought, RaShelle! If you'd like to learn more about author RaShelle Workman,
visit her Amazon page,
find her on Facebook,
check out her blog,
chat with her on Twitter @RaShelleWorkman,
or find out her latest interests on Pinterest.
Food is an important part of life, and not only because it’s the fuel that keeps our bodies running. Meal times can double as social events, business meetings, or celebrations. Food can be a part of exploring new cultures, breaking the ice, showing affection, or comforting ourselves – or others—when the world gets us down.
All of the books in my Jukebox Heroes series mention food. Even the short stories in the series mention food or eating. This isn’t a surprising fact, as most books and stories do mention food; as I said, it’s a central part of our lives. What is surprising to me, as the author, is how prevalent food and dining is in the series and how many different roles food plays in the books.
The first book, The Hand of Fate, takes place on a cruise ship where food and drink of every description are available ‘round the clock. In one scene, the main character, Dylan, and her best friend, Elizabeth share conch fritters at Margaritaville in Key West while they get to know Dylan’s love interest, Brian. This is an instance of real life working its way into my writing, as my best friend and I discovered a love for conch fritters at Margaritaville (though it was the one in Orlando rather than the one in Key West).
In the next book, Call Out, the conch fritters make another appearance. When Elizabeth, Brian, and Brian’s friend London go to Key West to investigate Dylan’s disappearance, the man helping them – Ashe – sends Brian and Elizabeth after food so that he can talk to London alone. Though they don’t go to Margaritaville, they buy conch fritters along with Cuban sandwiches.
In the next book in the series, Everything You Are, food is talked about in a little more detail and plays a few more roles. Elizabeth’s brother and her boyfriend make her a special meal of pecan-crusted chicken and four-cheese mac-and-cheese as comfort food when she’s going through a rough patch.
Later, her new friend Chris brings food to her apartment late one night when he comes to talk to her about what’s bothering her; he shows up with just the right food, proving that he’s been paying attention. He falls asleep on her couch, and she brings him breakfast the next morning, her favorite scones and a mocha, like he’d had once before when they’d gone for coffee—proving she’s been paying attention, too.
And when Elizabeth goes to visit London in LA over New Year’s, she has a gourmet burger topped with Port sauce and Stilton cheese at a restaurant I love there, Umami Burger, giving readers the tiniest peep inside of Hollywood (I’ve made Port and Stilton burgers at home, too. Though they aren’t the same as Umami Burger’s, they are very good. You just reduce Port in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 15 minute, then drizzle the sauce over the cheese-topped burger).
In the latest book in the series, Storm, food once again plays a large supporting role. My favorite food-centric scene in this book involves a surprise picnic of maki rolls and plum sake from my favorite Austin-area Asian restaurant, Origami. In another scene, Elizabeth’s friend Seth wants to get her mind off the things troubling her, so he makes her get dressed up and takes her out to a nice restaurant where they eat dessert first and follow it up with appetizers in place of an entrée.
‘What are they eating?’is a question that many readers never think to wonder, but it can be an important one. What a character chooses to eat or where they choose to dine may seem to many to be unnecessary details, food and dining choices and the roles they play can give the reader a lot of insight into the characters’ personalities, motivations, and even their relationships with other characters.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, L.B.!
You can find L.B. here:
"This novel will leave you wanting a sequel as this love story must continue. Mian Moshin Zia writes from the heart. As the story is peppered with poetry you will find yourself returning to read them again and again." -- Reviewed by Readers Favorite
What would you do if you hurt the woman you loved beyond what is in human nature to forgive? That is the problem that Morkel has to overcome.
As the celebrated author, 'M---, No Time for Love', Morkel has vowed to never write a love story, or a story with a female protagonist. A staunch bachelor, Morkel is set in his ways; he has vowed to never fall in love. However, during a holiday in Kiev Morkel meets a 'person of interest'; someone who will change his life forever in all aspects, especially food-wise.
Food for thought is what Morkel learns from Maya. A girl with singing soul and a pure heart who values everything in her life, even the food she eats. One day Maya brings pumpkins for Morkel to show him her love. You can read for yourself what happens then…
I brought these pumpkins for you,” she removes a lunchbox from her bag. “I told you that I would find some way to thank you for your help.”
I smile back, the more open she is with me the better my novel will be. “Thanks mate,” I take the lunchbox from her and open it.
“You are welcome.” Before I can eat the pumpkins, a hand touches my wrist, stopping me. “First pray and then eat.” I am astonished, but before I can say anything, she bows her head and clasps her hands together. “Dear Lord, thank you for your love and kindness today. You give us strength and nutrition. As we sit in your presence at this bench, bless our food and bless all those gathered here.” I watch her while she prays. At the end of the prayer, she turns her head towards me, and I immediately clasp my own hands and close my eyes so that she does not realise that I was only listening to her pray and not praying myself. I am honestly not fond of pumpkin, but these are luscious and I eat them with great enthusiasm.
Morkel remembers that one moment with Maya and the pumpkins, and the prayer before starting to eat, forever. It makes him enjoy pumpkins as well, and he learns the value of prayer in his life.
ONCE Book Trailer:http://www.mianmohsinzia.com/p/o-n-c-e.html
Thank you for sharing your food for thought, Mian!
Finding Lucas centers around Jamie Ross, a 32 year old associate television producer for Chicago’s sleaziest daytime talk show. She’s just about ready to end her toxic five year relationship with her bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend and head off on a hilarious and life changing hunt to track down the love who got away. And Jamie wouldn’t be the fiery and sassy woman she is without her beloved and holistically nutritious family.
Jamie is a coffee loving carnivore and the total opposite of her health conscious mother, Leah, a crystal healer and colonic herbalist who shuns coffee, meat, sugar and anything chemical. Jamie, on the other hand, craves anything that Leah thinks might be bad for her body.
I created these two diametrically opposed eaters because of my own struggle to eat healthier and make sense of the organic world. I have always believed that everything is okay in moderation, be it meat, cheese, coffee and sugar. However, it’s interesting that my husband and many friends are vegetarians, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law grow their own food and have chickens to lay eggs and most of my loved ones are very aware of what they eat. In Jamie, I created a food rebel.
Growing up in a warm, loving and toxin free environment, Jamie always felt like she didn’t quite belong. And without her daily dose of caffeine, Jamie would never make it through the day. Navigating a difficult childhood with parents unlike any others in her suburban neighborhood, Jamie ate spelt bread and soy milk for snacks (in the 90s!) and distanced herself from her family as much as she could.
Food plays a major role in one of the most talked about scenes in Finding Lucas when Jamie, her stepmother, sister and Leah are all having lunch with Jamie’s boss, Andrew.
"Do you want some tea, Andrew?" Katie asks as she pulls five mugs down from the shelf.
"Do you have any coffee?" he asks.
Four heads swivel to look at him in shock.
"That word is blasphemy in this house. No caffeine, no sugar, no meat. But there is a vast assortment of tea," I tell him.
"Um, sure, tea would be great then. I feel so damn good. I haven't felt this loose in," and he rubs his chin, "huh, years. I haven't felt this relaxed in years."
"That's funny. David does that," Leah says to Andrew with interest.
"Dad does what?" I ask.
"Rubs his chin with one hand when he's thinking about something."
"Oh, that's just one of my little habits. I also grind my jaw like Jamie."
"Do you have a navel ring like Rachel's?" I ask.
"No. But I do have a tattoo on my hip. Katie saw it," he says and winks at Katie who flushes with pleasure.
Where did Mr. Charm come from? Jeez, he is just full to the brim with surprising character traits.
"Could I have some tea too, please?" I ask.
I don't want to sit at the kitchen table and chitchat about Andrew's tattoo because before he knows it, they'll have convinced him to take off his pants to show them.
"Of course, love. Katie, mix in a little of that mulch we bought. Jamie's color needs some perking up," Leah says and peers at my pores.
"Just plain tea, please."
I move my face back so she'll stop inspecting me. It's embarrassing.
How people eat relates to how they see the world and their place in it. Jamie just wants to find hers. And though she goes through a major transformation and comes to appreciate her family more than she ever has, you’ll still never find her without a cup of coffee plastered to her lips.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Samantha!
You can find Samantha here:
And Finding Lucas here:
By Anatoly Liberman
The questions people ask about word origins usually concern slang, family names, and idioms. I cannot remember being ever asked about the etymology of house, fox, or sun. These are such common words that we take them for granted, and yet their history is often complicated and instructive. In this blog, I usually stay away from them, but I sometimes let my Indo-European sympathies run away with me. Today’s subject is of this type.
Guest is an ancient word, with cognates in all the Germanic languages. If in English its development had not been interrupted, today it would have been pronounced approximately like yeast, but in the aftermath of the Viking raids the native form was replaced with its Scandinavian congener, as also happened to give, get, and many other words. The modern spelling guest, with u, points to the presence of “hard” g (compare guess). The German and Old Norse for guest are Gast and gestr respectively; the vowel in German (it should have been e) poses a problem, but it cannot delay us here.
The hostess and her guests
The related forms are Latin hostis
and, to give one Slavic example, Russian gost’
. Although the word had wide currency (Italic-Germanic-Slavic), its senses diverged. Latin hostis
meant “public enemy,” in distinction from inimicus
“one’s private foe.” (I probably don’t have to add that inimicus
is the ultimate etymon of enemy
.) In today’s English, hostile
are rather close synonyms, but inimical
is more bookish and therefore more restricted in usage (some of my undergraduate students don’t understand it, but everybody knows hostile
). However, “enemy” was this noun’s later meaning, which supplanted “stranger (who in early Rome had the rights of a Roman).” And “stranger” is what Gothic gasts
meant. In the text of the Gothic Bible (a fourth-century translation from Greek), it corresponds to ksénos
“stranger,” from which we have xeno
-, as in xenophobia
. Incidentally, by the beginning of the twentieth century, the best Indo-European scholars had agreed that Greek ksénos
is both a gloss and a cognate of hostis
(with a bit of legitimate phonetic maneuvering all of them can be traced to the same protoform). This opinion has now been given up; ksénos
seems to lack siblings. (What a drama! To mean “stranger” and end up in linguistic isolation.) The progress of linguistics brings with it not only an increase in knowledge but also the loss of many formerly accepted truths. However, caution should be recommended. Some people whose opinion is worth hearing still believe in the affinity between ksénos
. Discarded conjectures are apt to return. Today the acknowledged authorities separate the Greek word from the cognates of guest
; tomorrow, the pendulum may swing in the opposite direction.
