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The Food Almanac: Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Food Almanac: Thursday, April 25, 2013


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Edible Dictionary
rabbit wings, n.--I won't insult your intelligence by noting that rabbits don't have wings. However, the number of similarities rabbit has to chicken inspires more than a few kitchen jokers to call the front legs "wings." Like chicken wings, they're not loaded with meat, but the upper parts are very tender and light. Most recipes call for frying them. But if you stew a rabbit, the results are all good, including the way the wings come out.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Rabbit Creek flows about nine miles through northeastern Iowa. It's hilly enough that the many streams in that part of the state form distinct valleys, with good farming at their bases. The creek joins Bear Creek, which flows into Turkey Creek, and then into the Mississippi River. The end of Rabbit Creek is forty-eight miles west of Dubuque, and five miles from Edgewood, where is Graffiti's, the nearest local cafe.

Food On The Air
Today in 1874 Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio and the man for whom Marconi Drive next to City Park is named, was born in Bologna. His patent (number 7777) came from England. Where would we be without him? We'd have to sit around writing letters or something. In Marconi's honor, tune in our radio show, from three to six p.m. today on 1350 AM.

Drink And Topology
Felix Klein, the inventor of the Klein bottle, was born today in 1849. A Klein bottle has no inside or outside; the two merge into one continuous side. Problem: it requires four dimensions. If you find yourself drinking from a Klein bottle, you've had too much. (Or, really, nothing: a Klein bottle has no volume.) Klein bottles have their own web site, with pictures of projections of Klein bottles in three-dimensional space.

People We'd Like To Have Dinner With
This is the birthday, in 1940, of Al Pacino. Of course, we'd go someplace Italian, but which place? It would have to have cannoli. We'd also invite Talia Shire, the sister of Francis Coppola. Talia also has a birthday today (1946). Both Pacino and Shire were in The Godfather,and since Francis himself might be in town for the Jazz Festival, he could come too. What an unforgettable dinner!

Deft Dining Rule #520:
In a restaurant, the person who sits with his back to the wall is the one most likely to pick up the check for that table. If he doesn't, he's a fraud.

Music To Dine By
Ella Fitzgerald was born today in 1917. "The only thing better than singing is more singing," she said. The same is true of listening, if it's to her. She was one of the creators of scat singing; her records with one of the other scat masters--Louis Armstrong--are delicious in their contrasts.

Annals Of Canned Milk
Today is the thirty-first anniversary of the Carnation Revolution,which changed Portugal from a dictatorship to a liberal democracy. Although the first thing I thought of when I saw this was a famous rhyme allegedly sent in by a contestant for a contest put on by Carnation Milk. Maybe you've heard it:

Carnation Milk is the best of all
No teats to pull, no pails to haul
No barn to clean, no hay to pitch
Just punch a hole in the son of a bitch.

Today's Flavor
Zucchini Bread Day sounds appealing--for about ten seconds. That's why it's evolved in Louisiana into Crawfish Bread Day. Crawfish bread is made by covering an underbaked loaf of French bread with crawfish, cheese, a sauce like crawfish etouffee and herbs, then baking it. It is not widely available except at festivals--notably the New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival, which begins this Friday.

The Saints
It's the feast day and birthday (1270) of Louis IX, king of France. He achieved sainthood for his exemplary life and devotion to the Church. On the other hand, he was captured during the Eighth Crusade by the Egyptians, and had to be ransomed for one and a half times the annual income of France at the time. St. Louis Cathedral, the focal point of New Orleans, is named for him, as is the city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Food Namesakes
In 1932, the most famous player in the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, Meadowlark Lemon, was born. . Stu Cook, bassist with Creedence Clearwater Revival, was born today in 1945. .Fish, a Scottish progressive rock singer and composer, was born today in 1958. His real name is Derek Dick. . Karel Appel, a Dutch painter, was born today in 1921. . C.B. Fry, ace cricket player and one-time holder of the long-jump record, was born today in 1872. The United States lease on the Corn Islands, off the east coast of Nicaragua, came to an end on this date in 1971. Italian poetTorcuato Tasso died in Rome today in 1595.

