Don’t ask me why, but lately I’ve been pondering societal colloquialisms that really don’t make sense when you think about them. I heard them all through my childhood and they usually left me scratching my head, although I did come to learn the point they try to get across. But when you dissect them, things don’t always add up. For instance….
* Until the cows come home – I’m a bona fide city gal, so this really means nothing to me. How long does it take for cows to come home? Wouldn’t it depend on where they went in the first place? Which also begs the question of where did the cows even go?
* Talking until you’re blue in the face – the only things that will make your face turn blue is smearing something blue on your face, or being denied oxygen. If you’re talking, clearly you have oxygen. I get that the phrase indicates that talking about something for a long time won’t make a difference, but I’m really unsure of what the blue face reference is all about.
* You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar – perhaps that is true. But why would I want flies?
* No way, Jose, no siree Bob, etc. – every time one of my parents said some of those sayings to me, my silent retort was always, “I’m not Bob/Jose/etc, my name is Julie.”
* Hold your horses – what horses? Again, bona fide city gal here. We don’t have horses. And when I picture horses, a majestic mammal galloping freely through beautiful fields isn’t what comes to mind. More like a large, smelly animal pooping in the street while hooked up to a carriage with an annoying man yelling at you. My grandfather said this one to me and my cousins a lot, and our response was always, “I didn’t know I had any horses, Pawpaw!” I don’t think he much cared for it, but we sure found it hilarious.
But it occurred to me, sometimes colloquialisms aren’t the only things that don’t entirely make sense; sometimes food flavor combinations don’t make much sense either. Like combining tarragon with Tabasco sauce. I think of tarragon as a rather fruffy, sophisticated Frenchy herb, while Tabasco is of course a down n’ dirty, low-brow, Cajun hot sauce. I would’ve never thought of combining them.
And yet, it’s a delicious combination, at least within the context of compound butter. So while I still maintain that it makes no sense, I won’t be questioning it, and you shouldn’t either. Just eat it and enjoy!
And what about you? Any colloquialisms that never made any sense to you? Or do you know of the origins of any that I’ve mentioned?
Source: inspired by Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
1 generous tbs Original Tabasco sauce
1 generous tbs tarragon leaves
Pinch of cayenne
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
Preheat your grill or a grill pan to medium high. While you are waiting, make the compound butter.
In a small food processor, combine the butter chunks, Tabasco, tarragon leaves, cayenne, plus salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth. Using a spoon or small rubber spatula, remove the butter and place it in one clump onto plastic wrap. Roll the plastic wrap around the butter, shaping it into a cylinder. Encase the butter cylinder in the wrap and place in the refrigerator until needed.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill about 2 minutes per side, until pink and opaque in the back center. When you press on the shrimp with tongs or your fingers, it should feel firm, not squishy, but not rock-hard either. Remove the shrimp to a large bowl and immediately toss with pats of the compound butter. I used about half the log of butter for the shrimp and then put a couple pats on some grilled asparagus. Awesome!