Yesterday’s Meatloaf

October 19, 2007

Considering our Saladophilia (or at least Philo-Saladism), it’s no surprise that we somehow missed National Meatloaf Appreciation Day. Still, since we seem to have been the only People of the Internet not to have come out of the woodwork extolling the myriadfold joys that are meatloaf, we will incumb (To lie down; to succumb, yield. obs, rare) to the rules of the Game and add our own vapor-of-vapors, vanities-of-vanities to the discussion. But first, lest we make the same mistake twice, please allow us to wish you both a happy Davis Square Chipotle day and, for a less provincial holiday, a happy National Evaluate Your Life Day (copyright Wellcat Holidays and Herbs). We can only hope that reading Yesterday’s Salad scores slightly higher than eating yesterday’s salad, (or reading Paul de Man).

Picture courtesy of Erin Covert, one of the best food blogs out there.

Since I have yet to convince someone who is actually an expert in gastronomy (and not simply gluttony) to contribute to the Salad, yesterday’s meatloaf post will have to take the form of a Word of the Day. According to the lexical literature, “meatloaf” is more correctly spelled as two words, meat loaf, and is considered a sub-definition of “loaf, n1” (“loaf-n2” is US slang for the act of loafing), owing more lexically to the shape than the ingredients. The OED entry is particularly helpful for today’s hyper-correct anti-cruelty times. Consider this late-nineteenth century quote:

‘M. RONALD’ Century Cook Bk. 308 Liver loaf, or false pâté de foie better cold with salad, or used like pâté de foie gras. A loaf of any game may be made in the same way.

So those of you with meat-list (rare; meat lust) for the now banned in many areas foie gras can now serve liver loaf, that false pate, to their friends. Unless of course you’re a meatnithing (obs. a person who gives food grudgingly; from the Icelandic) who can’t be bothered to rise to the occasion…

…In a sense, someone like the OED who only just added “cowabunga” to the English language, decades after the “Howdy Doody” show, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” spread its fame. One wonders what finally put “cowabunga” over the top. Perhaps the Edmonton Journal’s use of the word in 2005 convinced the OED that the word had finally been sufficiently globalized; or perhaps they waited until such a time as they could treat it with ironic detachment, as in this qualifier in the definition, “Now freq. humorous.” And to think I always thought cowabunga was an expression of intense sadness, as in Eliot, “Cowabunga! April is the cruelest month, breeding/lilacs out of the dead land, mixing.”

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