Words To Eat By
"Eating at a new, highly recommended restaurant is like a Very Important Blind Date, a contract with uncertainty you enter into with great expectation battling the cynicism of experience. You sit waiting, wondering about the upcoming moments of revelation. Somewhere in the back of your head is the dour warning that disappointment is inevitable but you don't really believe it or you wouldn't be there. The best eaters are always optimists."--Stuart Stevens, American author.

Words To Drink By
"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."--Edward R. Murrow, CBS news reporter, born today in 1908.


APRIL 1 - Today in Food History

1582 France adopted the new Gregorian calendar. Prior to that, the new year was celebrated on April 1. (The new year actually started on March 25, which fell during Holy Week - so the celebrations were delayed until the first day of April). One explanation of the origin of ‘April Fools Day’ is that those who failed to accept the new start of the year on January 1 became the object of practical jokes. (Pope Gregory XIII introduced the new Gregorian Calendar in 1582. It is possible that Charles IX of France may have changed the start of the New Year to January in 1564).

1755 Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born. A French politician and author of the 8 volume Physiologie du goût, ou Méditation de gastronomie transcendante, ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour ("The Physiology of Taste, or Meditation on Transcendent Gastronomy, a Work Theoretical, Historical, and Programmed") published in 1825. It treats dining as an art form and contains many delightful and witty observations on the pleasures of the table.

1864 Travelers Life & Accident Insurance Company was founded.

1891 Wrigley Co. is founded in Chicago, Illinois by William Wrigley, Jr., selling soap and giving away baking powder as a premium. The baking powder was more popular, so he switched to selling baking powder, giving chewing gum as a premium with each can. The gum became more popular than the baking powder so he went into the chewing gum business.
(Chewing Gum Trivia and Facts)

1893 The first dishwashing machine became an award winning success at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, which used Josephine Garis Cochran’s hand operated, mechanical dishwashers in its kitchens. (She patented her original version on December 28, 1886.) Her company eventually evolved into KitchenAid.

1911 Seaman Asahel Knapp died. An American agriculturist, he began the system which evolved into the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service.

1918 In Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan declare total prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

1932 Actor Gordon Jump was born. The 'Maytag Repairman' in commercials, also Arthur Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

1950 “If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" by Eileen Barton was number one on the music charts.

1957 The BBC aired a spoof TV documentary about spaghetti crops in Switzerland, showing women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry. Many viewers called in asking where they could purchase their own spaghetti trees.
(Spaghetti Recipes --- Spaghetti Quotes)

1960 Tiros I, the first weather observation satellite was launched from Cape Kennedy.

1976 Jimmy Buffet's 'Margaritaville' was released.

1976 Carl Peter Henrik Dam died. Dam was a Danish biochemist who discovered vitamin K in 1939.
(Vitamin Facts & Trivia)

1994 Ray Geiger died (born Sept 18, 1910). Editor of the Farmers' Almanac from 1934-1993, and editor of American Farm & Home Almanac from 1964-1990.

1996 The Taco Bell fast food chain played an April Food joke on the American public by claiming to have bought the Liberty Bell to help pay down the national debt.

1999 The first minimum wage goes into effect in Britain, £3.60 an hour for adults and £3.00 an hour for those under 22 years old.

1999 In April 1999, Restaurant Nora in Washington DC became America's first certified organic restaurant. This means that 95% or more of everything that you eat at the restaurant has been produced by certified organic growers and farmers.

2015 California Governor Jerry Brown ordered statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history. The order requires cities and towns to cut water usage by 25%, due to a drought emergency and extremely low snowpack level in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

2020 Coronavirus: Restaurants and Bars have lost $25 Billion so far due to coronavirus.


Activities (18)

Old Calendar: Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation is a mystery that belongs to the temporal rather than to the sanctoral cycle in the Church's calendar. For the feast commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Divine Person of the most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Thus it is a feast of our Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the liturgy centers wholly around the Mother of God. — The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

The Solemnity of the Annunciation was transferred from March 25th because it fell during the Easter holy days.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, in some places today is the feast of St. Julie Billiart, a French religious who founded, and was the first Superior General of, the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

The Annunciation
A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel, and she answers him but the angel of the earthly paradise is a spirit of darkness, and he of Nazareth is a spirit of light. In both instances it is the angel that has the first word. 'Why,' said the serpent to Eve, 'hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?' His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it, but he hates the image of God which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: 'Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!' Such language is evidently of heaven: none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit: she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her. She rashly stretches forth her hand she plucks the fruit she eats it, and death takes possession of her: death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror, and finally crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle, and fix them on Nazareth. Mary has heard the angel's explanation of the mystery the will of heaven is made known to her, and how grand an honor it is to bring upon her! She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God, and yet the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her! Mary bows down before this sovereign will, and says to the heavenly messenger: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.'

Thus, as the great St. Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first: for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, 'be it done,' than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary, and there He begins His human life. A Virgin is a Mother, and Mother of God and it is this Virgin's consenting to the divine will that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman the relations of Son and Mother it gives to the almighty God a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary. God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough and therefore she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy. The result of so glorious a triumph is that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels, but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven. Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation. Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her and in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary, and deem themselves honored when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.

Therefore is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary's obedience from the power of hell, solemnize this day of the Annunciation. Well may we say of Mary those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God's people: ‘The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel. The Lord chose new wars, and He Himself overthrew the gates of the enemies.’ Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary: 'Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him. And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him.'

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

    This feast is very important in the defense of the life of unborn children. Even with small children, this is a good day to begin teaching about the high value God places on human life. He loved us so much that he became one of us, took on our human nature and became an innocent, completely dependent infant.

St. Dismas
Saint Dismas (sometimes spelled Dysmas or only Dimas, or even Dumas), also known as the Good Thief or the Penitent Thief, is the apocryphal name given to one of the thieves who was crucified alongside Christ according to the Gospel of Luke 23:39-43:

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us."

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss."

And he said unto Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."

And Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise."

Patron: Those condemned to death Funeral directors, prisoners and repentent thieves

    Learn more about St. Dismas at Faith ND

St. Margaret Clitherow
St. Margaret is considered the first woman martyred under Queen Elizabeth's religious suppression. Margaret was raised a Protestant but converted to Catholicism about two to three years after she was married. According to her confessor, Fr. Mush, Margaret became a Catholic because she "found no substance, truth nor Christian comfort in the ministers of the new church, nor in their doctrine itself, and hearing also many priests and lay people to suffer for the defense of the ancient Catholic Faith." Margaret's husband, John Clitherow, remained a Protestant but supported his wife's decision to convert. They were happily married and raised three children: Henry, William, and Anne. She was a businesswoman who helped run her husband's butcher shop business. She was loved many people even her Protestant neighbors.

Margaret practiced her faith and helped many people reconcile themselves back into the Catholic Church. She prayed one and a half hours every day and fasted four times a week. She regularly participated in mass and frequently went to confession. When laws were passed against Catholics, Margaret was imprisoned several times because she did not attend Protestant services. Other laws were passed which included a 1585 law that made it high treason for a priest to live in England and a felony for anyone to harbor or aid a priest. The penalty for breaking such laws was death. Despite the risk, Margaret helped and concealed priests. Margaret said "by God's grace all priests shall be more welcome to me than ever they were, and I will do what I can to set forward God's Catholic service."

Margaret wanted her son Henry to receive a Catholic education so she endeavored that her son be sent outside the Kingdom to Douai, France for schooling. Such an act was considered a crime. When the authorities discovered their intention, the Common Council had the Clitherow house searched. They initially found nothing but later retrieved religious vessels, books and vestments used for Holy Mass. They also found a secret hiding place but no renegade priests. Still, Margaret was arrested. Margaret refused to plead and to be tried saying, "Having made no offense, I need no trial." English law decreed that anyone who refused to plead and to be tried should be "pressed to death." So on the morning of March 25, 1586, after sewing her own shroud the night before and after praying for the Pope, cardinals, clergy, and the Queen, Margaret was executed. She lay sandwiched between a rock and a wooden slab while weights were dropped upon her, crushing her to death. She did not cry out but prayed "Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy upon me." She died at age 30.

Moved by her saintly life, all her children entered the religious life. Anne became a nun. Henry and William both became priests.

On October 25, 1970, Pope Paul VI declared Margaret a saint.

Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent, Sant'Apollinare in Campo Marzio or Sant'Apollinare alle Terme (St. Apollinaris at the Baths):
The Station at Rome is in the church of St. Apollinaris, who was a disciple of St. Peter, and afterwards bishop of Ravenna. He was martyred. The church was founded in the early Middle Ages, probably in the 7th century. In 1990, the basilica came under the control of Opus Dei.


Holy Week and Easter Menu

Presenting Holy Week and Easter Menu that showcases my Mexican flavors using authentic jalapeño and chipotle peppers from La Morena. Holy Week is a very important time for most latino families, we love to celebrate together, go on vacation and eat wonderful dishes during this time.

Holy Week this year starts March 20 going through March 26 and on Easter Sunday also known and Palm Sunday we catholics are allowed to eat meat. Only days that we observe lent are every Friday after Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

And there is nothing more Mexican than a Mushroom Soup with Cactus and Jalapeños, Tuna Jalapeño Peppers and Chipotle Prune Pork Loin. Closing the Easter feast will be chocolates and carrot cupcakes following my mom’s tradition.

The Tuna Jalapeño Peppers are wonderful way to start a celebratory meal. These are very easy to make, you can pair with wine or beer and you can prepare a day in advance.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TUNA JALAPEÑOS APPETIZER

  • 10 whole jalapeños from La Morena
  • 1 1/2 cups of tuna in olive oil
  • 3 cups of fresh arugula

1.- Make a small incision lengthwise on the jalapeño and take out some of the seeds. Do this to all the jalapeños and place on a plate.

2.- On a bowl add the tuna and separate using a fork.

3.- Stuff the jalapeños with the tuna.

Serve over a bed of fresh arugula and add sliced picked carrots included in the La Morena whole jalapeños can.

This Mushroom Soup with Cactus and Jalapeños is vegetarian and uses fresh mushrooms. This is appropriate for lent and those days when meat is not allowed or to offer as a hearty soup for your Easter feast.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MUSHROOM SOUP WITH CACTUS AND JALAPEÑOS

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 3 cups of portabella or crimini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  • 3 cups of assorted gourmet selection of mushrooms (shimeji, straw, and beech)
  • 2 cups of canned cactus cut in juliennes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of sliced jalapeños from La Morena
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1.- Place a soup pot on the stove, add the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for few minutes until brown on both sides.

2.- Add the garlic and combine, then add the mushroom gourmet selection stir. Then add the canned cactus and the vegetable broth.

3.- Add the sliced jalapeños from La Morena and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy hot.

This Mushroom and cactus soup is flavorful and adding the pickled jalapeño slices from La Morena provides a nice mellow spicy flavor, this is a flavorful dish for your Holy Week and Easter Menu.

For the main dish I am suggesting for Easter Sunday a delicious Chipotle Prune Pork Loin cooked to perfection and using the authentic flavor of the La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE EASTER SUNDAY CHIPOTLE PRUNE PORK LOIN

  • 1 fresh pork loin
  • 8 prunes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo from La Morena
  • 2 cloves of black garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1.- In a bowl soften the prunes on one cup of hot water for few minutes until plumped. Add this to the blender along with the black garlic, the chipotle peppers in adobo from La Morena and the cumin and the oregano. Blend until getting a smooth consistency.

2.- Add this prune chipotle sauce to the pork loin and cook in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

3.- When ready take out the oven let it rest before slicing. You can serve with roasted potatoes and grilled rainbow carrots.

The combination of the sweetness of the prunes with the smokiness of the chipotles is the perfect balance for a juicy pork loin that is a perfect addition to the Sunday Easter Feast.

We as a family love to have parties at home and eat tasty dishes Holy Week and Easter are perfect occasions for us to gather around the table and celebrate our beliefs and traditions. When cooking for my family and friends I like to introduce my Mexican cuisine recipes so that I have the chance to educate them about those dishes I grew up with and my culture. I have found that La Morena is an authentic ingredient that allows me to incorporate the true taste of Mexico in my home cooking.

Using my childhood memories, favorite dishes and the Easter colors as an inspiration I have created a tablescape for presenting this Holy Week and Easter Menu that you can use to inspire yourself on your upcoming Easter feast.

Growing up in Mexico City my family was used to embrace some of the American traditions with our own during Easter Sunday. We just loved the chocolate bunnies, the egg hunts and my mom’s carrot cake.


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