Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

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.)

12/11/2021 Meaningless Question #1   Leave a comment

Why are hamburgers called “HAM” burgers?

Today I was sitting quietly at home thinking seriously about our previous night’s dinner. As a last resort, when my better-half and I disagree on our evening meal, we have hamburgers and fries. We’ve become quite creative with that meal whether it’s cooked on the grill, in the air-fryer, pan fried or on the grill on the deck. I’m not a big red meat eater and under normal circumstances (not birthdays or holidays) I prefer chicken and fish. Burgers are my go-to meal or comfort food if you prefer, and yes, there is no ham in hamburgers . . . Ever!

Due to my idle curiosity, I did some searching to be sure I was correct, here’s what I found:

The popular book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse included a recipe in 1758 as “Hamburgh sausage”, which suggested to serve it “roasted with toasted bread under it”. A similar snack was also popular in Hamburg, Germany, by the name “Rundstück warm” (“bread roll warm”) in 1869 or earlier, and supposedly eaten by many emigrants on their way to America.

There always seems to be a rush by dozens of Americans to claim they invented the “burger” and everything else for that matter. Don’t forget the Russians and French who always insist they’ve invented or created just about anything you can think of. Too bad boys, Germany wins this contest.

My own favorite is a one-half pound well-seasoned burger on a whole grain toasted bun. Medium rare, topped with hot pickled jalapenos, mayo, a layer of mushrooms, a layer of sharp cheddar cheese, a slab of red onion, and hold the lettuce. Old school fries on the side, hot and crispy with Heinz 57. I’ll have that just about any time.

FYI

13 Shopping Days

🍗Thanksgiving Limerick🍗   2 comments

There once was a turkey named Dunn

Thanksgiving, for him, wasn’t fun

He was the main source

Of dinner, of course

And when it was through, he was done.

Posted November 24, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/24/2021 “Happy Thanksgiving”   Leave a comment

Since posting the real letters of a real Pilgrim yesterday I thought I’d covered the holiday rather well. Today I did a little net surfing and made the mistake of reading the Wikipedia entry on the history of Thanksgiving. It irritates me a little when they spend so much time telling me about some meaningless conflict over where Thanksgiving originated.  In their opinion 36 colonists arriving in Virginia in 1619 gave thanks that they survived the crossing and years later it was claimed by some Virginians as the birth place of Thanksgiving. I just don’t see that as the real Thanksgiving. Did they celebrate with the native Americans? Who knows? Did any of them survive that first winter? Who knows? Maybe in 1000 A.D. Leif Ericson and a few Vikings landed in northern Maine and were thankful for not running out of food and water. Was that the real Thanksgiving? Now that I think about it, how about Ponce de Leon. He landed in Florida in late March of 1513, near present-day St. Augustine. He claimed this beautiful land for Spain and I’m sure he gave thanks for surviving his arrival. Then we must of course celebrate Thanksgiving as a Spanish holiday in March. Really, I think I’d prefer to celebrate that Viking holiday in Maine as the real one compared something Spanish. These kinds of arguments are all so much hogwash and an entire waste of everyone’s time.

I wasn’t planning a rant against Wikipedia but once again I want it understood I’m skeptical of a lot of their information, but that’s just my humble opinion.

Why I’m even bothering to rant is the real question. Well, I once lived in Kingston, Massachusetts, just a few short miles from where the Mayflower is berthed in Plymouth harbor. A few of my friends were actual descendants of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who assisted the Pilgrims back in the day. I was lucky enough to hear from them about their version of Thanksgiving. I’ve visited the Plimouth Plantation on many occasions and once even ate Thanksgiving dinner there with some family and friends. Screw Wikipedia and their politically correct nonsense.

The traditional celebration is one of the few holidays left that has actual meaning for me. I just can’t allow that tradition to be watered down with a lot of political nonsense. Enjoy your holiday with your friends and family. Give thanks for every good thing you can think of. Have a great meal and a pleasant day and hug your kids.

Just as a side note. I won’t be posting tomorrow because I’ll be doing all of those things myself.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

🍗Thanksgiving Limerick🍗   Leave a comment

“When Thanksgiving is misty and murky

And you’re indoors all happy and perky

There’ll be people to greet

Lots of goodies to eat

But just spare a thought for the turkey.”

Posted November 23, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/22/2021 🍗Thanksgiving Limerick🍗   Leave a comment

“The turkey did not turn out fine.

So I thought I would break out the wine.

By dessert they were wasted

From the wine that they tasted

And they all thought the dinner divine.”

Posted November 22, 2021 by Every Useless Thing in Cooking, Food Related, Humor, Limericks, Sarcasm

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11/22/2021 Thanksgiving Myth?   Leave a comment

As I’ve repeatedly stated I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving. I am also a huge fan of debunking silly and unusual superstitions when I find them. I found one about Thanksgiving after reading a book in my collection. For most of my life I looked forward to Thanksgiving dinner and always made a point of collecting the wishbone. I was told as a kid by people who I trusted, Mom and Dad, that if I won the larger half of the wishbone after it was broken I would have good luck. I did it year after year and we made quite a thing of it but now I come to discover I was lied to. Here’s the truth of the matter . . .

Two people make a wish, and then grab the two long ends of the wishbone and pull. The one who breaks off the larger piece of the bone gets his or her wish. You must be sure the bone is dry – a day in the sun or on the stove dries it perfectly. The bone must be from the collarbone of a hen or a rooster. All of my family loved the routine of pulling the wishbone of the turkey after their meal. “Spoiler Alert”, turkey collarbones don’t work. I know this is devastating news to all of you but the truth will out. Here’s a short history lesson . . .

The Etruscans, those folks that came before the Romans, had a Hen Oracle. That person was often called upon to reveal hidden and magical knowledge. A hen or rooster was killed, the entrails examined – for what, no one can fathom – and the birds collarbone put in the sun to dry. The wishbone was then pulled apart as it is today. The Romans actually stole this custom from the Etruscans and it then spread throughout the Roman Empire and where did it end up, on this blog today.

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

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