Monday, April 30, 2012

What in tarnation??

What in tarnation??  What in the hell is that supposed to mean . . . that word ‘tarnation’?

My first recollection of hearing that word was from my youth . . . Saturday morning plopped in front of the boob-tube with a heaping bowl of Cheerios watching Looney Toons.   Yosemeti Sam would exclaim in frustration . . .  “What in tarnation??”

What in indeed.

Tarnation . . . a word used to express exasperation.  I always kind of thought it was a made up nonsensical word used in cartoons . . . after all, that was the only place I’d ever really heard it used.

It turns out it is, in fact, a real word.  Tarnation is defined as the act of damning or the condition of being damned. 

The word was popularized in gentler times when men were careful not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the weaker sex.  God forbid you use profanity in front of a woman . . . she might require the waiving of smelling salts under her nose or a cool towel touched upon her brow.  Basically, it would cause a scene.

So other words were used in the stead of everyday ordinary vulgarities. 

Many, many, many years ago . . . like a couple hundred or so . . . ‘tarnal’ was a vernacular form of 'eternal'.  ‘Eternal damnation’ was slangified into ‘tarnation’ and this became the acceptable substitution for expressing anger at something or other . . . most likely about how frustrating it was keeping women from fainting all over the place at the drop of a misspoken expletive.

Another good one is ‘where in the Sam Hill?’ . . . another Yosemite Sam favorite.  It’s a variation on the same theme . . . let’s not offend the babes and come up with a supposedly civilized way of saying something that everyone knows what it means but heaven forbid we say the actual words. 

‘Where in Sam Hill’ is simply a euphemism for saying ‘where in the hell’ . . . such a naughty, naughty word. 

Southwest Black Bean Chicken in the Crock Pot

4 Chicken Breasts (You May Even Start With Frozen)
1  8 Oz Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Of A 6 Oz Can Tomato Paste
2  15 Oz Cans Corn
2  15 Oz Cans Black Beans
2  15 Oz Cans Kidney Beans
2  14.5 Oz Cans Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
1 Southwest Marinade Packet 
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips or Whole Wheat Tortillas

Mix all ingredients except the chicken, cheese, and sour cream and tortillas in the bottom of a large crock pot. If you want it a bit thinner to eat as a soup, then add the liquid from two of the cans. Otherwise drain the liquid from the cans.

Place the chicken into the crock pot and cover it up with the sauce.

Cook on high for 4 hours. After it has cooked for 3 hours, take the chicken out, shred it and put it back in the crock pot for the remaining hour.

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