-

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mayflower Heroes

When the Pilgrims founded their first colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, they sat down to a pensive ceremony after the first crops had been harvested to thank God for preserving them through the early hardships in a new land.

Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share a passage from a book titled Mayflower Heroes (1931) by Gleason L. Archer. I didn't know anything about Mr. Archer before deciding to do this post but, I was lucky enough to find a bit of information about him at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Rightfully so I suppose, since he was the founder of the university and its first president.

Gleason Leonard Archer was born on October 29, 1880 in Great Pond, a remote outpost in northeastern Maine. Although his parents John Sewell Archer and Frances Williams Archer were descendants of the original Mayflower settlers, the Archer family was poor...source

Dedicated to his father John Sewell Archer, I would like to begin with a passage from the Preface:

This book may truthfully be said to have originated in the air. It owes its existence to a series of radio broadcasts on Early Colonial History, delivered by the author in April and May of 1930, a series called "founding a Nation." Because of these radio talks the Century Company graciously invited the author to prepare a complete story of the early days of Plymouth Colony...To picture for the reader the Pilgrim Fathers as living, breathing human beings, battling with the great problems of pioneer life, has been the author's constant endeavor in writing this story of the beginnings of Plymouth Colony. Every story herein contained and every scene depicted has its basis in one or more authentic sources of information. It has been necessary, of course, to reconstruct these stories and scenes in order to clothe them with life, because the early chroniclers all to often disposed of great happenings by a brief sentence or two.

Chapter XXX The First Thanksgiving

After the return of the Standish party from the highly successful expedition to the harbor where Boston was later to be founded, the colony settled down to the pursuits of peace. The prospect of a bountiful harvest rendered necessary the construction of more places for storage of food. With his usual forceful handling of the affairs of the colony, Governor Bradford had already laid plans for the construction of three additional public storehouses. All of the energies of the colony were directed to this end.

The pleasant September days now resounded to the happy hum of industry. The ring of the axes in the near by forest carried a message of its own. Hope was in every heart and good cheer became vocal among the settlers. The Pilgrims, those who had survived after nearly fourteen years of hardship, had found at last not only religious liberty but also a new experience in daily living. It filled their souls with gratitude to God and with goodwill to their fellow-men. In a letter written to a friend in England in November, 1621, Edward Winslow declared, "I never in my life remember a more seasonable year than we have enjoyed; and if we have once but kine, horses and sheep, I make no question but men might live as contented here as in any part of the world. For fish and fowl, we have great abundance. Fresh cod in summer is but coarse meat with us. Our bay is full of lobsters all summer, and affordeth variety of other fish. In September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, and can dig them out of their beds all the winter. We have mussels and clams at our doors."

Governor Bradford, coming as he did from a long line of tillers of the soil, felt welling up within him a desire to mark in a signal manner the completion of this first harvest in America. Elder Brewster and the chief men of the colony were taken into his confidence. From their deliberations sprang one of the principle festivals now observed by the American people, our annual Thanksgiving Day...

Not only did Governor Bradford proclaim this celebration for his own people, but he sent a special invitation to Massasoit and his chief men to come to Plymouth, that they may rejoice together in the culmination of the first year of the Pilgrims in the new land. In preparation for this mammoth Thanksgiving party the governor sent men for fish, lobsters, and clams. He sent four men with a boat for wild-fowl.

Massasoit arrived with some ninety of his followers. Immediately he caught the spirit of the festival and resolved to do his share to make it a success. With some of his most skillful hinters he returned to the forest and killed five fat deer. Others killed wild turkeys, thus beginning the tradition of the Thanksgiving bird...Governor Bradford and his band of huntsmen filed solemnly into the little square. Massasoit was master of ceremonies. A buck deer was brought forward and laid at the feet of Governor Bradford. Another was deposited at the feet of Captain Standish. Wild turkeys found even wider distribution.

Governor Bradford ordered the feast prepared. The culinary skill of Indians and of white men were joined in this endeavor. "A sweet savor unto the Lord" indeed ascended from the two chief hills of Plymouth. The Indian host was encamped across the brook. But this was no one day celebration. For three days it lasted. Indian games of skill were exhibited for the benefit of the whites...This visiting hoard of Indians had probably never in their lives known such ample and varied fare. It bred in their simple hearts a great affection for the white men who had come to live as their neighbors and friends.

FYI: Tomorrow is Gingerbread Day. You have to see the poem I posted for Gingerbread Day. It includes a recipe for Fairy Gingerbread!
  • 1. The First Thanksgiving
  • 2. Massasoit
  • 3, The Real First Thanksgiving (by Andrew Smith, editor of the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink)
  • 4. Thanksgiving Recipes from America's Past
  • 5.Thanksgiving Trivia To Amaze Your Friends
  • 6. Turkey Trivia: Should We Be Grateful?
  • 7. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eat A Cranberry Day!

I'm just popping out posts this week! Actually, I'm heading back to New York today but before I go, I want to remind everyone that according to RecipeZaar and a few other sites I happened upon this week, November 23, is Eat A Cranberry Day!

I don't know, it just strikes me in an odd sort of way that someone or ones would suggest such a day but, hey, I'm all for promoting the Health Benefits of Cranberries. It just so happens, I did a post last year for National Cranberry Month, which makes more sense to me, at least give us a month to enjoy the little bouncer.

I didn't check out too many recipe sites for cranberry recipes, however, I did go back to How To Eat a Cupcake, one of the sites I had visited earlier this week in search of Eat A Cranberry Day. Today, a recipe was posted for the Iron Cupcake Challenge and, it just so happens to be a recipe for Spiced Pear Cupcakes w/ Cranberry-Orange Filling, that sound quite intriguing. It seems I missed a wonderful assortment of cranberry recipe is my haste to post this entry. You must check out the Recipe Girl blog. There is an amazing recipe for Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Paper Rolls with Cranberry Chile Dipping Sauce that sounds much harder than it appears.

As for me, I will leave you with a few more recipes from another Eatmoor Cranberries leaflet. This one titled Tasty Ways to Serve the Tonic Fruit (no publication date) There is also a whole list of cranberry recipes at the Ocean Spray site, just in case you can't find an interesting recipes here.

Have FUN! Eat a Cranberry or two, three...

revised Nov. 2013

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Shot at Puffiness

If I told you there was a time rice and wheat were shot from a cannon, would you believe me? How 'bout if I told you flying kernels of rice and wheat showered visitors to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904? Would you find that strange? I must admit, there's something about exploding food cells which does arouse a certain amount of attention, which of course is exactly the point. Let's add a few more flurries of granules.

A Blast

It seems, during the winter months of 1901-1902, a gentleman by the name of Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson, who also happened to be born on November 22, 1862, (else why this post:) developed a technique for breaking down the starch in rice and wheat grains. He managed to do this by "puffing" them. Now, we are not talking cream puff here. We're talking more like quick short steam blasts that explode into a blizzard of puffed grains filling a scientific laboratory. Picture 115,000,000 steam explosions-(one for every food cell) in every grain exploding to eight times its normal size. That's Puffed Rice! Yes, puffed rice, or wheat; the cereal we sometimes induge for breakfast. By subjecting the tiny grains to intense heat and enormous pressure in a large "gun" like machine Anderson had developed the first steam-injected drum, which came to be known as the "puffing cannon." Anderson had also created a nourishing unique and explosive digestible cereal. Below is an explanation from the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame:

Anderson was a botanist, educator, and the inventor of the process for making puffed cereals. His interest in starch grains began as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota studying the chemistry and physical structure of starch. His initial research dealt with the effect of heat and pressure on the free hygroscopic moisture in starch granules. For his first experiment, he took six glass tubes, sealed one end of each tube, placed them in an oven and heated them until the contents began to change color from white to a slight yellowish brown. The tubes were taken out of the oven and cracked with a hammer. As each tube was cracked, a sharp explosion, much like a gun shot, took place. On examination, he found that the corn starch granules in one of the tubes had exploded into a white, puffed mass.

