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Names names names

Has anybody else noticed there’s some weird shit happening with recipe names? I keep coming across recipes with names that can only be described as whimsical and, frankly, it’s got to stop. I’ve been doing this long enough that I know it’s not a recent thing. I’ve cooked from my Nan’s cookbooks and come across recipe names that make me grit my teeth, roll my eyes and groan (thus giving the impression that I’m having either an orgasm or a stroke in the kitchen, which my Nan wasn’t entirely pleased with as she’d just mopped).

Let’s talk about this.

1. “Kitchen Sink Cookies“: biscuits with heaps of things added. “Kitchen Sink” as in “Everything but the…”. Can be applied to soups, stir fries, casseroles, bakes and the like. How does this not conjure up images of soggy biscuits covered in used tea leaves, squashed under dirty cutlery and plates with bits of dried egg? Is everyone else using their kitchen sinks for something far more dainty and neat than I? Have I been committing a huge faux pas all this time, using my kitchen sink for dirty dishes? I wouldn’t want to eat anything named after that zone.

3. “Garbage Quiche/Soup“: in application, very similar to the “Kitchen Sink” approach. Scraps and leftovers from the week revived in quiche or soup form. I am totally behind this practice, but the name…Imagine it: your friends show up one evening, bearing a much nicer bottle of wine than you’d usually buy for yourself, and you say “Fantastic! That will go really nicely with the Garbage Quiche!” The name suggests you scraped out the scungy stuff from the bottom of the crisper and the lid of the compost bin and slapped it in a pot. Eat up, chums.

2. “Chockablocks“: What a whimsical little name! Definition: biscuits with loads of extras: oats, sultanas, nuts, chocolate bits, etc. They are chock-a-block with extras. GET IT? If you’re more than eight years old you have no excuse for employing twinkly twee twiddlesome names like this. You start with chockablocks, then you move on to snickerdoodles, suddenly you’re wearing a flouncy apron, ironing your colour-coordinated tea towels and crinkling your nose if the dog hasn’t been washed in the past hour. You’re probably the kind of person who sees nothing gross about the name “Kitchen Sink cookies” because your kitchen sink smells like cinnamon and is so shiny it keeps the neighbours awake at night.

4. “Icebox Cake“: after seeing a bunch of recipes on foodgawker labelled “Icebox Cake”, I had to look it up. I mean, I know what an Icebox is — an old-timey word for frij — but I didn’t understand its relevance to the recipe. Now I get it: it’s because you leave the cake, once assembled, in the icebox overnight! CLEVER. I’m going to start calling everything I make by its preparation or storage equipment. Can I offer you another bowl of Tupperware Container Soup? You can have some Pantry Crackers and Crisper-First-But-Then-On-The-Bench-For-A-While Cheese to go with it.

5. “Impossible Pie“: this is one I learned from Aunts and Grandmothers (misc.). It isn’t always pie, but the “Impossible” part of the recipe name is essential. It’s an Impossible Pie because…wait for it…it’s IMPOSSIBLE to stuff it up! Hah! I assert that it is completely unnecessary to have a joke in a recipe title. I further assert that, if you’re going to make that sort of claim, you’d better have the balls to back it up, mate. I hear that recipe name/punchline, and I think “impossible, you say?” Believe me, I will dedicate myself to fucking up that recipe, ruining your joke, wasting the ingredients and swearing at the children.

Right. Feeling much calmer now I’ve got that off my chest. Strozzapretti, anyone?

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