Homemade Pepper Spray. NOT.

“If you try to make a shrimp boil but the bag of spices bursts and you just toss it all in along with whatever spices you can find in the pantry, you can make homemade pepper spray. Unintentionally. And everyone at your dinner party will run outside for the next hour, coughing and tearing up as if they’ve been Maced. Because technically they kind of have been. Because Mace was one of the spices I found in the pantry. I blame whoever makes spice out of Mace, and I reminded my gasping dinner guests that even if I did Mace them, I did it in an old-fashioned, homemade, Martha Stewart sort of way. With love.” Reprinted from “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. If you love twisted humour, Get. This. Book.

That’s BALONEY!

My favorite Bologna, Pistachio Mortadella

REPRINTED FROM Southern Living – Meghan Overdeep

Few lunchmeats leave us with more questions than the classic bologna. It’s perfectly round, impossibly pink, and as synonymous with brown bag lunches as juice boxes. But for something so common, most Americans know very little about bologna’s origin.

While we’re not going to get into the exact ingredients used to make the homogenous meat (mostly pork), we do want to explore another bologna mystery: why it’s pronounced “baloney” and not “bo-lo-nya.”

Not surprisingly, the answer takes us to Italy. In particular, to the northern town of Bologna (bo-lo-nya), where mortadella, bologna’s kissing cousin, was born. Mortadella is traditional cured sausage made from ground pork. The bologna we know and love was derived from mortadella.

So that clears up how it got its name. As for how we came to pronounce it the way we do, we turn to a recent HuffPost investigation.

Linguist Mark Liberman’s theory is that our bizarre pronunciation follows the pattern of Italian words ending in -ia (Italia, Sicilia, and Lombardia), which took on -y endings in English (Italy, Sicily and Lombardy).

“My hypothesis would be that it’s an instance of the old pattern,” Liberman told HuffPost. “But it’s ‘Bologna’ not ‘Bolognia’, right?”

Others believe that it could have sprung from Italians’ penchant for shortening and altering words like “prosciut” for “prosciutto” and “mozz” or “mozzarel” for “mozzarella.”

Lexicographer and Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer told HuffPost that he agrees with Liberman’s theory. “It’s clear that the sausage was called that from the mid-19th century, and I’m sure that was a time when other Italian place names were getting anglicized in that way,” he noted.

By the 1920s, people were using “baloney” (or boloney) to describe non-food-related things. According to HuffPost, writer Harry Charles Witwer referred to a big clumsy boxer as “a boloney” in 1920. It wasn’t long before it was being used as a slang term within the larger world of sports.

“It was at a time when sportswriters in particular were looking for funny words to describe these lumbering boxers,” Zimmer told HuffPost. “And whatever connection they were making to the sausage ? whether it was that they had sausage for brains or they kind of looked like big sausages ? it served its purpose as a funny-sounding word.”

And then somewhere along the line, the “funny-sounding word” took on the definition we use it for today: nonsense.

So, there you have it. As for the exact details regarding how the funny-looking meat got it’s funny-sounding name, we may never know. We’re just sure glad it did.

Food and My Favorite Things

Oh, To Be Loved!

What a month.  September was my birthday month and I am known to celebrate pretty much EVERY DAY, but folks demanded that Lula’s Party Central be on site with delicious food pretty much ALL of the time…so I didn’t get to pamper myself like I usually do…never fear – OCTOBER is here!!! (Gee…couldn’t tell THAT from the picture, could you?!?)   BTW Lula’s caters the BEST Halloween parties!!

I felt something shift in September – a sort of feeling that I’m now on the best side of life – and this feeling makes me even more joyful and intent to cram as much fun and beauty into every day as possible.  I took stock of my favorite things…and it comes down to some really simple stuff.  The warmth and comfort of authentic friendships, family, King Crab Legs…rain, Chinese Checkers, King Salmon…hmmm…is there a theme here?  Oh, makes sense…ROYALTY!!   This is a pic of Lula’s Sorghum & Cider Glazed King Salmon on a bed of Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Sauteed Power Greens – also a favorite thing! 

Lula’s Sorghum & Cider Glazed King Salmon on a Bed of Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Sauteed Power Greens

Also included in my favorite things is Bach, reading thrillers, philosophizing…pug comedy, hugs, an excellent Barbera…and learning something new.  I find at 60 that I still learn something new every day, and I feel so JOYFUL when the lightbulb goes on!  

This was truly a month of love; there was an outpouring like I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before.  I have never felt so loved!  My heart is filled to bursting, and I want to share that with you.  Selections this fall will definitely include my FAVORITE THINGS!

One of My Favorite Things

Meet Uncle Blair.  This is a pic of us in LA a couple of years ago – he traipsed across the country to celebrate with me and I am SO LUCKY!!  We had the best time and laughed and laughed and laughed.  A favorite thing.  And cheese.   Cheese is a favorite thing.  And Gordon’s homemade bread…and white flowers…and...HOLIDAYS!  Don’t forget the HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!  Lula only has TWO HANDS!! Click here to visit our website!

About Chef Lori

Chef Lori Pierce, owner of Lula’s, creates unique, boutique cuisine to impress your guests and clients in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area.  Our custom recipes and menus delight an intimate gathering of 10, a celebration for 100, and anything in between.

At Lula’s, Love is ALWAYS our first ingredient! Click here to visit our website.