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Food History, Trivia, Quotes, Humor, Poetry, Recipes
December 30, 2001     Vol 2 #49   ISSN 1535-5659
James T. Ehler, Editor, [email protected]
 By subscription only!  You are receiving this newsletter
 because you requested a subscription.
 Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of this newsletter.

    =>  Website News  
    =>  Quotes and Trivia
    =>  Ancient & Classic Recipes
    =>  Food Trivia Question: What Am I?
    =>  Readers questions
    =>  This Weeks Calendar
    =>  Did you know?
    =>  Who's Who in the Culinary Arts
    =>  Requested Recipes
    =>  Answer to Food Trivia Question
    =>  Culinary Crossword Puzzle
    =>  Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

Well I have finally finished migrating to Windows XP. I ran into
more problems than I expected (naturally). Anyway, I apologize
for the two missed newsletter issues. I hope everyone had a
Merry Christmas, and I know you will all have a great New Year!

CHECK THE WEBSITE DAILY - I am posting a new FOOD QUIZ question
each day on the website, along with a Daily Culinary Quote,
Daily Trivia and other interesting food items.

"Pumpkin pie, if rightly made, is a thing of beauty and a joy -
while it lasts.....Pies that cut a little less firm than a pine
board, and those that run round your plate are alike to be
avoided.  Two inches deep is better than the thin plasters one
sometimes sees, that look for all he world like pumpkin flap-
jacks.  The expressive phrase, ‘too thin', must have come from
these lean parodies on pumpkin pie.  With pastry light, tender,
and not too rich, and a generous filling of smooth spiced
sweetness - a little ‘trembly' as to consistency, and delicately
 brown on top - a perfect pumpkin pie, eaten before the life
has gone out of it, is one of the real additions made by
American cookery to the good things of the world.  For the
first pumpkin pie of the season, flanked by a liberal cut of
creamy cheeses, we prefer to sit down, as the French gourmand
said about his turkey: ‘with just two of us; myself and the
"The House Mother"

One tablespoon of dill seed contains more calcium than a
cup of milk.

I began the Food Reference Website and Newsletter about 1 year
ago, and it has grown tremendously since then. I have managed to
keep it from becoming commercialized, and hope to continue to
keep it that way. The central purpose has and always will be to
provide information and entertainment about food to everyone
free of charge.

I need your support to continue. Because of the size and
scope of the site, it is expensive to maintain, both in cost
and time (45 hours a week - I do everything myself).

I am asking for a VOLUNTARY Newsletter subscription of $7.80 per
year. That's 15 cents per weekly issue. However, any amount is
appreciated. I hope that you will consider the weekly Food
Reference Newsletter and Website worth this cost. 
Click here to pay by credit card through PayPal:

Or mail check or money order in U.S. dollars to:
(Please include your email address)

Chef James Ehler
3920 S. Roosevelt Blvd
Suite 209 South
Key West, FL 33040-5283

Thank you, Chef James

The Food Trivia Quizzes are now moved to their own separate section after the newsletter is e-mailed. Check the Navigation Bar at the top of the page.


QUESTION: Could you please tell me if farina was once known as
abba?  We have an intense discussion going on about this!! 
Is abba a biblical name?  Maybe that is behind the answer
my friend gave.... Thank you for your help--Bonnie

ANSWER: I can find no reference to farina being known as
'abba', either biblically or otherwise.  'Abba' can be found in
the New Testament and refers to God. It can be traced from the
Greek, to Late Latin to Middle English.  Abba is also a title
for bishops and patriarchs in some Christian churches of Egypt,
Syria, etc.
There is a connection between 'farina' and 'alba' though.
Guiseppe La Farina (1815-1863) Italian revolutionary and writer. 
In 1847 he founded the political journal L'Alba.

QUESTION: Could you please tell me what head cheese is made of?
I once heard it was sheep's brain. Thank you!  J&C

ANSWER: Head cheese is usually made from a hog's head and it
includes everything EXCEPT the brain.
Head cheese is a jellied loaf or sausage made from chopped and
boiled parts of the feet, head, and sometimes the tongue and
heart of an animal, usually a hog. Basically almost anything
not used for something else. Also called 'souse' and 'brawn',
and pt de tte in France.

Dinner is the "principal act of the day that can only be
carried out in a worthy manner by people of wit and humor; for
it is not sufficient just to eat at dinner.  One has to talk
with a calm and discreet gaiety.  The conversation must sparkle
like the rubies in the entremets wines, it must be delightfully
suave with the sweetmeats of the dessert, and become very
profound with the coffee."
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Fettuccine Alfredo was created during the 1920s by restaurateur
Alfredo, at his restaurant in Rome, 'Alfredo all'Augusteo'.
The original consisted of butter, cream, fresh ground black
pepper and Parmesan cheese.

English Hus-wife (1615), Gervase Markham
"From this small Oat-meal, by oft steeping it in water and
cleansing it, and then boiling it to a thick and stiff Jelly,
is made that excellent dish of meat which is so esteemed in the
West parts of this Kingdom, which they call Wash-brew, and in
Cheshire and Lancashire they call it Flamerie or Flumerie."

