I’ve lost count of how many Pillow Talks I’ve posted, so you’re getting this one without an episode number. Very unprofessional of me, I know. Sorry.
Today’s story needs a bit of prologue. I may have mentioned before that George has been getting more and more interested in cooking lately. When he spotted an old copy of The Joy of Cooking in a used-book section of a local store, he snatched it up and was much giddier than you’d expect your average PhD in Forestry to be. Yesterday he attempted one of the book’s marinade recipes on some beef in the crockpot. It smelled wonderful simmering in there all day.
(By the way, lest you think I’ve completely relinquished the chef’s hat to Dr. George the Gourmand, I put in some kitchen time yesterday, too. But mine was less about the joy of cooking and more about penance. You can see pictures and read that story here.)
Shortly after our delicious dinner, I was rinsing dishes and George was putting away some whole cloves he’d used in the marinade, when the following conversation took place:
Him: What do you call just one of these things? A clove of clove?
Me: No, I’m pretty sure you just call it a clove.
Him: That doesn’t make sense. You have a clove of garlic. Shouldn’t you have a clove of clove?
Me: You have ground cloves and whole cloves, but one piece isn’t called a clove of clove. It’s just a clove.
Him: I think it has to have a name.
Me: It does have a name. It’s a clove.
Fast forward several hours. I’ve already crawled into bed. He is flossing his teeth in the bathroom. Between floss-flicking sounds he picks up where we left off.
Him: I think it would be a clove of clove.
Me: Look it up in the dictionary.
Him: It’s the same word as a clove of garlic, so it should be a clove of clove.
Me: It’s the same word, but it may not be the same definition of the word. Look it up.
Him: Okay, so imagine this conversation between Julie and Julia. Julie says, "I see this recipe calls for cloves. But what’s the quantity?" And Julia says, "Ah, yes. For this recipe you would use five cloves of clove." See what I mean?
Me: George, just look it up in the dictionary. Better yet, I will.
Him: I think I’m going to google "quantity of cloves" instead. You wouldn’t look up "goose" if you wanted to know how many geese were in a gaggle.
Me: (thinking) No, I’d look up "goose" for the definition of "George." (muttering) Oh, my soul.
Him: What did you say?
Me: Good night, George.
Him: Now you’re just trying to get rid of me.
No, dear. Why would I want to get rid of a man who, among countless other virtues, loves to cook amazing food? It’s just hard to sleep with this incessant honking sound. That’s all. Oh, and by the way, I looked up "clove" at dictionary.com. Here are the first two entries.
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Well, well, well. Same word, different definitions. What a surprise. But, as far as I’m concerned, George can call it a clove of clove, a gaggle of cloves, or anything else he wants, if that’s what it takes to keep him happy in a chef’s hat.