Monday, December 5, 2011

Today's fortune: December 5, 2011

Today's fortune: Hard words break no bones, fine words butter no parsnips.

Over the past eleven months, I've become pretty good at dissecting the vagaries and mysteries of fortune cookie messages. But I still scratched my head at this little gem.

The first part is pretty easy to understand. "Hard words break no bones." Another way to say this, of course, is, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

It's the second half that's a stumper. "Fine words butter no parsnips" is not a phrase I'd ever heard, although a Google search indicates those words have been uttered in that order before.

The second half of the fortune could be considered a sequel to the first. Words will never hurt me. But words are also incapable of getting me out of jams when action is required.

Or something like that. Hell, I don't know. I had a really long day at work, and I can't dedicate any more brain power to this riddle. Instead, I thought it would be fun to cook some parsnips.

After work, I stopped by my local supermarket and was pleasantly surprised to find they carried the vegetable. But apparently they ain't too popular. I took them to the register, and the cashier said, "What are they?" I couldn't really blame her. The item I presented looked like a bag of fingers.

I figured they wouldn't taste much better. But I was wrong. After peeling the 'snips (ya gotta - they're covered in wax), I took a bite of one It tasted okay like a carrot, but without the aftertaste. Of course, there's also the possibility I'm burned out on carrots after eating them every day for a month.

(That brings up an interesting point. These fortunes seem to be obsessed with root vegetables. But I digress...)

I searched online for parsnip recipes, and the first one I found made out of ingredients I actually had in the house was this one, for butter fried parsnips.

That's appropriate, since butter is mentioned in today's fortune too.

I sliced the parsnips, boiled them, dipped them in butter then flour, and finally I pan-fried them in even more butter. The end result almost looks like something gourmet.

And they tasted magnificent, like really good, crisp french fries.

Before today, I had never knowingly eaten a parsnip. I would eat these on purpose. And I might even make 'em again.


  1. could you post the recipe?