Pixel Scroll 2/26/18 Go To File. Go Directly To File. Do Not Pass Scroll, Do Not Collect 200 Pixels

EDITOR’S NOTE: This will be a very short scroll, as I am on a slow motel wi-fi and have already spent a chunk of the evening waiting for screen reloads. Filers, please add some good things in the comments to compensate!

(1) INDIGENOUS SFF. The Herald of Harare, Zimbabwe reports on a rare sff book in the local language: “Science fiction Shona novel print version”

Science fiction is a sub-genre of speculative fiction which in Zimbabwean literature is an uncommon type of writing because of the assumed limitations of the indigenous languages. With the rapid technological exploits happening in the world today, local language experts have met the vexing challenge of adopting new technological terms into the local languages.We are yet to have a wide range of complete dictionaries of technological or scientific terms translated into local languages to help writers explore their different worlds of the imagination.

Motivating indeed it is to note that a first step towards such an ‘expansion’ of our local language has been taken by UK-based Zimbabwean writer Masimba Musodza in his trailblazing feat in the science fiction genre.

His novel “Munahacha Maive Nei?” (Belontos Books) is the first science fiction or speculative fiction novel in Shona language. The novel first appeared five years ago as an e-book before its print edition and now it is available in the new paperback, hardback and e-book editions. Hopefully, the reading public in Zimbabwe will soon have a chance to buy personal copies in local bookstores.

(2) SOUTHERN VIEW. The Southern Fandom Confederation selected officers at its DeepSouthCon business meeting last weekend. Gary Robe is the new President, and Jennifer Liang is the new Vice-President. As Tom Feller notes, they swapped positions, each having held the other office last year.

(3) LUCKEY OBIT. From the BBC: Bud Luckey, Toy Story Woody’s designer dies”. Born in 1934, he designed several other characters for Pixar, and did some voices. He also worked on number and counting features for Sesame Street.

(4) LONG ARM OF THE LAW. “Supreme Court considers Microsoft overseas data row” — seems subtle, but far-reaching consequences:

A five-year legal battle between Microsoft and the US Justice Department reaches the Supreme Court this week.

The row is over whether US laws give the government the power to make tech companies surrender data they have on users that is stored overseas.

The case dates from 2013, when prosecutors sought emails on a Microsoft server in Ireland sent by a drug-trafficking suspect.

The US government said as Microsoft was a US company it could request the data.

Microsoft disputed this interpretation, saying a warrant issued in the US could not be used to recover information outside the country.

(5) GOT TO GET BACK TO THE GARDEN. “Against a bleak future: Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds reaches one million mark”: that’s a million types, not just a million seeds. Who knew there were that many discrete varieties?

The vault storing the world’s most precious seeds is taking delivery on Monday of consignments that will take it to the one million mark.

More than 70,000 crops will be added to frozen storage chambers buried deep within a mountain in the Arctic Circle.

Cereal staples, unusual crops like the Estonian onion potato, and barley used to brew Irish beer are among them.

Monday marks the tenth anniversary of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard.

One of three chambers is now almost full of packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop.

The number of deposits amounts to 1,059,646. This number excludes emergency withdrawals of about 90,000 seeds needed to make up for precious samples stranded in Syria due to the conflict there.

(6) ZAP THE APP. BBC reports — “Sarahah: Anonymous app dropped from Apple and Google stores after bullying accusations”.

A wildly popular anonymous messaging app has been removed from the Apple and Google stores after accusations that it has been facilitating bullying. But the company’s chief executive denies the claims and says the app isn’t meant to be used by younger teens.

Katrina Collins was appalled by the anonymous messages her 13-year-old daughter was receiving. One person said she hoped her daughter would kill herself. Others used extremely foul and offensive language.

The messages appeared on the Sarahah app, which was designed to allow people to leave “honest feedback” about colleagues and friends. Although Collins’ daughter wasn’t actually using the app, she saw the messages after a friend downloaded it and showed them to her.

[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Rich Lynch, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rev. Bob.]

117 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/26/18 Go To File. Go Directly To File. Do Not Pass Scroll, Do Not Collect 200 Pixels

  1. Owlmirror, Speaking of legumes, I know that some people are repulsed by all legume-based foods. No hummus, lentil soup, or split pea soup. Is it an allergy or sensitivity, or does it just a matter of tasting something that I don’t?

    My husband HATES the entire legume family. (He’s ok, oddly, with snap peas and edimome (however you spell that).) He says it’s a texture thing.

    I hate the entire cabbage/cruciferus (however that’s spelled) vegetable family; for me it’s a taste thing. They’re bitter and nasty. But then, I’m a super-taster and can’t stand the taste of alcohol, either….

    I’m fine with peas and beans (except lima beans; bad childhood associations there); my husband loves-loves-loves broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It does make dinner planning a little challenging at times….

  2. @Red Wombat:

    don’t get me started on those damn mimosa trees! My hate is a pure hate.

    Go on . . .

  3. Sing, O Muse, of the rage of the gardener, woke to ecology,
    who brought death and destruction to countless invasives,
    and sent their remains to the bottoms of compost heaps. . .

  4. I recently discovered that ALL vegetables, with the possible exception of iceberg lettuce, taste better roasted. Including broccoli. As soon as okra comes into season, I’m going to see if roasting makes it edible as well. The only ways to make okra palatable so far is by pickling or deep fat frying, both of which move it from the vegetable category to the occasional treat category – which is a crying shame because it grows like a weed in my section of the country.

  5. John A Arkansawyer: another time I was looking for something I could afford on a menu, I saw seared lettuce with couscous. I took a chance on it and it was delicious!

    I used to live in a city where a restaurant had a grilled Caesar salad on the menu. It was a head of romaine, sliced in half, grilled just enough to be warm all the way through, served with Caesar dressing, croutons, and parmeson, plus a choice of meat if you wanted. I thought it sounded horrible when I first heard of it, but it tasted absolutely amazing.

    I love pretty much anything in the cabbage – broccoli – cauliflower – brussels sprouts family, especially broccolini, as long as it’s cooked al dente and not turned completely to mush. I like the combination of the somewhat bitter taste and a little butter and garlic. Creamed cauliflower with a toasted breadcrumb top is divine, and broccoli in cheese sauce does not go amiss, either. There’s also a great recipe for a cold cauliflower-broccoli-peas salad.

  6. I love cooked cabbage as well as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. I don’t care for most of them raw, though I like a small percentage of cole slaws (most around here taste to me like they’ve been left to rot before serving).

    I prefer my veg cooked until it is one second past the crunchy stage, and is still bright in color. This is more cooked than is currently popular, but a whole lot less than the old mushy way.

    Raw veggies often give me indigestion. I’m not counting those that are botanically fruits, like tomatoes and cucumbers. Those are just fine raw.

  7. I like all variants of brassica oleracea. Kohlrabi is the only one I’m not that fond of, probably because it’s very common here and I had it once too often as a kid. Cabbage in all its variants is a staple food in North Germany. By the way, it’s rather annoying that English only has one word – cabbage – for very different variants, all of which have different names in German.

    I’ve never understood the hatred for broccoli in the English speaking world, since I’ve alway liked it, even as a kid. Okay, so it doesn’t taste good if you overcook it and don’t season it properly, but then pretty much every vegetable tastes bad, when overcooked and not seasoned properly. Though I notice that when I’m cooking for my parents, I have to cook broccoli, cauliflower, beans, pretty much everything longer than I normally would, because they prefer less crunch in their veggies than I do.

    I’m also a big fan of peas, beans of any kind, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, etc… Though it’s very difficult to persuade my Dad to eat lentils, because he apparently had them once too often as a kid (even though my lentil dishes taste nothing like the bland lentil stew of the 1940s and 1950s). He doesn’t like chickpeas either – no idea why.

    @Another Laura
    I wish okras grew like weed here, because I like them quite a bit (discovered them as a student in London) and they’re almost impossible to find in Germany. You can sometimes get pickled okras in Turkish grocery stores (which tend to be overcooked) and very rarely you can find fresh okras in Asian groceries. But supermarkets and market stalls just don’t carry them. I even tried growing my own, but apparently okra plants don’t like our climate.

  8. Years ago, Dad told me a story about some fraternity that decided to save money by buying food in bulk and stocking up for the whole year. They determined that okra was eminently affordable, and bought a whole lot of it. They ate okra and ate okra and ate okra, and still had a bunch left. Finally, they decided to have an okra party, at which all the foodstuffs consisted of various forms of okra, including okra ice cream (an alert observer might have noticed that they didn’t eat a whole lot of the food themselves). They even decorated with strands of okra.

