Here are today’s five thing to know about Macadamia: Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. They are named for John Macadam, a Scottish born physician and chemist who promoted the nuts cultivation in Australia. The Macadamia Nut is one of Australia’s few contributions to the world’s food plants, and this rich, buttery nut is considered […]
Toss pre-made tortellini with chicken and an array of herbs for a palate-pleasing summer salad.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup sliced green olives
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Salt to taste
- Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and place in large bowl. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.
2. Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour over tortellini mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.
*1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning may be substituted.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Rosetto Cheese Tortellini.
Tuna Tortellini Salad: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) can albacore tuna, rinsed and drained well, for chicken. Prepare recipe as directed.
Shirley Wood, San Antonio, Texas, Southern Living
The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. In 2017, the solstice was at 11:24, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.
The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).
In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.
Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:
1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid
(3) The Feast of St. John the Baptist
Midsummer Eve is also known as Saint John’s Eve because it is the night before the festival of the nativity of John the Baptist. Throughout Europe peasants often celebrated this night by lighting fires in streets and marketplaces. Although the fires were often blessed by priests, the celebration was generally conducted by the laity. Midsummer eve celebrations were a continuance of the Teutonic pagan festivals and fertility rites associated with agriculture at the time of the summer solstice.
Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?
1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.
(3) There is no relationship.
Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)
(2) Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
(2) At the autumnal equinox
Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above
(6) All of the above
Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’
(2) ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Q8. In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?
1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City
(3) From Here to Eternity
This sea-soaked embrace was considered quite risqué in 1953, even though the raciest footage ended up on the cutting room floor. What remains is indelible. Deborah Kerr, playing a disaffected army wife, tells her lover (Burt Lancaster), “I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.”
Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?
1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4. The Rookie
(2) Bad News Bears
His son Bill Lancaster’s screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas – the son of Kirk Douglas – the Tatum O’Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.
Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator
(1) The North Pole
Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?
1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather
(2) The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
If you thought that was a term your grandma made up, you’ll be surprised to learn the phrase dates back to ancient Rome. “Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August.
Therefore, the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season.
You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.” According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.
Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.” Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light.
However, the ancients knew that the “Dog Star” was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year. While Sirius may be bright, the effects of its energy do not affect Earth as much. “Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from our sun – something the ancients didn’t know.” As it turns out, when the ancients blamed the “Dog Star” for boosting the heat during the summer, they were barking up the wrong tree.
Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?
Q13. Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?
1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D
(4) Vitamin D
Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?
A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age
The first bathing suit worn in Greece in 350 BC. Later, togas were worn when swimming and bathing reached the heights of its popularity in the ancient world.
Once upon a time, American men were required to wear a skirt with their bathing suit. According to the “Bathing Suit Regulations” published May 17, 1917, men’s suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks.
During the 18th century, ladies went so far as to sew lead weights into the hems of their bathing gowns. Black stockings and a ruffled cap or straw hat completed the fashionable sewing costume in the 1880s. Men started wearing rubber or synthetic bathing suits in the 1950s
The first bathing suit for women was created in the 1800s. It was long sleeved with woolen bloomers.
A Social History of Swimming Pools in America
The first public swimming pools in the United States were “large community bath tubs”-indoors, relatively small, and intended to encourage good hygiene among the poor. By the nineteen-twenties, pools had become elaborate “public amusements,” accommodating thousands. Wiltse’s history argues that, at every turn, these sites of “intimate and prolonged contact” between swimmers of different races, genders, and social classes stirred intense conflict. The book is most incisive in its discussion of swimming pools as what one editorialist called “one of the touchiest problems in race relations.” Between the wars, swimming pools began to mix the genders, but African-Americans were gradually excluded from the “sexually charged” spaces. In the fifties and sixties, as civil-rights activists persevered in the courts, many cities chose to close municipal pools rather than integrate them.
Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?
B. The Chinese
D. Hollywood celebrities
The Chinese invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses more than 2,000 years ago.
Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
D. Puerto Rico
About one-quarter of the world’s lemons are grown in the U.S. California is home to the most lemon trees.
Although lemonade may be a popular summer drink, not everyone is aware that it is also the citrus fruit with the most uses. In addition to cooking and drinking, lemon juice is used for perfume and medical purposes as well as a cleaning agent. However, lemon juice is still the most popular use. About one-third of California lemon production is used for juice or concentrates.
Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit
(B) The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776.
Did you know that 98 percent of American households buy ice cream each year. Scientific experiments have established that on average a single scoop ice cream cone takes 50 licks to eat.
Dolley Madison created a sensation when she served ice cream as a dessert in the White House during an inaugural ball in 1812.
While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much!
The three American cities with the highest per capita consumption of ice cream are: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Q18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?
A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria
(B) Coney Island, USA
Naming the birthplace of the American hotdog is problematic as Coburg, Frankfort, and Vienna all claim the honor, although in truth the American hotdog is most likely a descendent of the traditional sausage eaten by many Europeans and brought to the U.S.
In 1939, King George IV partook of hot dogs and beer with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. The movie Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR, features the first American visit from the English king.
The average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.
If you need help with your hot dog etiquette then you should consult the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s rules of Hot Dog Etiquette which includes such rules as: Don’t put the hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun; Don’t use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable; Do eat a hot dog on a bun with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns; Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wieners, seven bites are acceptable; and All condiments remaining on the fingers after the hot dog is eaten should be licked away, not washed.
Chef Walter Staib of A Taste of History shares this vanilla ice cream recipe. According to Chef Staib the founding fathers were critical in bringing the dessert to America, even First Lady Dolley Madison was a fan. One respected history of ice cream states that, as the wife of U.S. President James Madison she served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water and setting a slightly smaller bowl atop.
- In a medium sized sauce pot, bring the cream, half of the sugar, and the vanilla beans and pod to a simmer
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar until light
- Slowly add hot cream to egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time, whisking all the while.
- Return the pot to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Transfer the custard to the ice bath and cool it, stirring occasionally, until it is cool to the touch. Remove from ice bath, cover, and refrigerate until cold.
- Spin in ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Yield: 2 quarts
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 c. whole milk
- 3/4 c. light corn syrup
- 2 whole eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 c. cream
- 4 drops natural peppermint extract
- 2 drops red food coloring
- 3/4 c. peppermint candy, crushed
- Mix the sugar and cornstarch in the top of a double boiler.
- Stir in the milk, syrup and eggs.
- Cook over boiling water, stirring all the time for 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Chill.
- Stir in cream, extract and coloring.
- Freeze in a 2 quart ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When partially frozen, add crushed peppermint and continue frequently.
The following recipe is credited to First Lady Dolley Madison.
Dolley Payne Todd Madison (May 20, 1768 – July 12, 1849) was the wife of James Madison, President of the United States from 1809 to 1817.
According to Wikipedia, she was noted for her social gifts, which boosted her husband’s popularity as President. In this way, she did much to define the role of the President’s spouse, known only much later by the title First Lady – a function she had sometimes performed earlier for the widowed Thomas Jefferson.
Dolley Madison also helped to furnish the newly constructed White House. When the British set fire to it in 1814, she was credited with saving the classic portrait of George Washington.
In widowhood, she often lived in poverty, partially relieved by the sale of her late husband’s papers.”
- 4 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated, room temperature
- 1 c. butter, room temperature
- 3 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
Directions: In a bowl, cream cheese and butter together. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly to form dough.
Roll out dough on a floured board to 1/4″ thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut into strips about 1/2″ x 4″ wide. Place strips on an un-greased baking sheet.
Bake 400°F for 8 minutes until golden brown.
Yield: 6 dozen
Calories: 70 calories per serving
Source: Famous White House Recipes, The American Collection Cookbooks, Volume 1
Recipe by copetenn for All Recipes.com
Yield: 10 Servings
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (100 degreesF/40 degrees C)
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 beaten eggs
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 beaten egg yoke, or more if needed
- 1 Tbsp. melted butter (optional)
- In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the water, and let the mixture stand until a creamy layer forms on top, about 10 minutes. Stir in honey and salt until dissolved, and add the beaten eggs. Mix in the flour, a cupful at a time, until the dough is sticky. Sprinkle the dough with flour, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a compact round shape, and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over several times in the bowl to oil the surface of the dough, cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough, and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left, and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is braided, and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look.
- Place the braided loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush the top with beaten egg yolk. (For a softer crust, brush with melted butter instead.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake the challah in the preheated oven until the top browns to a rich golden color and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it with a spoon, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
by Rhonda Parkinson, Chinese Food Expert
This sweet and sour pork is prepared American-style with more batter and deep-fried twice for extra crispiness.
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 3/4 pound pork tenderloin
- 2 – 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- Pinch of cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water or reserved pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup warm water, as needed
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 3 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed
- Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Marinate in the soy sauce and cornstarch for 20 minutes.
- To prepare the sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, dark soy sauce, salt, water or juice and vinegar. Set aside. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.
- Peel the carrot and chop on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.
- Heat the oil for deep–frying to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For the batter, combine the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the egg white and vegetable oil. Add as much of the warm water as is needed to form a thick batter that is neither too dry or too moist. (The batter should not be runny, but should drop off the back of a spoon).
- Dip the marinated pork cubes in the batter. Deep-fry in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry the pork until it is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- (If desired you can deep-fry the pork at second time to make it extra crispy. Make sure the oil is back up to 375 before you begin deep-frying again).
- To prepare the sweet and sour sauce, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, green pepper, and pineapple. Bring to a boil again and thicken with cornstarch mixture, stirring. Check the sauce one more time and adjust seasonings, adding salt and/or vinegar if desired. Serve hot over the deep-fried pork.
- Serve the sweet and sour pork over rice.
A delicious cheese-filled tortilla with fresh salad for a taco that’s a great snack or light vegetarian dinner. Add some cooked, shredded chicken if you would like a little protein.
Dovetailing Tip: See the Tomatillo Salad Dressing in this meal plan to top.
Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 small garlic clove, finely grated
- pinch of ground cumin
- kosher salt
- 2 cups lightly packed mixed baby greens
- 1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1 medium carrot, very thinly sliced crosswise
- 4 radishes, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- 3 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Tomatillo salad dressing (optional)
- Preheat a broiler. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, garlic, cumin and a pinch of salt. Add the baby greens, fennel, carrot, radishes and cilantro and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt.
- Arrange the warm corn tortillas on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the shredded Jack cheese on the tortillas and broil 6 inches from the heat until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Pile the salad on the tortillas, top with Tomatillo Salad Dressing, if desired, fold them in half and serve right away.
Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 6 cups tortilla or corn chips
- 4 to 5 cups shredded lettuce
- 9 to 10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Place chips in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.
Editor’s Note: If you wish to prepare this salad in advance, omit the layer of chips and serve them with the salad.
1 cup: 0 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 0g protein
Originally published as Patriotic Taco Salad in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p211
Yield: 48 hushpuppies
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large jalapeno, chopped fine
2 cups buttermilk
8 cups peanut oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, onions, jalapeno and a pinch of salt. Add enough of the buttermilk to make a stiff batter. You may not need the whole 2 cups.
- Heat the peanut oil in a deep fryer or a large heavy bottomed pot to 250 degrees F.
- Drop the batter into the hot oil by teaspoonfuls. The hushpuppies will turn over in the oil as they cook. They are done when they are brown all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and season with salt. Keep the hushpuppies warm while you fry the remaining batter. Serve hot.
Cook’s Note: If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal, substitute 2 cups cornmeal plus 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
For more information, click here.
Recipe adapted from Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2008
For more Trisha Yearwood as a performer, click here to see her and Eagles’ band member Don Henley sing their hit “Walkaway Joe.”