A few days later, rice was treated in the same way and puffed into a product now as Puffed Rice. Likewise, wheat, barley, buckwheat, millet, and many other seeds. A thousand or more glass tubes were sealed up, heated and exploded. Almost every seed known was tried during the winter of 1901-1902.

Needless to say, Dr. Anderson was elated. In fact, he was so fired up about his findings that he filed an application for a patent (#707,892) on February 12, 1902.

...He immediately patented the process and eventually received 25 patents on the puffing process and the machinery used to manufacture it. A retort gun used in 1902 that demonstrated the process used for puffing rice is on display at the Goodhue County Historical Museum, in Red Wing, Minnesota. (as in Red Wing pottery) Anderson Center History
...He made a fortune on the theory that the nucleus of a starch granule contains a miniscule amount of water-so that when he heated it, it would explode, the tiny amount of condensed water in the granules flashing into steam during the explosion and turning the mass of expanded granules into a porous puffed mass. He tasted the stuff, pronounced it good (even better with sugar and cream) and received 25 patents on the process as well as a retort gun that he demonstrated at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904

Although Dr. Anderson immediately set up The Anderson Puffed Rice Company in 1901, the success of puffed rice, as a breakfast cereal, was not immediate. He decided to ask the assistance of The American Cereal Company (which became Quaker Oats in 1906.) He presented his laboratory success to Henry Crowell, president of the company and convinced him to finance the development of the commercial process needed to expand his market.

...The company hired Alexander Pierce Anderson, made his company a subsidiary and moved him to Chicago. There they set up a laboratory on Dearborn street and contracted with the Empire Mill much farther down the street. In producing the stuff, he made so many explosions that the city of Chicago was angered. So Quaker moved Anderson together with his business to Quaker’s plant in Akron, Ohio. There it was languishing until the governor of Ohio (who was at the same time a Quaker director, the era not being too touchy about mixture of government and business) came to watch the explosions from the puffing machine built on Anderson’s patent. Anderson would fire the charge and a spray of puffed wheat would fall into a net-but the Akron neighborhood was complaining and Anderson’s hearing was failing. source

The Boost

After The Anderson Puffed Rice Company became a subsidiary of the Quaker Oats Company, advertising pioneer Claude C. Hopkins was approached by the president of Quaker Oats. In his book My Life in Advertising published in 1917, Hopkins describes the encounter. (the book is available @ google books and the story of Puffed Grains and Quaker Oats can be found in chapter 13.

So one day Mr. Crowell called me to his office and said something like this: "We have our long-established advertising connections, and they are satisfactory. But we have many lines not advertised. If you can find one which offers opportunity, we will experiment with you. We will spend $50,000 or over to prove out your ideas." I looked over the line, and I found two appealing products. One was called Puffed Rice; the other was called Wheat Berries. The Rice was selling at 10 cents then, and the Wheat was advertised at 7 cents. The sales had been declining. The makers were convinced that the products could not succeed. I selected those products because of their unique appeals. I urged them to change the name of Wheat Berries to Puffed Wheat, so we could advertise the two puffed grains together. I asked them to change prices, so that Puffed Rice sold at 15 cents and Puffed Wheat at 10 cents. This added an average of $1.15 per case to their billing price. That extra gave us an advertising appropriation. I was sure that extra price would not reduce the sale, in view of our advertising efforts. And it gave us a fund to develop new users.
"Make a man famous and you make his creation famous"
...I went to the plants where these puffed grains were made. Professor A. P. Anderson, the inventor of puffed grains, accompanied me. During nights on the train and days in the factories we studied the possibilities. I learned the reason for puffing. It exploded every food cell. I proved that it multiplied the grains to eight times normal size. It made every atom available as food. I watched the process, where the grains were shot from guns. And I coined the phrase, "Foods shot from guns." That idea aroused ridicule. One of the greatest food advertisers in the country wrote an article about it. He said that of all the follies evolved in food advertising this certainly was the worst. The idea of appealing to women on a "Food shot from guns" was the theory of an imbecile. But that theory proved attractive. It aroused curiosity. And that is one of the greatest incentives we know in dealing with human nature. The theories behind this puffed-grain campaign are worthy of deep consideration. It proved itself the most successful campaign ever conducted on cereals. They made Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice the largest money-earners in the field of breakfast foods...

Not even the marketing strategy first devised by Hopkin's succeeded to eject puffed rice into the ranks of the top competitors of the time. Corn Flakes had just been introduced to the market and puffed grains were marketed as a cereal to compete with corn flakes. Once again from Mr. Hopkin's book:

I combined every inducement, every appeal which these food products offered. Puffed grains had been advertised for years and with increasing disappointment. Advertised as one of countless cereal foods. Nothing was cited to give them particular interest or distinction. The new methods made them unique. They aroused curiosity. No one could read a puffed grain ad without wishing to see those grains. And the test won constant users. But we made and corrected numerous mistakes. We spent large sums in newspaper advertising, which on that line could not pay. Newspapers reach all the people. This expensive food line appealed only to the classes. Nine in ten whom we reached by newspapers could not afford puffed grains. So we finally proved that magazine advertising was our only possibility. Then we distributed millions of samples promiscuously. The samples themselves did not win many users. We had to first establish an interest, a respect. So we stopped giving samples to uninterested people. Then we published ads in tens of millions of magazines, each with a coupon good at any grocery store for a package of Puffed Wheat or Puffed Rice. The people first read our story. If they cut out the coupon, it was because our story had interest.

It wasn't until the company packaged Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat with the slogan "Shot from Guns!" that consumers began to take notice to the new breakfast cereal. According to the Minnesota Historical Society, The American Cereal Company operated a concession stand introducing puffed rice at the Universal Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis. The gross receipts of the concession grossed more than $8.000. The Minnesota Historical Society website also has an assortment of vintage ads used to tout the benefits of Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat.

Puffed Rice was introduced to the public in 1904, when a battery of eight guns was set up at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. All that summer Dr. Anderson shot large quantities of puffed rice from the guns which were distributed to the curious by pretty girl attendants. The novel method of manufacture naturally aroused intense interest. A poster at the Fair described Puffed Rice as "The Eighth Wonder of the World." Among Fair visitors the product won popularity as a confection. People at first classed it with pop corn. Large quantities were sold to candy manufacturers. But, after a year of extensive advertising, the public was educated to eat puffed rice for breakfast with cream and sugar. With clever advertising as "the food shot from guns," Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat quickly became very popular and commercially profitable ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. source

Shreds

You know, it isn't unusual to discover fascinating shreds of history enveloped deep inside the innovation of invention. Take Alexander Pierce Anderson, the son of Swedish immigrants, who perfected a way to make puffed rice cereal. He sold the process to the Quaker Oats Company and became a very wealthy man. But Anderson was more. "He was a man filled with a great deal of intellectual curiosity, a great deal of energy, and obviously, inventiveness," says his grandson Robert Hedin at the Anderson Center. He was a farmer, scientist, inventor, educator, poet, botanist and zoologist. Also a chemist, he was a meticulous record keeper and the notebooks from his experiments were donated to the New York Botanical Gardens by his family.

