Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by forzainter, Oct 17, 2007.
that should help
QIN and FIQH have been added to the list of Scrabble words.
Nice video Bdarb. Here are two related ones.
Thanks Mike B.
While plating, my boss comes in and says "the guy you're cooking for has held a Michelin star". Definitely felt some extra pressure there.
Oh dear, three hours later I realize that post was almost slightly mildly interesting. Here's something useless instead. The wipes at my job has the exact same shade of yellow as my phone.
"Basil the Rat"
Hopefully, you did not repeat the plating mistake of Basil Fawlty.
Thankfully, I did not. 'twas a busy night. Kulturnat in Helsingør.
Mick Jagger at Altamont: "There's so many of you. Just be cool in front and don't push around..."
Helsingør is a great city. Do many Swedes stop by your restaurant, or are they mostly in Denmark for a party?
Haven't seen that many Swedes cross the door. But given that this is my third week, we'll see as time goes on.
Rock, does this sound strange?
I use a subtle amount of very finely chopped marinated herring in my swedish meatball recipe to add a little "depth" to the flavor.
"I would like to order the 'Dedans Swedish Meatballs' special, hold the meat, bread, and everything else but the marinated herring. Also, a few dill pickles and a pint of Stolichnaya. Thank you."
I sprinkle lavish amounts of surstromming on my eggplant caviar to give it that irresistible aroma.
You may need to have a full bottle of Stoli before you get around to the Senti Eggplant Special.
I have "Gimme Shelter" on DVD and have wondered why Meredith Hunter pointed a gun at the stage. Was he reacting to the Hells Angels harassing him, or was he going to shoot at the stage?
A breakfast of surströmming and durian is a nice way to start the day.
That's wild stuff. You know what Mike B., maybe it was (a) a bad acid trip in that setting with lots of pushing/Hell's Angels or (b) the guy was reacting to someone. I have no idea, but I find it harder to believe that he was just planning to shoot at the stage out of the blue. I have just read about it and seen some video of it. It looks positively scary and freakish. I just found this Mike.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPM-x5ugLLE In this telling video, someone says "he was shooting at the stage" in response to Mick Jagger getting angry with the Hell's Angels. Yet, It looks like he just pointed the gun without actually shooting at all. It was supposed to be the "Woodstock of the West" but it sadly wasn't.
I've been thinking about this for a while now and I don't see anything redeeming in it to be honest. I feel that all it would add is a weird acidity.
The notion of hiring the Hell's Angels as security and paying them in beer was a bizarre and incredibly stupid idea. I use to often drive past Altamont on my way to L.A. from the Bay Area. It is usually a cold and bleak area in December. Many bad decisions were made.
I have been all over the Northern Hemisphere, but never to the Southern Hemisphere. Someday, I'll risk falling off the planet.
I wonder if the Stones were simply underestimating security demands and thinking that just hiring tough bikers get the job done. Maybe there was some other reason. What a ill advised decision in hindsight! When you watch Jagger singing during that whole scene, he has this strange look on his face as if he can't believe what he's watching. They are lucky there wasn't a full blown riot.
That is great that you've traveled so much Mike B! That started young for you right because of your father? I'm sure you have a very unique perspective. The farthest South I've been is the Southern tip of India, which is still in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dogs are people, too. (Just better )
Dogs under MRI scanner ... NY Times.
You'll get to see some constellations and stars you don't see here. Like Canopus (in Carina). Can't remember the others. Gives me goosebumps just thinking of a different night sky.
I am glad to hear of this second boom of running. Running came up in India in the 80's when it was huge in the US, but then died out completely here. I have been wondering how it is doing in the US.
Last night I saw Marathon Man (Dustin Hoffman) and once again wondered. I remember Central Park used to be full of runners at all times of the day and night (80's).
I once stayed in a penthouse overlooking Central Park as a guest. I could (from my window) see one corner of the park, and through the trees a little strip of the road inside the park. Even at midnight if i looked at that little strip of maybe 50 yards, there would be someone running by. Never was it empty. Mrs Rosenthal was a wonderful host. She had a housekeeper who used to make a great coleslaw for me. I was told not to run up or down the stairs as someone could call the cops! Her husband, Abe, it seems passed away a few years back.
When you get away from city lights, especially in the mountains, it is amazing how much the night sky has been forgotten.
An NRI visits Hyderabad. An interesting perspective of change.
That is a very interesting article Sentinel. Thank you for that. I think that there is a lot of truth in it.
Also, it's nice that running is enjoying somewhat of a boom. Besides running and tennis though, I think so many would benefit from plenty of stretching, calisthenics, and yoga/meditation too for those so inclined.
That is very true! Thanks for the beautiful photo Mike Bulgakov.
It is extremely important to hold oil companies liable for this sort of negligence and the damages.
....he was "involved" in another project at the time, so when he was asked if he would like to join this new-forming band as the lead vocalist, he politely declined.
Absolutely Mike Bulgakov! Unfortunately, due to politics and other forces at play, I think BP will be held accountable and they will end up paying a huge total, but in the big scheme of things, I'm not sure that the message will be strong enough or clear enough. This BP trial centered in New Orleans will set the tone for oil spill litigation for decades to follow. The Oil Pollution Act was passed in response to the Exxon Valdez spill. That law has been severely tested by the enormity of this BP Oil Spill. Judge Barbier has had to interpret "OPA" and apply it with this massive environmental case. This BP Oil Spill has really tested its limits, exposing many shortcomings and revealing attributes at the same time. Watch for the environmental penalty that will come next in a month or so. BP will have to pay the U.S. govt. somewhere between ~$4 and $20 billion for just the environmental penalty. This is due to violation of the Clean Water Act. If the penalty comes down close to $15 billion or so, BP will have to sell more assets to pay that out. They continue to fight for their very survival as litigation continues. Yet, to not prosecute this Spill properly would have been completely out of the question. How would oil companies operate without litigation being a concern if things went wrong due to negligence? I'm glad we won't have to find out. A strict focus on maximizing net profit only tends to have disastrous consequences and huge external costs.
Fascinating. This is the first I'm hearing of him. Wow, talk about a life changing decision! It looks like he was close to singing for Deep Purple as well. See this from Wiki on Mr. Terry Reid.
By Jove !!
Reading your post, and seeing this pic reminds me of when i was about ten or so (in the '70s), used to take this small pair of binoculars two blocks away from my house and peer up at the Milky Way. It was quite a sight, that veil of tiny stars. Every night at about 8 pm, I'd cycle over and peer up at that river of stars.
Then in 1982, the Asian Games came along and the pollution skyrocketed and from then onwards its been impossible to see stars from Delhi.
The skies several hundred or thousand years back must have been mind-blowing.
Film historians and critics claim that the jump cuts and editing strategies of Godard's "Breathless" unsettled, disoriented, and upset audiences at the time. Ozu, with his long, lingering cuts, would probably be more upsetting to audiences today.
^ With skies like that I would never be able to sleep at night. I don't think I'd even blink
The number 42 is the only number to be retired from every team in baseball. In honor of Jackie Robinson.
Just watched that film last night, seems a fitting honor considering what he had to endure.
Apologies that had nothing to do with physics or astronomy both of which I do love
June 18, 2013
Why the Tomato Was Feared in Europe for More Than 200 Years
In the late 1700s, a large percentage of Europeans feared the tomato.
A nickname for the fruit was the “poison apple” because it was thought that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them, but the truth of the matter was that wealthy Europeans used pewter plates, which were high in lead content. Because tomatoes are so high in acidity, when placed on this particular tableware, the fruit would leach lead from the plate, resulting in many deaths from lead poisoning. No one made this connection between plate and poison at the time; the tomato was picked as the culprit.
Around 1880, with the invention of the pizza in Naples, the tomato grew widespread in popularity in Europe. But there’s a little more to the story behind the misunderstood fruit’s stint of unpopularity in England and America, as Andrew F. Smith details in his "The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery." The tomato didn’t get blamed just for what was really lead poisoning. Before the fruit made its way to the table in North America, it was classified as a deadly nightshade, a poisonous family of Solanaceae plants that contain toxins called tropane alkaloids.
