Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 4-23-14

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three new-to-me words (plus an extra one) from Comfort Foods by Kate Jacobs. You can read my review  here on Goodreads/

On page 15 :

"All followed by a rich buttery financiere with homemade raspberry sorbet "

A financier is a small French cake. The financier is light and moist, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour, crushed or ground almonds, or almond flavoring. The distinctive feature of the recipe is beurre noisette. Wikipedia

So then I needed to look up beurre noisette.

Definition: Beurre Noisette - French term for "brown butter" or literally "hazelnut butter". Butter is cooked in a pan until it turns a golden brown. The resulting butter has a nutty flavor.

Pronunciation: burr-nwah-ZET

Neither of these words were in any dictionary that I looked in. So I just Googled the words and this is what I got.

Next  found on page 21. "Having the Internet as her main companion all day only encouraged her cyberchondria."

This one I thought I could have deduced by the use in the sentence, but decided to look it up anyway.

Cyberchondria is the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomology based on review of search results and literature online.[1][2] Articles in popular media position cyberchondria anywhere from temporary neurotic excess to adjunct hypochondria. Cyberchondria is a growing concern among many healthcare practitioners as patients can now research any and all symptoms of a rare disease, illness or condition, and manifest a state of medical anxiety.

Last but not least on page 130. " Oliver, looking stressed, took up a place at the Aga stove. He'd been working frantically setting up the kitchen, putting together a mise en place of salt, pepper, spices and olive oil.....

Mise en place (French pronunciation: ​[mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French phrase which means "putting in place", as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift.[1]The practice is also effective in home kitchens.[2]

I suspect that Paulita from An Accidental Blog is laughing at me right about now!  Her blog and her books are about all things French. I am sure she knew all the words above.  I learned a few things and that is always good. I wonder if I could improve my cooking if I put together a mise en place everyday in my kitchen. Surely, it would help!

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


  1. I knew beurre noisette but financiere is new to me. I would have guessed it was someone who works in finance.

  2. Wow some nice words there. I only knew the obvious meaning for financier. To think it is a cake as well. I like cyberchondria :)

  3. I read, really loved and thought a lot about Comfort Food a couple of years ago. I must say I don't recall any of these yummy sounding words at all. I must have really skimmed over them. I'm glad you posted about them.

  4. These are great. My husband is a physician, and just the other day he was telling me about a patient he has who always believes his sick with something he read about online. I'll be happy to share this word nerdy term "cyberchondria" with him! Thanks for looking it up for us.

  5. I knew mise en place from magazine articles that suggest trying it at home. It can really help with efficiency -- not to mention reducing the risk that you'll get part-way through a recipe before realize that you're missing an important ingredient.