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MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

renzata - I understand your point that you escape your higher thinking in other things by coming here to discuss other things, and that if you want deeper discussion you'll read elsewhere.

If I had what you call a 'pretentious hissy fit' I'm glad I did. About time, I think. I've had them before, and each time - by the time I did it made me realize that it was time to do exactly as you say - read elsewhere.

I think you for the term 'hissy fit' used though - it shows clearly that you understand that foodvox is Karen Resta who is a person, a real one - and also a female person . . . for I've seen this sort of 'hissy fit' here on SE before thrown by a guy and the word hissy fit was not used as description of these sorts of things. I note this since as you appear to be a young woman entering the professional world you may notice these things those times when you are trying to put your own foot down. 'Hissy fit'. Or (?)

No, I haven't been back. As they say 'Things can go on without you' and I sincerely believe this. We all have to find our own places to be, and when the place one has been is one where little biting flies continue to swarm around it's time to move on.

One other note - my name and background are clear and can be confirmed. Many others commenting above are doing so with screen names - no real names attached. I've even seen photographs of people showing up on Facebook as 'people you may know' with their screen name attached - no real name. Are they real people? Are they straw people or ghosts - made up by an active imagination?

And as for the rapt attention to my topic, seriously - I didn't ask for it. All I asked was to be left to explore it without ongoing snipes from the same little biting flies who always seem to gather round to make themselves known by their hilarious one-liners (which can be read above).

LOL. LOL. As they say. LMAO, too.

All's well that ends well.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

@renzata - in terms of an 'arrogant' attitude, it's possible I've shown it in this thread at times. If you look at the first response to the topic you might see why I would do so. If the charge is that I'm arrogant in general, so be it. I've heard that chefs have a high number of arrogant people in the profession. And as a woman chef if you are unable to summon arrogance you'll last about a week on the job (if even that long). That was even more true when I first entered the field. I've heard that the most successful lawyers generally have this aspect of personality also.

As to my arrogance as displayed at times on SE, two things happen that start it. The first is a lack of content that really interests me. The second is a focus on posts that seem sort of useless-in-general. My foul for getting upset about it. Honestly it is just better to walk away.

A lot of SE is the Talk section. And the people who post are actually providing content for the site, though in no way are they specifically linked to SE or paid for providing it (as far as anyone reading knows, anyway). The content providers that have been making up the bulk of the Talk section in the past six months or so have been developing a certain style that is not to my own taste at all. Whatever. Again, my problem not anyone else's. :)

As a chef I have no terribly deep interest in reading how someone followed a recipe from a book at home and how it came out. I'm personally not interested in restaurant reviews, though they are useful. And as someone interested in food culture and history, the only consistent parts of SE I can find that will day after day provide something new to read and interesting to read are the editorial sections written by Erin or Robyn, which are time and again excellent.

As far as the foodvox thing goes, I took that name when I started the blog (which for the moment actually has been stopped as I'm simply too busy doing other things). It was the use of a corporate name more than a personal name that was the goal in the shift online here, and SE understood that and approved it. There are other people on site who have done the same thing.

As far as the characters on my blog go - they were actually created through being inspired by the people who post online. What a variety of life is shown! I tweaked the types a bit to make them parody - though it is possible that they may be read as some people as "real" for whatever reason the reader has.

One has to wonder at times how many people posting online using aliases are actually 'real' - or whether they might be plaything personalities created by someone for whatever reason. One has to wonder sometimes (if one is not to be simply naive about the online world) whether the use of aliases allows the creation (without admission) of multiple online people by one person, again for whatever reason. I can think of more than one reason, some just due to nuttiness or desperation, some due to good business sense (good business sense used in a rather strange manner, true, but whatever . . .).

foodvox did sound male rather than female . . . and instantly upon posting with the name I got replies from people that showed that. What was interesting is that the tone of reply to the things I was saying (which all come from me and which tone was not shifted with the name shift to the corporate/male sounding one) were different. Things were 'taken' differently and replied to differently. People responded differently to someone they thought was a guy which of course is not surprising but to see it in action is fascinating.
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Too verbose again? Well, that's okay. I'm done now and won't try this again, for the white noise in terms of posted replies is simply too much
for me to want to wade through.

