~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
July 27, 2015
★~ Today’s Quote: ““The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.” Winston Churchill
★~ Scotch Day:
Today is good news for Scotch Drinkers. The first written record of Scotch whisky originates from around the time Columbus sailed to the Americas. But the distilled spirit of Celtic origin probably evolved from earlier, more primitive efforts at producing grain alcohol. Celebrate Scotch day by enjoying a taste of Scotch and see for yourself why Scotland’s is so proud of what some say call their greatest export! I’m told Scotch is an acquired taste, I’ve really never understood the whole acquired taste thing….
Most often seen in parades and at the circus, stilt-walking is actually an ancient art. To learn how to do it, all you need is a pair of stilts and lots of practice (and a good eye for pot-holes)
In the 19th century, stilt-walking began in Landes, France. Residents of this marshy area took up stilt-walking as a way to navigate the wet terrain. It is said that they performed all of their daily outdoor tasks on stilts.
★~ Crème Brûlée Day:
Although the English referred to this sweet little ramekin full of love as “burnt cream,” the name crème brûlée just sounds so much better, don’t you think?
The origins of this dish are a bit hazy, but the name first appeared in Francois Massialot’s cookbook in 1691. “Trinity Cream” or Cambridge Burnt Cream became a traditional dessert at Trinity College in Cambridge during 1879 when a version of crème brûlée was served with the college arms branded into the cream top. Now that’s some serious college pride.
The five-ingredient French delicacy, rich vanilla custard is topped with a hard “burnt sugar” top. If you decide to make crème brûlée be mindful with that torch – you don’t want to be the one that ends up crispy. Crème BrûléeRecipe
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1940 – Bugs Bunny made his official debut in an animated film short called A Wild Hare. It was the first cartoon in which Bugs Bunny acted like himself. The storyline of the cartoon involved Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits, only to have Bugs thwart him at every turn. Bugs Bunny’s first line in the cartoon, when he meets Elmer Fudd, is, “What’s up, doc?” It was a phrase that one of the writers remembered people saying where he grew up in Texas. It got such a big laugh in the theaters that the writers decided to make it a catchphrase.
♥~ 1976 – After a four-year legal fight, John Lennon was awarded his Green card, allowing him permanent residence in the US.
★~ Born Today:
♥~ 1944 – Bobbie Gentry, Grammy Award-winning singer : Ode to Billy Joe, All I Have to Do is Dream [w/Glen Campbell], I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
♥~ 1948- Peggy Fleming Olympic Hall of Famer: gold medalist: figure skater ; Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice, ABC sports commentator; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer
♥ ~ 1948- Betty Thomas Emmy Award-winning director: For Peter’s Sake [1992-1993], Dream On [1992-1993], actress: Hill Street Blues [1984-1985]; The Seventh Sign, When Your Lover Leaves, Troop Beverly Hills
★~ Whiskey Gallimaufry
Scotland’s signature spirit has a rich, long and rather controversial history. It’s an integral part of Scottish culture, and making it falls somewhere between science and art.
♥~ There is water in your whisky. The word “whisky” translates roughly from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha as “water of life.” Legally, Scotch must be distilled in Scotland from grains, yeast and water, and aged a minimum of three years in oak casks not exceeding a capacity of 700 liters in size that might have once contained bourbon, port, Madeira, sherry or even wine. There’s more water in the story: “glen” translates as “valley.” The Glenlivet refers to the valley of the River Livet.
♥~ Scotch was once illegal. The English Malt Tax of 1725 shut down much of Scotland’s whisky production and drove many Highlanders to bootlegging. Not that this stopped people from drinking the stuff. Even King George IV called for his Glenlivet by name. Of course, the spirit back then was not quite the same as it is now. Distillers only started aging their whisky much later – as late as the 19th century, some speculate.
♥~ Whisky is a way of life. The first written record of Scotch is a mention in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland on June 1, 1494. It continues to be vital to the Scottish economy today, as one in 50 jobs in the country is supported by the industry. It also represents the largest international spirits category, accounting for some 20% of total market share.
♥~Your Scotch may be fudging its age a little. Your whisky may claim to be 21 years old, but it may in fact be quite a bit older. Or some of it, at least. The age statement on the label refers to the minimum number of years the spirit has spent maturing in barrels. Most whiskies — even single malts — are a blend of casks from different years.
♥~ Whisky and wood make magic. When it goes into the barrel, Scotch is clear. It gets its color from interacting with the barrel. The older the whisky, generally speaking, the darker. Over time, the amount of spirit in the barrel will diminish, at a rate of about 4% per year. The part that evaporates is referred to as the “angel’s share.” After 25 years, more than 40% of the barrel will have gone to the angels.
♥~ The French love their Scotch. France consumes more Scotch than any other country. (The U.K. is the second-biggest consumer and the U.S. the third.) More Scotch is sold in France in one month than Cognac in an entire year. Scots can thank the phylloxera epidemic that plagued European vineyards for their whisky’s popularity: the infestation resulted not only in a shortage of wine, but a shortage of brandy.
♥~ Scotch needn’t be straight. Don’t listen to those who brag about drinking their whisky straight. In fact, water can help a whisky open up, allowing its aromatics and the subtle nuances of its character to bloom. Just about every master distiller tastes his whisky with a few drops of room-temperature water added. Ice, on the other hand, masks Scotch’s complexities.
♥~Whisky is forever. Well, almost. A sealed bottle of whisky will last unopened for a century, if not longer. Open your bottle and you might be able to keep dipping into it for another five years.
I’ve missed my Odd family. It was hard knowing where to jump back in, so, of course, I went with El Morno. Every time someone else reports one of our holidays, it makes me cringe. What do you mean it’s Margarita Day or Chocolate Sundae Day? Who said so? Well, I wouldn’t want you to miss Chocolate Sundae Day, but still. You know what I mean. I want to tell you about my salmon cake fail, my flypaper caper, our camp adventures, my odd exterminator who sings “Getting to Know You” to Rascal, and my post on EveryBlock that generated mean comments (this was a good thing). I want to tell you that my teen asked me today, “Mom, on a scale of 1 to 10, how evil do you think my goatee makes me look?” And I really need you to vote every day for David Tucci’s (our families bestest friend) aha moment (you just click; you don’t even have to give your e-mail address). Oh, and most importantly, I want to catch up with you, and you, and you.
And so here we are celebrating Scotch Day. I’m going to toast you with a bottle of El Topo Chico mineral water because I haven’t had a little bottle of coke in about six weeks, which is something else I guess I need to tell you about.
Before I go, the fruit at the top of this post is dragon fruit. It’s in season, and both beautiful and good. I found it at Whole Foods. The flavor is mildly sweet, like a blend of kiwi and pear, and it has a crunchy texture. If you like kiwi, you’ll probably like dragon fruit, and it’s easier to eat. Warning! Don’t like it too much—it’s pricy.
Be back soon, God willing and the creek don’t rise.
Odd Loves Company,