Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

11/25/2022 “Post Thanksgiving”   3 comments

How are you feeling today? It’s early in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving and I may not have to eat for another few days. Some people say that gluttony is a sin and believe me I was doing some serious sinning yesterday. It was a fabulous meal and for the first time in my life I celebrated Thanksgiving with just one person, my better half. Two hungry foodies sharing a thirteen-pound turkey and 4 or 5 side dishes. It’s morning and I feel like Jabba the Hut. With that descriptive thought in your head how about I load you up with a gaggle of food trivia items and tips to make you feel a little like I do.

  • Tip #1: Here’s a tip for you to always remember when preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Never, I repeat never pick up a hot dish fresh out the oven without some hand protection. As with anything protection (and I do mean everything) is mandatory. I slightly burned my fingers and dropped a dish full of yummy sweet potatoes into the sink along with the dirty dishes. Never fear I ate them anyway.
  • Tip #2: Never ever attempt to share a kitchen with a loved one in the throes of “chefdom”. Make no direct eye contact, keep low, and keep moving, and offer no advice about anything. It’s hard for them to hit a moving target.
  • The most popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor is Cherry Garcia. Unfortunately, I was stuck with half a quart of Cookies & Cream and killed it.
  • Tip #3: If by chance you been ordered by a doctor to use only a prescribed salt substitute on your food. Send them an emergency text with the message “KMA”. Hopefully they’ll get the message and understand it. Pass me the real salt.

  • Tip #4: When attempting to make a delicious gravy never overuse the corn starch. Within 15 minutes of serving the meal my delicious gravy began to clot. It was not a pretty sight but again I ate it anyway.
  • A medium-sized potato provides 45% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C for an adult. I should be good for at least five more days.
  • The first cooking school was started by Julia Carson in New York City in 1876. There have been many hundreds of cooking schools since then and unfortunately, I never attended any of them. I give a whole new meaning to the terms, “ad-libbing” and “just a pinch or two” when referring to my cooking skills.
  • Tip #5: Always have a fully stocked first-aid kit within reach while cooking. A standard first-aid kit seriously lacks any medicines to properly treat serious burns. Also, if you are a person with large hands pick up a box or two of the extra-large absorbent bandages to sop up any emergency blood loss.

I certainly hope your Thanksgiving was as good as mine was barring any unforeseen catastrophes or injuries. I’ll be sure next year to be fully stocked with emergency supplies and a half gallon of really good ice cream.

TWENTY-NINE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

11/16/2022 “Things You Want to Know”   Leave a comment

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU WANTED TO KNOW

SEX

  • It is illegal In Arizona for a secretary to be alone with his or her boss.
  • In Oklahoma you must be married in order to have sex legally.
  • It is illegal to kiss for more than 5 minutes In Iowa.
  • In Indiana it is illegal to be in a state of sexual arousal in public.
  • Talking dirty during sex is illegal in Oregon.
  • In Arizona it is illegal to have more than two dildos in a household.

TRANSPORTATION

  • The Lincoln Highway from New York to California was the first coast-to-coast highway in the United States. It opened for travel in 1913.
  • The last model T Ford was produced on May 26, 1927.
  • The first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland Ohio in 1914.
  • The first parking meter in the United States was installed in 1935.
  • The first speed limit law in the United States was established in Connecticut in 1901. The limit for cars in cities was 10 miles per hour.
  • The first mountain bikes were made in the United States in 1979 by Charles Kelly and Gary Fisher.

FOOD & DRINK

  • Starbucks Coffee Company was named after Starbuck, a character in Moby Dick.
  • The hot dog was invented by Charles Feltman in 1874.
  • Hershey’s Kisses got their name because the machine that makes them looks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.
  • There are over 5900 Dairy Queens throughout the world.
  • There are over 3000 varieties of tea.
  • Cotton Candy made its debut in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.

I TOLD YOU, YOU’D WANT TO KNOW

10/07/2022 “Food”   Leave a comment

Since I’m a bit of a “foodie” I thought I’d do a little research about food. I started my day watching an oldie-but-goodie, an episode of the original Iron Chef program from Japan. I now know everything I need to know about the preparation and consumption of pork belly. Let’s get on with this . . .

  • Did you know that the cereal Post Toasties was originally named Elijah’s Manna. The name was changed in 1904 after objections were received from the clergy.
  • The country of Norway consumes more spicy Mexican food than any other European nation.
  • The literal meaning of the Italian word linguine is “Little tongues”.
  • Margarine was originally called “Butterine” when first marketed in England.
  • The top two selling spices in the world are pepper (top seller) and mustard.

