April 22, 2012 archive




Fiddleheads are a very ephemeral thing.  For 2 or 3 weeks in the spring the emerging shoots of several types of ferns are available for eating.

Now to me they resemble nothing so much as Asparagus in taste, but perhaps that’s because of my preferred method of preparation about which more shortly.  Others notice a hint of Almond, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  They’re extremely high in Vitamin A, less so in C, and otherwise have all the good nutritional characteristics you expect from a vegetable.

Personally I don’t recommend picking them wild.  I’m not Euell Gibbons and I stay away from toadstools and amateur fugu too.  Fortunately they’re available from some grocery stores in season (my local Stop & Shop carries them), you can get them over the internet (www.fiddle-heads.com), and also frozen and canned.


Duck Dodgers All in the Crime Family, Season 3, Episode 18

On This Day In History April 22

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 22 is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 253 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1978, The Blues Brothers make their world premiere on Saturday Night Live.

It was Marshall Checker, of the legendary Checker brothers, who first discovered them in the gritty blues clubs of Chicago’s South Side in 1969 and handed them their big break nine years later with an introduction to music-industry heavyweight and host of television’s Rock Concert, Don Kirshner. Actually, none of that is true, but it’s the story that Saturday Night Live’s Paul Shaffer told on April 22, 1978 as he announced the worldwide television debut of that night’s musical guest, the Blues Brothers-the not-quite-real, not-quite-fake musical creation of SNL cast members Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.


The genesis of the Blues Brothers was a January 17, 1976, Saturday Night Live sketch. In it, “Howard Shore and his All-Bee Band” play the Slim Harpo song “I’m a King Bee”, with Belushi singing and Aykroyd playing harmonica, dressed in the bee costumes they wore for the “Killer Bees” sketch.

Following tapings of SNL, it was popular among cast members and the weekly hosts to attend Aykroyd’s Holland Tunnel Blues bar, which he had rented not long after joining the cast. Dan and John filled a jukebox with songs from many different artists such as Sam and Dave and punk band The Viletones. John bought an amplifier and they kept some musical instruments there for anyone who wanted to jam. It was here that Dan and Ron Gwynne wrote and developed the original story which Dan turned into the initial story draft of the Blues Brothers movie, better known as the “tome” because it contained so many pages.

It was also at the bar that Aykroyd introduced Belushi to the blues. An interest soon became a fascination and it was not long before the two began singing with local blues bands. Jokingly, SNL band leader Howard Shore suggested they call themselves “The Blues Brothers.” In an April 1988 interview in the Chicago Sun-Times, Aykroyd said the Blues Brothers act borrowed from Sam & Dave and others: “Well, obviously the duo thing and the dancing, but the hats came from John Lee Hooker. The suits came from the concept that when you were a jazz player in the 40’s, 50’s 60’s, to look straight, you had to wear a suit.”

The band was also modeled in part on Aykroyd’s experience with the Downchild Blues Band, one of the first professional blues bands in Canada, with whom Aykroyd continues to play on occasion. Aykroyd first encountered the band in the early 1970s, at or around the time of his attendance at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and where his initial interest in the blues developed through attending and occasionally performing at Ottawa’s Le Hibou Coffee House.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Conservative nonprofit ALEC acts as stealth business lobbyist

 Membership includes nearly 2,000 state legislators – and corporations


Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.

It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such “false claims” laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC’s membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country – including dozens who would vote on the Ohio bill.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead despite protester’s death

A bad heart killed Neil Heywood. But whose?

Getting a real taste of living in the ‘Big Durian’ one smelly mouthful at a time

Libya says building case against Gaddafi son: ICC prosecutor

Globe to Globe: Maori Troilus and Cressida puts haka into Shakespeare

Late Night Karaoke

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Oils for Cooking and Drizzling


For home cooks with a sense of adventure, experimenting with aromatic and flavored oils can transform a dish. But deciding which type of oil to use isn’t always easy.

This week, Martha Rose Shulman explains all in a primer on the various oils that can be used in cooked dishes and baked goods and drizzled on salads, fish and vegetables. She also singles out a few new favorites, including rice bran and wasabi oils, as well as tried-and-true varieties, like canola and extra virgin olive oils. Here’s her report, followed by five new recipes using oils from walnuts, peanuts, rice bran, coconut, wasabi and sesame.

Oven-Roasted Salmon, Quinoa and Asparagus With Wasabi Oil

Seasoned oils like the wasabi oil I buy at my local specialty grocery can embellish a simply cooked piece of fish, a bowl of grains or steamed vegetables.

Radicchio or Asian Greens Salad With Golden Beets and Walnuts

A walnut-oil vinaigrette is a wonderful companion to bitter greens.

Rice Noodle Salad With Crispy Tofu and Lime-Peanut Dressing

Using unrefined peanut oil in the dressing complements the Asian flavors of this dish.

Whole-Wheat Ginger Scones

Coconut oil is the perfect nondairy fat to use for scones and other baked goods


Seared Red Rice With Spinach, Mushrooms, Carrot and Egg

This stir-fry uses rice bran oil, whose high smoking point helps impart a nice seared aroma.

Earth Day 2012: The Meaning of Green

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Today is the 42nd Earth Day and, as noted by Chris Hayes Saturday morning on his MSNBC show Up with Chris, coverage has by broadcast media has fallen off sharply, as Media Matters reports:

Time Devoted To Climate Change Has Fallen Sharply Since 2009

Despite Ongoing Climate News, Broadcast Coverage Has Dropped Significantly. Since 2009, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a climate bill and a major climate conference took place in Copenhagen, the amount of climate coverage on both the Sunday shows (Fox News Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week) and the nightly news (NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and ABC World News) has declined tremendously. This drop comes despite a series of newsworthy stories related to climate change in 2010 and 2011, including a debate over comprehensive climate and energy legislation in the U.S. Senate, a series of record-breaking extreme weather events, notable developments in climate science, the rise of so-called “climate skeptics” in the House of Representatives, and a deal struck at the most recent UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa.


Click on image to enlarge

Chris and his guests, Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency; Sam Seder (@samseder), host of the Majority Report podcast; Victoria DeFrancesco Soto (@drvmds, director of communications for Latino Decisions; Bob Herbert (@bobherbert), senior fellow at Demos; Antonia Juhasz (@antoniajuhasz), oil & energy analyst & activist and author of The Tyranny of Oil; and Paul Douglas (@pdouglasweather), meteorologist and founder of weathernation tv, try to rectify the lack of coverage with a comprehensive discussion of the environment and climate.

Christine Todd Whitman, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during President George W. Bush‘s administration, will join us. And we’ll look at recent environmental and financial conditions in the Gulf of Mexico on the two year anniversary of the BP oil spill with The Nation‘s Antonia Juhasz, who unearthed the “hidden health costs” in the aftermath of the spill. Plus, we’ll discuss the impact of a newly proposed Keystone Pipeline route, and Paul Douglas, a meteorologist who lamented the following, will join us:

   I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I’m a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me very uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern.

Story of the Week: The meaning of green

Collective action on climate change

BP oil spill an ‘ongoing travesty’

Join in the discussion to celebrate and protect the Earth, our home.

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Join ek hornbeck at 6:30 AM EDT for the pre-race hype of the Formula One 2012: Bahrain Grand Prix

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