While I was tossing about possible blog posts this afternoon, my mind went into mental free fall, wandering every which way.  (Note to self: a good day to remember that not all who wander are lost.)  My brain’s a mishmash of “stuff” today–lists for Megan going to school at the end of the month, lists for vacation (almost here), lists of food to buy for a week of being in the mountains with town a long, difficult drive away, trying to remember everything I don’t want to forget long enough to write it down.  Wishing I could just transport ala Star Trek from Cleveland to Naperville to Wyoming with everything I needed; then relax and do only things I want to do.  Every time I sit down to take a break, before my seat touches the chair, I think of seven more things I need to do, hop up again and collect something, start another list, or add to a current one.

My brain on super-nova overload!

Then I got a little sidetracked on “mishmash” and, looking it up just for fun, found a number of intriguing synonyms.

mish·mash  (mshmsh, -mäsh)
A collection or mixture of unrelated things; a hodgepodge.

Noun 1. mishmash - a motley assortment of thingsmishmash– a motley assortment of things

assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, motley, potpourri, salmagundi, smorgasbord, variety, mixture – a collection containing a variety of sorts of things; “a great assortment of cars was on display”; “he had a variety of disorders”; “a veritable smorgasbord of religions

My favorites have to be “gallimaufry”, “mingle-mangle” (very close to part of an old-time washing machine and appropriate as I have laundry in right now), “omnium-gatherum” and “salmagundi.”

In a rabbit-trail of fun, I looked up “salmagundi” and found this as part of the definition:

“In English culture the term does not refer to a single recipe,  but describes the grand presentation of a large plated salad comprising many disparate ingredients.”

My brain is definitely feels much like a large plated salad comprising many disparate ingredients at the moment!!   But I like even more one of the recipes Wikipedia mentions.  It’s a bit long but, I think,  amusing, and will make you appreciate whatever you’re planning for dinner, so bear with me and at least skim it.

“Salmagundi is also purportedly a meal served on pirate ships. It is a stew of anything the cook had on hand, usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, often arranged in rows on lettuce and served with vinegar and oil, and spiced with anything available. The following is taken from a reprint of “Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book”, originally published in 1867 and republished by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts.

Boil two calf’s feet; take the feet out when done; reduce the broth to a quart. The feet may be fried and used, first removing the bones. Let the broth become cold in an earthen vessel; scrape off all the grease; wipe the top of the jelly with a coarse towel; put the cake of jelly into a kettle lined with tin or porcelain; season it with two lemons cut up (removing the seed), fine blades of mace, a stick of cinnamon, pepper (white pepper is best), and salt to taste. Beat to a froth the whites of six eggs; stir these to the jelly just as it melts; it must then be left to clarify and not stirred again. When it simmers long enough to look clear at the sides, strain it through a flannel bag before the fire; do not squeeze the bag. Suspend it by running a stick through a loop made by tying the bag; rest each end of the stick upon a chair, and throw a table-cloth over all to keep out the dust. If the jelly does not run through clear the first time, pour it through the jelly-bag again. Set this aside. Prepare the meat and seasoning for the pie. Put into a stew-pan slices of pickled pork, using a piece of pork four inches square; if it is very salt[y] lay it an hour in tepid water. Cut up two young, tender chickens–a terrapin, if it is convenient–two or three young squirrels, half a dozen birds or squabs. Stew them gently, cutting up and adding a few sprigs of parsley. Roll into half a pound of butter two tablespoonfuls of flour; add this to the stew until the meat is nearly done. Line a fire-proof dish, or two fire-proof dishes (this quantity of stew will fill two common-sized or quart dishes;) with good pastry; mix the different kinds of meats; put in Irish potato dumplings; season to taste; pour in the gravy and bake. When done, remove the upper crust when the pie is cold and pack in the jelly, heaping the jelly in the middle. Return the crust and serve cold or hot. The jelly will prevent them become too dry. They are good Christmas pies and will keep several days. Very little gravy should be used, and that rich. Should there be too much, leave the stew-pan open until reduced sufficiently. This kind of pie keeps well if made in deep plates, and by some is preferred to those baked in deep moulds.'”

Can’t you just see Captain Jack Sparrow staggering into the kitchen of his ship, fixing the cook with a kohl-ringed glare and demanding “Where’s me salmagundi?”

Or how about the old children’s rhyme, altered slightly?

Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end,
Of Salmagundi.

See what I mean about rabbit trails.  Anyway…my brain’s demanding tea and my responsibility bump that I do something that will forward my progress in the list-making and packing categories.  And while perusing my collection of tea sayings, I see two that are relevant to the gallimaufry of my brain today:

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. – T’ien Yiheng

Tea is wealth itself, because there is nothing that cannot be lost, no problem that will not disappear, no burden that will not float away, between the first sip and the last.The Minister of Leaves

Oh, it is definitely time for tea!!

  1. Robin in New Jersey says:

    I am sipping my morning tea while reading this, Janet. Oh what fun! What a chore it was to make salmagundi and I am sorry but it sounds down-right disgusting! I like the word mishmash and now I think I will use mingle-mangle too.

    Hope your packing and getting ready for your trip goes better for you today.

  2. […] See the article here: Monday mishmash and rabbit trails « This, that and the other thing […]

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