    Thus, they managed to use up their okra assets, and they may have looked more warily at such bright ideas in the future.

    Me, I loves me some various forms of okra, though I confess I’ve never tried the frozen dairy variety.

    Incoming! FILE IN THE SCROLL!!

  9. Cora, okra is in the same family as hibiscus and cotton – it wants long warm summers. (Like hibiscus and cotton, it has pretty flowers and foliage. I saw it growing in fields in west Texas.)

  10. My mother cut up okra, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, coated them in cornmeal, and pan-fried them. The results were crispy, crunchy, and not at all slimy. My brother and I considered them a treat when we were growing up.

  11. @Various: Cooking ruins broccoli for me. And if it’s cooked a real amount (more than a light steaming), it’ll contaminate any food it touches – very sad! It just ruins things. Even cooked cauliflower isn’t so cruel and vicious to food it touches.

    @Lis Carey: I like raw cabbage for its crunchiness especially, but also its flavor (well, some is bland; some has a light but good flavor). That’s what I like about raw cauliflower – when I realized it was okay raw, I found it was super-crunchy (yay!) and tasted cabbage-like (basically yay). So we shall never see eye-to-eye on cabbage. 😉 Plus as someone else mentioned: cole slaw!

    @John A Arkansawyer: I used to think cooked cabbage was weird and not very good, but years ago a good friend made something with cooked cabbage. I don’t remember a thing about it, but I remember it was surprisingly good, whatever it was! (Some actual dish, not just cooked cabbage.) So I’m a little skeptical (leafy things shouldn’t be cooked!) but am willing to try something with cooked cabbage in it.

    @JJ: Warmed greens, eek! Based on your list of cooked veggies, I doubt I’d like the grilled Caesar salad.

    My favorite veggies are things that go on a salad. Raw, crunchy veggies are my thing; I only like a handful of cooked veggies, methinks.

  12. While living in Texas a couple of years ago, I went on a garden tour in late September and saw the most amazing plant. It was 9-10 feet tall and the leaves were varicolored in shades of green and purple. It was very tropical and lush looking, and it wasn’t until I discovered a pod that I realized I was looking at a regular okra plant that the owners hadn’t pinched back at all. The owners were amusing themselves by standing back and watching the tourers trying to figure out what it was. I’m in Oklahoma now, gods help me, and I may try letting okra run wild in my new garden this year.
    (Also, roasted cabbage, in slabs or quarters, is awesome.)

  13. @Rob Thornton:

    My mother cut up okra, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, coated them in cornmeal, and pan-fried them. The results were crispy, crunchy, and not at all slimy. My brother and I considered them a treat when we were growing up.

    I quoted that in full because it is exactly my experience, except I have no brother and my mom used 50% cornmeal and 50% flour. She pickled her own okra, too, and generally kept it good and crunchy. (She canned a lot–two pressure cookers, no waiting–so there were occasional misfires.)

    Died a year ago Friday; would’ve been a hundred Wednesday. She’s been on my mind. So I guess I quoted it for that, too. I have many memories, all good, of her and okra.

  14. Having grown up in the northern half of the U.S., I think I’ve had it maybe a couple of times as part of cooked mixed vegetables, and I enjoyed it. I had battered-and-fried okra once, and it was absolutely frickin’ amazing.

  15. @John A Arkansawyer, those sound like wonderful memories. My condolences on your mother.

    My husband (also named John) died 8 years ago yesterday. The memories make me smile and make me sad, all at the same time. I find over time that the smiles get stronger and the sadness less. I hope it will be that way for you as well.

  16. One of the good things about leaving home when I grew up was that I no longer had to endure corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. I would eat a little bit of corned beef well slathered with mustard, and a little bit of raw cabbage, but mostly had to fill up on boiled potatoes. Couldn’t stand the overcooked boiled cabbage, couldn’t escape the smell of it. I miss my mother very much, but not all of her cooking.

    On the other side of the family, my father’s relatives all seemed to want to fix stuffed cabbage for us whenever we visited. Can’t say I cared for that either.

    Now I’ll eat lightly cooked cabbage, also sauerkraut and cole slaw in small quantities. I like most of the brassicas if not overcooked. Haven’t had kohlrabi any way I’ve liked yet.

