Aug 30, 2013

Happy Friday

"There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience."

I have learned from experience the joy of having a Happy Friday!

International Bacon Day

Bacon Day is an official observance held on the Saturday before Labor Day in the United States. (Labor Day is traditionally the first Monday of September). This year is it celebrated August 31. The first Annual Bacon Day was held about 2005. It's celebrated by having a bacon party and eating bacon in every way imaginable.

Did you know that bacon is a cut of meat taken from the sides, belly, or back of a pig, then cured, smoked, or both? Meat from other animals, such as cow, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, and may even be referred to as "bacon" too, although this is just wrong.

Wikipedia says "Bacon Day is the traditional day on which bacon lovers express bacon mania. This is typically exhibited during social gatherings during which participants create and consume creative dishes containing bacon, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. All are welcome at a standard Bacon Day celebration, even vegetarians, with consumption of soy bacon or turkey bacon encouraged for inclusiveness."

Last year Bacon Day was celebrated in the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, and more.

Awesome Spoon

Lift Labs has developed patented spoon technology that stabilizes tremors from Parkinson’s Disease to allow patients to enjoy their meals again. According to Lift Labs website: “The Liftware Spoon is the most practical and effective spoon for people living with Essential Tremor, Parkinson’s, or other disorders."

With Liftware, the spoon is kept steady using innovative Active Cancellation of Tremor technology. The Liftware Spoon will be available in September 2013.

Fun Facts About Olive Oil

Calories per tablespoon: 119
Total fat: 13.5g
Saturated fat: 1.82g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Vitamin E: 4% Daily Value

Olive oil comes from California, France, Greece, Italy and Spain. All olive oils are graded in accordance with the degree of acidity they contain. The best are cold-pressed, a chemical-free process that involves only pressure, which produces a natural level of low acidity.

Extra virgin olive oil, the cold-pressed result of the first pressing of the olives, is only 1 percent acid. It's considered the finest and fruitiest of the olive oils and is therefore also the most expensive. Extra virgin olive oil can range from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green. In general, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor. After extra virgin, olive oils are classified in order of ascending acidity.

Virgin olive oil is also a first-press oil, with a slightly higher level of acidity of between 1 and 3 percent.
Fino olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin oils (fino is Italian for "fine"). Products labeled simply olive oil (once called pure olive oil ) contain a combination of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin oil.

Light olive oil contains the same amount of beneficial monounsaturated fat as regular olive oil and has exactly the same number of calories. Light" refers to  an extremely fine filtration process and this olive oil is lighter in both color and fragrance. It's rather nondescript flavor makes "light" olive oil good for baking and cooking. The filtration process for the light-style oil also gives it a higher smoke point than regular olive oil. Light olive oils can be used for high-heat frying, whereas regular olive oil is better suited for low to medium-heat cooking, as well as for salad dressings and marinades.

Olive oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. It can be refrigerated and last up to a year. Chilled olive oil becomes cloudy and too thick to pour. However, it will clear and become liquid again when brought to room temperature.

Olive oil is obtained from the pulp of olives by separating the liquids from solids. To make the finest, or extra-virgin olive oil, the fruit is gathered when fully ripened, ground to a paste under granite or steel millstones, layered over straw mats, and pressed in a hydraulic press. Today, most olive oil is produced by just one pressing. The resulting oil is separated from the juice by settling or by centrifuge and then filtered. Olive oil of good quality is ready to use, without further refinement.

Although olive oil is chiefly used as a food or in food preservation, it is also used in soaps, certain pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

Cheery Oats

Cereal companies had wheat, corn, and rice, but none had a cereal with an oat base until 1941. CheeriOats were introduced as a “ready-to-eat” oat cereal. The name emphasized the main ingredient to differentiate itself from the other types of cereals.

Unfortunately for CheeriOats, Quaker Oats took offense to the name, claiming the “Oats” part infringed on their trademark. To avoid a potential lawsuit, the name was changed to Cheerios in 1945. It had a mascot named Cheeri O'Leary, but that was quickly dropped. In 1949, the Lone Ranger radio show needed a sponsor. General Mills obliged and the association with the Lone Ranger lasted for 20 years and helped propel Cheerios into the most popular breakfast cereal.

The shape inspired the updated name. The “O” shape was made by a specially designed “puffing gun”. Cheerio dough is heated and rapidly and shot out of this gun, which makes the dough puff into the “O” shape.

By 1951 Cheerios was the top-selling cold cereal sold by General Mills. Cheerios continues to dominate the cereal market with about one eighth of all cereal sales in the United States. It is sold in over 130 countries. Other varieties of Cheerios introduced over the years include honey nut, apple cinnamon, multi-grain, berry burst, fruity, banana nut, chocolate, and frosted.

Fairy Floss

William James Morrison was a dentist, lawyer, and author from Nashville, Tennessee in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because he became President of the Tennessee State Dental Association in 1894 and wrote several children’s books, it might seem a little odd that he would go on to invent cotton candy.

Dr. Morrison patented several inventions. He developed a process for extracting the oil from cottonseeds and converting it to lard substitute, and developed a chemical process to purify the public drinking water in Nashville.

In 1897, he and a Nashville candy maker named John C. Wharton conceived and co-patented an “electric candy machine” which produced what was then called Fairy Floss and today is called Cotton Candy. The product was brought to the public in 1904 and became a huge instant success.


It is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Tokyo is often thought of as a city, but is commonly referred to as a metropolitan prefecture. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area with over 35 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy. Canada has a fewer people than the Tokyo island metropolitan area.

Watermelon Facts

The watermelon grows on vines on the ground. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and is related to cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin. Some varieties of watermelon come with a variety of rind and flesh colors. The inside flesh of the popular varieties are red or yellow. The watermelon grows in many different shapes. Watermelon has 92% water. Watermelon contains vitamins A, B6 and C. You can eat every part of a watermelon, including the seeds and rinds.

Thought to be the ancestor of the original watermelon, the white-skinned citron first grew in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. Egyptians recorded the earliest harvest of them 5,000 years ago. Watermelons were depicted in hieroglyphics that adorned the ancient walls of their structures. They buried the fruit in the tombs of their kings, because they believed it nourished them in the afterlife.

Watermelons spread by merchant ships to other countries as they traveled to conduct their business. The plants flourished along the Mediterranean Sea, and by the 10th century they made their way to China. Later in the 13th century the Moors helped spread the watermelon throughout Europe.

The watermelon may have made its way to the United States during the African slavery trade via slaves carrying the seeds on the ships. The word watermelon made its first debut in the English Dictionary in 1615. There are five states that currently lead watermelon production in the US - Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona. The United States ranks as number four in worldwide production of watermelon. China is number one. 96 countries grow watermelons globally. Chinese and Japanese often give watermelons to the host when they visit. Israelis and Egyptians enjoy salads made with sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese.

Watermelons come in 1200 different varieties. Recent cultivations led to development of several desirable characteristics of the fruit, including seedless varieties and ones with thin rinds.

What's in a Name, Emmy

Harry Lubcke suggested the name “Immy” be used, named after the “image orthicon tube” that was nicknamed the “Immy”. The Academy members liked it, but felt is should be more feminine, to match the statuette, so switched it to the name “Emmy”.

The statuette itself, of a winged woman holding an atom, was designed in 1948 by TV engineer and editor Louis McManus. His wife, Dorothy, served as the model for the statuette. Unlike the Academy Award statuette, where only one design was considered, this design was the 48th looked at by the Academy, with the previous 47 being rejected. The idea behind the design is that the winged woman represents the muse of art and the atom she’s holding represents “the science of television”.

For his design, Louis McManus was awarded a “Special Award” Emmy in the first year the Emmys were given out in 1948. His Emmy was not the statuette he designed, but rather a plaque.