Proverbial wisdom for troubled times


Things are getting rough out there, so Gert has pulled together some age-old wisdom to help you get the right attitude:

1. Put on the armour of righteousness

2. Gird your loins

3. Screw your courage to the sticking-place

4. Best foot forward

5  Toe the line

6. Stiff upper lip

7. Eyes peeled

8. Ears pricked

9. Get the monkey off your shoulder

10. Put your shoulder to the wheel

11. Nose to the grindstone

12. Don’t let your left hand know what your right is doing

13. Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it


There’s a prize for the best selfie in this pose.


34 thoughts on “Proverbial wisdom for troubled times

      1. You’re kidding! I missed it? These days, Baked Alaska always makes me think of pavlovas which have recently become stylish in somewhat higher-end restaurants (by which I mean restaurants that I can afford once a month — don’t know about the really high-end ones where I never set foot). Did you indulge in Baked Alaska?

        1. 1st Feb is Baked Alaska Day according to my radio this morning, so you probably still have time to rustle one up. To tell the truth, I’ve never actually had it. It always seemed to me a sort of made-up commercial thing, though it’s possible many happy Inuit at this very moment are sitting in their igloos enjoying their national dish. Such is my ignorance.

          1. Here is what appears to be the most complete history of the dessert that I have seen in the past fifty years. Mostly it’s attributed to Chef Ranhofer, but he apparently shouldn’t even get credit for the name. I did make at least one, eons ago in my early twenties, using the “Joy of Cooking” recipe. They are tasty, but it’s easier (and more delicious) to plop a bit of fudgy chocolate cake or brownie in the bottom of the dish, spoon on some ice cream, and drench with chocolate sauce and caramel sauce (or maybe just the caramel). Meringues are too sweet for me.

            The Inuit and Yupik and other Indians seem to prefer “Eskimo” ice cream, which in the old days was seal fat whipped up with snow and berries that had been preserved by freezing. Last time I had it (at a Tlingit-Haida gathering near Ketchikan) it was made with whipped Crisco, as it usually is these days, mixed with sugar and frozen blueberries.

            Now I think I’ll go eat some chocolate because there is no ice cream in the house.

            1. Comprehensive and then some. I like the sound of Benjamin Thompson Rumford, must look into him. I don’t think I’ll be making any of these, including the seal-fat version.

              1. If I may remind my esteemed colleague we had an inferior version this when we dined out with the Family for Christmas. It consisted of stale Pannetone (an Italian sponge cake) covering some pink and green ice-cream,

                Other Gert

                  1. No meringue and no cream. I could eat almost anything if it included these two ingredients. I suppose it was Italian which was odd seeing it was a French restaurant. I don’t think we will be returning this year.

                    Other Gert

  1. Oh, lovely. “Although historians usually cite only his work on heat, he made numerous practical innovations, including central heating, the smokeless chimney, the kitchen oven, thermal underwear, the pressure cooker, and numerous others. In later life, he married (and then became estranged from) Lavoisier’s widow Marie-Anne. Rumford was overbearingly arrogant and had no friends, as well as having a life filled with repeated cycles of rapid rises to prominence followed by equally rapid falls to penury. His abrasive personality and style are perhaps why his many innovations were not widely chronicled by historians.”

    1. In other words, he invented a great deal of what makes modern life pleasant — especially central heating. Add in electricity and running water, and you’re good to go. But we do know about overbearing and arrogant, and what a discouragement that can be to social recognition.

      1. Could you maintain the pose and still bake an Alaska, that is the question. And could you do all that and still stay “nice” as the nuns used to insist? Selfie, please, Chris. I can’t wait to see you in the armour of righteousness.

        1. I tried to take a selfie while doing the really difficult Self-Righteous pose, but I kept dropping the phone — must be slippy fingers from buttering those parsnips.

  2. At this point, after all those comments – how about “bite your tongue”?? As for Baked Alaska I have had it, can’t remember where, probably at some wedding. Have you ever had deep fried ice cream?

      1. He certainly seems determined to deliver to them. I read David Brooks’ NY Times article on the Faustian bargain the Republicans have made. Is anyone going to have the guts to speak out against him, other than McCain and Graham?

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