@huneybumper - again, if you've waded through all this verbosity, my apologies. From here on in, maybe the topic will simply shift to all boobs and burps, etc.
The topic was not just as you summarized it in your desire get rid of the apparent verbosity, though. There are two large important components in this topic beyond the question of 'vomitorium' and those two components were MFK Fisher and the world of professional writing.
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Lots of free space to go on about hot-dogs-to-impress and boobs and burps, guys. Go for it! I'm outa here. :)

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

producestories - there seemed enough evidence that the act had to be done, as you note. :) But not only wiki but an actual (assistant professor) who teaches a course on Ancient Rome told me that the word meant the hallways. I'm glad to get an answer on this. I also loved the other thoughts on 'how it could be so' - each one had some sort of insight which was really interesting.

Pavlov - I didn't start the topic looking for victory. I started it looking for information. :) But if I had started it looking for victory one might say that in the sense of looking at it as entertainment it certainly turned out to be that. Every good story needs a tussle, as do websites, in order to be 'sticky'. It didn't turn out that the tussle was within the topic, and a lot of it consisted of strange noises and commentary that ranged from people's talking about their burps or their boobs, but such is life. I won't take the time now to find the Latin way to say that right now. :)

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

So the word can mean either the passageways used as exit from a building or this particular sort of room, producestories? The references I've found only mention the first definition.

That would make sense, if true. And all would end well, with MFKF in the right. :)

Thanks for the information, very much.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

Funny how many people commenting without answering the topic question on this thread are into meds and drinking. Fascinating. Careful when cooking if you're into that!

It's been fun, but I'm actually going to go cook dinner now.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

PerkyMac - You have one alias only and no real name displayed to the public. The characters on my blogs are defined as fictional characters and I don't remember them ever going on about how wonderful and talented I (Karen) am - though they do have a lot to talk about.

Shocking that Moira is a cat, isn't it. No, wait. You wrote it CAT.

On the other hand, I remember your first post on SE - the one where you insulted a young woman's Thanksgiving meal she posted a link to a photo of . . . saying that it looked like cat puke.

You've shifted your comments a bit since then, haven't you. That's good.

I also realize (since you've noted it before) that you still shake with anger at the fact I once dared to post that I wasn't crazy about the morbidly obese who smelled bad who seemed to be quite apparent in some numbers at Wal-Mart. Tsk tsk. Whale away, Perky. What you think doesn't matter in the least to me. :)

And that is probably how it should be for you, with me. What I think shouldn't matter all that much, really.

Probably every person on earth could use therapy, BTW. Some pray instead. Some overeat. Some follow others around online haranguing them. Whatever. To each their own.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

dearrie - after you learn (from the topic you posted) how to roast pumpkin seeds, I promise to try to listen to you just a little harder.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

If I were searching for fame, posting this topic on SE would not be my methodry, Pavlov. And the thought of wanting to be thought a philosopher by anyone, specifically or in general, in this virtual world or in the real world, never crossed my mind. But I'm happy to listen to your own philosophizing in Latin posted within this topic.

thepictsie, point taken. But every published food writer I've ever known of has been sure to let their public understand that what they write is journalism - not fiction - and that their writings are to be respected as such and therefore subject to the same rules as any other journalistic writing.

wookie - I'm looking for comments on this. If I posted it twice it's because I thought I might be able to write it with a better heading that would attract people that would be interested in it. That it has attracted people who want to tell me they are not interested in the topic not is not surprising. That's the way of online commentary.
That I choose to answer their comments in a similar level of tone to theirs might not make me one who is above it all, but then I never said I was. :)

izatryt, you're one incredible person! Just look at what you've managed to put together there! Almost as fun as a barrel of monkeys!

Time is short, true. I've valued the several thoughtful answers posted but enough of the rest of the nonsense. Carry on with it, those who have the time. As I noted, the balance of typical answers in any given environment is interesting in itself.

sunday morning weird

Love the food ideas. But can't stand the thoughts of the heavy flirting with unseen people online who may look like aged tubs of lard filled to overflowing.

Back to my rhetoric. Overblown but not obese.

Glitches in Food History

Pavlov and Perky. You are so cute!

