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A new word

  • Posted on December 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Today, I learned a new word, one that I’m sure will never fade from memory or lose its significance to the English speaking world. What word is that, you ask, and how did I learn it?

Last week I purchased a package of Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Pie Bites to share with my writing group this afternoon. Opening the box to prepare the desserts and finding them in a molded to fit, flexible plastic tray, I read the baking instructions which followed the usual format with one exception. Next to “bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes” was this sentence in large, red letters. That means pay attention, so I prepared myself for significant information.

The information was, indeed, significant; I could bake the bites in their own container. However, the sentence was astounding.

It didn’t say to place tray on solid baking dish, which is obvious to anyone watching the tray flop side to side as I removed it from its secure cardboard box and cut away the cellophane.
It said, “Tray is ovenable.”

I’m guessing that means I can bake the bites in the tray without it melting or catching fire. Good news, of course.

However, as a writer I’m accustomed to learning new words from reading excellent literature, paging through a thesaurus or chatting with a teenager. Pastry boxes have never been my primary source for increasing my vocabulary prowess. Today I learned a valuable lesson. Be prepared to learn something new anywhere, anytime, even on pastry boxes.

Now I’m wracking my brain trying to decide where I can use this word to impress my friends and family. Do I tell my daughters that the holiday turkey is ovenable? Can I ask my friends if their new cookie sheet is ovenable?

That word just doesn’t want to settle into my aged brain. What shall I do?
Oh, I know. Back in the day, we told each other to take a long walk off a short pier or go to stick their head into an oven. Now I can say, “Your head is ovenable,” and let them worry about the meaning.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 8, 2011