Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Benedictio Cerevisae

MN: Beer Blessing in Latin
By Michael Novak
Tuesday, August 1, 2006, 3:46 PM
Beer Blessing
From the Rituale Romanum (no 58)
Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi: et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti, ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corporis, et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen
Bless, O Lord, this creature beer, that Thou hast been pleased to bring forth from the sweetness of the grain: that it might be a salutary remedy for the human race: and grant by the invocation of Thy holy name, that, whosoever drinks of it may obtain health of body and a sure safeguard for the soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Translation by Fr. Ephraem Chifley, O.P.)
(Access contributors’ biographies by clicking here.)
added 28 January 2012, full entry
V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.


Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisiae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi, et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti; ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corpus et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Translation from XI.9.5 of Weller’s edition:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, bless + this creature, beer, which by your kindness and power has been produced from kernels of grain, and let it be a healthful drink for mankind. Grant that whoever drinks it with thanksgiving to your holy name may find it a help in body and in soul; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.
Cf. also this BBC article.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I used to have the following as a sig:

* “If the reader does not understand this word, it is too bad.”

Best Footnote Ever, from p. 59 of Rats, Lice and History
(and brought to my attention by SWMBO)

I suppose I should qualify that epithet to “Best Academic Footnote Ever,” since the footnote to which I most often refer people is not only in a different book altogether, it is in a different sort of book altogether.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is the funniest novel about the coming of the Antichrist that you will ever read. The premise is that the Spawn of Satan was, through bureaucratically designed accident, switched with a normal child. The effect is that those responsible for seeing to the Dark Child’s preparation and training are wasting their efforts with a thoroughly unsuited pupil, while the child with Hell’s powers is being reared in a bland British suburban setting. The book is populated with comic characters both mortal and immortal and peppered with a most entertaining set of footnotes. My favorite of those is informative and dry with just the right amount of snark; it comes upon the revelation that a particular member of the Witchfinder Army, name of Newt, is paid one old shilling per annum (p. 178 in my edition):
NOTE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND AMERICANS: One shilling = Five Pee. It helps to understand the antique finances of the Witchfinder Army if you know the original British monetary system:

Two farthings = One Ha’penny. Two ha’pennies = One Penny. Three pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.

The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated.
So there it is. I think Chesterton would happily accept the book’s dedication to himself. Read the reviews & descriptions at Amazon (linked in the title of this post) and then waste a few hours wiping tears from your eyes. It beats doing actual work.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Appliance for the Heat

Long abouts Derby Day, we tend to make some mint juleps and have a little Derby Pie (Lizzy less of the pie in these diabetic days). The time-consuming part of making a decent julep has been the powdered ice. Using the mallet tired the arm and ruins a tea towel. So I've had half an eye out for a decent ice shaver. Most of the machines make crushed ice, and the smallest chips seem to be what you'd find in a snow cone. But then, while poking around at Amazon, I found a complaint that read in part:
I have tried shaving just plain ice first and then adding liquids, but because this machine generates snow, the snow tends to melt before you get a chance to enjoy it.
"...generates snow..." That sounded like my machine, and at $20, what's to lose?

So we've had it for a little while now and I have to say that this looks to be our julep machine. I'll have to hand-pack the shavings a little harder next time, because they really do want to melt away when a beverage is poured on top. They are that light and fluffy.

We've also played around with freezing other things to shave. Best so far: coffee. It comes out much softer than granita, and goes a treat with Bailey's. Shave some coffee, add some Irish cream. Yum!

Although it will have limited use, it could turn out to be our best kitchen appliance since the convection toaster oven, which is even now about to be loaded with some cookies.


BTW: click the title of this blog to arrive at the Amazon page. It's the Hamilton Beach Snowman Ice Shaver.


Gashwin tagged me. If anything comes of it, it will be at livejournal.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pronoun / Antecedent

One morning a fifth-grader saw me hand an empty egg carton over to another student. He asked why, and I told him that the other student’s family was going to fill the carton with a dozen freshly laid brown eggs.

His reply was, “we get brown eggs from our neighbors. They raise chickens. They’re rednecks.”

“Nicholas,” I said, “you do realize that that’s a derogatory term, don’t you? That it’s not a nice thing to call someone?”

In a completely guileless voice he said, “I don’t think they mind.”

“But you should mind, ” I told him. “They’re your friends. They give you eggs.”

He looked at me, his favorite teacher, as if I were an idiot and said, “they’re just chickens.”

I paused, tiny little cogitative wheels spinning furiously.

“Do you mean Rhode Island Reds?”

“Yeah!” he said brightly, “That’s it! Rhode Island Reds!”

“Ah... Well... I’ll see you in class, then.”

It’s all in the synopsis

Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.

Rick Polito, summarizing
The Wizard of Oz
for the Marin (CA) Independent-Journal’s television highlights column.