Did you know …

“Sprinkle with pepper and serve” is the last step in a recipe for diced pork and apples from the world’s oldest surviving cookbook, De Re Coquinaria (“On Cookery”), attributed to the 1st century Roman,  Apicius. –

Tomaraisins have been getting a lot of good press lately. Curious, I procured some of what a friend rightly calls ‘nothing but a small dried out tomato’. I fiddled; stuffing chicken breast with the little things, some basil, a sprinkle of pepper and wrapped them in bacon to bake. No great shakes at all.


I’ve been staring at a phrase I jotted down in my notebook at #FBI2011. I don’t remember which of the speakers mentioned it, or what is was in reference to, but the evidence is there in my own hand that I found it profound enough to pen it. Exceeding nicety. Google doesn’t help me, and gives me perplexing results, such as:

Let both the veal and the sweetbread be washed with exceeding nicety,


it was certainly veiled in most elegant attire,-and the more severe because of the exceeding nicety of the more than half concealed blade.

And, quite fascinating:

signified a wife or judicious choice, upon account they are said by the exceeding nicety of their smell to distinguish the best or choicest cheese…

It will just have to remain a mystery.

Not so the next note on my page, which says learn better knife skills

Indeed. But first a sprinkle of pepper on a nice bowl of leftover pasta, cream, mustard, chives and asparagus. Exceedingly nice, should get my engine running.


44 Comments Add yours

  1. deepercolors says:

    Even if I knew the answer I wouldn’t be able to cook like you do. Always looks so good. 🙂

  2. earlybird says:

    I’m glad someone else makes incomprehensible notes! (although the clue might be a link between google’s second suggestion and your note on the next page…)

  3. Rosemary says:

    I don’t keep a diary, but I have a note pad on my desk, which I date every day in which I write things to remember, often in a shorthand I can’t remember later. Telephone numbers of people I did attach the name to the number. Usually it works quite well, but sometimes it’s just my day in doodles.
    Chicken looks good.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have several notebooks and very often have no idea what my notes mean …

      1. laughing. that’s what mine would be if i kept them too!
        whish i was more like rosemary w hers (no offense cin. u have almost all the other wishes i have)

      2. theonlycin says:

        No worries, Doc, you make me laugh 🙂

  4. Tandy says:

    Do you know what time you wrote the note? Those tomaraisins were only good in bread 🙂 Have a good day xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s written next to Jane-Anne’s forecasts of trending ingredients, but it’s underneath ‘Jeffrey Steingarten’ who – I think was mentioned by Philipps Cheifitz?

      1. souldipper says:

        Did you have a glass in hand at the time, my friend? 😀

      2. theonlycin says:

        Very likely 😉

  5. Hmm, how frustrating – bet it will all come back to you.
    Your asparagus tips pasta sounds yummy.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s probably a quote from Julia Child or Elizabeth David, something quite obvious …

  6. The asparagus pasta does sound nice, even if I’m not a huge asparagus fan!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Doing my meetfree Monday thing early ;p

  7. Looks totally delicious 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have a super week, Kate 🙂

  8. nursemyra says:

    I’ve never heard of Tomaraisins

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re really a non-event, Myra.

  9. Leeswammes says:

    I have a to-do list that often has notes on it that I really don’t understand. They’re not as prozaïc as your beautiful lines, though.

    Learn better knife skills – that can only mean one thing! Good luck.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Judith 😀

  10. Tilly Bud says:

    If I remember correctly, exceeding nicety is to be particular, to like things done a ceratin way, to be repulsed by perceived vulgarity.

    Never heard of tomaraisins.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am repulsed by perceived tomaraisins ;p

  11. New Attitude says:

    Exceeding niceties are what I see on your posts….always make my mouth water…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks NA, I’m feeling grotty today and you made me feel a whole lot better.

  12. bandsmoke says:

    Gosh, also no clue on the tomaraisins of it all – so sorry you’re feeling grim 😦 Does a proper massge help at all for sciatica? I shall have to seek other inspiration for m.f.m. as DH does not do asparagus at all, mores the pity. Look after yourself my friend – I cannot function without a list/notebook – my scribblings are often totally very confusing 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m considering going to have a deep tissue massage tomorrow. Sorry about the asparagus, maybe use tomaraisins instead 😉

  13. I have to admit that the leftover pasta and asparagus looks delicious! A sprinkle of pepper does wonders for many foods. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Carol, I’m totally in love with white pepper at the moment, it has a nostalgic quality for me that is perfect for the changing season.

  14. nrhatch says:

    That pasta looks YUMMY!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I thought you would approve 🙂

  15. slpmartin says:

    Always love when you give me dinner ideas. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Mornin’ Charlie 😀

  16. linda says:

    Oh the pasta sounds great!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Simple and good, Linda 🙂

  17. suzicate says:

    Boy does that ever look yummy. The hubby sharpened my cutlery this weekend, and now I’m afraid to cook. (I cut myself all too often)That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Ooops, good luck 😉

  18. adeeyoyo says:

    I’ll make a note to forget tomaraisins, haha! Btw, this post nearly snuck past me this morning. 😉

  19. libraryscene says:

    I heart pepper…I must find some white pepper, thou…never tried.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Never? Gosh, that’s unbelievable!

  20. gospelwriter says:

    Exceedingly nice hardly says it for that tasty-looking leftover pasta dish… Mmmmmm!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was simply heaven, that pasta 🙂

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