Language Play

Singular masculine Italian words often end in the letter ‘o’. When you pluralize those words the ‘o’ is switched to an ‘i’.

For example, Concerti would be the Italian pluralization of a Concerto. Nonno (grandfather) becomes Nonni (grandfathers, or grandparents).

Presumably then I am a DiDonato but together my family are DiDonati

Extra credit: Feminine words end in ‘a’ and their plural end in ‘e’. That means you might have a pizza tonight, or you might have four pizze tonight.

Double extra credit: Why is the word ‘beer’ feminine and the word ‘wine’ masculine in the romance languages? This seems backwards to stereotypical beverage choice.

Italian: Birra Vino

Spanish: Cerveza Vino

French: Biere Vin

Other language varieties don’t contain the same gender choices, for example I think Irish languages have both beverages as masculine.

There’s a pretty good wikipedia article on grammatical gender that explains some forms of gender origination, but as to how these particular words claimed their gender? I haven’t a clue.

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Car Game

I invented an awesome car game!

Name: Person, Place and Thing Recommended number of players: Any number that is not divisible by three Game structure: Letter shift (Letter shift is a classic car game structure that uses the last letter of a word for the start of the next. This game plays off that general concept, but with a unique twist.)

Game play: Players alternate naming a person, a place and a thing. The last two letters of the previous provided answer must appear in sequence anywhere within the following word.

The following string of words would be acceptable:

Person: Mick Jagger (letters to use: er) Place: Nigeria (letters to use: ia) Thing: Kia Sorento Person: Tom Waits Place: Botswana Thing: Sonata etc…

The two letters are allowed to span a space between words. As with nearly any letter shift game, repeated words are not allowed.

For the more advanced game the group must work together to try and use all the of the letters of the alphabet at least once as the shifted letters. What makes this extra fun is that the easiest words with which to generate crazy letters are the Things. Unfortunately, this will leave the individual who has to come up with a Person’s name (the hardest of the bunch) with the most challenging letters.

Jen and I tried this over the weekend. In a 45 minute drive we could not complete the alphabet. We also had a few stump words, specifically names with J’s: LL Cool J. and Robert Downy Jr.

Can anyone think of places with an LJ and JR sequence?

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Monday Morning Musings

If you haven’t tried the Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, I strongly recommend them if for no other reason than Tessellation Nachos.

Still, it’s not quite perfect. There are chip gaps through which errant melted cheese oozed.

My idea: Nacho sheets – Perforated nacho chips for perfect baking pan coverage. The logistical challenge of shipping these would certainly add some cost so perhaps the better solution is a baking sheet sized tortilla with a perforation pizza cutter. You cut your perforations, bake the tortilla for crispage, add the toppings, broil for cheese meltage and Ding! Perfect Nachos.

Who’s in on this masterful plan?

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The Toddy Coffee

This weekend we cold brewed some Toddy Coffee.

The Toddy Coffee kit consisted of four parts: a large plastic steeping container, a glass carafe, filters and a plug. Per the instructions we started by placing the filter into the steeping container adding water and coarse coffee grinds.

It was a bit of a back-and-forth between the grinds and the water. Ultimately, the recipe called for 6 cups of water and 12 ounces of coffee.

Once everything was in: a 12 hours wait.

The following morning we placed the steeping container over the carafe, pulled the plug out of the bottom and watched the coffee drip through!

Once brewed, Jen and I prepared our blind taste test.

We ended up first pairing the toddy against a Keurig K-cup brewed directly over ice. We let the temperatures stabilize and put the beverages into unmarked glassware.

We did three tests: 1. black 2. with cream 3. with cream and sugar

Results: The Toddy Coffee was WAAAY stronger than the Keurig. The internet was all about smoothness of Toddy compared to other brews, but the Keurig tasted so watered down smoothness never entered the picture. Black, with cream, or with cream and sugar the Toddy dominated on flavor.

We’re going to have to try brewing the same beans with traditional methods vs the Toddy.

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Toddy Coffee

Adding to the week of Darcy, on Wednesday Jen and I received a very cool present from Darcy: A Toddy Coffee brewer and a complementary burr grinder.

You might be asking: “What in grinds name is Toddy Coffee?”

Here’s the deal with Toddy coffee: It’s a cold brew coffee that takes about 12-24hrs of steeping. You use a coarsely ground bean so that it doesn’t overpower the coffee and let it sit in cool water for the long haul. Then you filter it and voila! Toddy coffee! The pros say that the cold brew prevents acids from busting up the coffee with bitterness, the resulting beverage is said to be sweet, smooth and easy on the stomach.

Is this true? Or is this all coffee-snob hype?

This is what we’re going to do. I’m going to make a batch this weekend and we are going to do a blind taste test comparing the Toddy with chilled coffee that was brewed via traditional methods. There are other cold brew technologies out there like Japanese cold coffee which has the coffee brewed directly onto ice; and Toddy will be put to trial against these other methods as well. But our approach will be a one-on-one blind test showdown, Mortal Kombat style, with Toddy Coffee taking on each competitor one at a time.

Only the best will make it to the next round.

I will report the results.

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