"Tastes change.  We have recently seen the horse on the verge
of replacing the ox, which would be quite just, since the ox
had replaced the donkey.  Maecenas was the first in Roman times
to make use of the flesh of the domestic donkey .....Monsieur
Isouard of Malta reports that, as a result of the blockade of
the island of Malta by the English and the Neapolitans, the
inhabitants were reduced to eating all the horses, dogs, cats,
donkeys, and rats: 'This circumstance,' he says, 'led to the
discovery that donkey meat was very good; so much so, in fact,
that gourmands in the city of Valetta preferred it to the best
beef and even veal ..... Particularly boiled, roast, or
braised, its flavor is exquisite.  The meat is blackish and the
fat verging on yellow.  However, the donkey must only be three
or four years old and must be fat.'"
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Grande Dictionnaire de cuisine

In the 1880's the wholesale price of lobster was less than
ten cents per pound.

Don’t for get to check David Jenkins,
he features some of my articles and recipes in addition to some
GREAT content from chefs around the world.

Oatmeal Month
Bread Machine Baking Month
National Hot Tea Month
National High Tech Month
National Mail Order Gardening Month
National Book Month

Birthdays: 1752 Betsy Ross
1735 Paul Revere

1888 Wax covered paper Drinking Straw patented by Marvin Stone
Birthdays: 1892 J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings

Great Fruitcake Toss, Manitou Springs, Colorado
"My tongue is smiling."
Abigail Trillin

Cellophane noodles, also known as bean thread, harusame or
glass noodles, are fine, dry transparent noodles made from
green mung beans paste (starch). They are used in Chinese,
Thai and other Asian cuisines.

Thomas Adams patented the first commercially successful chewing
gum, using chicle and sugar with sassafras or licorice
flavoring. The story is told that he obtained the chicle from
Santa Anna (Conqueror of The Alamo) who was living in exile in
New Jersey. Adams was unsuccessfully trying to make rubber from
the chicle when he noticed that Santa Anna liked to chew the
chicle. The rest, as they say, is history.

Dear Chef Ehlers,  Thank you for your nice e-mail after I sent
you a check to help keep your site going.  I did not expect
that, and now I know why you say you spend 45 hours a week on
the newsletter.  I would very much like it if you would print
the recipe for your mother's sauerbraten.  It is one of my
favorite dishes and none of the recipes I have turn out as
tasty as the ones I've had in authentic German restaurants. 
Thanks for your site.  Lee
Sauerbraten   (German Pot Roast)     Serving Size  : 12

6          pounds  Beef Top Round
1             cup  Cider Vinegar
1           quart  Beer
1            each  Onions -- sliced
2            each  Bay Leaves
4            each  Cloves, Whole
1/2      teaspoon  Thyme
1/4      teaspoon  Ginger
1      tablespoon  Steak Seasoning (salt, Pepper, Granulated
                   Garlic and Granulated Onion)
1/2    tablespoon  Garlic -- minced

1/2           cup  Olive Oil
1/4           cup  Sugar

                   Marinade From Beef
1                  Cup  Beef Stock

1/2           cup  Red Wine
1/4           cup  Sour Cream
                   Roux if needed
[1) Mix Vinegar, Beer and Seasonings, bring to a boil Pour over
Beef.....Marinate 2-3 days in refrigerator. Turn twice each day.
[2) Brown Meat in Olive oil on all sides. 
Sprinkle sugar over beef and brown.
[3) STRAIN Marinade...Add Beef and Beef Stock to cover. 
SIMMER 3 - 4 hours, covered, until 180F  internal temperature.
[4) When done, remove meat;
Add Red Wine to cooking liquid and reduce till flavor is correct
Add Sour Cream and mix in;  thicken with roux if needed.

 Email your recipe requests, food info or history
 questions to me at [email protected]
"A highbrow is the kind of person who looks at a sausage and
thinks of Picasso."
Sir Alan Patrick Herbert (1890-1971) 'The Highbrow'
(English journalist and writer; joined staff of Punch in 1924)

It is believed that Chesapeake Bay oysters have been gathered
by humans for over 6,000 years.


With apologies to my British subscribers.
"Doctor Johnson defined a sauce as something which is eaten
with food, in order to improve its flavor. It would be
difficult to believe that a man of the intelligence and culture
of Dr. Johnson....had expressed himself in these terms, if we
did not know that Dr. Johnson was English.  Even today his
compatriots, incapable of giving any flavor to their food, call
on sauces to furnish to their dishes that which their dishes do
not have.  This explains the sauces, the jellies and prepared
extracts, the bottled sauces, the chutneys, the ketchups which
populate the tables of this unfortunate people."
Alberto Denti di Piranjo, Educated Gastronome (1950)

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In 1961 'boiling bags' were introduced in which frozen plastic
packages of food could be dropped in boiling water to heat
them for serving.


My apologies, but I have not had time to compose a new
crossword this week.

 A copy of this newsletter and previous newsletters is on the
 Food Reference WebSite at

"A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an
optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it."
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
 © copyright James T. Ehler, 2001, All rights reserved.
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[email protected]  
 Food Reference Newsletter  ISSN 1535-5659
 James T. Ehler (webmaster, cook, chef, writer)
 3920 S. Roosevelt Blvd
 Suite 209 South
 Key West, Florida 33040
 E-mail: [email protected]   Phone: (305) 296-2614
 Food Reference WebSite:


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