"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Memorial Day

    Aisne Marne American Cemetery

    Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

    Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

    Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea.

    Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

  • Grilled Chicken Salad

    It was 95 yesterday, it’s 95 today, I’m NOT cooking.

    But thanks to the local modern megamart, I have chicken breasts. add some spices and some brined vegetation for a taste twist, a fresh blender mayonnaise, some finely chopped veggies, and serve on a nice ciabatta ..

    Background
    Chicken salad is any salad that comprises chicken as a main ingredient. In Europe and Asia this may be complemented by any number of dressings, or indeed no dressing at all and the salad constituent can vary from traditional leaves and vegetables, pastas, cous cous to noodles or rice.

    In the US it refers to a salad consisting primarily of chopped chicken meat and a fat-based binder such as mayonnaise or salad dressing. Like tuna salad, it is served as a creamy spread, and it is often used for sandwiches. Typically it is made with leftover or canned chicken in the United States.

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  • Subs …..

    It is warm today, and as such I want a light meal that will fill my stomach and satiate my crave for taste, texture and spice. Perhaps a cold cut sandwich, but “THIS IS THE LAIR!“, and things must be a bit more than pedestrian …

    All varieties of this sandwich use an oblong bread roll as opposed to sliced bread. The traditional sandwich usually includes a variety of Italian luncheon meats such as dry Genoa salami, mortadella, thin sliced pepperoni, capocollo or prosciutto, and provolone cheese served with lettuce, tomato and onions seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil. American bologna is sometimes used in place of mortadella and ham is often substituted for capicola, with prosciutto frequently omitted.

    Background

    A submarine sandwich, also known as a sub among other names, is a sandwich that consists of a long roll of Italian or French bread, split lengthwise either into two pieces or opened in a “V” on one side, and filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings and sauces. The sandwich has no standardized name, and many U.S. regions have their own names for it; one study found 13 different names for the sandwich in the United States. The usage of the several terms varies regionally but not in any pattern, as they have been used variously by the people and enterprises who make and sell them. The terms submarine and sub are widespread and not assignable to any certain region, though many of the localized terms are clustered in the northeast United States, where most Italian Americans live.

    The sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries[citation needed]. Portland, Maine claims to be the birthplace of the Italian sandwich and it is considered Maine’s signature sandwich. The popularity of this Italian-American cuisine has grown from its origins in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to most parts of the United States, and with the advent of chain restaurants, is now available in many parts of the world. In Europe it would simply be known as a baguette, or a ciabatta, named after traditional breads long baked in France and Italy.

    The use of the term submarine or sub is widespread. One theory is that it originated in a restaurant in Scollay Square in Boston, Massachusetts at the beginning of World War I. The sandwich was created to entice the large numbers of navy servicemen stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The bread was a smaller, specially baked baguette intended to resemble the hull of the submarines it was named after.

    Another theory suggests the submarine was brought to the US by Dominic Conti (1874–1954), an Italian immigrant who came to New York in the early 1900s. He is said to have named it after seeing the recovered 1901 submarine called Fenian Ram in the Paterson Museum of New Jersey in 1918. His granddaughter has stated the following: “My grandfather came to this country circa 1895 from Montella, Italy. Around 1910, he started his grocery store, called Dominic Conti’s Grocery Store, on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey where he was selling the traditional Italian sandwiches. His sandwiches were made from a recipe he brought with him from Italy which consisted of a long crust roll, filled with cold cuts, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil, vinegar, Italian herbs and spices, salt, and pepper. The sandwich started with a layer of cheese and ended with a layer of cheese (this was so the bread wouldn’t get soggy).”

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  • Quick Quiche

    It has been a week. Not one I really will remember fondly. At least the pager has stopped it’s serial buzzing, and I can concentrate on something other than not throwing it through the closest concrete wall. Time for food, but given the recent set of medical stupidity one must go a bit lighter. So maybe eggs, but sunny-side up, over easy, scrambled, just is NOT going to do it for me.

    I WANT TASTE!. I WANT TEXTURE! I WANT SAVORY…. So a quiche, but one with real bacon, real veggies, and lots of cheese and eggs..

    Now as per quiches, they have a reputation as a fancy French entree, and for being rather persnickety to prepare, but quiches are actually very easy to make. With a little science, some good chemistry, a proper ratio and a bit of technique, quiches can be a very good selection for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late night snack.

    There are some things key to good quichery :

    1. Flaky Crust
    2. First of all, the pie crust must be tender and flaky. A good tart crust, works well.

    3. A tasty Filling
    4. The filling must have some kind of structure so the pie will hold together when sliced. As the eggs cook, they set, forming a custard. A basic quiche recipe using the proportions of one cup of dairy with 3-4 eggs will work. Any other add ins, (bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions, etc) need to be fully cooked and cooled, BEFORE adding to the filling.

    5. Proper Baking
    6. Following baking times and temperatures are KEY to a quiche that is cooked but not rubbery. I.E. The center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.

    You can fill your quiches with just about anything; they’re wonderful refrigerator Velcro. Leftover bacon, cooked chicken, ham, cooked vegetables, bits of cheese transform into a “slice of heaven”

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  • Bad Wolf will be off line tomo…

    Bad Wolf will be off line tomorrow… #BLACKOUTSOPA

  • Pasta The Series #1 – DO’gh!

    As a Christmas gift, I received one things I have been lusting for… Not that… A pasta machine.

    I’ve had this desire to create my own fresh pasta, and given the taste of the fresh pumpkin ravioli at a local dinner club, I have a burning desire to try stuffed pastas But first, we need a dough recipe…

    Wikipedia says:

    Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, now of worldwide renown. It takes the form of unleavened dough, made in Italy, mostly of durum wheat (more rarely buckwheat flour), water and sometimes eggs. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes that serve for both decoration and to act as a carrier for the different types of sauce. Pasta also includes varieties, such as ravioli and tortellini, that are filled with other ingredients, such as ground meat or cheese. Pasta is eaten in Italy only as first course or nowadays as “piatto unico”.

    There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. Examples include spaghetti (thin strings), maccheroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Gnocchi and spätzle are sometimes considered pasta; they are both traditional in parts of Italy.

    Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a few days under refrigeration. Pasta is generally cooked in boiling water.

    I suspect I’ll go with a very simple plan. Just homemade egg noddle pasta .. Do expect this to be a multi-part post

    A quick movie is here.

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