The Food Almanac: Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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Looking Up
Today in 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 arrived at the moon, made ten orbits of it, and headed home. Frank Gorman, one of the spacemen, transmitted a wish for peace on earth on that Christmas Eve. I heard his words on the radio, went out to look at the moon, and found the sight very peaceful, indeed.

Today's Flavor
This is National Candy Cane Day. Have you found them this year? We had an unusually hard time locating the classic inverted-J shaped candy canes, the kind about as big around as a fat pencil, flavored with peppermint, and with one large red stripe and three thin ones. All of those qualities are symbolic (the "J" for Jesus, the stripes for the Trinity, etc.). However, we just like to have them around and on the Christmas tree for ready enjoyment. The expansion of variety in candy canes has brought some very unusual colors and flavors to the medium, and some of them are good. But there's nothing like the traditional.

Deft Dining Rule #25:
The food and service in restaurants on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be at best half as good as it would be on a normal day, and possibly very irritating and depressing if you can't go with the flow and enjoy it for what it is.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Goosetown, Tennessee is sixty-one miles northeast of Chattanooga, in rolling farmland flanked by two significant ridges of hills. Goosetown is a pleasant suburb of Etowah, a mile or so east on the main line of the former L&N Railroad. That's where all the restaurants are, including the Farmhouse.

Edible Dictionary
pulla, Finnish, n.--A slightly sweet yeast bread made in Finland, particularly around the holidays. It's somewhat reminiscent of New Orleans king cake, but without the frosting and sugar. It's also a little like challah, but not as eggy. Most pullas are braided and contain cardamom seeds and raisins. I may try to make some for Christmas dinner.

Music To Eat Creole Gumbo By
Today is the birthday of two major players in the early days of New Orleans R&B. Dave Bartholomew was born today in 1920. His band and arrangements backed up most of Fats Domino's recordings. And in 1924 on this date, Lee Dorsey entered the scene. His big hit was "Working In A Coal Mine," but he was a fixture at the Jazz Festival and in local clubs for a long time.

The Saints
Today is the feast day of Adam and Eve, according the the Bible the first and second humans respectively. They were also the first to learn that it pays to be discriminating about what one eats. It is also the birthday, in 1491, of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. If it weren't for the Jesuits, it is very unlikely you would not be reading these words of mine.

Annals Of Overeating
Today in 1991, Walter Hudson died. He weighed over a thousand pounds. Note to self: forget Walter Hudson for now, but remember him December 26.

Food Namesakes
British poet George Crabbe lived his first stanza today in 1754. Captain James Cook landed on Christmas Island, the world's largest atoll, right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was uninhabited, but he found large stone statues of the head of Santa Claus on the beach. (Am I confusing this with Easter Island?). Professional wrestler Chris Hero was given a half-nelson by an obstetrician today in 1979. Eat a poor boy sandwich in his honor.

Words To Eat By
"Cookery is an old art, as it goes back to Adam."--Louis, Marquis de Cussy, chef to Napoleon and cookbook author.
"Ever since Eve started it all by offering Adam the apple, woman’s punishment has been to supply a man with food then suffer the consequences when it disagrees with him."--Helen Rowland, American writer and humorist. "Give books for Christmas. They're never fattening."--Lenore Hershey.

Words To Drink By
"Holly and ivy hanging up
And something wet in every cup.
--Irish Christmas toast.

Out This Week: December 23, 2013

Note: The prices and deals compiled below are accurate at the time we published this story, but all are subject to change.

Release Date: Monday, December 23, 2013

Halo: Spartan Assault is a first top-down action shooter designed to provide an accessible, pick-up-and-play experience for Halo fans and newcomers alike. Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, Halo: Spartan Assault explores the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. Play through the eyes of either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity as they fight in never-before-seen battles against Covenant forces.

Have you seen Insidious Chapter 2?

With intuitive controls, online Co-op multiplayer, and over 30 stimulating missions at your fingertips, Halo: Spartan Assault for Xbox One and Xbox 360 features a deep storyline with action-packed intensity for the console arena.

Originally released for Windows Phone last July, Spartan Assault was scheduled to debut on Xbox One tomorrow, on Christmas Eve. As a little holiday gift, though, it's gone on sale one day early. Take a look at our video review of the mobile version below, then check back for our analysis of the new Xbox One edition after the holidays:



Release Date: Friday, December 27, 2013

Pokémon Bank is an online subscription-based service (and application) that allows players to store and manage Pokémon in online boxes via the Internet. The annual service fee is $4.99 and will go live on December 27. Nintendo previously announced there will be a special 30-day trial period if Pokemon Bank is downloaded and opened by January 31, 2014.

Poké Transporter is a companion application that allows players to transfer monsters from the previous generation of DS games (Black, White, Black 2 and White 2) into the new X and Y 3DS games. The video embedded below explains the whole thing.

Finally, if you try out the free trial any time before January 31, you'll get a free Celebi! The Grass/Psychic legend of the classic Gold and Silver games is a perfect fit in the Kalos region, so filled with Fairy-type Pokémon as it is. (Celebi probably would have been a Fairy-type itself, had Fairy existed back in Generation II.)

Living the Dream.

Angela, Chris, Steve and I did get moving a little faster this morning, though. we drove into Sidney just before 10:30 and dropped Angela off at church then the 3 of us went for coffee. We enjoyed an hour of chatting and then picked Angela up and headed home.

Conner having lunch. a serious moment.

I made lasagna for dinner tonight. and afterwards we settled in to watch a movie. Another great family day!

Monday morning I was up early and saw Rob off to work. at 6:15 a.m. I sat enjoying my coffee until everyone else got up. Angela is going back to Burnaby today to spend Christmas with her family. it is so nice that she was able to come over and spend time with us. They wanted to have Conner open the gift Chris and Angela has brought for him. this is Conner's first Christmas present. he wasn't really sure about what it was all about.

My best bud, Nancy, came by shortly after 9:30 to pick me up. we are going Christmas shopping. or should I say, I am going Christmas shopping. We had a great day and I managed to get everything I was after. I think it is the very first time that I have ever done my Christmas shopping two days before Christmas!

Tuesday, Rob headed off to work again bright and early. Not long after he left, Angie came down with Conner, followed by Steve. everyone was up except Chris. Since he is sleeping in the basement right below us, it wasn't long before he too was up.

Angie, Conner and I headed off into Sidney shortly before 9:00. The first thing we did was go for a walk along the waterfront. it was a beautiful, but chilly morning. Then we had grocery shopping for all the provisions we would need to make our favourite dishes. for Christmas Eve (tonight) and breakfast and dinner tomorrow night.

We were back about noon. and then it was time to get to work. After a quick lunch, we got to work cooking.

Tonight, we are going to have our traditional Christmas Eve. we spend time together, playing Romoli, eating all sorts of yummy appetizers while enjoying a few cocktails.

I am going to sign off now. it's going to be a busy Christmas Day and Boxing Day. and then we fly back to Phoenix Friday. followed by a drive back out to Quartzsite. I will continue the blog once we are back there.

Steve and I would like to wish all of our family and friends, old and new, a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

Watch the video: The Spaghettis and the Meatballs! (August 2022).