Archive for the ‘food’ Tag

06/24/2022 “Look Back to 1940”   Leave a comment

I always enjoy looking back at my life and learning things I either never knew or have forgotten. Recently I obtained some literature from the year 1940. That’s a long time ago and I can appreciate that since I was born only six years later. Let’s see what 1940 had to offer its citizens.

  • Local dime stores were the place to be as a child. Candy and soda pop were the favorites.
  • Newspaper headline from January: OSKAR SHINDLER BEGINS PROVIDING REFUGE FOR KRAKOW JEWS
  • Jack Nicklaus was born on January 21st.
  • Formal dancing, accompanied by the sounds of the big bands of the day, was a great way to conclude a celebrative event.
  • The Philadelphia Story and Fantasia were the top box office hits. One of Disney’s first animated hits, Pinocchio, was released as a feature-length film.
  • Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel, and Fran Tarkington were all born in February.
  • The use of telephones was in its infancy. Party lines were shared lines and kept everyone in the loop, as those online could quietly listen to any conversations at hand.
  • Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • On May 15, 1940, the first nylon stockings went on sale.
  • The state of New York hosted the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows.
  • On November 7, 1940, the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed into the water. The only casualty was a dog sadly left in the car as its owner fled.
  • FDR was president, the population of the United States was at 132 million, and the average salary for a full-time employee was $1200 a year. The minimum wage was $.30 an hour.
  • The first McDonald’s restaurant opened on May 15, 1940, in San Bernardino California.
  • On January 31, 1940, Ida M. Fuller became the first American citizen to receive a Social Security check.
  • Bread was $.08 a loaf, bacon $.27 a pound, eggs $.33 a dozen, milk $.26 a gallon, coffee $.21 a pound, gasoline $.11 a gallon, a movie ticket was $.24, postage stamps were $ $.03’s, average cars costs $990, and the cost for a single-family home on average was $2938.

AND WORLD WAR II WAS ON THE HORIZON

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

05/01/2022 Trivial Trivia   Leave a comment

As most of you already know I am a lover of trivia. I’ve been collecting trivia and books on trivia for as long as I can remember. Most trivia are fun and interesting and humorous but not today. Today’s trivia is a little more scary than usual but trivia, nonetheless. I thought mixing it up a bit might catch your interest quicker than just another ‘trivial trivia list’. Let’s get started . . .

FOODS

  • 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.
  • A medium fruit-and-yogurt smoothie at Dunkin’ Donuts contains four times as much sugar as a chocolate frosted cake donut.
  • One in five office coffee mugs contains fecal bacteria and E. coli, which can cause diarrhea, food poisoning, and infections.
  • Almost 99% of imported food is never inspected by the FDA or the USDA, two agencies responsible for protecting Americans from tainted products.
  • Long a staple of the American diet and the 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.

DRUGS

  • The United States has only 4% of the world’s population but consumes 65% of its supply of hard drugs.
  • About 14 million Americans fit the criteria for alcoholism or alcohol abuse.
  • Smoking causes acute myeloid leukemia, as well as cancer in other areas of the body, including the bladder, mouth, larynx, cervix, kidneys, lungs, esophagus, pancreas, and stomach.
  • Among women, cigarette use correlates with level of education. Smoking estimates are highest for women without traditional high school diplomas and lowest for women with college degrees.
  • Caffeine is more addictive than marijuana.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

  • 10% of the U.S. states now spend as much money or more on corrections than on higher education.
  • Misidentified eyewitness testimony was a factor in 77% of DNA exoneration cases, making it the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. In 40% of the cases, cross-racial identification was a factor. Studies show that people are less likely to recognize faces of a different race, making race a factor in wrongful convictions.
  • By law, all citizens must take a bath at least once a year in Kentucky.

I’ll be following up on this list within the next couple of weeks because I have an abundance of interesting trivia about just any topic you can think of. I promise to pass along as much as I can as soon as I can.

ENJOY YOUR MAYDAY WEEKEND

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)

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

09/01/2021 My Food Addiction   Leave a comment

Do you consider yourself a food addict? Unfortunately every human being on the planet is, like it or not. We’re obsessed with food for our entire lives and without it we would cease to exist. That’s obviously an addiction I can and have learned to live with.

As I watch TV everyday the constant stream of food-related instructional programming is enough to drive me up the wall. Never in my life did I imagine just how wrong I’ve been eating and drinking and truly enjoying myself. Actually if the experts are right, everything that I eat is unhealthy, lacking nutritional value, and will eventually kill me. Fifteen years ago eggs were the killer and a few years later, whoops, all of a sudden a couple of eggs a week is no problem. Drinking coffee is bad and then it’s good. Eating sugar is dangerous and then it’s good in moderate amounts. Drinking soda is bad, turn it into diet soda, then it’s good, closely examine the sweetener in the diet soda, and then it’s bad again.

I’ve been convinced over the years that all of these so-called experts haven’t got a clue. Every expert that I can find tells me of food products that are bad. The problem is, I can find just as many that will tell me that they aren’t. Don’t even get me started on all of the other things these alleged experts tell us. Don’t drink the water, don’t breathe the air, why not just drop over dead and get it over with.

