Anything Obscure & Eclectic
Bartolomeo Scappi making butter in Venice, 1570.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

OAT, 1. A grain.

RAISIN, 1. A fruit. Specifically a partially dried grape, though in the original context, the word referred to grapes themselves. Leviticus 19:10 in Wycliffe’s bible, written in Middle English in the late 14th century, though the word is even older than that, says “Ne in þy vyneȝard þe reysonys & coornes fallynge doun þou shalt not gedere.” That’s “Thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather [every] grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger,” according to the King James Bible. Basically, don’t pick up fallen fruit. There are starving bums in India.

So, (a) you can see where Jewish mothers get it from, and (b) what, were Old Testament translators against narrative intrigue and descriptive nouns? Surely, a vineyard silly with dropped raisins and coornes (whatever they are) provides a more arresting image than a fire-and-brimstone command: Don’t touch that vineyard. Especially when the next sentence is included: “I am the LORD your God.” No bible mistranslates that. Still, I’ll have the raisins, please, and a little more frill next time.

Regardless, oats and raisins together make a tasty combination. They do. Oatmeal raisin cookies are delicious.

The problem is that nobody has ever wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie.

A person is in a rush as he passes the snack table. Or in the middle of a deep conversation about the etymology of foodstuffs. Or fundamentally handicapped by dim office lighting.

He reaches down. What he wants, of course, is chocolate chip, the granddaddy–indeed, the Rose Bowl–of all cookies. What he gets is fruit in his cookie!

It’s always a shock, that first bite, when you discover there’s fruit in your cookie.

This entry was published on 3 January 2011 at 7:13 am. It’s filed under O and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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