Archive for July, 2014

Love of Art!

July 31, 2014

Here is a word that I ran across (and please forgive the intentional pun) whose first definition describes me to a T.  I have been appreciating and collecting art for many years now . . . I guess you could call me a “virtu-oso.”


 vuhr-TOO; vir- \noun;

1.   Love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2.  Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3.  Artistic quality.

National Cheesecake Day!

July 30, 2014

Well, it may not be an officially designated holiday (no Congressional or Presidential proclamation asserting such), but . . . Happy National Cheesecake Day!

So, what is the most uniquely flavored cheesecake you have ever consumed?  Mine would have to be the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake (savory) from Jacques-Imo’s in New Orleans.  It was quite the tasty appetizer . . . and I actually found the recipe on the internet the other day (shared by none other than Chef Jacques Leonardi himself).

I’m not sure how easily I will be able to find alligator sausage in Oklahoma, but I can certainly get a hold of the andouille sausage.  Hmm, now that I have found the recipe, I’m going to have to prepare this one really soon.

Here’s a link to the recipe.


Planting a Vineyard!

July 29, 2014

Back in the early 1970s, we began clearing the land and planting grape vines in preparation for what was to become the Boskydel Vineyards and Winery.  One weekend during our initial plantings, we had the assistance of one of the English professors from Northwestern Michigan College, Joe Dionne, who later wrote a poem about his experience.  Here is that poem.  Enjoy!

Planting a Vineyard

The rootstocks take eight years
from cane to wine.  The earth
disavows this measurement.  The
glacier, in a rocky ghost, marks
nothing in the fat rods of these fields.

The land travels inside our head,
spinning on failures, furling on the
misspent, overgrowing the mystery
and measure of a daughter.

Eighteen inches into Michigan, eight
feet apart.  The furrows parallel the
lake and the dreams of moving things:
there is the reach of two dead men
between them.

This soil unlearns the polished bone.
This sandy ground heaves over in rolling
scars.  There are ghosts in these wounds:
Chippewa knelling in the sumac, the fox
bending the moon into a slow, tight, fire.

In the wine there is the dry salt of
captive things, the bleached odor of
shale stitched with fossils, the rib
cage of the melodious lake.

Late at night, drunk, riding the tip
of the mind to sleep, my blood is a
swollen pool, a hallway into prison,
an inheritance of all blood dispossessed.

Bourne/Vivaldi ala the Piano Guys!

July 28, 2014

Okay, more Vivaldi than “Bourne,” but still an awesome performance.  I’m a huge fan of the Jason Bourne movies and a huge fan of the Piano Guys, so it stands to reason that this rendition would be win-win!  I was not disappointed in the least.  These guys are really talented and they always come up with great ideas to keep it interesting.  And they always look like they are having so much fun — truly inspirational.  Enjoy!

The Mighty Mackinac!

July 27, 2014

Mackinac Bridge.jpgHaving grown up in Michigan, and having relatives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, crossing the Mackinac Bridge (between the lower peninsula and the upper peninsula) was a frequent occurrence in my youth.  The majesty of this structure never ceases to amaze me.  Here are some fun facts about this magnificent bridge:

  • Suspension bridge
  • Opened November 1, 1957
  • 26,372 feet long
  • 68.6 feet (total width)
  • 54 feet (road width)
  • 38.1 feet (depth)
  • 552 feet (height)
  • 3,800 feet (longest span)
  • 200 feet (vertical clearance)
  • 155 feet (clearance below)
  • 11,600 cars (daily traffic)
  • 210 feet (depth of  towers beneath water)
  • 250 feet (depth of water – center)

Source of photo: “Mackinac Bridge” by Original uploader was Jeffness at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Sam at en.wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –

A Cynic’s View of Education!

July 26, 2014

Yes, I will be the first to admit that I have a well-developed level of cynicism in my life.  Perhaps this is why I really enjoy my occasional meanderings through The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  This book provides just enough humor to allow you a brief respite from the realities of the day.  Here is a cynical look at education . . . enjoy!

“The inculcation of the incomprehensible into the ignorant by the incompetent.”  (Josiah Stamp)

“What remains after we have forgotten everything we’ve been taught.”  (George Savile)

“Something that demonstrates to you how little other people know.”  (T.C. Haliburton)

“A method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.”  (Laurence Peter)

“Learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”  (Daniel Boorstin)

Rosemary, Orange, and Soy Sauce!

July 25, 2014

Here is an easy recipe that is sure to please.  Serve with some wild rice and some bacon-wrapped green beans for a meal that looks like you spent all day preparing, but really just threw together in under an hour.

Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (3/4 pound) whole pork tenderloins
Salt (to taste)
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1.  Make the orange marinade by whisking together the orange juice, soy sauce, rosemary, and garlic.  Pour over the pork tenderloins and marinate for at least one hour (preferably overnight).

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Drain the pork, reserving the marinade for later, and place on a baking sheet.  Season with the salt and pepper then roasts for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F.

3.  Meanwhile, strain the reserved marinade and bring to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Serve as a sauce for the meat.


Some “Food” for Thought!

July 24, 2014

I have certainly done my share of traveling aboard a cruise ship and have seen the vast amounts of food that are always available to the more than 2,000 passengers (and the additional several hundred crew members).  But are you aware of exactly how much food must be provisioned for the average 7-day cruise?  Here’s a list . . . now that’s a lot of groceries!  Hmm, one number seems grossly absent . . . how much bacon?  I’m going to guess a lot especially if it is a cruise ship hoping to gain my patronage.  Bon voyage!

  • 24,236 pounds of beef
  • 5,040 pounds of lamb
  • 7,216 pounds of pork
  • 4,600 pounds of veal
  • 1,680 pounds of sausage
  • 10,211 pounds of chicken
  • 3,156 pounds of turkey
  • 13,851 pounds of fish
  • 350 pounds of crab
  • 2,100 pounds of lobster
  • 25,736 pounds of fresh vegetables
  • 15,150 pounds of potatoes
  • 20,003 pounds of fresh fruit
  • 3,260 US gallons of milk
  • 1,976 US quarts of cream
  • 600 US gallons of ice cream
  • 9,235 dozen eggs
  • 5,750 pounds of sugar
  • 3,800 pounds of rice
  • 1,750 pounds of cereal
  • 450 pounds of jelly
  • 2,458 pounds of coffee
  • 1,936 pounds of cookies
  • 2,450 tea bags
  • 120 pounds of herbs and spices
  • 3,400 bottles of assorted wines
  • 200 bottles of champagne (this seems a little on the low side to me)
  • 200 bottles of gin
  • 290 bottles of vodka
  • 350 bottles of whiskey
  • 150 bottles of rum
  • 45 bottles of sherry
  • 600 bottles of assorted liqueurs
  • 10,100 bottles/cans of beer

Here’s to Libraries, Number Twenty-Six!

July 23, 2014

This week’s image is from the Library_26Andrew Dickson White Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  This library was named after a U.S. diplomat, historian, and educator, who was the co-founder of Cornell University.  In addition to founding the university, Mr. White was also Cornell’s first President 1866-1885).  He also held numerous other leadership and political roles:

  • 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881)
  • 1st President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)
  • 41st United States Ambassador to Russia (1892-1894)
  • 24th United States Ambassador to Germany (1897-1902)

White was quite the bibliophile and managed to amass a book collection of over 30,000 volumes which he donated to the Cornell University Library.

“I have an unshaken conviction that democracy can never be undermined if we maintain our library resources and a national intelligence capable of utilizing them.”  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Source: photo courtesy of  (BuzzFeed).

Food Holidays in July!

July 22, 2014

Even though July is 3/4 of the way over, I’m going to post the food holidays for July and then in a little over a week, hit the food holidays for August at the beginning of the new month.

Did you know . . . July is:

  • National Baked Bean Month
  • National Bison Month
  • National Blueberries Month
    National Culinary Arts Month
  • National Grilling Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • National Ice Cream Month

Here’s the breakdown of food “holidays” by the day of the month for July.

  • July 1: Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day
  • July 1: National Gingersnap Day
  • July 2: National Anisette Day
  • July 3: National Chocolate Wafer Day
  • July 3: Eat Beans Day
  • July 4: National Barbecued Spareribs Day
  • July 5: National Apple Turnover Day
  • July 6: National Fried Chicken Day
  • July 7: National Strawberry Sundae Day
  • July 8: National Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • July 9: National Sugar Cookie Day
  • July 10: Pick Blueberries Day
  • July 10: National Piña Colada Day
  • July 11: National Blueberry Muffin Day
  • July 11: National Mojito Day
  • July 12: National Pecan Pie Day
  • July 13: National French Fries Day
  • July 13: Beans ‘n’ Franks Day
  • July 14: Bastille Day (eat something French)
  • July 14: Macaroni Day
  • July 14: National Grand Marnier Day
  • July 15: National Gummy Worm Day
  • July 15: National Tapioca Pudding Day
  • July 16: National Corn FrittersDay
  • July 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day
  • July 18: National Caviar Day
  • July 19: National Daquiri Day
  • July 20: National Lollipop Day
  • July 20: National Ice Cream Soda Day
  • July 20: Fortune Cookie Day
  • July 21: National Ice Cream Day
  • July 21: National Junk Food Day
  • July 22: National Penuche Fudge Day
  • July 23: National Hot Dog Day
  • July 23: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • July 24: National Tequila Day
  • July 25: National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • July 26: National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • July 27: National Crème Brûlée
  • July 27: National Scotch Day
  • July 28: National Milk Chocolate
  • July 29: Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day
  • July 29: National Lasagna Day
  • July 30: National Cheesecake Day
  • July 31: National Raspberry Cake Day
  • July 31: Cotton Candy Day
  • July 31: Jump for Jelly Beans Day