Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the fridge despite the fact that you know full well you will never ever use it!
Ever had that happen to you? And if you say no, I will have no qualms in calling you a liar!
That half a green plantain because two and a half is correct but the half more is not! The half a cup of yogurt or sambar that you just can’t throw away (if you grew up in India or are born of Indian parents living outside India, this still holds true – you just cannot bring yourself to throw away food!) Annapoorna, the Goddess of Food, will disown you and your stomach will never be full again! Notice that food here is spelt with a capital F – as it should be! Every religion in a land which has seen famines many times has some form of taboo about wasting/throwing away food!
But… there’s always a but, isn’t there? But… the same principle does not apply when you let the food rot at the back of your fridge or freezer for a few weeks till it starts to move and you might shortly have to give it a name... and then you can throw it away without a care! I have given this a lot of thought – when it begins to develop a life of its own, then it can no longer be considered food – in fact , you might be its food! Then you can throw it away!
Indian kids are brought up to believe that food is the Holy Grail and wasting it brings every kind of misfortune down on one’s head – from famine to plague to failing in the exams to premature graying and so, even if you are stuffed to the gills, you will end up finishing that last puri or couple of spoons of rice or whatever, ensuring it a permanent place on your hips rather than at the back of your refrigerator!
Now, would you believe there is actually a name for this? That’s what Goosnargh means – “Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the fridge despite the fact that you know full well you will never ever use it!”
It is also a word that you say when you know you should say something but don’t know what it should be! So here we go at a party:
“Hello, good to meet you.”
“Mumble, mumble, good to meet you too… “
Awkward grin from other party who has run out of conversation.
The name “Goosnargh” appears in the works of Douglas Adams in the latter context. Goosnargh (I can’t stop using the word!) is actually a village in Lancashire from which these almost forgotten biscuits come…
Adapted from the original recipe:
- 250 gn plain flour/maida
- 100 butter
- 65 gm peanut butter
- 1 small tsp of baking powder
- 60 gm sugar
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 pinch salt
Rub in and mix to a paste without moisture.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thick
Cut with a cookie cutter. Rest for an hour.
Bake for 15 mins in a moderate oven (top shelf), do not turn them, when cold dust them with icing sugar.
My nephew Nalin created a variation on this by placing a Hershey’s kisses chocolate on top of a hot-out-of-the-oven biscuit. To cool it down, he said!