In 1876, a 13-year-old farmboy gave water and directions to seven strangers on horseback looking for Northfield. The riders were the James and Younger gang, whose fortunes were about to dip; the boy was Alex P. Anderson, who would ascend to fame as a scientist and inventor, and who would offhandedly describe his encounter with the outlaws in an essay about Silurian fossils - an odd fusion typical of Anderson. Raised a farmer, he studied phrenology, the science of reading character by feeling the bumps of the skull. Later as a botany professor, he researched tornadic winds. He was a poet and memoirist who published a 600-page collection of his work, yet is remembered for what happened in this room - a marriage of steam and grain that produced America's breakfast. source
Puffed Rice is a creamy rich dainty treat.
It digests readily.
Turns to energy in a hurry.
The Quaker Oats Company

Puffed Recipes

Puffed snacks are prepared in many different ways in many different places. In India, puffed rice is mixed with a natural sweetener called jaggery and made into nice round balls called Chikki. Murmura or Kurmura is puffed rice, or crispy rice Indian Style. It is crunchy and it is used as a snack. It is sautéed in a little bit of oil with chili pepper and other spices to make a savory party snack. In Japan, you can buy individually shrink-wrapped rice cakes that can be seasoned, fried and broiled. I'm not sure but they may be called Pon-Gashi. Puffed rice or other grains are occasionally found as street food in China and Korea, where peddlers implement the puffing process using an integrated pushcart/puffer featuring a rotating steel pressure chamber heated over an open flame. The great booming sound produced by the release of pressure serves as advertising to attract customers. Toong mai is a crunchy Chinese puffed-rice cake experienced at many celebrations.

Puffed grains are popular in American breakfast cereals. If you have ever eaten sweetened puffed breakfast cereal like Sugar Smacks, Golden Crisp, Kix, Sugar Pops, rice cakes, cheese puffs, or that crispy Indian snack bhelpuri then you have Alexander Anderson to thank.

Much like popcorn, puffed grains can be pumped up with other ingredients to form whimsical shapes. Together with your kids, you can create a Popcorn Ball Turkey for Thanksgiving or Quick Popcorn Ball Wreaths for Christmas with a less expensive brand of popcorn. Puffed rice sold under a store brand name is usually less expensive and just fine for this Santa's Sleigh made from puffed rice, one of the recipes included in the Quaker Oats Booklet pictured.

I'm also including scanned recipes for chocolate filled marshmallow bars (no not more Mallomars:) which uses puffed rice and puffed popcorn, puffed candy balls and nibble bait all recipes which use both puffed rice and puffed wheat. Enjoy and PLAY!

Resources
  • 1. Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson
  • 2. Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame
  • 3. ad for puffed rice and puffed wheat the food shot from guns
  • 4. Claude C. Hopkins
    Recipes
  • 1. Strawberry-Banana Popcorn Ball Recipe
  • 2. Child's Favorite Popcorn Ball Cake
  • 3. Choco-Mallow Rice Balls
  • 4. Puffed Wheat Balls (Laddu)
  • 5. Puffed wheat snack (vegan)
  • 6. Quaker Puffed Rice Balls
  • 7. The Japanese Visitor's blog explains Pon-Gashi. I found it quite interesting
  • 8. Bhel (Curried Puffed Rice)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mallomar Day!

You have no idea how happy I am that today is Mallomar Day. I have eaten three, yes three boxes of Mallomars since last Tuesday! Do you have any idea how many Mallomars that is? No wonder I always gain weight this time of year. It's all because of those cushions of chocolate delight; Mallomars! You see the picture above? I have two confessions about that image. First, it's small on purpose. There is no way in this world I could bear to write these words and look at all those Mallomars staring at me as they whisper "Here I am, just waiting for you" No Way! Second, the package must I mean Must! stay closed until the very last moment...

It didn't surprise me to discover Mallomars were introduced to the American public on November 20, 1913 by the National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco), after all, these little delights of heaven are somewhat seasonal. Whoops, I almost typed cookies but, quite frankly, I wouldn't describe them as a cookie (although, Nabisco does:). Yes, they do have a cookie base topped with a puff of marshmallow, covered with crunchy semi sweet chocolate but I'm not sure cookie is the answer. As one writer wrote, a Mallomar is a Mallomar is a Mallomar! There's a great article about the Mallomar as an American icon at Extreme Chocolate. You see, I'm not the only one who has a fixation on these pillows of contentment.

How one eats a Mallomar seems to be another top priority to true Mallomar aficionados. To freeze or not to freeze is another dilemma when it comes to these bundles of joy. I'm not a freezer. And, I'm not quite sure what category I fit in to although, standard with a twist might be where I fit with my Mallomars.

...There are many ways to eat a Mallomar, but only three are officially sanctioned for international competition: biting off the marshmallow part and saving the graham cracker for last (superior method); biting off the graham cracker and saving the marshmallow part for last (dorsal method); and biting into the cookie like regular food (lateral, or "standard," method). I am something of a Mallomar dullard. I use the standard method. But I should add that I employ wilder scenarios for both Oreos and Vienna Fingers (breaking them open, eating the half with no delicious cream, then either scraping off the delicious cream with my front teeth or, if rushed, simply eating the other half), so you can still invite me to your party without fear that I'll kill the fun...more, more...
I wouldn't dream of peeling the chocolate away like I do with a chocolate covered vanilla ice cream pop. No dunking or deep frying either. You know who you are you Oreo lovers, you. I really don't know how I eat a Mallomar now that I think about it. I dive right in. My real calculations comes when I'm getting to the end of the box. Do I just devour the entire box and hope I will find another? If not, how many should I save for my next attack? Three, five, nine? This has to be done precisely according to time, mood and circumstances...

Resources
1. Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies Recipe just in case
2. The Cookie That Comes Out in the Cold (excellent NYT article)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mickey Turns Eighty!

I'm not quite sure how to put this. Mickey Mouse turned 80 this year. That's right folks. It was in 1928, that Mouse of distinction, hit center stage. I wasn't really going to go into too much detail about Mickey Mouse. I mean really, does a mouse have a mouseography? It isn't like he was actually conceived is it? Or, is it. Let's see, by all accounts, well anyone in the know about Mickey Mouse, say Disney for instance, today, November 18th is Mickey Mouse's Birthday. The reason for this gets just a wee bit flighty. Hey, it was 1928, there were lots of stunts going on. The birthday question has to do with the debut of two of his movies; (movie shorts that is:) Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie. I for one thought the box office hit, Steamboat Willie which debuted at the Colony Theatre on November 18, 1928, was Mortimer's first movie. (aka Mickey...a change of heart by Disney, with the encouragement of his wife, thank goodness he was finally named Mickey)

Plane Crazy with Steam Boat Willie

This is gong to be quick. I have Mickey Mouse recipes to get to. Actually, there is a great biography about Mickey Mouse already on the net.