One of the earliest-known European references to the food was made by the Italian herbalist, Pietro Andrae Matthioli, who first classified the “golden apple” as a nightshade and a mandrake—a category of food known as an aphrodisiac. The mandrake has a history that dates back to the Old Testament; it is referenced twice as the Hebrew word dudaim, which roughly translates to “love apple.” (In Genesis, the mandrake is used as a love potion). Matthioli’s classification of the tomato as a mandrake had later ramifications. Like similar fruits and vegetables in the solanaceae family—the eggplant for example, the tomato garnered a shady reputation for being both poisonous and a source of temptation. (Editor’s note: This sentence has been edited to clarify that it was the mandrake, not the tomato, that is believed to have been referenced in the Old Testament)
But what really did the tomato in, according to Smith’s research, was John Gerard’s publication of Herball in 1597 which drew heavily from the agricultural works of Dodoens and l’Ecluse (1553). According to Smith, most of the information (which was inaccurate to begin with) was plagiarized by Gerard, a barber-surgeon who misspelled words like Lycoperticum in the collection’s rushed final product. Smith quotes Gerard:
Gerard considered ‘the whole plant’ to be ‘of ranke and stinking savour.’… The fruit was corrupt which he left to every man’s censure. While the leaves and stalk of the tomato plant are toxic, the fruit is not.
Gerard’s opinion of the tomato, though based on a fallacy, prevailed in Britain and in the British North American colonies for over 200 years.
Around this time it was also believed that tomatoes were best eaten in hotter countries, like the fruit’s place of origin in Mesoamerica. The tomato was eaten by the Aztecs as early as 700 AD and called the “tomatl,” (its name in Nahuatl), and wasn’t grown in Britain until the 1590s. In the early 16th century, Spanish conquistadors returning from expeditions in Mexico and other parts of Mesoamerica were thought to have first introduced the seeds to southern Europe. Some researchers credit Cortez with bringing the seeds to Europe in 1519 for ornamental purposes. Up until the late 1800s in cooler climates, tomatoes were solely grown for ornamental purposes in gardens rather than for eating. Smith continues:
John Parkinson the apothecary to King James I and botanist for King Charles I, procalimed that while love apples were eaten by the people in the hot countries to ‘coole and quench the heate and thirst of the hot stomaches,” British gardeners grew them only for curiousity and fo the beauty of the fruit.
The first known reference to tomato in the British North American Colonies was published in herbalist William Salmon’s Botanologia printed in 1710 which places the tomato in the Carolinas. The tomato became an acceptable edible fruit in many regions, but the United States of America weren’t as united in the 18th and early 19th century. Word of the tomato spread slowly along with plenty of myths and questions from farmers. Many knew how to grow them, but not how to cook the food.
By 1822, hundreds of tomato recipes appeared in local periodicals and newspapers, but fears and rumors of the plant’s potential poison lingered. By the 1830s when the love apple was cultivated in New York, a new concern emerged. The Green Tomato Worm, measuring three to four inches in length with a horn sticking out of its back, began taking over tomato patches across the state. According to The Illustrated Annual Register of Rural Affairs and Cultivator Almanac (1867) edited by J.J. Thomas, it was believed that a mere brush with such a worm could result in death. The description is chilling:
The tomato in all of our gardens is infested with a very large thick-bodied green worm, with oblique white sterols along its sides, and a curved thorn-like horn at the end of its back.
According to Smith’s research, even Ralph Waldo Emerson feared the presence of the tomato-loving worms: They were “an object of much terror, it being currently regarded as poisonous and imparting a poisonous quality to the fruit if it should chance to crawl upon it.”
Around the same time period, a man by the name of Dr. Fuller in New York was quoted in The Syracuse Standard, saying he had found a five-inch tomato worm in his garden. He captured the worm in a bottle and said it was “poisonous as a rattlesnake” when it would throw spittle at its prey. According to Fuller’s account, once the skin came into contact with the spittle, it swelled immediately. A few hours later, the victim would seize up and die. It was a “new enemy to human existence,” he said. Luckily, an entomologist by the name of Benjamin Walsh argued that the dreaded tomato worm wouldn’t hurt a flea. Thomas continues:
Now that we have become familiarized with it [the worm] these fears have all vanished, and we have become quite indifferent towards this creature, knowing it to be merely an ugly-looking worm which eats some of the leaves of the tomato…
The fear, it seems, had subsided. With the rise of agricultural societies, farmers began investigating the tomato’s use and experimented with different varieties. According to Smith, back in the 1850s the name tomato was so highly regarded that it was used to sell other plants at market. By 1897, innovator Joseph Campbell figured out that tomatoes keep well when canned and popularized condensed tomato soup.
Today, tomatoes are consumed around the world in countless varieties: heirlooms, romas, cherry tomatoes—to name a few. More than one and a half billion tons of tomatoes are produced commercially every year. In 2009, the United States alone produced 3.32 billion pounds of fresh-market tomatoes. But some of the plant’s night-shady past seems to have followed the tomato in pop culture. In the 1978 musical drama/ comedy “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” giant red blobs of the fruit terrorize the country. “The nation is in chaos. Can nothing stop this tomato onslaught?”
I once met two young Swedish women in Denmark. One of their grandmothers saw herself as a practitioner of ancient medicinal knowledge. She saw herself as a good witch.
I briefly dated one of the women and met her friend's "witch" grandmother, who lived in Northern Sweden and was very nice. She told me about belladonna, which I didn't try, so I didn't fly.
"The men’s marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games in Italy was won by Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila, running bare foot. Abebe Bikila became the first black African to take home a gold medal in any sport."
Bikila was the first person to win two successive Olympic Marathons.
And in doing so, forfeited a potential multi-million dollar shoe endorsement deal with Addidas ; )
At the 1960 Olympics, 3-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (nee Cassius Clay) won a gold medal in the light heavyweight class.
January 17, 2013
Off the Spice Rack: The Story of Pepper
By Stephanie Butler
Last week we took a look at the history of salt, so this time it’s pepper’s turn. Unlike salt, which can be found or made practically anywhere in the world, black pepper is indigenous only to Kerala, a province in southwest India. References to pepper appear in Greek and Roman texts, suggesting an ancient trade between India and the West. As early as 1000 B.C., traders from southern Arabia controlled the spice trade and pepper routes, enjoying a huge monopoly over an increasingly profitable business. To protect their valuable routes, traders created fantastical stories about the hardships endured in order to procure spices. What Englishman in his right mind would want to travel around the globe just to be attacked by a dragon guarding a pepper pit?
By medieval times, the middle leg of pepper trade routes was still firmly controlled by Muslim traders, while Italian city-states like Venice and Genoa held a monopoly on shipping lines once the spice reached the Mediterranean. Pepper was costly to ship—the Silk Road, the most well-known trade route, stretched over 4,000 miles—but was such a desirable spice that Italian traders could essentially set their own prices. This led to pepper’s status as a luxury item in medieval Europe. Even today, the Dutch phrase “pepper expensive” refers to an item of prohibitive cost.
Eventually, the rest of Europe got tired of paying the high Venetian prices for pepper imports and decided to take matters into their own hands. Thus began the age of Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Sir Francis Drake and other explorers. Indeed, Columbus stocked the holds of his ships with what he believed to be pepper and brought the spice all the way from the West Indies. Only back in Spain did he discover that his ships weren’t full of priceless peppercorns but worthless chili peppers.
Pepper’s popularity quickly spread through world cuisines once more trade routes were established. At one time it accounted for a whopping 70 percent of the international spice trade. As it became more readily available, the prices dropped, and ordinary people were able to enjoy it. Regional cuisines began incorporating pepper into their foods alongside native spices and herbs. This resulted in typical spice blends such as garam masala in India, ras el hanout in Morocco, quatre épices in France and Cajun and jerk blends in the Americas.
Bikila came back four years later and won the marathon wearing shoes just a few days after an appendix surgery. He came back again in Mexico City (1968 ) but had an injury. His compatriot Mamo Wolde won (later saying that Bikila would have won if not injured).
He had his sights set for Munich where he would be 40.
Then Bikila had a car accident and became a paraplegic. He tried a bit of wheelchair archery at the behest of his coach. He came in a wheelchair to Munich (1972 ) as a guest to receive an award (along with Jesse Owens).
He then died of a brain haemorrhage (said to be due to the accident).
Great. The girl I like has overdosed on something...
Apparently, she's at the psychic ward... I miss her...
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