Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Pen Point – What is an Appetizer?

pen point 03KENTUCKY (7/4/13) – SurfKY News is pleased to introduce a new weekly column to our readers. This column, Pen Point, is authored by Rita Dukes Smith, and covers a variety of subjects with various angles. Some will be amusing, some inspiring, and others intriguing and informative. Without further ado, we present this week’s Pen Point.
 
Why do cooks, chefs and restaurants continue to have an appetizer category when most items on the menu are not "appetizing?" Now, I don't mean they don't taste good. They do.
 
Anything covered with cheesy goodness is delicious to me. I'd probably eat grasshoppers if they were covered in asiago cheese. Really, would you ever consider eating macaroni by itself? Not me. Cook it with some cream cheese, a little cheddar and throw in some Swiss for good measure, and I'll go back for seconds.
 
Today's appetizers, however, are quite filling.
 
Fried calamari, spicy chicken wings with blue cheese dipping sauce, crab cakes or mini hamburgers is more filling than appetizing to me. In fact, if you batter dip and deep fry anything, it becomes very filling.
 
I believe when the concept of the meal courses were conceived back in the early ages, the appetizer round was likely something like a cup of broth or celery with lemon juice and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Now, that will make you hungry.
 
Celery with lemon wakes up the taste buds and makes you want more. It gets the stomach engine started. It's one of those zero-calorie foods that takes more energy to digest than ingest. Now, that's an appetizer.
 
I was thinking about this last night as I was watching "Chopped", on the Food Network. It was an episode featuring a contest between home cooks instead of professionals. In the show's competition, each contestant must create a dish starting with the appetizer and ending with the dessert using the surprise basket ingredients they've been provided. Therein lies the rub. Try to make something appetizing out of a guppy and some marshmallows.
 
While some would malign their school lunches to being that bad, I only have knowledge of my alma mater's dining experience.
 
At Bremen High School, in Muhlenberg County, KY, we had some of the best cooks in the world. We ate high on the hog, so to speak. BHS's turkey and dressing dinners were regionally famous and during a fall festival, and people would line up down past the gym waiting to get their take out plates.
 
I can only remember having the now standard "pizza slice" a couple of times when I went to high school. We feasted daily on meatloaf with stewed potatoes, cornbread, peas and peach cobbler, all freshly made each day. Those are comforting childhood memories of a bygone era.
 
Yet the school lunch menu terminology lives on and is even seen on shows like "Chopped" and on some restaurant menus.
 
Take "banana halves". That's a fancy way of saying, "Half of a banana."
 
Gelatinized Fruit Nectar with Peach Slices — translation: Jell-O with some peaches cut up in it. Hey, I like it, but it is what it is.
 
I once created a dessert for an Italian themed office pot luck. I used my own strawberry dessert creation that I had never given a name. So for the dinner, I asked my Italian friend to translate my concoction into Italian. Of course, she needed me to give it a name to translate, so I said, "Oh, it's a strawberry situation."
 
Thus was created the fancy-sounding name for one of my family's favorite dishes — Fragola di Situazione, or, in English, "A Strawberry Situation."
 
Sounds good, no? It's really just angel food cake with white chocolate pudding, strawberries in glaze with whipped topping and nuts.
 
Admittedly, a rack of lamb sounds fancier than sheep ribs, and professionals and amateur chefs like to put their slants on the names.
 
"I have made for you today, a pan-seared capon with potatoes and asparagus tips with a citrus sauce." Translation = "We're having chicken and fried potatoes; asparagus with lemon juice."
 
If you weren't particularly hungry when you started reading this column, maybe you are now.
 
A quick trip to most American refrigerators can result in a nice little cold, summer meal to satisfy that urge.
 
Most of us keep some "hip of pig" in the refrigerator, some cheese slices and wheat bread. Add to your plate some celery sticks, julienned carrots and banana half or halves and you've got lunch.
 
Enjoy.
 
Rita Dukes Smith
Pen Point
 
 
Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 10720

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 17, 2014 7641

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6803

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 5117

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4571

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 19, 2014 4441

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4388

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 18, 2014 4148

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 3998

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 16, 2014 3906

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd

Stories Trending Today

December 19, 2014 3321

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 19, 2014 1447

Greenville Mayor Honored during Final Council…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 1415

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 1206

New Trial Sites Added for U of L's Brown Cancer…

in General News For All Sites by Health Sciences News
December 20, 2014 1110

Farmers' Markets, Vendors; Sign Up for Free…

in General News For All Sites by Ted Sloan
December 20, 2014 1089

WKU Public Affairs Claims 17 Statewide Awards

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 1084

'When the Universe Was Young' Opens Jan. 4 at…

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 1077

Law Enforcement Officers, Agencies Honored for…

in General News For All Sites by Erin Eggen
December 20, 2014 1053

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 1013

City of Madisonville Holiday Schedule

in Hopkins News by Leslie Curneal

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss