Of food, words and fun.

Mashed potatoes with gravy

There’s no shortage of food phrases and idioms in this world. In fact, they’re downright fun to discuss and research their origin. Unfortunately, many of the idioms just don’t have a definitive source for their derivation. A classic example of this is the phrase meat and potatoes, which has no conclusive origin although most reference materials believe the phrase was spoken between 1945-1950. Meat and potatoes means, of course, fundamental and basic, but also solid. So, if you’re looking for the very classic meat and potatoes recipe, here it is, and yes, it’s fundamental, basic and solid: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/meat-and-potato-casserole.

But there are plenty of other food phrases that don’t necessarily have anything to do with food. Some of our favorites include:

  • Cooked someone’s goose
  • Pie in the sky
  • Cut the mustard
  • Walking on egg shells
  • Selling like hotcakes
  • From soup to nuts
  • Make them eat crow

Well, you get the idea. Why not see how many food idioms you can name? Some, however, do have an origin that is pretty interesting. Take the phrase egg on one’s face; there is strong evidence that the food idiom actually transitioned from a phrase in the early 1900s about farm dogs that would steal eggs from nests and coops.  Oh, and by the way, this delicious egg sandwich recipe, might actually put a little egg on your face, particularly if you like your eggs sunny side up: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/open-face-bacon-and-egg-sandwiches-with-arugula-237306.

Another wonderful food idiom is gravy train. The first known use of this was in the newspaper the Courier of Connellsville, Pennsylvania in 1895 where it was written, “Johnson further states that the next day Kelson laughingly told him that the New Haven lockup was ‘a gravy train.’” The expression, of course, refers to a job that pays a lot more than it’s worth. In fact, here’s a recipe for mashed potatoes and gravy that’s worth every penny: http://kitchensimplicity.com/perfect-mashed-potatoes-and-gravy/.

So have some fun with your food idioms, and when you’re done with the list, take to the Internet and find some recipes that match your phrases. It’s a good way to bring a lot of diversity into your meal planning.

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