I’m not here to try and explain their motives, their inaccuracies, or their self-righteousness. I’m just saying that even the dumbest person I know can eventually figure out how ridiculous it all is. Now I’m going to fill your head with some ridiculous food-related information that is just as educational as all of the nonsense supplied from food manufacturers and also from our friendly know-it-all government. Let’s get started.

  • 500 million Hostess Twinkies are sold every year.
  • In America, Coca-Cola out sells Pepsi. In Saudi Arabia and Quebec, the opposite is true.
  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels.
  • Black olives contain 10 to 30% more oil than green olives.
  • Watermelon is a vegetable.
  • The national drink of Iceland is a potato schnapps called Black Death.
  • M&M’s were named after candy developers Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie.
  • The Marquis De Sade loved chocolate so much he had it sent to him in prison.
  • The Aztecs considered avocados an aphrodisiac.

I’ll bet my information is just as factual as all of those expert’s and a helluva lot more interesting and silly.

EAT UP YOU BUNCH OF FOOD ADDICTS

08-31-2016 Journal – The Big Easy!   Leave a comment

Well, my better-half and I arrived home last night after spending 6 glorious days in the party capitol of the USA . . . New Orleans.  If I disregard our god awful experiences with Jet Blue then we had a great time.  It’s been a number of years since I visited NOLA but I was thrilled to see that it was the same old exciting place that I remembered.  The evidence of Katrina’s visit eleven years ago has been all but erased.

70530540

I grabbed this shot from their website because mine was blurry as hell.

I booked our hotel in an off-the-beaten-path location located in the old creole section of NO on Burgundy Street, 2 blocks north of Bourbon Street. The St. Pierre hotel was once the NO Jazz Museum but has since been converted into an hotel.

DSC_0011

DSC_0012

It consists of a group of 150 year old creole homes joined together with small intimate courtyards and swimming pools hidden from street view.  If you ever visit there you need to know this is not the Hilton or Weston style of hotel.  This is an old building with 150 years of character and an 1850’s atmosphere.  We loved going native for a few days and would do it again in a heartbeat.

DSC_0008

This pool was 30 feet from our room. This is the view looking down from the balcony.

The weather was typical NO. It was 90 plus degrees all week with never less than 80% humidity. It was feel-like temperature of over 100 degrees.  Even though the heat was brutal that pool made it bearable. We visited it twice a day to cool off and have a drink and meet people from all over the world who were also staying there. Just fabulous.

DSC_0006

Another view of the courtyard from our balcony.

This posting is just the start of our trip. I’ll probably continue posting on our other activities for the next week or so. There was a lot to see and maybe I can give you a little taste of how it felt to be there.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WEEK BUT WE’RE GLAD TO BE HOME.

10-05-2015 Journal – Fryeburg Fair Day!   Leave a comment

DSC_0063B
The annual Fryeburg Fair began yesterday in southern Maine. It’s what amounts to a week long farm show as similarly held in many other states. My better-half and I usually visit the event mid-week in an attempt to avoid huge crowds.  We’ve never attended the opening day festivities because that would be crazy. Unfortunately this year we lost our minds and got a little crazy.

DSC_0002B
Fryeburg is a community with an average population of approximately 3500 people.   It’s listed as the 102nd largest town in the state of Maine making it no more than a small black dot on the map.  The week of the Fair brings between 350,000-400,000 visitors to town and yesterday it felt like they all arrived at the same time. It made for a rather uncomfortable day for those of us with claustrophobia issues.

DSC_0018B

‘Jumbo Donuts appear to be very popular.’

At 10 am the crowds were so so thick it was difficult to move around.  The entire fairgrounds was packed solid with people and the lines at almost every food vendor were unbelievably long.

DSC_0047B
One of the most annoying problem for me was the number of people riding around on electric carts. I hate to use a broad-brush approach to people on those carts because some actually do need them but I saw quite a few that looked in a lot better shape than me cruising around, talking on their phones, and wolfing down Jumbo Donuts.  It just gives me pause.

DSC_0055B
I avoided entering most of the buildings due to the large crowds but it was even difficult to take photographs outside.  In years past we’ve spent as much as eight hours at the fair but yesterday we left after just three and a half hours. 

DSC_0057
If we never learn anything else we now know that opening day should be avoided at all costs. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.  It was nice to get out and enjoy a beautiful sunny Fall day and the Fair food was greasy and delicious as always.  We’re actually considering a second visit later in the week when the crowds thin out a little and we can really enjoy ourselves. You can be sure of one thing, we’ll never be there again on opening day.

DSC_0065B

‘Gridlock traffic in town as well.’

10-01-2015 Journal–My 2015 Garden Eulogy!   Leave a comment

DSCN0174B

This week isn’t one I ever look forward to.  It’s the week every year when I begin to dismantle our garden.  It’s been a priority for my better-half and I for the last six months requiring a tremendous amount of TLC and just as much water.  It actually began last winter when we sat down at the kitchen table and planned it all out. As with all plans it never seems to workout perfectly without problems of one sort or another cropping up.

First it was the damn stunk that did everything in it’s power to destroy things. It was one lucky SOB because he survived a number of night time surveillances where I sat in the dark on the deck with a loaded rifle waiting to end his life of vandalism and mayhem.  He must have a really hardworking guardian angel because I seriously wanted to do him harm. After all of the repair jobs and the new fence we reached a mutual agreement to avoid each other for the rest of the summer. I smelled him a few times at night but never met him in person (Thank God).

The weather was for the most part cooperative but you can always use more rainfall with any garden. After a slow start things picked up rather well making the garden fairly productive. Was it the best ever? No.  It was just an average year due mostly to the skunk.

These pictures were taken this morning and as you can see most of the plants have been harvested and removed. All of the herbs we need for the winter have also been harvested, dried, and stored. Beginning next week I’ll begin  removing the garden fabric and composting all of the frames. Then it will be tilled under and left to sit for the winter to be ready for planting in June.

DSCN0170

DSCN0173

Here’s the final tally for the garden and all of our efforts for 2015.  The pantry has been restocked with just about everything we need for winter.  My one last contribution will be a large pot of my favorite chicken soup which will supply us with at least ten to twelve hardy meals during the winter.

41 Pints of canned habanero hot B & B pickles
13 Pints of Habanero Dill Pickles
  3 Pints of tripleberry jam
  8 Pints of strawberry/rhubarb jam
  3 Pints of strawberry jam
  8 Pints of blueberry jam
  2 Pints of jalapeño/rhubarb jelly
13 Quarts of Four Bean/Corn chili
14 Quarts of Black Bean/Corn salsa
2 Quad Berry/Rhubarb Tarts
15 Lbs Rhubarb
5 Loaves of Chocolate/Zucchini Bread
4 Loaves of Spice/Zucchini Bread
9 Lbs of Fresh Pea Pods
16 Lbs of Cherry Tomatoes
15 Lbs of Jalapeño Peppers
7 Lbs of Assorted Hot Peppers
20 Lbs of Fresh Zucchini
13 Lbs of Assorted Lettuces
2 Lbs of dried onion chives
1 Lb dried habanero peppers 
1 Lb dried garlic chives
4 Lbs of dried and assorted mints
2 Lbs of dried oregano
1 Lb of dried parsley

This just goes to show how easy it is to supplement your food supply from a medium sized garden and a few cheap purchases from local farmers. All in all not a terrible year but next year will hopefully be even better.

07-25-2015 Journal– Is Betty Boop Really Catholic?   Leave a comment

DSC_0087

It’s a Saturday morning in Maine in July. It’s rained through the night and everything is wet and bright green as you’d might expect.  The downside is that it’s 6:00 am and my better-half has awakened me because of our planned trip to a nearby church festival. I was informed that it’s critically important that we arrive before 8:00 am before all of the good stuff is gone at the Flea Market.  Just as a point of information the “Flea Market” is nothing more than the basement of the church filled to the rafters with crap.  If I chose to be politically correct it could be called antique, vintage or  preowned but that would be stretching the meaning of those words to the limit. Imagine thousands and thousands of objects discarded by hundreds and hundreds of people scattered across forty of fifty tables, in side rooms, and even outside in tents. The great majority of the items are priced at a dollar or less and even then it’s a rip-off (in my humble opinion). I understand it’s money raised for a church charity so overcharging for crap is accepted and expected.

DSC_0070

It was so crowded with crazy people I could barely move around.  I felt pressured and obligated to buy something because this flea market was being run by a friend and former co-worker.  I dug down deep into my moth infested pocket where I found two one dollar bills.  I decided on a purchase which I would present to my better-half on her birthday.  I imagine every women in the world wants, needs, and desires a beautiful yet tacky Betty Boop toilet paper roller.

DSC_0003

After that purchase I fled the scene and returned to the fair for some greasy and unhealthy fair food.  There was plenty to go around.

DSC_0081

‘Salted, greasy, unhealthy, and almost delicious.’

DSC_0084

‘Hot sausage sandwich, peppers, onions, and a butt load of cholesterol.’ 

DSC_0097

‘Chicken anyone?’

With my belly full I made a bee line for the tent where the books were being sold.  I try to buy a sufficient number to carry me through the upcoming winter but the selection wasn’t as good as in previous years.  I purchased a few but disappointed there weren’t more.

DSC_0072

No real fair or festival fails to have the obligatory Disney presence with Mickey and Minnie posing for pictures with the kids.  I asked cute little Minnie to sit on my lap for a picture but she adamantly refused.  Nobody likes a prudish and fake mouse and she was  really mean too!

DSC_0094

My better-half made a number of trips to the car with her arms loaded with just about everything.  She bought food, toys, raffle tickets, and enough other crap to fill my trunk and backseat.  I was more than a little happy to see that church in my rear view mirror as we pulled away. 

Another three and a half hours of my life I’ll never get back.

%d bloggers like this: