Garlic Lover’s Pasta; Vocabulary-Free?


 I saw a product description on Amazon this morning.

It was:

“caffeine-free, sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free, dairy-free and peanut-free”.

Wouldn’t it be simpler and quicker to say:

‘no caffeine, sugar, fat, carbs, dairy or peanuts’?

I realize it’s all marketing.

I realize that the phrase ‘Sugar-free coke’ has more zing than, the more correct, ‘Coke, free of sugar’.

But what used to be a clever marketing catch-phrase now appears as a descriptor everywhere.

And repeated everywhere.

Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 35,000 words.

In the 1950’s, teenagers had a vocabulary of 25,000 words.

Studies have shown that teenagers, today, have a vocabulary of less than 10,000 words.

And use about 800 in normal conversation.

(Some would go on to say that 750 of those words are variations on ‘really’ and ‘cool’.)

I use teenagers as an example because, theoretically, they are in school, learning and increasing their knowledge, and, thus, their vocabulary every day.  (As opposed to the rest of us who are slowly losing it.)

The sad thing is, not the statistic of losing the ability to use some 15,000 words, but the fact that, with the loss of the words, we lose the concepts.

If you study another language you know this first-hand.

I’ve had people ask me ‘what’s the French word for…’  And are astounded when I tell them there is no French word for that – because the French don’t do that/act that way/think that way.

Likewise, there are French words that don’t translate into English, for the same reason.

German has the two most famous words that don’t have equivalent words in other languages:

Schadenfreude: unanticipated delight in the suffering or misfortune of others

Gemütlichkeit:  a warm, welcoming place or group where one belongs, is socially acceptable; cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic, cozy

These are only close definitions.  The words describe a feeling, an emotion. If you don’t have the word you can’t express the feeling.

Some would argue that without the word you can’t have the feeling.

Words are important.

We need them to express ourselves – to ourselves as well as to others.

I, for one, mourn their loss.

I understand, and use, ‘clever, zingy, grammar-free phrases’.

Sometimes, I just wish I didn’t have to.

Garlic, on the other hand, I’m happy to use all of the time.


Once again I have found something new (to me) to play with.

This is fresh garlic… As in: just pulled, not dried, still moist, new this summer.

The cloves are very white, firm and moist with just a hint of a green center.  Not the green center of a sprouting garlic clove but the green center of a clove not quite finished maturing.  They are milder than typical, dried garlic.  Like fresh onions, they don’t have a long pantry life.

Not one to waste a good thing, I have been using them with abandon.

Warm Turkey and Garlic Pasta

Warm Turkey and Garlic Pasta 

12oz (350gr) turkey cutlets
8 garlic cloves
3/4 cup (6oz, 175ml) chicken stock
2 tbs snipped fresh chives
2 tbs snipped fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil – the good stuff
1 tsp whole grain  mustard
1 1/4 cups bite-size pasta

Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain, and toss with 1 tbs of the good olive oil.
Peel garlic but leave whole. Heat 2 tsp oil in medium nonstick skillet. Add turkey and garlic and sauté6 – 7 minutes, turning turkey once.  Remove turkey, leaving garlic in the skillet. Garlic should be lightly browned. Add chicken stock to skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until garlic is very tender and there is 2 – 3 tbs of stock left in skillet, about 15 minutes.
Snip herbs and add to pasta. Slice turkey into strips and add to pasta. When the garlic is done add it to the pasta.
Pour remaining stock into a small bowl. Add vinegar, mustard and remaining 1 tbs olive oil and whisk well to combine. Pour over pasta, stir to combine and serve. Presto pasta nights

This is my submission to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, founded by Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast and hosted this week by Daphne, of More than Words.

Visit Daphne’s blog on Friday for all of the wonderful pasta dishes from here and yon.

For the curious among you: yes, I tried a clove of this garlic raw….
And it was good….

6 thoughts on “Garlic Lover’s Pasta; Vocabulary-Free?”

  1. I’ve found the same thing with French-English-French translations… there are some words that just don’t go both ways. I make the most of my situation by using the word I want, regardless of the language, but it makes me wonder how much I’m missing by being only bilingual…

  2. I really like that fresh garlic looks like an apple when cut into. (rrrr, can I end my sentence with “into”? I don’t think so. Oh, why oh why did you have to rant about language and grammar, or lack thereof?)
    I must say, I’m surprised that today’s teenagers have that many words in their vocabulary. Or do the studies include “LOL” and “IMO” as words?

  3. Mzny years ago I attended a Garlic Festival where I was offered what I thought was a little dish of macadamia nuts. Not a great fan of any nuts, I tried them, and they were better than I expected, and (you guessed it) they were fresh garlic cloves. Very delicious.
    Love this blog.
    God bless, Christine in Los Angeles

  4. Tanna, this was a real treat… Mon mari didn’t want to test his innards with that much garlic – so I had to eat most of his too….
    Emiglia, language is a thing of wonder… I wish I knew lots.
    Elizabeth, I believe they are included, along with ‘yr’ (I hate trying to spell without vowels)
    Food Hunter – have a bite
    Christine, a Garlic Festival? Makes my little heart go pitter-patter

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