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

One has to wonder about that too, within this short life, Pavlov. Should one take it in the common (or 'vulgar') meaning ("Don't let the bastards grind you down"), or should one consider further.
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;Ars longa, vita brevis

"Art is long, life is short". This is the Latin translation by Horace of a phrase from Hippocrates, and is often used out of context. The art referred to in the original aphorism was the craft of medicine, which took a lifetime to acquire.
Link
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"Ars longa, vita brevis" is a Latin phrase, part of an aphorism originally by the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, and is one of the sources of the popular English aphorism "Life is short."

In its original form in his Greek work Aphorisms, (sect. I, no. 1) it is “Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή” rendered in Latin as “Ars longa, vita brevis" and often translated as “Life is short, [the] art long." Or in its full form "Life is short, [the] art long, opportunity fleeting, experience misleading, judgment difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.” It is also famously quoted, slightly differently, by Seneca in his De brevitate vitæ (On the shortness of life).

Consider also Chaucer's “The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.” (from Parlement of Foules)
Link

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As the saying stands without thinking deeply it could sound rather like a beer commercial gone wrong.

And goodness knows that too much beer drinking can definitely create longa arses among other things.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

I think there's a medicine called beano or something that might help with that, dearrie. Or maybe not. Maybe that fixes something else.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

Do enjoy your early morning drinking, dearrie. If you are inferring that I need a valium, well no thanks. If someone else focusing too intently on something is an idea (while also not choosing to ignore ignorant comments that happen in the line of 'duty') is bothersome to you but you can't quite ignore it enough to simply ignore it, then maybe you need an two shots of kahlua in your morning coffee. Cheers! Do drink up till you are completely stupid, muddled and careless of things. It's one way to spend life, for sure.

Steve GNC - Thanks for your intelligent and interesting comment. It's good to try to place this thing into context within the genre of literature - it allows one to try to make an objective decision about it. MFKF has a way of meaning something in particular to women who read her at a certain point in time (pre-'foodie' - ha ha P.F.) that goes beyond anything simple or explicable. She entered our hearts in a very deep way. Therefore my questions as to ethos within this piece. :)

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

And finally - to make an even three comments (such a nice number, don't you think?) if there is no response, no commentary from SE readers on whether they should be reading things written that are true or rather things written that are not true (whether the author is someone in their daily realm of life or not) then I'm going to have to assume that the general readership here just does not care to be careful as to whether what they read is true or not, from their experts. I'll have to assume that the general readership simply eats and digests their media without thinking.

It is entirely possible this is so.

I'll be interested to find out.

Chomp chomp. Is it butter or is it Parkay?

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

And again, isatryt - for you this would of course not be interesting, as you noted before that you had not read MFK Fisher. And it is quite possible that you have never even heard of her.

There are so many topic threads on Serious Eats. Some stand where people just basically make up silly names or where they talk to each other with endless comments about how yellow mustard is Right and brown mustard is Wrong.

A little tolerance for this other sort of topic thread is being requested here, izatryt. Will you give it? Or will you snark.

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

No, I don't, izatryt. If others do within the community, then of course they are free to ignore it and move on to something that interests them more.

Certainly if there is low or no response it would hint to me that this particular community is interested in other sorts of discussions and I could move on to another place where people were interested in discussing these things. :)

Chacun sa gout.

Let me go look for a hot dog and think about varieties of mustard as I wait to find out. Mustard, mustard, mustard. Or should it be ketchup. Will the question ever be answered? I don't know. It is vital to do so, though, obviously.

Glitches in Food History

I've started a new topic on this that more specifically asks for opinion on whether this error on vomitoria is one that should have been corrected at some point in time, or not.

To my mind it should have been, and it should be.

Errors are easy enough to make. Amateurs are allowed them. Professionals are not, so much. Experts should avoid them.

chgoeditor very rightly questioned my use of a a word within a context in this topic within hours of my having posted it. That's what I call things working right. Then it's up to me to answer the question.

I've always respected MFKF. I'd like to have the question answered, about why this clearly incorrect summary of food history is standing extant after all this time.

