Tuesday, October 18, 2005

We interrupt the book reviews to discuss this important topic

Baby food

I was chatting on line yesterday with a friend, and we were discussing something and I described it as pablum. Much to my astonishment, she had no idea what I meant and said it must be a Canadian thing. I thought for a moment that she was pulling my leg and then I looked it up at Wikipedia and sure enough, it IS a Canadian thing. I did not know that. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I just assumed all mothers and even non-mothers, all over the world would instantly know what I meant. So for those who don’t know what pablum is – just ‘cause I know everyone is curious now (heh heh) it’s a cereal you give to babies starting between the ages of 3 and 6 months when they are hungry and milk just isn’t enough. You start out making it pretty weak and as the babies get older, you make it thicker. I guess it would be kind of like oatmeal only much blander and comes in flavours of wheat, rice, or oats.

Well, since I now know this is just a Canadian thing – like the word “eh” and back bacon, it got me to thinking – the brain just never lets me rest. What do mothers across the border and all over the rest of the world feed babies during the transistion stage between just milk and regular baby food? It’s just such a staple here – at least it was when my sons were kidlets, I can’t imagine what else babies would eat? Would it be strained carrotts or peas? But *yuch *, I don’t think as a baby, I would like that for breakfast. Would it be fruit? That makes a bit more sense, but I still can’t imagine what they would eat that’s better then a nice hearty bowl of baby cereal for breakfast.

Even more astonishing, I learned through the wonders of Wikipedia that they stopped making it sometime earlier this year.

I must say – as odd as this sounds – my world was rocked!

Now in case anyone is wondering why on earth I was discussing baby food, there is a another use for the word pablum.

In lower case, the word pablum is often used to indicate anything bland or
oversimplified, especially a work of literature or speech.

We really were discussing romance books.
So, being on the bitchy side, can anyone think of a pablum book?

'til later


Tara Marie said...

Hey Kristie,

Babies on this side of the border eat pablum, we just call it cereal.

My mom sometimes calls baby cereal pablum, but my grandfather was French Canadian, strangely he was born in New Hampshire and raised in Alberta, he never lived in French speaking Canada, confusing--LOL.

The last book I read that would qualify as pablum was Joan Wolf's To The Castle--painfully BORING!!

Megan Frampton said...

I knew what pablum was, only I thought it was spelled 'pabulum.' Regencies use it a lot to talk about a bland diet of something (not necessarily food for babies, but as metaphor or simile or whatever). And pap as an abbreviation, too. But what is back bacon? I don't know that one.

Kristie (J) said...

Hi Megan: I meant to answer the back bacon question earlier but if you check back - back bacon is also called pemeal bacon. I don't know if you know what that is or not. It's kind of like ham, that you fry up and eat with eggs like regular bacon.

Tara Marie: Ah, so you do have baby cereal. I thought it was strange there wouldn't be :) And what I was referring to as pablum, is a certain publisher - whose name I shall not mention, although I think everyone knows who I mean *grin*