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“The duty of a good Cuisinier is to transmit to the next generation everything he has
    learned and experienced.”     
                  Fernand Point, 1941


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Columns & Features

Eggs Benedict History
Key Lime Hollandaise Sauce
History of Canned Foods
Shelf Life of Canned Food


A Picnic Ham is a cut of pork from the upper part of the foreleg and includes a portion of the shoulder. By definition, it is not a true ham (Ham is cut from the hind leg). However, the Picnic Ham is cured in the same manner as ham, giving it a ham-like flavor.




From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training & Degrees -  More than 1,000 schools & classes listed in all 50 States, Online and Worldwide


Though the name may be a bit misleading, Canadian-style bacon, is closer kin to ham than to regular bacon. Canadian-style bacon is fully-cooked, smoked pork loin that comes from the lean, tender eye of the loin, which is located in the middle of the back.

APRIL Food Months

(for more Daily, Weekly and Monthly Food Holidays for April with links & details See:  April Food Calendar


Bacon Month (Baconfest Chicago)
  Bacon Facts & Trivia
  Bacon: the Next Health Craze?
  Bacon Cooking Tips

Florida Tomato Month (fresh tomatoes are harvested from every growing district in Florida - Florida Tomato Commission)
  Florida Facts & Trivia
  Tomato Facts & Trivia
  Tomato Kitchen Tips  Recipes
  Tomatoes and Taxes

Global Child Nutrition Month
    (Global Child Nutrition Foundation)
  Food Scarcity & Hunger Articles

National B.L.T. Month

National Garden Month
   (National Gardening Association)

National Grange Month (The National Grange - advocates for rural America and Agriculture)
  Agriculture Articles
  Agriculture Facts & Trivia

Grilled Cheese Month (unknown)
  International Grilled Cheese

National Pecan Month (National Pecan Shellers Association)
  Pecan Facts & Trivia
  A Nut from America

National Soft Pretzel Month
  History of the Pretzel
  Soft Pretzel Recipe
  Another Pretzel Recipe

National Soyfoods Month (Soyfoods Association of North America)
  Soybean Facts & Trivia

Alcohol Awareness Month  (since 1987 - National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence)

Defeat Diabetes Month
   (Defeat Diabetes Foundation)


Weekly Trivia Quiz is below


“Vegetarianism is harmless enough, though it is apt to fill a man with wind and self-righteousness.”
Sir Robert Hutchinson

Food Holidays - Today is:

National Eggs Benedict Day
Feast of St. Drogo, patron of coffee house owners and keepers.
St. Magnus of Orkney, patron of fishmongers.
St. Bernadette's Day, patron of shepherds.

UK: National Gardening Week (April 14-20, 2014)
UK: Canned Food Week (April 14-20, 2014) Celebrating the versatility of canned food.
National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014)


On this day in:

1521 Martin Luther arrived at the Diet of Worms.

1886 Sir Edward Salisbury was born (died Nov 10, 1978). English botanist and ecologist. Director of Royal Botanical Gardens (1943-1956).  His books include 'The Living Garden' (1935), 'The Biology of Garden Weeds' (1962).

1906 William James Farrer died. An Australian agriculturist, he developed new varieties of wheat.

1924 Henry Mancini was born. Oscar winning music composer, he wrote many songs and film scores, including the score for 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

1928 Ellsworth Milson Statler died. American hotel owner, founder of Statler Hotels. His Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York was the first hotel in the U.S. to have running water and private baths in each room.

1938 The French occupy Veracruz, Mexico during 'The Great Pastry War' (see Nov 30, 1938)

1941 The original Elsie the Cow died.  Elsie the cow was originally a cartoon character appearing in ads for Borden Milk.  At the 1939 New York World's Fair, when people began asking where Elsie was, Borden's picked a cow originally named 'You'll do Lobelia' from their herd to be Elsie.  Elsie stared in commercials, made personal appearances, and even starred in an RKO movie, 'Little Men.' Elsie was injured in a truck accident in 1941 and had to be put to sleep. She is buried in Plainsboro, New Jersey.

1956 On the 'I Love Lucy' show, Lucy stomped grapes in Rome, and wrestled with another female grape stomper. An inspiration for future 'food wrestling' entrepreneurs.

1978 Joseph Delteil died (born April 20, 1894).  French writer and poet.  Also wrote 'La Cuisine palolithique' (1964) featuring cuisine naturelle using unprocessed foods.

1996 A segment about mad cow disease was aired on the Oprah Winfrey show. Later, a group of Texas cattle ranchers sued Winfrey for her comments. (The cattle ranchers lost the suit).