I'm just curious.
And a bit upset, yes.

wookie - MFK does mention Seneca but apparently she missed reading the important part that you quote from him above. She quotes him on talking about how there are too many cooks.

Glitches in Food History

How completely exhausting, buffy. I guess modern industrial distillery methods would be thought of as the greatest thing since sliced bread by those ancient guys, huh? Not that they knew sliced bread in the intimate way we know it.

Beer seems to be responsible for so many things. Civilization, even, perhaps.

the beer theory, which holds that the pleasures of drinking beer together persuaded people to settle down in sociable little villages, so that they could drink more beer together. Forty per cent of the ancient Sumerian wheat harvest went to the distillery.
Link

I live in a college town and it often seems as if beer is responsible for college. Would people even go to college if it were not for beer?

Come to think of it maybe that's why Latin is never remembered correctly. Beer.

Glitches in Food History

Bravo, wookie. (Or would that be "brava"?)

A contribution to food knowledge given that goes beyond some of the more usual commentary made by contributors that focuses on mocking Sandra Lee.

I am off to have a nibble of cookie. Just a crumb, that's all.

No faux foodie, you.

Glitches in Food History

Let me just interject into this explosion of comments that actually I've never eaten at one of those buffets.

Now just one more thing for I fear to take the time of readers that need to get back to the commentary required on the four out of seven self-referential topics listed today on the front page that are headed with 'foodie': If you don't know who MFK Fisher is and call yourself a foodie you need to hit your wiki. If you haven't read MFK Fisher in her entirety then to call yourself a foodie is like putting on a false nose. Go for it! But do know that under any good questioning or nose-pulling it will be discovered.

Any linguists here? Any food historians? Anyone who knows what book publishing is like? Anyone who has actually read MFK Fisher?

MFKF's name is often attached to a feeling of "hallowed be thy name". With damn good reason.

Never mind. I've enjoyed ranting to myself as the keys click merrily away here, whether there is anyone here who knows or cares about MFK and this "error" or not.

If you do not have a copy of the book and are curious to see exactly what she wrote, let me know. I'll post it (with caution as to copyright requirements).

In the meantime this is a great diet. No cookies. The pounds are just sliding off I tell you.

Glitches in Food History

buffy, I heard there's a new book out (or coming out soon) about how to eat at one of those places. You know, for people who need to be taught how to eat what where, the details. It can apparently take study.

Me, I'd rather worry about some word written wrong 80 years ago than study how to shovel the most food in my face for the cheapest price.

That's why I don't mind waiting to eat my cookie.

Glitches in Food History

Ha, ha, yes you can sailordave. Even after swallowing your chewing gum which will not sit in your stomach for seven years.

And hopefully you won't have to use a vomitorium after all that exercise on a full stomach (if there were such a thing to use).

mepolo - I thought the same thing originally but MFK was not an unknown little read author like the one mentioned in the link. She also was provided with an excellent higher education (or so I seem to remember. Now I'll have to double-check that too for fear my little brain was not working when reading her once again due to the richness of the prose). Not that that means anything, being provided with an excellent higher education - except for bragging rights. But it does lead one to presuppose that things are learned in Latin class and History of Ancient Rome 101.

How on earth did this get by the editors and publishers who are supposed to check sources and accuracy?! Since . . . 1937? !

I mean - in the grand scheme of things it may be more important to be able to recite the cookie recipe from the latest best-selling cookbook but still I am stunned.

So did those fine overfed Ancient Romans throw up at their banquets where they ate as if the best Chinese All-You-Can-Eat Buffet opened right in their hometown but free of cost or not? And if not, where on earth did MFK get the idea that they did? And what source did the idea that a vomitorium was something other than what it is come from? Did she read the word somewhere and read that the Romans were purging and just put the two ideas together, making whole cloth out of half-assed cloth?

It's a fine bold picture, the vomitorium thing as she writes it - one of the things I like about her is that she reads like fiction though supposedly she is not writing fiction. But where does the real thing end and the other begin?

Questions. I've got 'em.

Glitches in Food History

Me too, juliesbugsmama, me too.

I've promised myself that solace when the answers come flying in to this question in the same manner they did to the 'what does a foodie do' topic.

I'm only waiting for 125 more responses. That's all.

Glitches in Food History

The entire thing is rather Seussian.

Glitches in Food History

Ah! Thank you, chgoeditor! My error is not alone now it has company in the form of my own error which may have been a glitch in the way I write!

It may not have been a glitch though, what you mention . . .for I purposely ignored the soft meaning of glitch and used it anyway - rather than the harder, secure, more correct 'error' which would have been correct but not as musical. :(

MFK Fisher - Just a Little Word - Fair or Foul?

In 'Garum' MFK Fisher writes of the foodways of Ancient Rome. She discusses the overeating that occurred and the habit they had of quickly emptying their stomachs with emetics in order to eat more.

Then she writes:
The wholesale catharsis necessitated certain architectural changes. And suddenly these changes, luxurious privies to start with, metamorphosed once more. Vomitoria came into being.

Then after writing how little boys and girls hear the name with disgust only one person ever used the word in public with the proper 'reverence': Colette, who noted that a certain eclair vomiteusement chocolate.

Following that is
Romans, their minds less of future derivatives of the word than on their next course, used their vomitoria with appreciation.

The end of the piece lists a heavy banquet to be dined upon then finishes with:
A good old Roman custom - vomitoria! .

This has been in print since 1937. MFK Fisher is considered to be one of America's finest 'food writers'. Some people say that the word 'food writing' was practically invented for her, because of her then-innovative style of writing that blended fact with memoir.

Blending fact with memoir can be problematic in general, in writing. One either does not question, believing the writer of the tale to be telling the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth or one questions the writer's understanding of their own reality. Memory is a funny thing. It is not all that objective.

But here in this case is a telling of facts, but a telling of facts that simply is not true. Vomitoria is not something one vomits into, it is an exit from a building.

MFK Fisher may have been confused due to the general use of the word in her time. But then again she is an educator about food, and in this case writes as one, and one to be respected.

Fair or foul? Should this have been corrected by an editor or by the publishers at some point since 1937 with a note to explain this?

Glitches in Food History

Glitches is not a noodle or a dumpling, though it sounds like it might be. Glitches is not a name of an innard of a grazing animal or a strange bird one should rush out and buy to roast, either. Glitches (which means to skid in Yiddish) are small upsets - they are mistakes.

Last night I ran across a glitch in my readings of food history. I am very upset about it. My understanding of the world has shifted slightly after having discovered this glitch.

More after the break.

Free Cookbooks for Review Purpose. Acceptable Practice?

I've heard of this happening before but never really thought about it too closely.

A few days ago I had to take a closer look, as the opportunity was offered to me.

A publishing company contacted me to ask if I would review their newly-released cookbooks on my blog, while offering advance copies to me for free for the purpose of doing so.

At no time was there any hint or insinuation given that the review would be expected to be "good".

But then again, the ethics of restaurant reviewing come to mind. Can one give a review free of bias if one is given something for free, even if it is a book?

I have a sense that this is done quite often - advance copies offered. It's a great way to get word of the new releases out into the marketplace without spending a lot of time or money in doing so.

What do you think? Is it an acceptable practice to accept free books for the purpose of review - even when no strings are mentioned as being attached?

MonkeyDish from RBMagazine

Monkey Dish put together by Restaurant Business Magazine - it's a new site (which additionally seems to have some sort of affiliation to the Culinary Institute of America).

I'm curious as to what you think of the site, and why. No good reason, really.

I know what my reactions were and just want to hear others. :)

50 Blogs from 50 States

Serious Eats' idea of creating a New York based section specifically focused on serious eating ("dining, food shopping, and eating out") in New York seemed to me to be a great idea, so naturally I'd like to borrow it and bend it to my own shape, power-freak that I am.

I don't get around the blogosphere a lot so don't really know where to start, but I'd like to create a list (with links to add to my blog) of 50 blogs - one from each State in the US.

The criteria is that the blog be about food (in some way) and that it include links to food in your geographic area, whether it be restaurants or farmers markets or whatever. The blog itself preferably will have its own personal flavor and not be specifically a reviewing site. Why? No good reason really. Just because I like reading about people and food first followed by food in places.

Do you have a blog of this sort? Please tell us about it.
I look forward to some good reading from each of the 50 States. :)

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