Let us stay with Latin hostis for some more time. Like guest, Engl. host is neither an alien nor a dangerous adversary. The reason is that host goes back not to hostis but to Old French (h)oste, from Latin hospit-, the root of hospes, which meant both “host” and “guest,” presumably, an ancient compound that sounded as ghosti-potis “master (or lord) of strangers” (potis as in potent, potential, possibly despot, and so forth). We remember Latin hospit- from Engl. hospice, hospital, and hospitable, all, as usual, via Old French. Hostler, ostler, hostel, and hotel belong here too, each with its own history, and it is amusing that so many senses have merged and that, for instance, a hostel is not a hostile place.
Unlike host “he who entertains guests,” Engl. host “multitude” does trace to Latin hostis “enemy.” In Medieval Latin, this word acquired the sense “hostile, invading army,” and in English it still means “a large armed force marshaled for war,” except when used in a watered down sense, as in a host of troubles, a host of questions, or a host of friends (!). Finally, the etymon of host “consecrated wafer” is Latin hostia “sacrificial victim,” again via Old French. Hostia is a derivative of hostis, but the sense development to “sacrifice” (through “compensation”?) is obscure.
The puzzling part of this story is that long ago the same words could evidently mean “guest” and “the person who entertains guests”, “stranger” and “enemy.” This amalgam has been accounted for in a satisfactory way. Someone coming from afar could be a friend or an enemy. “Stranger” covers both situations. With time different languages generalized one or the other sense, so that “guest” vacillated between “a person who is friendly and welcome” and “a dangerous invader.” Newcomers had to be tested for their intentions and either greeted cordially or kept at bay. Words of this type are particularly sensitive to the structure of societal institutions. Thus, friend is, from a historical point of view, a present participle meaning “loving,” but Icelandic frændi “kinsman” makes it clear that one was supposed “to love” one’s relatives. “Friendship” referred to the obligation one had toward the other members of the family (clan, tribe), rather than a sentimental feeling we associate with this word.
It is with hospitality as it is with friendship. We should beware of endowing familiar words with the meanings natural to us. A friendly visit presupposes reciprocity: today you are the host, tomorrow you will be your host’s guest. In old societies, the “exchange” was institutionalized even more strictly than now. The constant trading of roles allowed the same word to do double duty. In this situation, meanings could develop in unpredictable ways. In Modern Russian, as well as in the other Slavic languages, gost’ and its cognates mean “guest,” but a common older sense of gost’ was “merchant” (it is still understood in the modern language and survives in several derivatives). Most likely, someone who came to Russia to sell his wares was first and foremost looked upon as a stranger; merchant would then be the product of semantic specialization.
One can also ask what the most ancient etymon of hostis ~ gasts was. Those scholars who looked on ksénos and hostis as related also cited Sanskrit ghásati “consume.” If this sense can be connected with the idea of offering food to guests, we will again find ourselves in the sphere of hospitality. The Sanskrit verb begins with gh-. The founders of Indo-European philology believed that words like Gothic gasts and Latin host go back to a protoform resembling the Sanskrit one. Later, according to this reconstruction, initial gh- remained unchanged in some languages of India but was simplified to g in Germanic and h in Latin. The existence of early Indo-European gh- has been questioned, but reviewing this debate would take us too far afield and in that barren field we will find nothing. We only have to understand that gasts ~ guest and hostis ~ host can indeed be related.
There is a linguistic term enantiosemy. It means a combination of two opposite senses in one word, as in Latin altus “high” and “deep.” Some people have spun an intricate yarn around this phenomenon, pointing out that everything in the world has too sides (hence the merger of the opposites) or admiring the simplicity (or complexity?) of primitive thought, allegedly unable to discriminate between cold and hot, black and white, and the like. But in almost all cases, the riddle has a much simpler solution. Etymology shows that the distance from host to guest, from friend to enemy, and from love to hatred is short, but we do not need historical linguists to tell us that.
Anatoly Liberman is the author of Word Origins…And How We Know Them as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology: An Introduction. His column on word origins, The Oxford Etymologist, appears here, each Wednesday. Send your etymology question to him care of email@example.com; he’ll do his best to avoid responding with “origin unknown.”
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Image credit: Conversation de dames en l’absence de leurs maris: le diner. Abraham Bosse. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
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