Mickey was created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier star created by the Disney studio for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. In fact, Mickey closely resembled Oswald in his early appearances. When Disney asked Mintz for a larger budget for his popular Oswald series, Mintz announced he had hired the bulk of Disney's staff but that Disney could keep doing the Oswald series as long as he agreed to a budget cut and went on the payroll. Mintz owned Oswald and thought he had Disney over a barrel. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to California to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff but determined to restart from scratch. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of animator Ub Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company. more...
Mickey Mouse (1928- ). Mickey Mouse was born on a train en route to Los Angeles from New York. His early life is somewhat of a secret, and it was not until he applied for work at the Disney Studios that Mickey's film career was launched and carefully recorded. In his 1st silent film, Plane Crazy, he met and fell in love with his leading lady, Minnie Mouse, who also appeared in Mickey's 2nd film, Gallopin' Gaucho. Although he could not find financial backing for his silent movies, Mickey, confident of his talent, made a "talkie," Steamboat Willie. The addition of a synchronized sound track made Mickey's character come fully alive, even though his voice was rather squeaky. Steamboat Willie premiered in New York City where it was a box-office sensation. more...
...Mickey Mouse was born in Walt Disney's imagination early in 1928 on a train ride from New York to Los Angeles. Walt was returning with his wife from a business meeting at which his cartoon creation, Oswald the Rabbit, had been wrestled from him by his financial backers. Only 26 at the time and with an active cartoon studio in Hollywood, Walt had gone east to arrange for a new contract and more money to improve the quality of his Oswald pictures. The moneymen declined, and since the character was copyrighted under their name, they took control of it. " . . . So I was all alone and had nothing," Walt recalled later. " Mrs. Disney and I were coming back from New York on the train and I had to have something I could tell them. I've lost Oswald so, I had this mouse in the back of my head because a mouse is sort of a sympathetic character in spite of the fact that everybody's frightened of a mouse including myself" Walt spent the return train ride conjuring up a little mouse in red velvet pants and named him " Mortimer," but by the time the train screeched into the terminal station in Los Angeles, the new dream mouse had been rechristened. Walt's wife, Lillian, thought the name " Mortimer" was too pompous and suggested " Mickey." A star was born!

Mickey Mouse Timeline

I did discover a few cool dollops of trivia while in search of Mickey Mouse recipes. Surprisingly, there weren't very many true Mickey recipes in my opinion. I mean doesn't such a celebrity mouse have a favorite food besides cheese? Even the Mickey Mouse Cookbook that I'm using for today's post doesn't have genuine Mickey recipes. all of the recipes are from restaurants at the Disney resorts. But, before I get to those, here's a few tidbits I have unveiled.

1901-Walt Disney was born in Chicago on December 5, 1901.

1929-Mickey first appeared in his signature white gloves on March 28, 1929, in "The Opry House," a musical short in which he performs a series of vaudeville acts such as snake charming and belly dancing.

1929-On May 23, 1929, Mickey Mouse spoke his first words -- "Hot dogs!" -- in "The Karnival Kid," a short which featured Mickey selling hot dogs at a carnival. In all of his previous appearances, Mickey would express himself vocally by whistling, laughing, crying, etc... but he never actually spoke.

1930-Mickey Mouse made his first comic strip appearance in the New York Mirror on January 13, 1930. The first few strips -- loosely based on "Plane Crazy," Mickey's first short film -- were drawn by Ub Iwerks and written by Walt Disney himself. On January 18, 1930 Minnie Mouse first appeared in the Mickey Mouse comic strip.

1933-The first Mickey Mouse watch came to market

1934-The Encyclopedia Britannica gave Mickey Mouse his own encyclopedia entry. He did, however, receive many other honors as well in later years.

1935-The League of Nations awarded him a medal for being an ambassador of good will. He was also honored in 1935 by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which was led by a fifty-five foot high Mickey Mouse.

1935-Mickey Mouse was banned in Romania for frightening children.

1940-Mickey starred in dozens of Disney shorts and the 1940 animated feature Fantasia, became one of the world's best-known cartoon characters.

1955-The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on ABC TV on October 3, 1955.

1978-in honor of his fiftieth anniversary, he became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1993-Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake all joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Cooking with Mickey

Cooking with Mickey Around the World is touted as a cookbook filled with "the most requested recipes from Walt Disney World and Disneyland." The copyright date is 1987. It really isn't a very colorful book with the exception of chapter introductions. I really wish I would have been able to include authentic Mickey recipes but no can do. Although, these cute Mickey & Minnie Biscuits are worth a look. Okay, I'll confess, I have never been to either of the Disney resorts. My plan is to go this winter. We'll see...The recipes I've chosen from the book are pretty atypical which is also a bit of a surprise. Most of them are already available online at the Disneyland recipes website. I've had a hankering for vegetable lasagna for a few weeks now so I'm not only posting this recipe for you kind visitor, I am also posting it for me. Perhaps, it will inspire me to make my own and you too. It's a long recipe, which is probably why I didn't see it posted on the website by Disney, so I have scanned it. Ah, technology:) The recipe is from Tony's Town Square Restaurant @ Magic Kingdom Park and it comes from another Cooking with Mickey Mouse Cookbook Vol. II

What would a Mickey Mouse post be without dessert? How about a mousse? Chocolate Mousse Cake from Boulangerie Patisserie at the Epcot Center.


The first words Mickey Mouse ever uttered in a cartoon were “hot dogs” (in “The Karnival Kid, 1929). The short Plane Crazy was inspired by the flights of Charles Lindberg. Mickey Mouse's sister is Amelia Fieldmouse. She has two children (Mickey's nephews), Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse. Think quick! What color are Mickey's shoes, shorts and gloves. More trivia below...

FYI: Yesterday was Home Made Bread Day. I shared a recipe poem for the occasion over at my other blog.

Resources

  • 1. Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse
  • 2. The Biography of a Mouse
  • 3. The Story Plane Crazy
  • 4. Mickey Mouse Trivia
  • 5. Mickey Mouse Copyright Controversy curious:)
  • 6. What is the secret of his appeal?
  • 7. Mickey @ The Museum of Modern Art
  • 8. Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart (recipe girl's masterpiece:)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

National Bundt Pan Day

It may seem rather odd to be celebrating a cake pan but indeed, that's just what is planned for today. So why all of this hullabaloo over a cake pan? There are those who would claim, "It's unique!" I agree. There is a certain amount of peerlessness to its form. But, basically, a Bundt Pan is simply a round baking pan with a tube in the middle. It has fluted decorative sides which add to the charm of the finished Bundt Cake. That's pretty much it. Perhaps, it is the cake that embellishes the cake pan. Not really, the difference between bundt cakes and regular cakes is not so much in the ingredients as in the form. Bundt cakes have pretty much the same ingredients as ordinary cakes. They are usually prepared from rich cake recipes such as pound cake or butter cake.

The Bundt Pan

You all should know by now I can't just post a few recipes for National Bundt Day. Of course not, I must delve into the history of this unusually popular ring shaped pan. Yes, dear visitors, this pan has a scorching history. Well, maybe not scorching:) It seems the Bundt pan was invented for Nordic Ware by a man named H. David Dalquist with the help of his wife Dorothy (Dottie.) Actually, in 1946, H. David Dalquist started the company known as Nordic Ware which is a division of Northland Aluminum Prods., Inc.

Nordic Ware is a family-owned, American manufacturer of kitchenware products founded in 1946. From our home office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have marketed an extensive line of quality cookware, bakeware, microwave and barbecue products for the last 60-plus years...Nordic Ware's first products were ethnic bakeware products such as our Rosette Iron, Ebleskiver Pan and Krumkake Iron. An innovative manufacturer and marketer, Nordic Ware is best known for its Bundt Pan. Today, there are nearly 60 million Bundt pans in kitchens across America.

As is the case with many of these products and debuts discussed, there are a few discrepancies as to the origin of the bundt pan. For instance, the way the story was explained by Marcy Goldman in a Wahington Post article quite a few years ago, Dalquist was a WWII veteran who on his return to Minnesota was an accomplished engineer. He started a small company, Northland Aluminum Products in the basement of his home. As Dalquist honed his skills, he borrowed $500 and began to branch out into the field of bake ware with such products as rosette irons, ebelskiver pans, and other Scandinavian bakeware. He sold these items through mail order and speciality magazines. He translated the beginnings of the bundt pan story to the Washington Post editor something like this...

One day a trio of "very nice ladies" from the local Hadassah chapter of Minneapolis approached him. They described a handmade ceramic baking mold that the chapter's president had inherited from her European grandmother. The ladies explained that it was used to make bundkuchens, party or gathering cakes. It was round and scrolled and like several other European baking pans had a tube running up the center. They wanted him to make such a pan in metal. After the pan was made, he added it to his line of Nordic Ware and the rest as they say is history...

There was also a story printed in the New York Times in 2005 about how the Bundt Pan came to be.

In the early 1950's, Rose Joshua, married and living in Minneapolis, gathered a few of her friends from the local Hadassah and paid a visit to H. David Dalquist. The mission? To recreate her mother's bundkuchen, a dense coffeecake popular in her native Germany. The cake was traditionally made in either a fragile ceramic dish, which she called a "bund pan," or an impossibly heavy cast-iron one...He cast the pan in aluminum, his son, David, said, and refined its Old World shape by alternating large scallops with small flutes. The elegant design was the cake's decoration, no frosting necessary, and guided even the clumsiest hostess on where to cut the slices. Dalquist added a "t" to "bund" - that's how the German pronunciation sounded to him - and trademarked the Bundt pan.

The baking pan the "ladies" brought to Dalquist was probably a Kugelhupf pan. Gugelhupf or Kugelhupf is a southern German, Austrian, Swiss and Alsatian term for a type of cake which consists of a soft yeast dough with raisins and almonds in it. The pan is also used to make a Yom Kippur favorite, Bundt Noodle Kugel.

There's a wonderful article about the history of tube cake pans over at American Heritage Baking. The website also includes a sweet surprise. Here's a taste:

Although Dalquist’s “Bundt” moniker was new, his pan was not a great novelty. Other American companies had been producing attractive, tubed metal and ceramic pans and molds since the nineteenth century. (Depending on their intended use and specific shape, the earlier fancy “spouted” forms were variously called baba cake molds, turban or turk’s-head pans, fluted pans, pudding molds, jelly molds, etc.) The Wagner Manufacturing Company, a major American cookware and bake-ware company based in Sidney, Ohio, had been selling quality fluted metal cake pans that were similar to the Bundt pan for decades.

The Bundt Cake

The popularity of the Bundt (Pronounced: "Bunt") cake really took off in the 1960s when the "Tunnel of Fudge Cake” recipe won second-prize in the 17th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1966. The Tunnel of Fudge Cake recipe was created by a woman from Texas by the name of Ella Rita Helfrich. "The recipe mysteriously develops a “tunnel of fudge” filling as it bakes." Ella won $5,000 as a runner up in the contest. The original recipe for "Tunnel of Fudge Cake" called for a dry frosting mix which Pillsbury no longer sells. If you really wanted to try the recipe, I'm sure you could use any dry frosting mix. There is also a revised recipe available at this PDF file which also has much information about the journey of the Bundt Cake.

Bundt Cakes are fun to bake. They are only limited by the imagination and the shape of the pan you use, which today can be almost any shape or design. Anita from Dessert First was a judge at the Bundt Cake contest in 2007 and her blog has the winning entries for you to get some ideas. I have also included a few links for Mini Bundt Cake recipes below. Personally, I think Nordic Ware should consider a contest just for minis. One always feels special when presented with a treasure especially when it feels like it is baked just for Moi' Kids love them too, and although I don't think a mini bundt cake could ever replace cupcakes:) there is a fashionable tone to them. For those who would prefer not to use a cake mix, a rich pound cake or butter recipe cake will produce a fine bundt cake. The most important thing to remember when baking a bundt cake is to grease the pan in all its nooks and crannies. For more information about using a Bundt pan, check out Baking with Bundt® Pans at about.com. Not to be left out of the Bundt Cake Frenzy that should be getting off to a new start, I am including this recipe for Chocolate Pocket of Peanuts Cake from a small Pillsbury leaflet published in 1980. I realize the recipe calls for a Pillsbury Bundt Cake Mix but I thought I would include it for a bit of nostalgia:)

Resources & Recipes
1. Nordic Ware's "Bundts Across America"
2. Dr. Oetker Lava Cakes
3. Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes
4. Blueberry Cocoa Mini Bundt Cakes (vegan recipe)
5. Mini-Bundt Coconut Tea Cakes with Cardamom & Rum Cream Glaze
6. Mini Almond Bundt Cakes (from Martha Stewart)
7. Cranberry & Almond Bundt Cakes (from fine cooking)
8. Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes
9. Carrot Bundt Cake
10. Southern Angel's Favorite Bundt Cake Recipes
11. Tunnel of Apple-Love Spice Cake by Reeni 
12. Pear Pecan Cake with Lemon Glaze
13. Root Beer Bundt Cake 
14. Black & White Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache Drizzle

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slum Gullione: In Their Own Words

...To you from failing hands we throw the torch; 
be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die, 
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
in Flanders Fields...

"Today, Veterans Day recognizes all members of the armed forces, living and dead, who served during times of peace or war. This holiday was established to honor those who had served in World War I and was originally called Armistice Day. Armistice Day was first officially proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919 one year to the day after the war ended in 1918. Congress proclaimed the day a federal holiday in 1938. In 1954, Congress changed the holiday’s name to Veterans Day. It is a day to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Veterans' organizations hold parades, and the President customarily places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The inspiration for today's post comes from the November 1931 issue of American Cookery Magazine. A few months back while I was skimming through its pages, I came across an article titled "Slum." Hmmm...I thought what is "slum" and what pray tell is it doing in one of my favorite magazines? Thankfully, the article is pretty short so I have included it below.

"Slum" by Lilian A. Ettinger: The celebration of Armistice Day is an institution in our household. My husband has a half dozen or so old cronies whom he gathers around his board on that day, where they fight the war all over again.

The bullets fly, machines gun nests are retaken, mighty ships plow through turbulent seas, zooming airships sweep the ceiling of the blue skies. In general, they work themselves into a fine frenzy of reminiscing.

On the first of these gatherings, I asked, hesitatingly, what they would like to eat.

"Slum" was the reply in unison and their lips smacked in gastronomical anticipation and immediately they plunged into amusing anecdotes of the gallons of "slum" they had consumed during the war.

"How do you make it?" I asked trying to sandwich in a word. Astonished, commiserative glances were cast in my husband's direction. They were, frankly, feeling sorry indeed for him. Was it possible that there lived any one so dumb that she didn't know about "slum?"

"Empty the kitchen into a pot and boil it up together," some one suggested. It was rather a staggering order but it was my aim to please if possible, feed the brutes.

I bought a nice fat hen and a large soup bone with plenty of meat on it, then every sort of vegetable known to man kind.

I stewed the chicken until the meat fell off the bones, at the same time boiling the soup bone until the same conditions existed.

The two kettles of broth and meat were left separate until the last minute, for the slices of cabbage must not be cooked with the rest of the vegetables.

In the chicken broth were cooked celery, onions, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and green peppers. When the latter were about half cooked, tomatoes were added. All vegetables had been cut in fairly large cubes and were not cooked too long; they should remain intact. In the last few minutes before combining the two mixtures a large can of button mushrooms, liquor and all, was added.

