Pinch, punch, first day of the month

010714Ah, how some of us miss those childhood days when you could start each month with some therapeutic thumping and pinching, unless of course your opponent had magically protected themselves with an invisible White Rabbit by quickly repeating the mantra “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”.

But where does the superstition come from? It’s a contentious subject and appropriately for Book and Kitchen there’s food involved in the form of salt*.

The Americans, always keen to stake a claim, maintain that it came from George Washington’s tradition of meeting with the locals every first day of the month to give them some fruit punch laced with salt. From there we get to “pinch and punch on the first day of the month”.

Here in the UK, we like to go further back to Ye Olde England and a time when salt was considered a handy weapon against the wicked witch lurking in your neighbourhood. Presumably one waited patiently until the start of the month before flinging a pinch of salt in her eyes followed by a generous punch – enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Quite where the rabbit fits in is still uncertain…

Here at Book and Kitchen we like to think we’re not that superstitious. Though we have decided to celebrate the start of this month by opening on a Tuesday.  So from now on, feel free to drop in for books, chats and delicious food anytime from Tuesday to Saturday (10am to 6pm), and on Sunday (from 12pm-4pm).

*Mark Kurlansky’s “Salt, a World History” provides a fascinating insight into the rich history of the white stuff and its role in shaping civilisations.   Available to buy at Book and Kitchen.