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Jun 15, 2013 09:28 AM

What's for Dinner #225-Sumer is Icumen in (Thru Jun 18, 2013)

Indulge me here: I was a medieval literature major in college, and I can't help but think of this poem (sometimes known as the cuckoo poem) when the weather warms up.

Despite promises that the temperatures today would be in the 80s, tonight's dinner will involve stew beef, which was defrosted yesterday. I'm thinking Mexican, but we'll see what rjbh20 is thinking. You never know.

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med

And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu.
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes þu cuccu;

Ne swik þu nauer nu.

Sing cuccu nu. Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu. Sing cuccu nu!

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  1. And the translation:
    Summer has come in,
    Loudly sing, Cuckoo!
    The seed grows and the meadow
    And the wood springs anew,
    Sing, Cuckoo!
    The ewe bleats after the lamb
    The cow lows after the calf.
    The bullock stirs, the stag farts,
    Merrily sing, Cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo, well you sing,
    Don't ever you stop now,

    Sing cuckoo now. Sing, Cuckoo.
    Sing Cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!

    9 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      Annnnnd now I have the von Trapp Family children singing in my head:

      There's a sad sort of clanging
      From the clock in the hall
      And the bells in the steeple, too
      And up in the nursery
      An absurd little bird
      Is popping out to say coo-coo
      (Coo-coo, coo-coo)

      :-) (My favorite movie - tied with Wizard of Oz)

      1. re: LindaWhit

        That was exactly what came into my head when I read roxlet's post Linda!!

      2. re: roxlet

        I'd love to hear the pronunciation!

        1. re: dmjordan

          It sounds a bit like Dutch spoken with a bit of a French accent to my ear (particularly Chaucer), but that's just the way my professors spoke it. No one really knows exactly how it sounded, though linguists make a lot of surmises and assumptions.

          1. re: roxlet

            I saw a TV programme a couple of years back which compared Old English with the modern Frisian language (which, I think, is a dialect of Dutch). They were pretty much intelligible to each other - although modern Dutch and modern British English are not at all similar.

            1. re: Harters

              I remember the first time I went to The Netherlands--I kept I thinking that I understood what people were saying because there was something about the inflection that sounded familiar.

              1. re: roxlet

                I always reckon the Dutch speak English with an American inflection, whilst the Germans speak it with a British one. Broad brush response - apologies for wild generalisations and, possibly, national stereotyping.

                1. re: Harters

                  I might be the only person in the world who swoons for the Dutch accent; a gezellig night with even my worst ex can start an oorlog in my patatjes.

                  The phonology of Dutch seems to lend itself more towards the American pronunciation of English than British -- the prominent rhoticism and intonation of the language shares some features with a stereotypical Upper Midwestern accent. The pronunciation of words like "maar" for instance have me channeling the mom from the 90s US cartoon "Bobby's World" for inspiration.

          2. re: dmjordan

            The phonology of Middle English is necessarily somewhat speculative, but linguists believe they have made some educated guesses based on the clues left by the written language, which exists in a large body of work. Middle English lacked formal conventions which encouraged writers to spell phonetically. While the most commonly used spellings may indicate how English of the time was pronounced, the most common spelling "mistakes" of contemporary writers give the most intriguing clues as to how the language varied regionally and how its pronunciation evolved.

            When I learned "Sumer is Icumen In" as a vocal student, we used Chaucerian pronunciation to learn the text (his spelling being based on the London dialect of the time). The prologue to "The Canterbury Tales" is the longest piece of text I still have committed to memory in Middle English and while my rendition may be a bit rusty, it has a lilt and roughness I'd describe as the dialogue written for Gandalf the Grey as spoken by a Welsh actor with a bad Swiss accent. Shakesperian plays in Original Pronunciation are even more interesting as Romeo and Juliet end up sounding like Cockney pirates, however OP performances do make clear some of the ribald puns Shakespeare includes in his poetry, which are lost in Modern English.

        2. Funny! When I saw the title, I thought perhaps DaveMP had rolled out some crazy new WFD naming scheme.

          WFD here involves grilled meats, grilled zucchini, and pesto. All procured from the FM this morning and details TBD as I rummage through the fridge for ingredients.

          1. Chicken of some kind... either a green mole chicken from Mesa Mexicana or a BBQ one from Barbecue Addiction. Also some tamales and grilled clams.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Njchicaa

              Oh, how to decide Njchicaa...two great choices. I love the sound of tamales and grilled clams too. I've never grilled clams before but can imagine they'd be terrific. Let us know what you end up with.

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                Well that plan got blown out of the water. My BIL came over for Man Night with my husband (drinking beer, smoking cigars, eating meat) and brought 3 types of sausage. They had sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions and grilled corn.

                I wound up making Alex Guarnashelli's Baked Clams with Bacon (clams casino) and had them for dinner. Also shared them with the boys and we all LOVED them. Soooo good!

                1. re: Njchicaa

                  Those clams sound wonderful Njchicaa. Did you buy AG's book? I was wondering about it but haven't had a chance to look for it in Chapters yet (to see if I should order it from Amazon).

                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    Man night sounds great.
                    And nice vitles. The clams would certainly hit the spot

              2. I remember that poem from college but only the English translation. Thanks for sharing!

                I am feeling very decadent- I am posting from a pedicure chair!!

                Dinner tonight was another invite. One of the other guests has celiac so my contribution will be homemade hummus-either cracked red pepper or lemon. I have radishes, carrots and snow peas for dipping. I also picked up some gluten free "nut-thins" crackers. Anyone try those? How are they?

                I will also make Ina's roasted shrimp cocktail with my special cocktail sauce.

                7 Replies
                1. re: foodieX2

                  From pedi-chair to giving lessons on how to use knobs on a stove...what a day!! ; - )

                  I haven't heard of those nut thins but if you try one, could you report back. It's always good to know of tasty options for folks w dietary restrictions.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    Those nut thins are really pretty husband is GF and thinks they are wonderful, and even I like 'em and I'm gluten all the way!

                    1. re: girlwonder88

                      The nut thins were really good! Never know that they were GF unless someone told you. Someone else brought "Mary's Gone Crackers" GF black pepper crackers. They looked weird, kind of shiny on one side, but they tasted good too.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        Good to know foodieXT, I've made a note in my Entertaining binder for future reference.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          I love that you have an Entertaining binder. What else is in there?

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              yeah, I need one too - currently mine is between my ears and it's a disaster.

                  2. Pulled out a BSCB from the freezer last night. Not sure what to do with it...mmmm...Asian chicken and noodles...mmmm

                    I prepared an off the cuff Asian inspired chicken dish with soba noodles

                    I sliced a BSCB into medallions and did a velveting technique to the chicken adding some sriracha to the corn starch and water. Also prepared a thickening sauce of water, soy, fish sauce, raw sugar and corn starch.

                    While the chicken was tenderizing I sliced slivers of onions and multicolored sweet peppers and set aside as well as picked some lemon balm and Thai basil and a couple of curly kale leaves from the garden

                    Braised the chopped kale with part of the onions in chicken stock until tender and liquid reduced then removed and began to saute the peppers and onions in coconut oil then removed and added the chicken after which I added back the vegetables, the herbs, the sauce and the cooking soba noodles and brought it all together to meld and reduce.

                    The coconut oil came through as if I used coconut milk in the dish which was what I was hoping for. Hit it with some fresh Thai basil at serving.

                    I was pretty happy with the results