Great steaming bowls of the "slum" placed before each man brought such appreciative, prolonged "yums" and "ahs" as delight to the soul of every cook. Salad plates of stuffed celery, together with coffee, hard rolls, and butter, completed the menu. Since everything that goes into a meal was combined in the one dish, little else was necessary and the stuffed celery gave just the right balance.

The meal was voted a huge success and on every succeeding Armistice Day, when the "war dogs" gathered, "slum" was the order for the day. Much to my delight it is certainly the easiest way I know of to feed a group of hungry men with the minimum amount of work.

"Slumgullion"

Slang, what is slang? Here is the definition from the free online dictionary.

Slang: A kind of language occurring chiefly in casual and playful speech, made up typically of short-lived coinages and figures of speech that are deliberately used in place of standard terms for added raciness, humor, irreverence, or other effect; Language peculiar to a group; argot or jargon

Not only is "Slumgullion" an informal military term, it is also "slum" a thin stew of meat and vegetables. Stumbling upon this type of meal aroused my curiosity. How many other unique military forms of jargon pertaining to food was I not familiar with?

"Slum gullion" or "slumgullion" or just "slum", is a term from the California gold rush. It meant the mud left in the sluice when panning for gold, and the miners also used it to refer to a thin, watery stew or soup made from leftovers. The term first appeared in print in 1850. Every recipe for slumgullion that I found had different ingredients, which is logical since it was originally made from leftovers. (War Slang by Paul Dickson)
The pudding that we swallowed we soon put over side, 
With gastric gurgitations that could not be denied. 
There would have been no difference if dessert had been ice 
cream, 
The Bay was mighty turbulent, December, Seventeen.
Slum-gullion for breakfast, slum-gullion at noon, 
With frequent interspersing of the ever-faithful prune. 
Oh, these and other hardships would often intervene, 
When we sailed the Bay of Biscay in the Fall of Seventeen. 
But "slumgullion" is indeed a well-established word with a long history, today meaning a kind of hash or stew, especially one of humble origins...The earliest occurrence of "slumgullion" recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary is from Mark Twain's "Roughing It" in 1872 ("He poured for us a beverage which he called 'Slumgullion'"), which Twain used in the then-current sense of "a weak or inferior drink." In the 1880s, "slumgullion" was apparently also used to mean the watery refuse from processing whale blubber as well as the muddy sludge created by mining operations. The earliest use of the "stew" sense of "slumgullion" yet found dates to 1902 (Jack London, "Daughter of Snows": "'What do you happen to call it?' 'Slumgullion,' she responded curtly, and thereafter the meal went on in silence"), and, given the earlier meanings of the word, that must have been seriously nasty stew. source

Well it appears, there are quite a few. I did a bit of scouting around and have made up a list to share, just in case you too are interested. Unfortunately, I wasn't bright enough to distinguish the meanings from the different branches of the armed forces so they are all tossed in together. I do know they are from an assortment of army, navy and marine doughboy websites. The highlighted few are links to the recipes.

Doughboy
a foot soildier
Groundhog Day
A name for Armistice Day (November 11, 1918), when the fighting stopped and everyone came out of their holes. Referring to unpleasant, unchanging, repetitive situations as “Groundhog Day” was widespread throughout the U.S. military. A magazine article about the aircraft carrier USS America mentions its use by sailors in September 1993. Even today in the Iraq War, "Groundhog Day" is American military slang for any day of a tour of duty in Iraq.
bug juice
kool-aid-like beverage
bullets in a pot, repeaters & pork
beans
corn willy, willy, sir william, bill
hash (canned beef)
chow
food
chow down
to eat
chowhound
a gourmet on the rampage
chow hall
dining room
fried mush
doughboy breakfast treat
galley
Place where food is prepared for consumption.
goldfish
canned salmon
goldfish loaf
canned salmon
gooey
army goulash, spicy stew
hardtack, teeth dullers, sheet iron
hard dry biscuit
kitchen in a carton
three square meals
mess or mess deck
dining hall aboard ship or at a shore facility.
mess sergeant java, black jack
field kitchen coffee
pum frits
pan cooked potatoes
red death
poorly prepared corned beef with cabbage.
read lead
catsup
salva, grease
butter
sand & dirt
salt & pepper
scullery
where dishes are washed
scuttlebutts
drinking fountains.
sea dust
salt
serum
intoxicating beverages
sewer trout
White fish
side arms
cream & sugar
sliders
hamburgers/cheeseburgers
sinkers
doughnuts
slopchute
beer joint
slum
food
slum burner
a cook
slum gullion
hash, stew
s.o.s. or s#%t on a shingle
cream chipped beef on toast
steam shovel
potato peeler
swacked; swamped
intoxicated
swill
beer
target paste
creamed chipped beet or gravy. 
tiger meat
beef
worms
spaghetti

Military slang abounds. Biscuits were called "sinkers," "weevil fodder," or "death bells" by soldiers during the American Civil War. While Union soldiers had their "skillygallee", Confederates had their own version of a quick dish. "Sow-bosom" was cooked in a frying pan with some water and corn meal added to make a thick, brown gravy similar in consistency to oatmeal. The soldiers called it "coosh." (corn meal mush) If Confederate soldiers detected Yankee soldiers approaching, they would quieten their barking dogs by throwing them fried cornmeal balls or hush puppies.

The British had their pop-wallah while Napoleon's Army had its Bishop.

The Legend of the Poppy

The poppy has been adopted by many organizations as a symbol of commemoration of those men and women who we honor today. The Flanders Fields Red Poppy was immortalized by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in the poem, In Flander's Field. Moina Belle Michael, the "poppy lady," established the poppy as a universal symbol of tribute and support for veterans after reading Col. McCrae's poem in an issue of Ladies Home Journal. She was so touched by the author's heartfelt observation, especially the words, ...To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.... she spent most of her life trying to make the flower the national "flower of remembrance." It was officially adopted as the "flower of remembrance" at the National American Legion Convention in 1920 and at the Auxiliary Convention in 1921. Today, Auxiliary members distribute millions of little paper poppies made by hospitalized veterans in the weeks preceding Memorial and Veterans Day. Donations are used exclusively to assist veterans and their children. Moine Michael wrote her own poem in response to Col. McCrae's poem titled, We Shall Keep the Faith

In Flanders Fields" was first published in England's "Punch" magazine in December, 1915. Within months, this poem came to symbolize the sacrifices of all who were fighting in the First World War...Before he died, John McCrae had the satisfaction of knowing that his poem had been a success. Soon after its publication, it became the most popular poem on the First World War. It was translated into many languages and used on billboards advertising the sale of the first Victory Loan Bonds in Canada in 1917...In part because of the poem's popularity, the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance for the war dead of Britain, France, the United States, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

“And now the Torch and Poppy red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.”
– from “We Shall Keep the Faith,”
Resources
  • 1. The Armistice
  • 2. The History of Veterans Day
  • 3. War Slang by Paul Dickson (online @ google books)
  • 4. Seabee Food Service in WW II The Story of the Can Do! Cooks and Bakers
  • 5. The Doughboy Cookbook (WWI) (easy to navigate)
  • 6. Marine Corps S.O.S. and Jarhead Jerky Recipes
  • 7. S.O.S., S#*t on a Shingle
  • 8. Mason-Dixon Line’s Civil War Recipes
  • 9. Civil War Food
  • 10 A Guide for Re-creating Foods and Rations

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Hoo hoo" Doughboy...

"Come out, Come out, where ever you are...I hear you giggling back there you crafty clay animated Pillsbury character." 

"If you don't come out from behind that stove, I'll have to send the California Raisins after you."

 "They'll be carrying my mother's rolling pin, I warn you." 