    I have a mild textural dislike for whole beans and ripe peas. I will eat small servings occasionally of things like chili or baked beans. Mashed or pureed I’ll eat them more happily; hummus, bean dip, frijoles refritos, smooth black bean soup are all welcome.

    Until recently I’d never had okra any way I’d liked, but last December I went to an Indian restaurant with a couple of my sisters. They offered us an okra dish that was new on the menu; lightly cooked, not slimy, tasty. We were surprised and pleased.

  17. @various, but quoting Anne Sheller: “I have a mild textural dislike for whole beans and ripe peas. I will eat small servings occasionally of things like chili or baked beans. Mashed or pureed I’ll eat them more happily; hummus, bean dip, frijoles refritos, smooth black bean soup are all welcome.”

    My big texture bugaboo is mushrooms. I don’t care how they’re prepared – I can’t stand ’em. If they’re very finely chopped to the point that they resemble bits of ground beef, and they’re mixed with ground meat in a sauce or something, sometimes you can slip ’em past me… but usually, something about that peculiar rubberiness survives and gives the game away. I even recall buying a frozen stroganoff dinner one time, because normally I love that, and discovering that there was some nausea-making element in there that I could not choke down. Looked at the ingredients list, and there it was: mushrooms.

    As for beans and peas… gimme! Peas are dandy cooked with a little butter, but I keep a couple of cans of ’em on hand just so I can open ’em, drain the water, and dig in with a spoon as-is. Same goes for corn (sometimes I’ll treat myself with the creamed variety) and beans. I picked up a couple of cans each of mixed beans and sweet peas last time I was at the store, come to think of it. And bean dip… my, yes. When I go out to a decent Mexican restaurant, I usually end up ordering a burrito combo plate that comes with a sizable helping of rice and refried beans, more than I can eat at the table. What I like to do is mix some melted white cheese and a little salsa with them to make a thick dip, which I can eat a few hours later with tortilla chips or a fork. The beans/rice textures work very well together for me.

    I’ll eat restaurant-style fried okra just like I will popcorn shrimp or chicken, and it’s fine by me if you mix all three together in a big ol’ bowl and keep the utensils. My mother sometimes pan-fries okra, but the result is usually far greasier than I really like. Otherwise, I love it in chili, jambalaya, or other such soups and stews.

    A local store sells a chilled-not-frozen chicken fried rice that I particularly enjoy because they use edamame instead of peas in it. Again, nothing against peas, but the first time I bit into edamame, I realized that the peas I encountered in regular restaurant fried rice were just a cheap visual imitation of it. I know it’s just soy beans, but it’s still a taste and texture treat. I’ve heard some people snack on edamame, and I could get into that. Reminds me a little bit of lima beans, which for me are one of those “too easily overcooked into a slimy mess” legumes. (There again, I’ll eat succotash straight and cold from a can, as long as they don’t put tomatos in it.)

    Dammit, I’m headed to the store later and this is making me hungry.

  18. One of the things I don’t make frequently enough is a Swedish (I think) cabbage salad, that in Swedeh is frequently taken to be Italian (because it comes with pizza, as it were).

    Take a head of cabbage, shred it. I normally do this by cutting discs of the cabbage, about 3-4 mm wide, then cutting the disc(s) across “the area” a few times. Stuff it all in a large-ish bowl. Then prepare a hot dressing, with water, some vinegar, some decent-tasting vegetable oil, maybe some garlic, some black pepper and some salt. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, you want to get it to about 2/3rds of the cabbage (by height!) covered.

    Then place a plate over the top, with some weight to start compressing the cabbage and force it down into the dressing. Leave alone for 12-36 hours. Eat and (hopefully) enjoy.

    This is essentially the initial stages of making sauerkraut, but you still have a fair bit of crunch left. Very very tasty, or at least that’s what I think.

  19. @Lenore Jones: Thanks. It’s mostly good memories with a few regrets. I’ll probably seek out a lot of fried food this week.

    @JJ: “Having grown up in the northern half of the U.S., I think I’ve had it maybe a couple of times…”

    The day I saw it in the co-op in Madison, Wisconsin, I bought every bit of it they had, then took it back to the hippie house where I’d made myself the cook in self-defense. My mom had sent me her Betty Crocker cookbook, which I think is how I learned the trick of using biscuit dough for pizzas, but it had nothing about fried okra in it, so I called her up. That’s why I know the recipe. So I sliced it up and rolled it in the meal and flour as the grease got good and hot. I started frying it up as hippies gathered round me: “Wow, man. Don’t you know you’re destroying the nutritional value of that okra?” “Wow, man. Don’t you know fried foods are bad for you?” “Wow, man.”

    All of which are very valid concerns, assuming you had fuck-all to do with making the food sometime in the last few weeks. But I was diplomatic as I could be and explained that they were disrespecting my cultural background, that this is how southerners of all sorts fixed okra, and that they could eat it or not.

    I wasn’t too diplomatic, though. The less they ate, the more would be left for me.

  20. @Cora: By the way, it’s rather annoying that English only has one word – cabbage – for very different variants, all of which have different names in German. English tends to use adjectives (e.g., “Savoy cabbage”, “red cabbage”); IME, “cabbage” with no modifier tends to mean the dense palegreen-outside-white-inside used for coleslaw et al. (Do you make coleslaw, and if so do you use poppy seeds? My mother (the German side of the family) did that, but the only restaurant I’ve seen it at claimed to focus on “Pennsylvania Dutch barbecue”.) wrt okra, you could emulate a former US Presidential candidate and recommend that farmers in difficulty branch out to it as a specialty crop (one of Dukakis’s many points-of-PR-failure was recommending endive), if Italian, Spanish, or southern French farmers will listen to a German. (OTOH, maybe not southern France; it’s the world’s best source for oboe reeds.)

  21. In re peas and texture: I strongly disliked peas and limas for years, until I discovered that what I actually disliked was CANNED peas and limas (mealy and mushy). Fresh or frozen, it turns out I like them just fine. Canning entirely changes the texture on some things.

    As for okra: I’ll eat it anytime, any place, cooked any way. Slimy or non, fried or non. Yummy. 🙂 Especially yummy if you eat very young pods. And sooooooo easy to grow as long as you have those hot sunny summers. 🙂

  22. @Anne Sheller & @Rev. Bob: Good hummus is like ambrosia. 🙂

    @Contrarius: I’m okay with lima beans and sometimes wonder if I’m one of the few in the U.S. who does, as it’s one of those stereotypical “kids hate X” things. I mean, they’re not exciting and there are many things I like better! But they’re okay – inoffensive, boring, etc.

    @Various: All this okra talk is a little disturbing. 😛 I’m not a fan, though I admit, I’ve only had them one or two ways, and only a small bite or two. But I tend to find that if I don’t like a veggie, cooking it differently usually doesn’t improve it. Still, I’ll try to give (non-slimy) okra a shot next time I see it.

  23. Lenore Jones: Part of the problem is that we appear to have one name – coleslaw – for several very different shredded-cabbage salads, (and all with the same kind of pale cabbage, so this isn’t even Cora’s case of cabbages with different names and natures). There’s coleslaw with shredded raw cabbage* and a light creamy dressing, coleslaw with shredded raw cabbage and a vinegar dressing, whatever the lurid green KFC coleslaw is (slightly soured cabbage in radiation dressing?), and cabbage where you pour the vinegar dressing over it hot, and let it sour a bit (pretty much what Ingvar above describes above, though my husband tends to do it in either a pot or a really heavy duty zip-lock). This leaves the cabbage preserved, lightly pickled and it will last for weeks (And can continue the process to become full on sauerkraut if desired), but I’m used to coleslaw with raw cabbage and this stuff, while it doesn’t taste bad to me, I imagine would throw off the taste buds of anyone expecting to taste *raw* cabbage coleslaw.

    *for all varieties, some shredded carrot, red cabbage or even a bit of onion in select cases might also be included. For ones that stay raw, sometimes raisins or cranberries, I’ve seen shredded strips from apples, and in extreme cases walnuts.

  24. Ingvar, could you maybe put approximate quantities on the ingredients in the cabbage salad recipe? Because although I’d hate it, I think my husband would love it. And it looks like it has the added advantage (to me) of not stinking up the house with cooked-cabbage smell….

    Thank you!

  25. @Bill: “Pinto beans and cornbread. That is all you need.”

    The place I had the seared lettuce with couscous? They also served cornbread purée. Why, I ask you? Why?

  26. @Lenora Rose, I suspect you’re right. I don’t like sauerkraut, either (vinegar is a negative flavor for me), but there at least I’m expecting it.

    @Chip, my mother used dill seeds. And fresh shredded cabbage, and mayo. I think.

    @Contrarius, agreed on canned veg. I do use canned beans, and in the winter canned tomatoes, and for Jiffy five-ingredient corn casserole I’ll use canned creamed corn, but I substitute fresh or frozen corn for the regular canned corn the Jiffy recipe also calls for (and Hodgson Mills for the Jiffy, because Jiffy has lard in it, and I have vegetarian friends). I love frozen veg, which retains so much more flavor and color, and keeps almost as well as canned, as long as the electricity stays on.

    @Various, I am fond of lima beans also. My ideal succotash is baby limas and fresh corn kernels, lightly sauteed with red sweet pepper, and maybe a little onion. I would eat it with tomato (I love tomato), but that’s not what I grew up with.

  27. @Kendall: I don’t like the idea of warm lettuce either — but the grilled Caesar I had some years ago was nothing like that; think of it as romaine tataki.

    @Rev Bob: canned vegetables, right out of the can? Oh well, everybody has the gout.

    It has been put to me that the real value of okra is as a basis for frying, which gets rid of the minimal taste (and any slime, when handled properly), such that the leftover crunchies have the same flavor as the fried vegetable. I’ve never been moved to try this, even though one occasional visitor favors one not-very-near barbecue house because it has fried okra. (gout)^^2.

  28. I was introduced to the possibility of adding lettuce to steamed greens when I started making Gumbo Z’herbs whenever the CSA started getting on top of me and the fridge was full of all the greens in the world.

    The neighborhood farm is doing a winter CSA for the first time this year, and I’ve started following the same philosophy with their greens when making saag. In addition to spinach, arugula goes in, and finely chopped pea- and radish-sprouts, and baby choy, and lettuce too.

    Did I mention, last time the conversation wandered in the vicinity of that particular vegetable, that a former team mate of mine goes by the skate name Brassica I’llraceya? If not, I have now.

  29. I can understand why many people have an aversion to overcooked cabbage (or even cooked cabbage at all). There are certainly ways of cooking it that I don’t care for. (And let’s not get into the question of Brussels Sprouts which is my official “I’m allowed to have an irrational hate for one vegetable” item.)

    My favorite cabbage recipe, though is as follows (quantities are up to personal taste):

    * Slice onions. In a large stovetop caserole or dutch oven type pan, begin to brown them in a little oil. Use a fairly low heat for all this.
    * Slice red cabbage into shreds equivalent to what you’d make for coarse coleslaw. When the onions are about half cooked, add the cabbage and continue stirring as it braises. (I use red cabbage for esthetic reasons.)
    * Slice your favorite sausage (strongly flavored is good, firm is good, hotness is to personal taste) and add it to the pan when the cabbage is about half cooked. Continue stirring.
    * Peel, core, and slice some apples. Nice tart ones. Add to the pan and continue stirring. At this point you may want to keep covered when not actively stirring.
    * When the apples are soft but not turned into mush, turn off the heat. Add a faint splash of vinegar to taste. (I tend to like it a bit on the sour side, but it shouldn’t taste anywhere near sauerkraut.)

    For a very hearty meal, serve with small boiled potatoes on the side, but can be an entire meal all by itself.

  30. I’m the oddball in my family that has never liked cabbage or sauerkraut. Bok Choy and Asian style cabbages are much more palatable. This is also true of mushrooms. I detest button mushrooms, but things like shitake mushrooms in a stir fry or a curry are just fine to my palate.

  31. @Chip Hitchcock

    English tends to use adjectives (e.g., “Savoy cabbage”, “red cabbage”); IME, “cabbage” with no modifier tends to mean the dense palegreen-outside-white-inside used for coleslaw et al. (Do you make coleslaw, and if so do you use poppy seeds? My mother (the German side of the family) did that, but the only restaurant I’ve seen it at claimed to focus on “Pennsylvania Dutch barbecue”.)

    The German names for different variants of cabbages are basically modifiers as well, though in the form of compound nouns due to the structure of our language. And by now I’ve figured out that e.g. savoy cabbage is what we call Wirsingkohl and napa cabbage is what we call Chinese cabbage. Red cabbage is pretty self-evident. But nonetheless, there are some cabbage variants which don’t seem to have an English name at all, probably because they’re not cultivated in English speaking parts of the world.

    Coincidentally, there is a similar problem with beans. I’ve figured out by now that what is called fava bean in English is what we calls dicke Bohne (fat bean), Pferdebohne (horse bean) or Saubohne (pig bean). In fact, my Dad once brought home an American coworker for dinner years ago. That day, we happened to have fava bean stew and my Dad loudly announced to horrified coworker (who also happened to be Jewish) that we were having horse beans or pig beans. The poor guy could barely get the beans down.

    However, the other type of white bean common in my part of Germany, Palbohnen, doesn’t seem to have an English name at all. Meanwhile, we don’t have lima beans or pinto beans or black eyes peas and kidney beans only exist in cans, because neither of them grow here. Though you can make lima bean recipes with Palbohnen.

    Coincidentally, broccoli was a rare treat even I was a kid back in the 1970s and 1980s, because it doesn’t grow here, which make the hatred of many Brits and Americans for broccoli utterly baffling to me, because here broccoli was only reserved for special occasions. What is more, I first encountered iceberg lettuce in the US in 1978. It only came to Germany a few years later. Before that, the only lettuce that was widely available was the sort we call “Kopfsalat”, which is less crunchy and keeps less well than iceberg and quickly grows soggy.

    Regarding coleslaw, German coleslaw is generally made with a vinegar based sauce rather than the mayonnaise based sauce common in the US. My Mom’s version is very lightly cooked, probably because it’s sliced not as finely as the US version. No poppy seeds in our version, but caraway seeds. American style coleslaw with mayonnaise is available in some stores and restaurants, though it’s normally called farmer salad here. Coincidentally, Dutch coleslaw is much closer to the American version.

    @Nicole LeBoeuf-Little
    I recently bought a big bag of mixed greens billed as “wild herb salad” and made gumbo z herbes. I have made it before, but mostly the problem is that I don’t have enough different greens around at the same time.

    BTW, I’m a bad German, because I don’t like sauerkraut all that much. It’s okay as a side dish, but in my family it was always served as a main dish with potatoes, sausage and a type of smoked pork called Kassler. My Mom adds pineapple chunks to her sauerkraut BTW. In general, I much prefer red cabbage, which is pickled similarly to sauerkraut and served with venison, roast duck or goose during the winter months.

  32. @Heather Rose Jones – My sister Pat makes a similar onion-red cabbage-apple dish, but her meat of choice is bacon. Starts with that, cooks the veggies in bacon grease. Delicious.

    @Cora – Restaurants in the Amana Colonies in Iowa also put caraway seeds in their sauerkraut.

  33. Dora has been reading this food talk over my shoulder, and is shocked that no one has realized that cheese is the key insight!

  34. @ Cassy B:

    I would love to, but at this point I cook it by “that feels right”/”that looks as it should” and “eh, whatevs” principle, which means that I am perfectly capable of showing it, while being perfectly incapable of describing it. What follows is constructed from multiple sources:

    For a decent-size head of white cabbage (1.5 kg – 2 kg, I guess?), you’ll need somewhere in the region of 300 ml water, 200-300 ml veg. oil, ~60 ml vinegar; salt, pepper, garlic, onion to taste.

    Actual quantities synthesized by looking at a bunch of recipes and calibrating against visual memories of last time I made it.

  35. Ingvar, thanks; that’s enough to get it into the right ballpark, and my husband can experiment with it from there.

    The weighted plate should be somewhat smaller than the bowl diameter, I presume, so as to get a good compression going?

  36. Cassy B: Ideally yes, but if it ends up sealing, you can (sometimes) flip it so that you get a bit more compression. Alternatively, you can use a large plastic bag, filler with water, and then possibly pile a couple of cans of something on top.

  37. @Cora: lots of interesting info, but My Mom adds pineapple chunks to her sauerkraut BTW was boggling (although maybe not as strange as “Hawaiian pizza”). IME, broccoli smells some right after cooking even if it’s not overdone — since I like it cold with vinaigrette, it sits under the stove fan for a few minutes before going in the fridge. However, I suspect the dislike is a combination of texture variations (stem vs ?buds?) and parental forcing as a “good” vegetable — in which it’s hardly alone (I suspect most people have childhood-acquired distaste from force-feeding) but may be higher as it’s often a touch bitter for young tastebuds. (Not like broccoli rabe, but also not like peas/beans/…).

