Friday, June 06, 2008

Do you have a favorite word? I have a few, and most have to do with how they feel coming out of my mouth. For example: it's a tossup between Wohngemeinschaft and ausgeseichnet in German, as both sound as though they should be onomatopoeic. The meanings are irrelevant.

In French, well, the whole language is just one big mouth-feel love-fest for me. All the words feel good. I'd have to take it up a notch and give two favorite phrases: 'faire tomber' and 'se demander.' How wonderful to visualize these things. The first is translated literally to 'to make fall,' what we call 'to drop' in English. The other gives a wonderful insight into the Chinese nesting box nature of the relationship between language and cognition: it means literally, 'to ask one's self' but is translated idiomatically as 'to wonder.' I also love how my world changes shades (like putting on a pair of tinted to be exact) when I switch from indicative to subjunctive mode.

Interestingly enough, I really don't have a favorite word in English. I get off more on listening to people impose their native syntax/accent on it and puzzling over that.

Yes, I know I'm rambling. What am I getting at? Well, amoena est is my favorite term in Latin as it describes a feeling, a state of being I can't really explain concisely in any other language. If you look amoena up in the dictionary, you're going to find that it means delightful. Pleasant. Nice. However, whenever I say it aloud (ah-moh-EH-nah est), the syllables roll off my tongue and join me in a warm bath or a sauna. They add to the general atmosphere of 'luxe, calme et volupte' that I'm feeling about me.


What contributed to that feeling the other day? Well, after a warm, kind of sticky day, we were caressed by one of those soft breezes like someone breathing on your neck that you only get this time of year. A slightly cloudy sky went ablaze at sunset. My favorite Springtime scent wafted about - that of locust trees in bloom. Dinner was a quick and dirty little thing that turned out to be a new Keeper:

Pasta with Smoked Oysters

1/2 box whole wheat corkscrew pasta
1 12 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1/4 large onion
1 clove garlic
oregano and tarragon to taste (I used maybe eight leaves of fresh oregano and 6-8 fresh tarragon leaves from the garden)
2 T olive oil
2 cans smoked oysters

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.

Chop onion and garlic, saute both in olive oil until transparent. Add herbs, then chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Add pasta, then *drained* oysters. Keep on low heat for another 2-3 minutes, until oysters are heated through. Serve in bowls with a bit of fresh ground pepper and some grated cheese if you'd like. Serves two with leftovers for the next day's lunch.

The Frenchie came up with this idea. Luscious doesn't even begin to describe it.

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