"Must I remind you about that one fateful year when the raisins absorbed your popularity? I bet they would be happy just to leave you squished back there and do it again."

"Oh Poppin' Fresh, you've been in the spotlight for forty three years, don't be shy. Today is November 7, its the anniversary of your television debut. Don't you want to share some of the highlights of your doughy life with our guests today? What's it like to be the most popular food product icon, ever?"

"I hear you and Maureen McCormick did a stint together on that exciting Sunday evening in November of 1965. Wow! That means you knew her before she became Marcia Brady from The Brady Bunch. Was she kind to you? Did she try to take your scarf? I know it was pretty chilly in some parts that November. Did she kiss you:) You know how you blush when a girl kisses you, you little giggler." 

"Pop ‘N’ Fresh, did your costar try on your white baker's hat with the Pillsbury logo? Oh silly me, she couldn't have. How big of a baker's hat could a chubby 14-ounce short guy like you have? What are you 8 3/4 inches tall with your hat?"

"Don't be fresh doughboy there's globs we want to know. It may have taken you only three years to become the guy to personify the qualities of Pillsbury Refrigerated Dough but, you've been making fewer appearances lately. How's Poppie Fresh and the rest of the dough figures; Popper your son, Baby Bun Bun, Uncle Rollie; your distinguished bachelor uncle, Grand-Popper, Gran-Mommer, and pets, Biscuit the cat and Flapjack the dog? What characters they are:) I remember that time when Poppie Fresh was counterfeited. I think it was back in the 70's when she became a member of the notable Pillsbury Doughboy Collectibles dolls. Those doughfans must have had some impact on her feelings."

"Please, please, dear pudgy Poppin' Fresh, won't you please come out. We don't want half baked answers to these questions. Who can we get an honest answer from, Pillsbury! You know how commercial they are. Look what happened with Ballard & Ballard. In case you've forgotten, I left a reminder below. Heck, if it weren't for your cute presentation for crescent rolls on that shaky evening, Pillsbury may not have become a household word."

Ballard & Ballard of Louisville, Ky., introduces Ballard Biscuits made from refrigerated dough and packaged under pressure in cylindrical containers. Local baker Lively Willoughby has come up with the idea of saving time for housewives by preparing uncooked biscuits which can be stored in iceboxes for as much as 24 hours and then baked. He has devised a method of wrapping the biscuit dough in tinfoil and enclosing it under pressure in heavy paper tubes with metal lids to produce a product that stays fresh in the icebox for a week. (source)
"In 1951 Pillsbury bought Ballard & Ballard, which owned a process for storing refrigerated dough in cardboard tubes. The process was invented by a Louisville, Kentucky, baker in 1930 and refined over the years. The acquisition of Ballard & Ballard marked Pillsbury's entry into the refrigerated dough market, which became a company mainstay. The launch in 1965 of refrigerated crescent rolls coincided with the debut of the Pillsbury Doughboy, as well as the signature tag line, "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven,"..." (source)
Doughboy's Birthday
Doughboy Birthday"Did you ever get a chance to pay your respects to Paul Frees, the first man to give you the gift of speech. How sweet it was to hear those words spill from your tiny mouth; “Hi! I’m Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy,” followed by “Nothin’ says loving like somethin’ from the oven and Pillsbury says it best.” I heard he passed on in 1986:( I know today we are celebrating your television debut Dough Boy but, could you try to clear up a couple of things about your birth? Is Rudy your creator or is he another urban legend? We know you were born in Chicago and raised in Minneapolis but where does Marty Nodell fit into this puzzle? What other little known facts don't we know? Some people say March 18, 1965 is your birthday. Others say November 7, 1965 is the Doughboy's Birthday! Well, we know that isn't true. As a matter of fact, even your parent company doesn't know your official birthday. When is it? This birthday bash of Fresh ideas from Pillsbury says you were 25 years old in 1990 but, I'll be darned if it gives us a date:("
Ham Asparagus Roll-ups
"Gotcha! I know why you won't come out from behind there Poppin Fresh. You still believe you were the demise of the home made biscuit. Ironically, you may have reason to feel that way, suspicious-looking cylinders lurking in the refrigerator have a way of doing that. Sure your purpose was to restore biscuits to their art of light flaky grandeur, alas, my dear doughboy, no tin can of pre-packaged biscuits could be expected to take the place of real home made butter milk biscuits slathered with butter. None! Anway, Bisquick Biscuits aren't refrigerator biscuits like you. Your heart may have been in the right place but, neither of you could teach a person how to make good biscuits, even if they have the inclination to make biscuits from scratch."

"Well, it looks like I'm not going to be able to coax you out from behind that stove. Too bad, we sure would have liked to seen those Pillsbury blue eyes of yours. And, that infectious smile would have certainly convinced us of your true identity. You know, you often get mixed in with those patriotic boys of the military, who proudly referred to themselves as doughboys."

Resources
1. Dough, Boy! Pillsbury's Squishy Success Story
2. Food Icons: Immortal In the Eyes of the Television Beholder
3. Pillsbury Doughboy Trivia
4. Doughboy Fun
Crescent Roll Recipes
1. Sesame-Onion Crescent Rolls
2. Kid Friendly Crescent Roll Recipes
3. Orange Crescent Roll Recipe
4. Garlic Crescent Roll-Ups
5. Dairy Free Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls
5. Homemade Crescent Rolls @ Cooking During Stolen Moments
Biscuit Recipes
1. Recipe Curio (Baking Powder Biscuits)
2. Is Making Biscuits From A Mix Easier Than Making from Scratch?
3. How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits from Scratch
4. How To Make Biscuits And Sausage Gravy

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day: Recipes in the Signs

I wanted to post something special as a tribute to election day but, I just couldn't figure out what. First, I thought state recipes would be possible candidates. Perhaps, a recipe from Illinois, Delaware, Arizona and Alaska. I could have gone through a few of my political cookbooks and picked a few Democratic and Republican recipes. Honestly, I really would have liked to have done that but, alas, I plum ran out of time. (I had to make my way back to PA in time to vote:) I know, I'll post a few "governmental recipes." I doubt that's what they are really called but hey, it's still a free country and I can call them anything I want. You may know them better as recipes with names such as Senate Bean Soup or Election Day Cake, traditional government recipes. As you will see below, they've all been pretty well hashed out.

Presidential Plums

A funny thing happened on the way to my old Aol pages. They are all gone. I mean completely gone. I tried to do a search for Delaware Cry Babies, a recipe I posted a very long time ago on the 4th of July, and lo and behold, gone! As was another page I posted for Presidents' Day back in 1995. It was called Presidential Plums and it too is gone:( I could write a whole post about how I feel about this particular situation; I won't. Instead, I will design a new Presidential Plums post, so there!

I suppose I'm feeling a bit feisty today. I'm going to attribute that to the fact that tonight is the eve of Election Day 2008. I don't mind saying, Whew! I'm glad it is coming to an end. Who will become the new "political plum" is anyone's guess.

Democratic Donkey & Republican Elephant

Did you ever wonder why the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is Election Day? Actually, I never gave it much thought until a few weeks ago. I remember exactly when if not what channel...

For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society. (I didn't know what it meant I figured maybe someone else didn't either:) Law makers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls...source

How about the donkey and the elephant logo's? Democrats today say the donkey is smart and brave, while Republicans say the elephant is strong and dignified.

The now-famous Democratic donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a jackass (a donkey), and Jackson decided to use the image of the strong-willed animal on his campaign posters. Later, cartoonist Thomas Nast used the Democratic donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous.
Nast invented another famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled “The Republican Vote.” That's all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party.

