One of my favorite classes in college was linguistics. I found studying the origins of words and the history of words fascinating. I also loved the change of pronunciations and the change of meaning interesting too.
For example, it really isn’t very kind to call someone “nice.” (Did you notice I chose the word kind instead of nice?) Most people use the word “nice” to refer to kind or good. That isn’t the root of the word though! Think about it, when someone is set up on a blind date and they ask about the person and with a slight hesitation and whine the other person says, “Well, he is nice…” What does that convey? I thought so! Historically, the word “nice” referred to delicate, over scrupulous, fastidious, week, foolish, easily injured, or “perceiving accurately the smallest faults, errors or irregularities.” (There are many more definitions in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary, but these are just a few.
All this talk brings me to the definition of two words in my home: Sawdust, and Trash soup.
First, Sawdust. Most people think of sawdust and think of the left over bits of wood that are created when cutting with a saw. In our home, it refers to a non-dairy parmesan cheese substitute we make. It is made with nutritional yeast, almonds, and sea salt. It tastes an awful lot like parmesan cheese and makes a great addition to pasta and Caesar dressing (non-dairy of course). The etymology of sawdust: A couple of years ago, I made some “sawdust” and placed it on the table. One of the children asked what it was and my husband answered, “sawdust,” since it resembles sawdust in color and appearance. It has stuck ever since.
Trash Soup refers to vegetable broth. Etymology: Last Thanksgiving, before I went to bed the night before, I realized I had forgotten to buy veggie broth for the various dishes I was making. I remembered the peels and stems I had in the freezer so I ran downstairs and threw them in the crockpot with water. The next morning, Tiger came downstairs and asked what I was making. I told him I was making, “trash soup.” He was absolutely horrified and asked me to be serious. I then re-stated, “trash soup!” Once I showed him, he thought I had lost my marbles until I explained that really it was veggie broth. Then he had fun asking for some trash soup for the various recipes.
So, in honor of Make-It Monday, Here is the recipe for Sawdust!
Coarsely grind up 1/3 cup almonds. Blend with 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (I like to grind the yeast flakes at the same time I am grinding my almonds so it mixes well and the yeast flakes get powdered) and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Serve as you would parmesan cheese.