April 18-19, 2014  Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash - Venice, Fla
April 19, 2014  California Nut Festival 2014 - Chico, California
April 19, 2014  28th Annual Alma Spinach Festival - Alma, Ark
April 19-27, 2014  World's Biggest Fish Fry - Paris, Tennessee
April 22, 2014  Earth Day - Worldwide (


FOOD TRIVIA QUIZ    (new on April 9, 2014)

1) Name this vegetable:
In ancient Egypt, paintings of this vegetable appear on the inner walls of the pyramids and in the tombs of both the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom. It is mentioned as a funeral offering and they are depicted on the banquet tables of the great feasts. They were shown upon the altars of the gods.  Frequently, a priest is pictured holding them in his hand or covering an altar with a bundle of their leaves or roots. In mummies, these vegetables have frequently been found in the pelvic regions of the body, in the thorax, flattened against the ears and in front of the collapsed eyes. They have been found on the chest, and some have been found attached to the soles of the feet and along the legs. King Ramses IV, who died in 1160 B.C., was entombed with this vegetable in his eye sockets.
In India as early as the sixth century B.C., the famous medical treatise Charaka - Sanhita celebrates them as medicine - a diuretic, good for digestion, the heart, the eyes and the joints.
Likewise, Dioscorides, a Greek physician in first century A.D., noted several medicinal uses of this vegetable. The Greeks used them to fortify athletes for the Olympic Games.
The Romans ate them regularly and carried them on journeys to their provinces in England and Germany. Before he was overcome and killed by the volcano's heat and fumes, Pliny the Elder catalogued the Roman beliefs about the efficacy of them to cure vision, induce sleep, heal mouth sores, dog bites, toothaches, dysentery and lumbago.

2) Name this fruit:
The scientific name (Blighia sapida) comes from its association with Captain William Bligh, of the H.M.S. Bounty ('Mutiny on the Bounty'), who is thought to have carried the fruit from tropical West Africa (possibly Guinea) to the Caribbean Islands, and specifically to Jamaica in 1793. Since then, it has become a major feature of various Caribbean cuisines, and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. It is a relative of the lychee and the longan. The fruit itself is not edible - only the fleshy arils around the seeds are edible. The remainder of the fruit, including the seeds are poisonous. The fruit must only be picked after the fruit has opened naturally, and must be fresh and not overripe. Immature and overripe ones are also poisonous.

3) What flavorless, colorless oil has more polyunsaturates than any other oil, a very high smoke point (which makes it good for deep frying), and doesn't solidify when refrigerated?

4) What popular snack food was invented by George Crumb, chef at Moon's Lake House in New York in the late 19th century?

5) These dried flower buds are picked and dried before they open. The tree is a member of the myrtle family and is native to the Spice Islands of Indonesia (Moluccas).

6) 99% of the U.S. blueberry crop comes from one state, and 90% from just one county. Can you name the state, and the county?

7) In 1849, Henderson Lewelling traveled from Oregon to San Francisco with 100 of these, which he sold for $5 each to gold prospectors.  What was he selling?
   a) potatoes   b) pans   c) chickens
   d) apples   e) strawberries

8) Yuban brand coffee was developed in the early 20th century by coffee merchant John Arbuckle. Do you know how he came up with the name Yuban?

9) In 1191, England's Richard the Lion Hearted leads the 3rd Crusade in a victory over Saracen leader Saladin. As a peace offering, Saladin supposedly presents Richard with a sweet treat made with a special ingredient from Lebanon. Can you name the special ingredient, and the name the treat is known by today?

10) The following events all took place in the same year - name that year:
* Friskees introduced the first dry cat food
* Rice-A-Roni goes on sale. Produced by Vince DeDomenico from an Armenian family recipe.
* Cocoa Puffs is introduced by General Mills; it contains 43% sugar.
* Cocoa Krispies is introduced by Kellogg’s - it's 45.9% sugar.
* There are 4,063 drive in movie screens nationwide.
*Jolly Green Giant was born. He appears on TV, but he looks like a monster and scares kids. So they lighten him up a bit, added 'Ho, ho, ho' & add a catchy jingle.
* Sweet n' Low was introduced as an artificial sweetener (granulated saccharin, dextrose, cream of tartar and calcium silicate). It received U.S. trademark patent no. 1,000,000.
* Frank Carney, 18 years old, reads about the pizza fad with college students. He borrows $600 from his mother and opens the first Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas.
* McDonald's sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

Click here for the answers to this Culinary Quiz


This website is dedicated to:
Gladys Ehler, my mother, who taught me patience and how to make Sauerbraten (it is still my favorite)
Edward Ehler, my father, who taught me a love of books and history.
Cpl. Thomas E. Saba, my nephew.  Died in action on Feb. 7, 2007 in Iraq.  He was 30 yrs. young.

          Chef James



Genuine Smithfield hams [are those] cut from the carcasses of peanut-fed hogs, raised in the peanut-belt of the State of Virginia or the State of North Carolina, and which are cured, treated, smoked, and processed in the town of Smithfield, in the State of Virginia.



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Yarrow is a perennial herb also known as milfoil and old man's pepper. It is a relative of chamomile, and was formally popular in salads (17th century).  Yarrow has a very strong flavor and aroma, and is used sparingly in salads, soups and also to brew a medicinal herb tea. In classic herbals, yarrow has also been associated with divination, and was said to be potent against fairies.

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Website last updated on Tuesday, April 15, 2014