Friday, March 16, 2012

Firewater Friday - Allow me to ladle you a piping hot bowl of . . .

If a meal is served to me 'piping hot' I know if I gobble it down with utter disregard for its extreme hotness I should do so with full knowledge that it's going to burn the taste-buds from my tongue and scald the flesh from the roof of my mouth.  

Piping hot . . . what does that mean anyway?  A reference to plumbing?  If you’re in the vicinity of a burst steam pipe, it will get your attention  . . . and, I promise, it will hurt.

Nope, that’s not it.  
Does it come from the Scottish tradition of ceremoniously serving food on special occasions accompanied by the playing of the bagpipes?  Certainly that food could be considered 'piped in'.

No, not even close.

What ‘piping hot’ refers to is the sound sizzling hot food makes as steam escapes from it . . . the sound is reminiscent of whistling teakettles and high-pitched musical pipes.

One of the first literary references was from the second of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales - The Miller’s Tale (1390)

Absalom in his attempt to woo Alison . . .

He sang as tremulously as nightingale;
He sent her sweetened wine and well-spiced ale
And waffles piping hot out of the fire . . . 

Now a pipe dream . . . that's a whole other thing. It, too, has nothing whatsoever to do with plumbing or musical Scots.  It has everything to do with pipes . . . opium pipes.

You puff on one of those suckers you'll have dreams like no other . . . pipe dreams, as it were.

Absolut® Orient Apple Breeze

2 Parts Absolut Orient Apple
2 Parts Cranberry Juice
1/2 Part Fresh Pink Grape Juice

Combine all ingredients and pour over rocks in a highball glass. 

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