Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monkey Balls and Book Titles

I don't talk about food too often on this site...well, except for chocolate...but I ran across this restaurant menu item from The Drunken Monkey in Fort Collins, Colorado and couldn't resist continuing the name theme started by Alan Orloff at A Million Blogging Monkeys: Ptomaine's House of Beef.

Monkey Balls (this restaurant version, anyway) are made from cheesecake, deep fried, then drowned in ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge. Sounds decadent, and I wouldn't try it at home. But if you're ever in Northern Colorado, you might want to check it out.

Death by Chocolate comes in many forms, but I tried one in a restaurant in Florida many years ago and it nearly finished me. I thought I really was going to die. Eventually my taste for chocolate returned, thank goodness.

Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies of all time. I've been making them since I was a kid, and that was a really, really long time ago. When my own kids were little, I let them roll the dough and dip it into the cinnamon, sugar mixture for me. They saved me a lot of work, and they were having fun with no thoughts of actually being helpful.

Blueberry Grunt (also known as blueberry slump) is made with blueberries and a sweet dumpling dough.

My paternal grandmother used to make her In a Bowl Put cake for dessert. As far as we knew, it had no other name and there was no written recipe. It was always good, though.

What's in a name? Well, I was interested enough in a dessert called Monkey Balls to read on and see what it was, more so than if the restaurant had called it Cheesecake Bites.

I'm just as likely to look more closely at a book in a book review or in the bookstore if it has an intriguing title, especially if it also has a great cover. Names and titles, just like presentation, are effective tools for attracting attention and making a sale.


Ann said...

Monkey Balls, yes that would make me look more closely at a menu too. Great point about titles. I have to agree, a book cover and title is your first impression, and you know what "they" say about first impressions. I would tell you, but it has slipped my mind at the minute. Heyho!

Dawn said...

I love how you've related this back to writing :-)

Name: Luana Krause said...

One of my specialities was a Dump Cake. You dump all the ingredients in a pan and bake it. Pretty tasty.

Karen Walker said...

I don't think I'd try anything to eat named Monkey Balls, no matter how wonderful the ingredients. But this is a great post about catchy titles. It certainly got my attention.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I used to love chocolate but haven't had any in years owing to lose weight, I did lose weight only to put on the pounds when I returned to the UK. but I have gone off of chocolate completely.
I did smile at the Monkey Balls I wondered what I was going to read abou.
I enjoyed the read Patricia after a hectic morning this made pleasant reading.


Clarissa Draper said...

Titles are important to me. I often buy a book because it's got an interesting cover or title... perhaps even more than a recommendation.


Terry Odell said...

Yes, I remember dump cake. There was also a nifty recipe in a cookbook my mom swore by -- the "I Hate to Cook Book" but I can't remember the name of the cake--so much for memorable titles!

Me, I hate having to come up with titles for my books. Guess that's why one of them is called "What's in a Name?"

Patricia Stoltey said...

Blog post titles, like book titles, are always a challenge -- you don't want to mislead folks, but you do want to attract their attention. I have to admit, when I glance through my blog rolls, I often read the posts with catchy titles first.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'll have to add Dump Cake to my list. Sounds like the little chocolate cake recipe I have. Fast and easy, all of the ingredients are mixed right in the square cake pan used for baking.

Lisa_Gibson said...

This has made me sooo hungry. My son loves Snickerdoodles. Since I am in Colorado, I may have to check out Monkey Balls (I can't believe I just typed that out for the public to read). ;)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Jemi Fraser said...

I always used to make snickerdoodles ALL the time with my kids too. One day I put a plate of them outside for all the kids. Bees and wasps from about 6 neighbourhoods came flying in, stung all the kids mutliple times. It was awful!!! It took years before they wanted snickerdoodles again.

Anonymous said...

And all this time I though monkey balls were miniature Rocky Mountain oysters.

Stephen Tremp

Margot Kinberg said...

Patricia - No doubt about it, names can really catch one's attention and be appealing or off-putting. I think you're tight, too, that book titles can do the same thing. I think the best book titles are relatively short and in mysteries, I like it best when they give a clue to the story.

Ann Best said...

This is a delightful post, Pat. I love it. Titles do draw us in, whether it's food or books.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Okay, now y'all are making me laugh out loud (especially Steve -- how come a California guy even knows what Rocky Mountain oysters are?).

Hi Margot -- I loved the titles of Erle Stanley Gardner novels for just that reason. Think of "The Case of the Musical Cow"...or "The Case of the Curious Bride." I must go back and read some of those stories again, just for the sheer fun of it.

Jemi, that's a terrible Snickerdoodle story -- those poor kids, traumatized by a cookie incident. I'm surprised they were ever able to eat cookies again without suffering serious anxiety.

And Lisa, I had the same moment of hesitation before using monkey balls in my post title. Sometimes I just do goofy stuff and hope for the best.

Alan Orloff said...

I think I just might title my next book, MONKEY BALLS. And I'll be sure to credit you, Patricia!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Oh, thanks, Alan -- I'll love having that title blamed on me. Maybe it will bring me fame and fortune. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm just glad monkey balls was something innocent!

Jan Morrison said...

while my brain works - The I Hate to Cook Cookbook was by Peg Bracken and why I remember that shall forever remain a mystery! Blueberry Grunt is a big dish here in the Maritimes - it is called so because as the steam comes through the biscuity stuff on top it grunts! We are big on 'ordinary' cookies around here ever since my best friend's son called some oat cookies this with grave disappointment many years ago. We LOVE ordinary cookies.

Mason Canyon said...

While I'm sitting here laughing at all these great comments after this neat post, I've developed a taste for anything chocolate or maybe just anything sweet.

Patricia, it's fun to know another fan of Earle Stanley Gardner's books.

Thoughts in Progress

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Oh, I remember Dump Cake--and Groovy Butter Cake--which I made yesterday! It is full of sugar and butter and cream cheese! And absolutely no calories!
Sylvia Dickey Smith

irishoma said...

Dump cake is one of my staples. Easy and quick. A St. Louis favorite is Gooey Butter Cake.
My granddaughter's favorite is Dirt Cake, which I make faithfully for her birthday every year.
Okay. I'm getting hungry now.
Donna V.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Donna -- I'd forgotten all about Gooey Butter -- we used to visit relatives in St. Louis and they always had Gooey Butter coffee cake for breakfast from a nearby German bakery. So good.

Dirt Cake -- is that the one with Oreo Cookies? Yum. Now my mouth is watering.

Glynis said...

Yummy, Monkey balls sound lovely. *dribble*

The name would catch my eye, clever marketing.