  • Peter Cooper, best know for inventing the locomotive “Tom Thumb”, also patented in 1845 a gelatin treat later marketed as “Jello”.
  • There are 12 flowers embossed on an Oreo cookie, four petals on each.
  • The standard pretzel shape was created by French monks in 610 a.d. and made to resemble a little child’s arms in prayer.
  • Canned herring are called sardines. The process for canning originated in Sardinia where herring were first canned.
  • When the Birdseye company first introduced frozen food in 1930, it was called “Frosted Food”. The name was changed shortly thereafter to “Frozen”.

Now you know. I also strongly recommend taking some time to visit the Roku Channel and the Iron Chef program. I loved it way back in the day and it still remains an all time favorite.

EAT, DRINK, AND DO MARY

09/18/2022 “FOOD”   Leave a comment

Today is my favorite kind of day. I spent yesterday shopping for ingredients and today making thirteen quarts of super-hot chunky black bean and roasted corn salsa. It’s a lot of work but worth every minute of labor. My better-half was born and raised in south Texas and insists salsa should be nice and smooth and hot. I prefer my salsa to be chunky and OMG hot so I jacked up the heat a little because good salsa should always make your head sweat. Enough about my salsa. Let’s talk about some scary food facts since I’m in the mood.

  • While the results of water contamination tests are made public, manufacturers of bottled water do not divulge their test results.
  • Almost 99% of imported food is never inspected by the FDA or the USDA, the two agencies responsible for protecting Americans from tainted products.
  • One in five office coffee mugs contains fecal bacteria and E. coli, which can cause diarrhea, food poisoning, and infections.
  • Vegetarians beware: many low-fat and nonfat yogurts and sweets contain gelatin, which is made from animal tendons, ligaments, and bones.
  • Even when grapes are harvested by hand, some insects wind up in the picker’s baskets. Workers simply don’t have time to inspect every grape individually as they work.

  • Long a staple of the American diet and US economy, corn is a high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic food that fattens up cattle and does the same to humans who consume it in excess.
  • Beef cattle evolved to survive on grass but are regularly fed corn, which has disastrous effects on their digestive systems, requiring a constant regimen of antibiotics to keep them healthy.
  • Peanut allergies afflict an estimated 4 million Americans and can be life-threatening. Almost half of annual emergency room visits and two thirds of deaths due to anaphylaxis are the result of peanut allergies.
  • Independent studies show that bell peppers, celery, kale, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes are the vegetables most likely to expose consumers to pesticides, despite being rinsed and peeled.
  • A diet high in processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, and luncheon meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Chemical reactions that occur during the preparation of these meets yields carcinogens.

ENJOY YOUR LUNCH

09/02/2022 Facts for Foodies   1 comment

I have to admit I’m a bit of a “foodie”. At one time I was confident that the food systems in the United States were closely inspected. That was until I began learning additional facts that left me wondering what I’ve actually been eating. We are a country of laws (too many for sure) but these food facts are disturbing for me.

  • Ground pepper must contain fewer than 475 insect fragments per 50 grams.
  • No more than two rodent hairs, or 29 gnawed kernels, can be shipped in a pound of popcorn.
  • Frozen peaches may contain up to 3% wormy or moldy fruit.
  • Shelled peanuts must have fewer than 20 whole insects in a 100-pound bag.
  • Canned pineapple cannot contain more than 20% moldy fruit pieces.
  • Chocolate must contain fewer than 60 insect fragments per 100 grams, and no more than one rodent hair.

Here are a few additional food trivia facts.

  • In China, the most popular use of Ketchup is as a condiment for fried chicken.
  • The top-selling candy in the United States are M&Ms. Candy was invented in 1941 and named after its two inventors, Forrest E. Mars and R. Bruce Murrie. They debuted in 1954.
  • The Haribo company produces roughly 100,000,000 gummy bears per day. If all of the gummy bears produced in a year were laid head-to-paw they would circle the earth four times.
  • Each year Americans spend $9 billion dollars on candy.
  • Out of each dollar spent at a movie theater’s concession stand, roughly $.85 is pure profit.

EAT UP

ENJOY YOUR BUG PARTS AND RODENT HAIR

07/31/2022 Chicken Facts   Leave a comment

Living in Maine is always interesting. Maine is a large state with a very small population and most of the state is covered in forests with a population that consists of many rural folks. After moving here, I noticed that a great many people raise chickens. Every other yard has a chicken coop and a few birds roaming around the property. I always thought it was primarily the eggs everyone wanted but there are a couple of other reasons to have chickens I never considered. They are an easy way to remove bugs and ticks from your property and it’s also a very helpful way to help feed the many hawks, coyotes, and foxes that seem to be everywhere. They have to eat too you know. It’s not at all unusual for a homeowner to initially purchase six chickens and then be forced to replace a few every so often due to missing birds.

You would think these rural folks would be familiar with the many superstitions that surround chicken ownership. My better-half has tried numerous times to convince me to become a chicken owner but I’ve refused. I love eating them but after learning about all of these superstitions . . . no thank you. Here are a few things any potential chicken owner needs to know . . .

  • If a hen roosts at noonday that’s a sign that someone in the family will soon die.
  • Anyone who has the blood of the chickens spilled on their clothes will die an unnatural death.
  • The clucking of a hen near a patient’s head is a sign of death.
  • Watch out for mean gossip about you if you see two hens fighting.
  • If you see hens laying eggs, you will have good luck.
  • If you tie an old tough hen to a fig tree, the hen’s meat will become tender.

  • In Korea it’s unlucky if you hear a rooster crow at sunset and a hen cluck at night.
  • In Africa it’s unlucky for a rooster to crow before midnight.
  • In Germany it is believed that when a rooster crows when a guest is leaving – even if it’s at daybreak – that guest will soon die.
  • If a rooster crows in your cellar door – even at daybreak – it’s a sign of a speedy marriage.
  • If a rooster crows all day, expect rain.
  • If a rooster comes into your home, it’s a sign strangers will soon visit.

I hope that knowing all of these potential issues with chickens will help those of you who are on the fence about chicken ownership. I guess you could call this post a PSA, that’s Public Service Announcement for you chicken owners out there.

CLUCK. . .CLUCK. . .CLUCK

06/06/2022 “Foodie Alert”   Leave a comment

We all love food, right? It’s the topic of so many conversations, television shows and TV advertisements. Here are a few foods based trivia facts that you might find interesting.

  • Coffee, who had been introduced in Europe by Arab traders and was considered by many Roman Catholics to be the wine of infidels. Fortunately for all of us Pope Clement VIII officially recognized it as a Christian drink in an edict issued in 1592.
  • Were you aware that a Dutch medical professor produced a product in his laboratory while trying to come up with a blood cleanser that could be sold in drugstores. The product was Gin and its original name was Hollandsch genever (Dutch Juniper).
  • In ancient Egypt when taking an oath, the right hand was placed on an onion. Its round shape symbolized eternity.
  • The Iroquois Indians planted what they referred to as the “three sisters”, corn, beans and squash. Planted together on earthen mounds, the cornstalks supported the vines of the bean plants, and the broad leaves of the squash plants blocked the growth of weeds.
  • The company, F & M Schaefer, was the first American brewery to market beer in a bottle.
  • In cooking, there are 60 drops to a teaspoon.
  • The Heinz company is well-known for its “57 varieties”. The very first variety marketed by Heinz was horseradish in 1869.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt was the person who coined the phrase that has been appropriated as the slogan for Maxwell House coffee: “Good to the last drop”.
  • The queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, used the juice of cucumbers to preserve her skin and it’s still used today in facial creams, lotions, and cleansers.
  • One acre of crocus plants produces only 10 pounds of dried saffron.

HAPPY EATING

03/23/2022 “Time for Lunch”   2 comments

I thought today we might talk a little bit about food and drink. Just a little bit of trivia concerning some of our favorite consumables and some not so favorite. Don’t read this before you eat your lunch, it might put you off a little bit.

  • To make 1 pound of honey, bees must tap an average of 2 million flowers and fly more than 50,000 miles.
  • In ancient times oranges, not apples, were known as the” Fruits of the Gods”.
  • Some fast-food hamburgers are made of only 12% meat.
  • More than 45% of Americans eat fast food once a week.
  • To burn the calories consumed while eating a McDonald’s Big Mac, large fries, and a large soda, you must walk briskly for seven straight hours.
  • The US FDA allows pizza sauce at fast food restaurants to contain a maximum of 30 fly eggs per 100 grams, or 15 fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams.
  • Each day McDonald’s feeds more people than the entire population of Spain.
  • Worcestershire sauce is created by dissolving the whole anchovies in vinegar, until the bones melt.
  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  • Honey is the only natural food that does not rot. Theoretically honey could sit for 1 million years and remain completely edible.
  • On average there are more than 1200 calories in movie theater popcorn if you include the butter topping. That’s the equivalent of the calories in one pound of baby back ribs or two McDonald’s Big Macs.
  • M&Ms are the top-selling candy in the United States. Second is Reese’s peanut butter cups and third is the Snickers bar.
  • In China, the most popular use of ketchup is as a condiment for fried chicken.
  • The French government banned ketchup in its primary schools in 2011, fearing it would encourage children to develop Americanized taste preferences.
  • No more than two rodent hairs, or 29 gnawed kernels, can be shipped in a pound of popcorn.

ENJOY YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS (LOL)

02/19/2022 The Egg!   Leave a comment

I’m too much of a cynic to be a big believer in superstitions. They’re fun to talk about and laugh about but only a small percentage of people actually believe most of that nonsense. We’ve all heard about “don’t walk under ladders” or “black cats crossing our path”, and dozens more. I happened upon some additional information that I’d never heard before concerning the everyday common egg. You can believe what you will, I’m just spreading the word for fun.

  • Superstitions about eggs are still held, particularly in rural farming areas. One such belief is that if you see many broken eggs, you will soon have a lawsuit on your hands.
  • If you find a snake’s egg in a hen’s nest, your friends are really your enemies.
  • It is bad luck to bring a wild bird’s egg into the house.
  • If a woman dreams of eggs, she will quarrel with her friends.
  • Two yolks in one egg means good luck for the one who eats them. Folks who only buy eggs fresh from the farm will have the opportunity to find these. Factory examinations these days usually eliminate double yellow yolkers.
  • Eggs laid on Friday will cure stomach aches. Of course, only folks who keep laying hens know when the eggs are actually laid. This superstition is impossible to follow in heavily populated urban areas.
  • In some parts of the Middle East if you buy a new car, you have to kill a chicken and pour the blood on it. The chickens’ blood was thought to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking in the vehicle.
  • Throughout human history, more eggs have been eaten raw rather than cooked! Eggs have always been a chief source of protein for primal humans and still are in most cultures. Americans often drink raw eggs in eggnog, flavored with a taste of vanilla and doused with whipped cream, another source of protein.

As I’m sure you can recall over the last few decades eggs were first vilified as being unhealthy and a few years later some illustrious scientists changed their minds. All of a sudden eggs became a healthy addition to our diet. So much for the credibility of governmental and scientific experts. I simply love eggs, always have and always will. If eating large numbers of eggs is going to kill me, so be it (I think the bad water and air will get me first). At least I’ll die with a smile on my face because I just love eggs (with lots of bacon, of course).

WHO DOESN’T LOVE HEN FRUIT??

01/09/2022 Last Meals   1 comment

Starting off a new year requires me to be a little more inventive than usual. Over the holidays I acquired a few books loaded with odd and sometimes disturbing facts. It tickles my fancy to go to the morbid side of things every once in a while. Let me proceed to these three examples of last meal requests from soon-to-be executed murderers. It’s morbid but still interesting. Here we go . . .

Let’s start off with the big kahuna of serial killers, TED BUNDY.

This execution was scheduled for January 24, 1989, at the Florida State penitentiary. Bundy being the arrogant and hard to get along with individual refused to order a last meal. The prison brought him the standard meal of steak and eggs. He refused to eat them so they sent him to the electric chair on an empty stomach. Seems highly appropriate to me.

Next on the list is MARGIE VELMA BARFIELD.

This execution was dated November 2, 1984, at the central prison in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a last meal Barfield chose a “last snack “over a “last meal,” Selecting junk food as the last thing she would ever eat in this life. She enjoyed a last repast of Cheez Doodles and Coca-Cola and then marched off for her lethal injection. There’s no accounting for bad taste.

This final entry belongs to two friends who were also known as the “In Cold Blood” killers, EUGENE HICKOCK and PERRY SMITH.

This execution was scheduled for April 14, 1965, at the Kansas State penitentiary. The killer’s eyes were apparently bigger than their stomachs. As their last meal they ordered shrimp, French fries, garlic bread, and for dessert, ice cream and strawberries with cream. They didn’t touch a bite of it. They both went to the gallows on an empty stomach. Goodbye and good riddance.

Well, there you have it. These were just the first three of fifteen executions I have notes on, and I’ll post the rest periodically.

WHAT MEAL WOULD YOU REQUEST ?

(I think I’d request a plate of Spam fried rice and a jigger of Jack Daniels.)

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