Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Who Knew What the Phrase "To Ginger Up" Really Meant?

To say that the phrase has changed considerably from its then meaning to now is understatement.

What I'm used to hearing and have said myself to others - ginger it up! - originally had a very different application and I used "application" meaningfully. 

The 1785 issue of "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" advises "to put ginger up a horse's fundament to make him lively and carry his tail well."  I trust that we all now know where the "fundament" is located on a horse? 

Moving on rather more rapidly than is our normal pace, ginger - powdered or dried or liquefied - has long been used to treat such as nausea, loss of appetite (a gin martini works for me) motion sickness or pain. 

Remembering the attractiveness of an icy cold drink in a contents-frosted copper mug during a May  visit to Peohe's, Coronado Island, compelled me to order a Hudson Mule before dinner at Hudson House here.  The listed contents were:  vodka, ginger liquor, lime and ginger beer.  It had a refreshing appearance.  It tasted cool and slightly spicy - more sweet than "gingery."  It was good, and I could see a summer patio party with the guests leisurely sipping them. Ah, the civilized table, dontchew know. 

Aside from drinking ginger, eating ginger is pleasurable, too.  The Chimes brand of chewy ginger-mango candies hits it out of the park.  The contents (according to the label) are fresh ginger, tapioca starch, and cane sugar.  only 3G sugar/Piece.  They have a real kick to them.  Chimes is a firm that had an interesting start as so many other food products have had.

A young couple opened a cafĂ© in Java.  A dear friend, an herbalist, dropped by with the chews that he had made himself.  This was in 1935 and Chimes Chews have flourished ever since.  Visit them at chimesgourmet.com for other flavors of chews and store locations if you don't have a pet Trader Joe's.

When Trader Joe introduced Ginger Chunk cookies, a new product for them and sadly sold under their own label so we can't make a vertical descent on our favorite grocery store to buy them, I bought a bag and fell in love.  Think chocolate chips in a brown sugar cookies, substituting chunks of sweetened ginger for the chocolate.  Since two of them will only cost 130 calories, while it isn't "diet," they are at least a lot less fattening than chocolate chip cookies. 

Unless you eat the entire bag of 14 in two days.  I seem to remember someone in this house who did exactly that ...who the hell was it - name's on the tip of my tongue - oh, no!  That's a ginger chunk!

No comments: