★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
October 4, 2015
★~ Today’s Quote: I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. ~ Ron White
Last year Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos.
For a dish so widely available, the history of the taco is mostly unknown. But according to taco expert Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the word originates from the silver mines in Mexico in the 18th century, when taco referred to the little explosives workers used to extract the ore. These were pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder and placed into holes carved in the rock. “When you think about it, a chicken taquito with a good hot sauce is really a lot like a stick of dynamite,” says Pilcher in an online article at Smithsonian.com. “The first references [to the taco] in any sort of archive or dictionary come from the end of the 19th century. And one of the first types of tacos described is called tacos de minero—miner’s tacos. So the taco is not necessarily this age-old cultural expression; it’s not a food that goes back to time immemorial.”
Still others claim tacos predate the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico in the 16th century. Anthropologists say there is evidence suggesting inhabitants of the lake region of the Valley of Mexico ate tacos filled with small fish. The fish were replaced by small live insects and ants in the states of Morelos and Guerrero, while locusts and snails were favorite fillings in Puebla and Oaxaca.
Taco Bell is believed to have pushed the widespread popularity of Mexican food in the U.S. Founded in California in 1962, the chain of fast-food restaurants serves up a variety of Tex-Mex foods to more than two billion customers in 5,800 restaurants in the U.S. alone.
The hard-shell taco was invented long before Taco Bell, a discovery that would increase the taco’s popularity across North America (I don’t exactly know why) The U-shaped version is first noted in 1949 in a cookbook by Fabiola Cabeza de Vaca Gilbert. A device that would hold the taco in its U-shape as it deep fried helped in the mass production of this product.
There really is a taco expert!
★~ National Vodka Day:
Vodka, accounts for almost 20 to 25 per cent of spirits sold today in North America, making it our most popular libation, a feat that occurred in the 1970s when it outpaced bourbon as America’s favorite spirit.
Vodka Doesn’t Have to be Odorless & Tasteless – Yes, there is a U.S. regulation that says it must be “without distinctive character, aroma, or taste,” but aside from Tito’s and Skyy, how many American vodka brands can you name? You think Russia follows our rules?
Premium Vodka is a Real Thing: There isn’t a huge disparity in quality/enjoyment because it’s all still getting distilled to 190+ proof, but the premium juice tends to retain some flavor from the grains. Something like Elyx Vodka actually tastes like wheat bread because they haven’t stripped everything out of it. This process costs a little more money, hence the premium.
Absolut created the first designer bottle, 30 years ago, when they commissioned Andy Warhol to do a piece using their bottle. The result was legendary. He went on to suggest many other artists they should use, including Keith Haring.
For 98% of people, there’s no reason to spend over $20 on vodka. Most people are mixing, and at that point purity is the only thing that matters. Grab a bottle of Tito’s or robot-favorite Svedka and call it a day. The Vodka on the Rocks crowd can push a little higher, but even something like Purity (the brand not the adjective) only costs $40.
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1881 – The player piano was invented by Edward Leveaux of Sussex, England, who received a U.S. patent for it this day.
♥~ 1883 – Orient Express first formal run. The train was the brainchild of Georges Nagelmackers, a Belgian banker’s son. He had been impressed by railway innovations he’d seen in America in the 1860s – particularly George Pullman’s “sleeper cars” – and envisioned a richly appointed train running on a continuous 1,500-mile stretch of track from Paris to Constantinople (now Istanbul). For its formal launch from the Gare de Strasbourg, Nagelmackers arranged battered, rusty Pullman cars on adjacent tracks to show his luxurious conveyance to its best advantage. Many of its first passengers on the 80-hour journey were journalists, and they spread the word of its paneled interiors, leather armchairs, silk sheets, and wool blankets. They also dubbed the train “the Orient Express” with Nagelmackers’ blessing. The train later earned another nickname, “the Spies’ Express,” due to its popularity in the espionage community.
The original Orient Express stopped serving Istanbul in 1977, and its new route ran from Paris to Vienna until 2007, when the train departed from Strasbourg instead of Paris. Finally, in 2009, the Orient Express ceased operation, citing competition from high-speed trains and discount airlines. It has spawned several offspring that have adopted the name for promotional purposes, including the Direct Orient Express and the Nostalgic Orient Express. Only the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, which runs from London to a variety of European destinations and charges $2,300 U.S. to ride in the restored original cars, approaches the original “King of Trains and Train of Kings.”
♥~ 1927 – Work crews at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota began carving the faces of four U.S. presidents into the mountainside. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum took 12 years to complete the task, starting with the face of George Washington, and leaving Theodore Roosevelt until last.
♥~ 1957 – History changed, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.
♥~ 1957 – Leave It to Beaver premiered on CBS-TV. “…And starring Jerry Mathers as the Beaver,” Hugh Beaumont (Ward Cleaver), Tony Dow (Wally), and Barbara Billingsley as Mrs. June Cleaver. The Cleavers lived a surreal-American life. June even did the housework in three strands of pearls, fashion plate dresses, makeup and high heels. Life was so grand!
♥~ 1981- History’s oldest gerbil, Sahara, died at age 8 years 4-and-a-half months. Sahara was owned by Aaron Milstone of Lathrup Village, Michigan.
♥~ 1924 – Charlton Heston (John Charlton Carter) Academy Award-winning actor:
♥~ 1937 – Jackie Collins author: Hollywood Wives, Hollywood Husbands, Rockstar, Lady Boss, American Star; actress: Barnacle Bill, The Safecracker, Passport to Shame,Jackie’s Back!; sister of actress Joan Collins
♥~ 1941 – Anne Rice (Howard O’Brien Rice) author: Interview with a Vampire
♥~ 1946 – Susan Sarandon (Tomaling) Academy Award-winning actress: Dead Man Walking ; Little Women, Atlantic City, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, Witches of Eastwick,Bull Durham, The Client, Search for Tomorrow
★~ Howling Funday Gallimaufry:
Tacos! We buy ours from a neighborhood grocery store. So yummy. Vodka? I like the idea of vodka but I am not a fan.
Cloudy, cool, fall day in Chicago. I have que sera sera plans today. Whatever will be, will be. What are you up to?
Odd Loves Company!
Finished and Enjoyed this book: Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen