Food Facts & Lore, Monday Magazine

The Monday Mag – Nov 14, 2016

In This Edition Of Our Somewhat Weekly Magazine:

  • Alectryomancy… The Art of The Wishbone Wish
  • Holiday Table Seating With a Twist
  • The Varnum Food Fare

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week ~ “The joy from eating does not come from the exclusivity of the food, but instead from the sensitivity that we eat it with.” – Nino Gruettke


Alectryomancy… The Art of The Wishbone Wish ~ Bet you know how to get the longer end of the wishbone. If not, we’re not telling. If you do know, we invite you to be a good sport. Ever wonder who on earth invented this tradition? Alectryomancy means “rooster divination.” The Etruscans (ancient civilization of Italy) believed chickens to have prophetic powers. They honored this belief with a ritual whereby the ground was marked by a circle divided into wedges. Each wedge was associated with a letter of their alphabet. Chickens were placed in the center and enticed to peck at food scattered about the area. Scribes took note of the letters, in pecking order and priests used these to predict events of importance for the area folks. The wishbone of slain chickens were dried in the sun and preserved for good luck. The ritual faded by the time of the Romans, but the wishbones remained in high demand. They gave the practice a new twist by introducing the version we know to this day.


Holiday Table Seating With a Twist ~ One of the most puzzling aspects of large dinner gatherings is deciding how to arrange seating; more specifically, whether to split couples or not. Where Thanksgiving Dinner seating etiquette is concerned, the traditional school of thought would have you split couples in order to encourage mingling. However, variations are encouraged for married couples and couples with children. In both cases, it is recommended to seat them so they are apart, but facing each other. And when children are present, they should be split and seated to the right of each parent, where it will be less intrusive to other guests to assist them as the need arises. As a simple rule, it is people you know to have radically different opinions who should be split enough to discourage confrontation. Finally, a note about lefties. They will be more comfortable at a table’s corner, where their elbow will have free range without invading a neighbor.


The Varnum Food Fare: Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten Shockey ~ Just weeks from now, you may hear someone mention New Years resolutions, and you may hear yourself think, “I’m not vowing to go on any diet this time. It does not work.” Who says you have to go on a diet? Add something different and uncommon to your plate instead. Doesn’t that sound more appealing? The title is straightforward. No games. No gimmicks. Just nutritious goodness to indulge your taste buds. Fermented Vegetables will show you “how easy it is to make dozens of exciting dishes, including pickled Brussels sprouts, curried golden beets, carrot kraut, and pickled green coriander. The recipes are creative, delicious, and healthful, and many of them can be made in small batches…” Not a novel, but a novel way of looking at vegetables throughout the year... Explore at the Varnum Memorial Library or your local library.


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