Random thoughts and sporadic observations

‘Huh, whatttayaknow!’ category, take 1:

I casually learned something recently about one of my favorite types of bread: In Italian, “ciabatta” means ‘an old worn-out slipper.’ I get where the name came from; coming out of an old Italian oven back-in-the-day, it’s what they looked like.(see pic above) Now I like ciabatta bread, so this just made me chuckle. Then…I got to wondering about other bread-type things and how they got their names.

My curiosity thus piqued, I looked it up: ‘Wonder Bread’ in Russian is ‘хлеб интереса’ – which is pretty much how it tastes; like a Sunday paper cartoon expletive.
 
хлеб интереса!!

WARNING: Rant Alert!

My primo pet peeve ( I may have touched on this before) is the alleged ‘Cookie Cake.’

You know, those big, pizza-sized chocolate chip cookies you see in most grocery stores. People refer to these giant cookies as ‘cookie cakes’ and most stores have the gall to label them as such.

Any self-respecting baker will tell you: cookies are made with dough, cakes are made with batter. These things are giant cookies made from cookie dough, regardless of what some Nimrod grocery store ‘baker’ labels them. When I worked at a grocery part-time this past year, I had the opportunity to spend ample time in the bakery area, and dealt with many boxes of the frozen cookie dough we used. They boxes were labeled, by the manufacturer, ‘Large (12 inch) Chocolate Chip Cookie’ so I feel vindicated and don’t need to belabor this point any more than need be, though for most I already have.

But it got me thinking about other baked curiosities. Such as cheesecake. Cheesecake is made with a batter, but is usually presented on a graham cracker or some similar-type crust, which begs the obvious question:

Why isn’t it called cheese pie?

Just sayin.’ More appropriately, just askin.’ I guess as long as they make real cheesecake with ricotta instead of acceptable but certainly not authentic cream cheese, I won’t complain.

Not that I am a purist, or anything. But…my late grandfather once owned a bakery, though I never met him (he died before I was born) or saw the bakery. It’s a family honor sort of thing.

‘Huh, whatttayaknow!’ category, take 2:

America continues to take the whole ‘super-size me’ mindset to odd heights, as I stumbled across this disturbing tidbit: Life-size chia pets?
 
The traditional, original, window sill-perching Ram isn’t good enough in these modern times. It wasn’t bad enough when they branched out to Chia Presidents – now we’re going life-sized…?

I’m not paying full retail, I’ll tell you that. I’ll wait until I see one at a garage sale.

I guess if you want a Chia Michelangelo’s David, go for it. Just be careful when you’re pruning it. Especially if any of your , um, more socially conservative neighbors are watching you garden.

Speaking of sales, I recently saw this chiropractic visit-inducing double take:

Turns out it’s a non-profit store, ala Goodwill, that benefits a local animal charity.

Some Saturday morning, yell out “Honey! I’m going to SpayMart to drop off a donation!” and see what kind of response you get.

And, just because it’s been a while since I have blogged about beer-drinking dogs: 

Til next time, then.

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