  38. @Andrew: That’s pretty cool, plus other little touches like which sport and the DANGER sign & how the character pointed at the letters. Thanks for posting that.

  39. @Andrew: fascinating!

    @Cora: I should note that I’ve liked the choucroute garnie that I’ve been served (by a local Alsatian restaurant and friend with a genius for food) but I expect that it varies hugely. I do remember hating the jarred sauerkraut (white and red) that I was served-by-reason-of-heritage when I was young, but I suspect that much better is available today (for those who don’t make it themselves).

  40. @Chip Hitchcock
    Sauerkraut with pineapple chunks certainly isn’t uncommon in Germany. Hengstenberg Mildessa, the most common brand of canned sauerkraut, even has a variety with pineapple chunks included. No idea where the sauerkraut pineapple combination came from, though I suspect it dates back to the 1950s, when canned pineapples became popular.

    @Anne Sheller
    Caraway seeds are commonly added to sauerkraut and other cabbage dishes. Caraway is quite common in German cooking in general (lots of people also add it to salted potatoes), probably because it’s one of the fairly few spices that grow locally.

  41. Peanuts are a legume, and the most common food allergy. Allergy, tasting something common to them, and a “better safe than sorry” policy because they’re allergic to peanuts are all plausible reasons.

    This seems implausible to me, because:

    1) I have tasted all of peanuts, fresh peas, cooked peas, pea soups, lentil soups, and hummus, and I am pretty sure there is no similarity of taste.

    2) In at least one case that I am thinking of, I know that there is no peanut allergy. I am not sure about the other case, but I kind of doubt it.

    3) There is a disconnect between taste preference and allergy (at least one individual I know of quite likes the taste of the food item that causes severe reaction).

    Of course, it turns out that you do have a point – WikiP says at least some people with peanut allergy do have some reaction to other legumes.

    Now that I am thinking of it though, I am wondering if maybe the negative reaction in at least one case is not necessarily to the main legume, but to something else strong-smelling or -tasting in the food containing the legume. Hummus is made with garlic; the soups have garlic and onion.

  42. @owlmirror:

    Now that I am thinking of it though, I am wondering if maybe the negative reaction in at least one case is not necessarily to the main legume, but to something else strong-smelling or -tasting in the food containing the legume. Hummus is made with garlic; the soups have garlic and onion.

    Allergies to garlic/onion/leek aren’t unknown, but they’re not as well-known as they maybe should be. I know of people who get quite ill if they get any, and they’re in nearly every main dish.

  43. My husband is very very definite that his particular aversion to legumes is entirely about the texture. Which, he says, is why he doesn’t mind pea-pods. But he won’t eat peas, or beans of any kind, or refried beans at a Mexican restaurant, or split pea soup, or Boston baked beans….

    He will eat edamame when we go out for sushi, however.

  44. @Owlmirror–
    I didn’t think I needed to explicitly say that the three possible reasons were separate possible reasons, but apparently I was wrong.

    1) I have tasted all of peanuts, fresh peas, cooked peas, pea soups, lentil soups, and hummus, and I am pretty sure there is no similarity of taste.

    The fact that you don’t taste anything in common doesn’t necessarily mean someone else doesn’t. Cilantro is just an especially well-known example that tastes very different to different individuals due to an otherwise trivial genetic difference. I’m not saying this is true of legumes; just tossing it out as one possibility based on the fact that they are all legumes, and might have something in common that some people are taste-sensitive to.

    3) There is a disconnect between taste preference and allergy (at least one individual I know of quite likes the taste of the food item that causes severe reaction).

    Yes, of course they’re unrelated. I didn’t suggest otherwise–although yes, you can learn a dislike of the taste of something that makes you I’ll.

    But, as noted, my three suggestions were intended as three separate possibilities for why someone might reject all legumes.

    Of course, it turns out that you do have a point – WikiP says at least some people with peanut allergy do have some reaction to other legumes.


    I’ll further note that, since the response to saying that one is allergic to something is often to be told, in essence, that one is a liar, that one “just doesn’t like” the thing, sometimes one gets lazy and just embraces the position of just being difficult about one’s dislikes, rather than wasting time and effort telling people things they’ll refuse to believe anyway.

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