~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥
★~ Todays Quote: Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. ~ W. C. Fields
★~ Day Of The Ninja: ( you probably didn’t even see it coming)
In feudal Japan, ninjas were real, and really sneaky. Under cover of darkness, dressed in black, ninjas were hired assassins and spies. Ninjas didn’t strut around showing off their ninja-ness.
I would suggest wearing black today and going about your day with intense focus and concentration. See how often you can enter and leave a room unnoticed. Eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. Sneak up on someone and give them a kiss from behind or a cuff to the head (depending on your relationship), and if they are the jumpy type be prepared to duck. Another ninja quality is being prepared. Or you could just watch the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai.
A couple of Ninja Tips:
Shuriken, or throwing stars, are generally used to stab or slash. When thrown they are just used to create a distraction.
In ninjutsu, calm and steady movements are more effective than speed.
★~ Sacher Torte Chocolate Cake Day:
The story of the world-famous Original Sacher-Torte began in 1832, when the all-mighty “coachman of Europe,” Wenzel Clemens Prince Metternich, ordered the creation of a particularly palatable dessert for his spoiled high-ranking guests.
“Take care that you do NOT make me look a fool tonight”, he warned. That very day, however, his chef was unavailable! The order was reassigned to a 16-year-old cook in his second year of apprenticeship. The quick-witted Franz Sacher presented a soft and fluffy chocolate torte to Wenzel’s guests, who were simple delighted. When Sacher ended his apprenticeship and became a fully qualified chef, he again cooked up his torte and offered it on a large scale. He was successful, and soon the “torte by a man named Sacher” was in great demand. The Original Sacher-Torte made it into the Guinness Book of Records in 1998, when the Hotel Sacher Wien made a single torte with a diameter of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet). Wonder how they put it in the oven to bake?
★~ Today In History:
♥~ 1868 – The first American bicycle school opened in New York City. It announced courses for velocipede riding.
♥~ 1880 – Levi Strauss designed the very first pair of blue jeans. In the U.S. it is estimated that each person owns seven pairs of blue jeans!
♥~ 1933 – Drinkers toasted the end of Prohibition in the U.S. It had been 13 years between (legal) drinks. The long dry spell ended at 5:32 p.m., when Utah became the last of 36 states to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (repealing the 18th Amendment, which had prohibited all booze). Click for fascinating facts about repeal day.
♥~ 1985 –A bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite claret (initialed by Thomas Jefferson) sold at Christie’s London for 105,000 British Pounds ($157,500).
♥~ 2008 – Japan approved a law granting citizenship to all children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers, as long as the fathers acknowledge the children. Regardless of the nationality of the mothers of the children.
★~ Born Today:
♥~ Antoinette – El Morno’s one and only saucy Aussie is celebrating her birthday and we wish her the best birthday year ever. If any one can pass along George Clooney address that would be a wonderful start to her new year.
♥~ 1901 – Walt (Walter Elias) Disney cartoonist: 1st color-animated cartoon: Steamboat Willie; creator of: Mickey Mouse, Disneyland; Emmy Award-winning producer: Disneyland film series , Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color [1962-1963]; died Dec 15, 1966
♥~ 1932 – ‘Little’ Richard (Pennimann) singer: Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Frutti, Slippin’ and Slidin’, Long Tall Sally, Rip It Up, Ready Teddy, The Girl Can’t Help It, Lucille, Keep a Knockin’; preacher
♥~ 1973 – Shalom Harlow fashion model [Donna Karen, Ralph Laure, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Christian Dior]; actress: In & Out, Head Over Heels, Happy Here and Now
♥~ 1985 – Frankie Muniz actor: Malcolm in the Middle, My Dog Skip, The Andy Dick Show, Dr. Dolittle 2
★~ Did You Know: In honor of our EL Morno Aussies December Birthday, I thought it would be fun to look at how Christmas is celebrate down-under. Australia, is in the Southern Hemisphere, where Christmas falls in the middle of summer.
Aussie Christmas is too hot for reindeer so instead, Santa makes his run pulled by six big kangaroos, Rolf Harris wrote a song about Santa and his “Six White Boomers.” Not exactly Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer but catchy; in it’s own way.
Carols by Candlelight is a Australian tradition where townspeople gather together to sing.
Radio announcer Norman Banks held the first municipal gathering in 1938. The story goes that in 1937, as he was walking home from a late shift in Melbourne, Banks saw an elderly woman singing “Away in a Manger” alone by the window in her home, her face illuminated by a candle. Banks thought about the many people who must be celebrating the holiday alone, and organized the event for the next year. It wasn’t easy, but he enlisted the help of his employers and the mayor to get the approval of the city council. The first Carols by Candlelight in 1938 saw 10,000 participants singing along with a choir, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Band, and two soloists at midnight in the Alexandra Gardens. It went over so well that 40,000 people attended in 1939. The video clip above was recorded at Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight in 2010; it gives you an idea of how large the event is today.
Now lets talk about what we are having for Christmas dinner!
Australians seem to fall into three categories for Christmas dinner. Some stick with traditions from the old countries: Roast ham or turkey with dressing and cooked vegetables. Others serve traditional ham and turkey as cold cuts with raw vegetables, sometimes eaten late at night or as a picnic to beat the heat. A third segment embraces the holiday weather with seafood or other types of barbecue and plenty of beer.
One holiday dish that is completely Australian is the Christmas Damper.
Damper is a soda bread that could be made with simple ingredients by those traveling the vast expanses of Australia. The holiday version is a remembrance of tough times on the continent. For Christmas, damper is made into a wreath shape and decorated in Christmas motifs. It is not universally served, though, because of the heat of baking.
Aussie Winter Christmas ‘Hack’—Celebrate it at a different time of year.
Christmas in July has become tradition down under. The story goes that some Irish visitors to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales saw a snowfall in July of 1977. That’s not out of the ordinary for mountains in the Southern Hemisphere, but the tourists were reminded of Christmas out of season. They requested a traditional Christmas dinner from their hotel, which they enjoyed so much they returned the following July. The celebration of Christmas in July was repeated in the Blue Mountain region as a tourist draw, but locals loved it, too. Now people from all over Australia and beyond come to the area for Yulefest, to enjoy a Northern Hemisphere Christmas with skiing and snowmen when the weather is right for it -which spills over into June and August. The tradition has spread to the cities as well, as you can see by the Santas in Sydney Harbor.
I’m sure that I have missed a tradition or two so perhaps Antoinette will share some more Aussie holiday traditions by leaving us a comment.
Wishing Everyone A Wonderful Wednesday. I’m off to enjoy a cuppa with a friend. You know, I’m not sure I’ve ever asked you this question but how do you like your cuppa? With tea? coffee? Black, strong, cream, half/half? One lump or two? Or perhaps three! Do share!
Odd Loves Company!