Recipes in the Signs

Granted whomever (or is it who ever:) wins this presidential election, there's lots to be done. They have not fallen upon an economic windfall. Quite the contrary. I thought it curious to explore the personality traits of each of the candidates by their astrological culinary signs. Now, I know nothing about astrology. To aid me in this endeavor, I will be referring to three astrological cookbooks I have with me. In this way, I thought it would be fun to not only investigate foods which would be complimentary to individual personalities, but also a sort of candidate dish with a dash of insight. I'm beginning with the the first house of the zodiac spectrum pertaining to this presidential election. In which case "Colorful Leo" is the natural Fifth House.

The book which I'm using for descriptive personality traits is titled Zodiac Cookbook by Greg and Beverly Frazier, copyright 1969. "Of the many ingredients that go into a well prepared dish, the personality of the cook is by far the most important. Each of us is a different and unique individual; each has his own way of doing things, and cooking is no exception. At birth we are all endowed with certain general characteristics based on the Sun's juxtaposition to the twelve zodiacal constellations...The suggestions for entertaining contained herein were made after careful study of the general personality traits of each of the twelve Signs of the Zodiac..."

Senator Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Under the sign of Leo, Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961.
Leo is a fixed fiery Sign, best characterized by an authoritative bearing, strong pride, and immense courage. Leo's great physical strength and prowess are likened unto the lion. Just as the lion is the King of Beasts, so is Leo a King among Men. His is the Sign of the King or President. He is a natural leader, but sometimes a harsh and demanding one, and his marvelous powers of organization are much sough after in business and professional circles. He is considerate, and will go out of his way not to offend. Punctuality is a must when dealing with a Leo...Leo's great need in life is to have people pay attention to him. He can't stand being ignored and will go to great lengths to make his presence felt...Leo projects his self confidence to his fellow man, always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. His sympathy and concern for the plight of others makes Leo an empathetic and warm hearted individual. He is an optimist; the future holds the most excitement and challenge for him.

Senator John McCain

John McCain: Under the sign of Virgo, John McCain was born on August 29, 1936.
Virgo, a mutual earth Sign, is portrayed byt the Virgin, symbol of charity, virtue and purity. Virgo is chaste of body, virtuous of soul, and pure of heart. He believes that the best things in life come to those who work hard and live byt the Golden Rule. At times the Virgo is truly materialistic, preferring congenial company and elegant surrounings. He is a realistic; level-headed and steady to the core. He makes decisions on the basis of the facts as he sees them, not as he imagines them...His criticism sometimes approaches the the level of the absurd, however, and he is often hyper-critical of those closest to him. Virgo is a fussy fellow who keeps himself and his surroundings fastidiously neat and clean...Virgo is acutely health conscious, adhering to the adage that a healthy body makes a healthy mind.

Perhaps you are curious as to how the candidates would behave as guests. The book A Taste of Astrology by Lucy Ash, copyright 1987, has that aspect covered.

Guest: Barack Obama

Leos thoroughly enjoy being invited out to dine; luxuriating in being fed good food, in the same way as they enjoy all the pleasurable things in life. Leo's warmth and sunny nature is bound to brighten your table, so dinner should be a delightful occasion...This is a fire sign, and Leos possess a personality full of force and heat characteristic of their elements. But theirs is the balanced harmonious part of the fire-the art of fire, which is contained and controlled and dignified...Because this sign of the zodiac is ruled by the Sun, Leo embodies all the strength and force of this hot aggressive planet...Leo will flatter you guests because flattery is something they love to receive and because they possess an ability to have fun. You won't have to fuss over the details of the food too much with this sign of the zodiac, so long as the overall effect is spectacular. The grand gesture is what interests Leos, so perhaps feed them roasted meats rubbed golden with saffron, a color traditionally associated with kings. Or a flaming Crepes Suzette, to match the fire that burns within the sign. And feed them well formed, rounded foods such as tomatoes, oranges, or apricots to match the golden orb of their ruling planet, the Sun, foods that have proportion and symmetry with clear dignified lines, or you can give them a steak tartare to appeal to the beast in them...Really, the only drink for this noble creature is champagne, but failing that, try your Leo guest on a rich red or a golden wine the color of the Sun. Don't sit them in a dark corner-the head of the table is the place for the Sun, the god of light.

Guest: John McCain

Persuade your Virgo friend to stop whatever he or she is doing-this sign of the zodiac is bound to be doing something-and invite him to dinner. He will probably accept eagerly because he will love an opportunity to be social, and won't want to miss out...It's a good idea not to let Virgos into your kitchen; this sign of the zodiac is very particular about what they eat and you are bound to be putting something into the pot that won't agree with them. They are often very fussy about food and can excel in finding fault or telling you how to do something...But kept in the sitting room with the other guests, Virgo makes charming company. Versatile and changeable, this is a mutable sign, representing the water and the motion of earth, so Virgos will get along with all kinds of people. Moreover, since they are ruled by Mercury, the god of eloquence and communication, they are good at making conversation and getting people to mix. If you have invited more than one Virgo to dinner, you are in for a lively evening. For a bit of peace and quiet, try feeding them foods that have a certain individuality, such as Roast Grouse or Parsnip Souffle, which combines their dual currents of lightness and earthiness. And feed them some clean healthy foods such as salads and stir-fried vegetables, since Virgo rules the sixth house of the zodiac which is concerned with health...It would be safer to stick to delicately spiced foods than to get carried away with wildly colorful curry. So if you want the evening to flow, try feeding your Virgoan friend a well presented and unusual fish dish (which reflects the nature of their ruling planet, Mercury). And make sure your food looks good; Virgos will always appreciate your painstaking labors in the kitchen and will take note of the last garnish that transformed the pie into a masterpiece...Virgos tend to burn up a lot of nervous energy (Mercury rules the nervous system), so they are likely to arrive hungry. Foods rich in protein, or containing their cell salt, potassium sulphate will be enjoyed...Fed well in good company, Virgos will probably endear themselves to you by staying behind and helping you clean up because they have had such a good time.

Recipes in the Signs

The third book I have chosen to illustrate the meals associated with each of the candidates is titled Cooking with Astrology by Sydney Omarr with master chef Mike Roy. This book really explores the cooking personalities of the signs with narrative samples of kitchen experience. It was published in 1998.

Recipes of Leo

Colorful Leo is the natural Fifth House of the zodiac, a Fire sign associated with the back and heart, and perhaps the most creative of the zodiacal group. Leo can by flamboyant in the kitchen. If born under this sign, you prefer flaming dishes, flambes; you cook not only with fire, but with showmanship. You have an individual touch and cook with a flourish...

Recipes of Virgo

The Sixth House is Virgo, with Mercury. This is an Earth sign, and is it is practical. Born under the sign of Virgo, you are health conscious; you take delight, for example in preparing decaffinated coffee so well that guests don't know the difference. Cooking, for you, is associated with health, well being. You want food to nourish as well as provide pleasure. You are not particularly fond of substitutes, but you won't hesitate if the aim is better health.
Resources
  • 1.Top recipes at the Illinois State Fair
  • 2.The Blue Crab in Delaware, Maryland
  • 3. Arizona State Fair Offers Pie Eating Contest
  • 4. Politics, Cabbages, and Grilling Contests at the Alaska State Fair
  • 5. democratic brownies
  • 6. Barack Obama Chili
  • 7. John McCain Chicken Queso Burger Recipe
  • 8. Senate Bean Soup
  • 9. Election Day Cake