Remember this day!

Pancho Villa and others at the very first Fiesta de la tarro vacía

Rare photo recently discovered

Sinko de Mayo

A contemplative Villa (left) and a glum Zapata (2nd from right) face an uncertain future

In Mexico during the time of the Revolution, mayonnaise was a national obsession. More of the condiment was consumed there than any other one place on earth, with Hong Kong a distant second.

In fact, leaders on both sides of the conflict were crazy for the stuff. But it was Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata circa 1910, who spread the spread among the common people, as it were, so that its popularity soared.

In those days, England was the mayonnaise capital of the world, with Cross & Blackwell’s, and Hellmann’s as the most popular brands, and the largest shipment of all time, some tens of thousands of jars, set out from Southampton by steamship on April 10, 1912, bound for Vera Cruz, by way of Cherbourg, New York, Charleston, and Havana.

But as history showed, the vessel was none other than the ill-fated H.M.S. Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank on April 15th.

When news arrived in Mexico twenty days later, the war-torn people were devastated. Their anguish was so great that a truce was declared between the Federales and the rebel factions, for one day of mourning. And thus was held the very first Fiesta de la tarro vacía (Feast of the Empty Jar.)

(photo: Museos de México)

feast2

It has been observed ever since, on this very day, now known colloquially as Sinko de Mayo.

Thank you, I’m here all week …

 

Mark Rylance doing what he does best

Mark you this Rylance

In the quirky revealing of his own brilliance, he hoists the banner of long-dead Shakespeare, and how that genius has managed to burst from his own time to enrich so many other times with his written way of piercing to the very heart of what it is to be human. And few have so brought down the high and mighty to show the fragile facade they live behind, like said Mark.

When is his knighthood to arrive? Long over due if you ask me.

Anyone what some Pi?

Happy Pi Day!

To be exact, let me just say

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303598253490428755468731159562863882353787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909216420198938095257201065485863278865936153381827968230301952035301852968995773622599413891249721775283479131515574857242454150695950829533116861727855889075098381754637464939319255060400927701671139009848824012858361603563707660104710181942955596198946767837449448255379774726847104047534646208046684259069491293313677028989152104752162056966024058038150193511253382430035587640247496473263914199272604269922796782354781636009341721641219924586315030286182974555706749838505494588586926995690927210797509302955321165344987202755960236480665499119881834797753566369807426542527862551818417574672890977772793800081647060016145249192173217214772350141441973568548161361157352552133475741849468438523323907394143334547762416862518983569485562099219222184272550254256887671790494601653466804988627232791786085784383827967976681454100953883786360950680064225125205117392984896084128488626945604241965285022210661186306744278622039194945047123713786960956364371917287467764657573962413890865832645995813390478027590 and then some.
My first thought this morning was wondering if mathematician Stephen Hawking was aware of the day, given that it was his last day. R.I.P.

Beefaroni on my Birthday

Beloved childhood comfort food leads to an annual ritual –
Beefaroni on my birthday

Beefaroni brithday treat onemanz.com

Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products. But once upon a time Chef Boyardee was the head of kitchen at the five-star Plaza Hotel. He is personally responsible for Americans associating “Italian food” with pasta and tomato sauce, and particularly spaghetti with meatballs.

Many of my earliest memories concern eatable entities, at the least the happiest ones. From Play-Doh, which is rather bland, but very salty, to Funny Face, a competitor of Kool-Aid, which my mom would put in milk to trick me into drinking that calcium delivery device, I have vivid remembrances attached to many eating and drinking experiences.

My dimmest memory is a view from my high chair, looking across some sort of food and out the kitchen to the front door some 40 feet away. It hovers in a corner of my mind, dark, as if it is night and all the lights are off. There is a photo of me in that very seat on my 1st birthday. But I assume the remembered event came a bit later.

Childhood Favorites

When it comes to “real food,” there was my mother’s chili. Years later I sought out how she had made it, and was somewhat disappointed to learn it consisted of Campbell’s tomato soup with browned hamburger and about three pieces of raw onion per person. She didn’t even add the chili powder called for by the recipe on soup can.

Another favorite for me and my sister three years my junior was the macaroni and cheese made by our older sister when she would be babysitting us. Again, it proved a let down to learn it was simply boiled macaroni with a large brick of Velveeta melted throughout.

As my childhood comfort food pillars toppled one by one, only one has remained steadfast and forever satisfying. Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, part of this complete birthday feast.

Beefaroni brithday meal onemanz.com

Served in vintage Fiestaware!

2017’s Birthday Carbfest was just as grand.

2017 Beefaroni

I have enjoyed Beefaroni on my birthday for years beyond count, rarely missing the opportunity, whether I have it for lunch, or supper, as we called dinner back in Ohio, or squeezing it in as a late night snack.

I do not now remember when Beefaroni entered my life. But I remember clearly splitting one 15 oz can with my little sister, on many occasions, after walking home from school for lunch. Now I often have two full cans just for me. But I cannot buy the large cans, as the consistency just isn’t the same. And even with the regular cans, I have to put a good dozen of them to my ear and give them a shake to find the two with the least amount of slosh. Otherwise the sauce is too soupy.

A Surprising Pedigree

I was not able to find any data concerning when it was actually invented. But the chef on the can really was a chef, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in fact. It was the premiere hotel in the United States. And to provide some perspective, today rooms start at $825 a night.

Ettore Boiardi worked in restaurants in Italy near Bologna, starting at age eight, and then followed his brother over to America in the early 1900s, where he is reputed to have worked his way up in the Plaza’s kitchen to Head Chef.

He also oversaw two major dinners for President Woodrow Wilson, his second wedding, and a White House homecoming dinner for 2,000 World War I veterans.

At some point he anglicized his name to Hector Boyardee, and opened a restaurant in 1926, at Woodland Avenue and East 9th Street, in Cleveland Ohio. Il Giardino d’Italia was both popular and influential in popularizing what we now think of as Italian food in America. As demand for his recipes grew, the Boyardee brothers opened a factory in Pennsylvania for their Bolognese-style dishes, which families could prepare at home. Spaghetti and meatballs soon became a national dish of America as well as Italy.

During World War II, the factory made rations for the U.S. Army, and returned to normal but increased production in peacetime, retaining all of its employees. But they had an added advantage: the vacuum-sealed can, and the machinery necessary to make it thanks to the War Department. And that is how just about every canned food you can think of came into being.

The company was eventually swallowed up by corporate giants, as family businesses usually are, but Chef Boyardee remained a figurehead well into the 1970s.

An Acquired Taste

A taste of the old country remains in Beefaroni, the humble carb and fat delivery device that remains every bit as good as it did when I was 8 years old.

I never liked canned pasta products, and still don’t with one important exception. And when the ingredients consist of hamburger, macaroni and sauce, the sauce matters a great deal. It can be any brand, they all have this same fakey orange color and are far too sugary. While tis true Beefaroni has its share of sugar, or actually corn syrup these days, it has always stood apart, with a tomato sauce that actually tastes (a lot) like the genuine article. I know some of my preference for Beefaroni is related to a pleasant sense memory from my boyhood. But it really is good. And it is not all that bad for you, with less sugar than many grocery store products that claim to be healthy.

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods from their childhood, and others have certain birthday foods they never grow tied of. What are yours?

Please use the Comments form below to share your favorites!

Beefaroni can onemanz.com

~

Here is a commercial I still remember clearly from long ago:

~

 

Beefaroni Birthday

Beloved childhood comfort food leads to an annual ritual –
Beefaroni on my birthday

Beefaroni brithday treat onemanz.com

Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products. But once upon a time Chef Boyardee was the head of kitchen at the five-star Plaza Hotel. He is personally responsible for Americans associating “Italian food” with pasta and tomato sauce, and particularly spaghetti with meatballs.

Many of my earliest memories concern eatable entities, at the least the happiest ones. From Play-Doh, which is rather bland, but very salty, to Funny Face, a competitor of Kool-Aid, which my mom would put in milk to trick me into drinking that calcium delivery device, I have vivid remembrances attached to many eating and drinking experiences.

My dimmest memory is a view from my high chair, looking across some sort of food and out the kitchen to the front door some 40 feet away. It hovers in a corner of my mind, dark, as if it is night and all the lights are off. There is a photo of me in that very seat on my 1st birthday. But I assume the remembered event came a bit later.

Childhood Favorites

When it comes to “real food,” there was my mother’s chili. Years later I sought out how she had made it, and was somewhat disappointed to learn it consisted of Campbell’s tomato soup with browned hamburger and about three pieces of raw onion per person. She didn’t even add the chili powder called for by the recipe on soup can.

Another favorite for me and my sister three years my junior was the macaroni and cheese made by our older sister when she would be babysitting us. Again, it proved a let down to learn it was simply boiled macaroni with a large brick of Velveeta melted throughout.

As my childhood comfort food pillars toppled one by one, only one has remained steadfast and forever satisfying. Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, part of this complete birthday feast.

Beefaroni brithday meal onemanz.com

Served in vintage Fiestaware!

2017’s Birthday Carbfest was just as grand.

2017 Beefaroni

I have enjoyed Beefaroni on my birthday for years beyond count, rarely missing the opportunity, whether I have it for lunch, or supper, as we called dinner back in Ohio, or squeezing it in as a late night snack.

I do not now remember when Beefaroni entered my life. But I remember clearly splitting one 15 oz can with my little sister, on many occasions, after walking home from school for lunch. Now I often have two full cans just for me. But I cannot buy the large cans, as the consistency just isn’t the same. And even with the regular cans, I have to put a good dozen of them to my ear and give them a shake to find the two with the least amount of slosh. Otherwise the sauce is too soupy.

A Surprising Pedigree

I was not able to find any data concerning when it was actually invented. But the chef on the can really was a chef, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in fact. It was the premiere hotel in the United States. And to provide some perspective, today rooms start at $825 a night.

Ettore Boiardi worked in restaurants in Italy near Bologna, starting at age eight, and then followed his brother over to America in the early 1900s, where he is reputed to have worked his way up in the Plaza’s kitchen to Head Chef.

He also oversaw two major dinners for President Woodrow Wilson, his second wedding, and a White House homecoming dinner for 2,000 World War I veterans.

At some point he anglicized his name to Hector Boyardee, and opened a restaurant in 1926, at Woodland Avenue and East 9th Street, in Cleveland Ohio. Il Giardino d’Italia was both popular and influential in popularizing what we now think of as Italian food in America. As demand for his recipes grew, the Boyardee brothers opened a factory in Pennsylvania for their Bolognese-style dishes, which families could prepare at home. Spaghetti and meatballs soon became a national dish of America as well as Italy.

During World War II, the factory made rations for the U.S. Army, and returned to normal but increased production in peacetime, retaining all of its employees. But they had an added advantage: the vacuum-sealed can, and the machinery necessary to make it thanks to the War Department. And that is how just about every canned food you can think of came into being.

The company was eventually swallowed up by corporate giants, as family businesses usually are, but Chef Boyardee remained a figurehead well into the 1970s.

An Acquired Taste

A taste of the old country remains in Beefaroni, the humble carb and fat delivery device that remains every bit as good as it did when I was 8 years old.

I never liked canned pasta products, and still don’t with one important exception. And when the ingredients consist of hamburger, macaroni and sauce, the sauce matters a great deal. It can be any brand, they all have this same fakey orange color and are far too sugary. While tis true Beefaroni has its share of sugar, or actually corn syrup these days, it has always stood apart, with a tomato sauce that actually tastes (a lot) like the genuine article. I know some of my preference for Beefaroni is related to a pleasant sense memory from my boyhood. But it really is good. And it is not all that bad for you, with less sugar than many grocery store products that claim to be healthy.

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods from their childhood, and others have certain birthday foods they never grow tied of. What are yours?

Please use the Comments form below to share your favorites!

Beefaroni can onemanz.com

~

Here is a commercial I still remember clearly from long ago:

~

 

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln

This photo of Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour is courtesy of TripAdvisor

It’s been a long time since we had a Republican President who actually meant what he said and who gave a tinker’s cuss for non-wealthy Americans, minorities, and justice for all.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Smoke gets in my eye

I am befouled!

It is years beyond count since I found myself in a smoky bar. And everyone but me was smoking a cigarette or was briefly between their previous cigarette and their next. I left reeking of ash like an orphan boy sweeping out a foundry furnace.

When I entered said tavern the barmaid looked almost guilty, as if I might rat them out for allowing smoking in a public establishment. But then I remembered I was not in New York City and perhaps this was all perfectly legal.

In fact, it was the drinking that was shameful, since this was a dry county until not that long ago and the very premises, but a block from the old Moravian church in Nazareth, PA, was singularly frowned upon by the town elders and ultimately closed, at least for a time. It might as well have slid down the hill to the state route, since it has sunken so from its former dive bar charm.

Their only beer choices on tap were Bud, Bud Light, and Old Town Light. Their only scotch was Dewar’s and Johnny Walker Red, which filled an Old Fashion glass for $7, not to be outdone by the $2.50 bottle of Yuengling.

‘Twas sufficient to ease the pains of this very long day, which had me playing and squawking my way through my eleventh guitar demonstration video at 1:30 AM at Maury’s Music, in Coaldale, followed by my fingertips oooing and ouching their way through my first video session with a new 2018 Martin guitar model at the Martin factory in Nazareth a few hours later.

The final session ended a little before 5 PM and after a wonderful sushi dinner with Maury, he went back to Coaldale and I found myself in the farthest corner of the nearest smoker.

But things are much improved, now that I have aired out a bit from the smoking lounge, and I walked back through the icy air to the Classic Victorian Estate Inn, where I had been upgraded to the best bedroom, the occupant of my original room having extended their stay.

After a very hot shower, I now sit in a comfortable chair in a wonderfully weighty terrycloth robe and silk pajamas, with a lusciously flavorful glass of complementary sherry. All that is missing is some Persian slippers.

After I make sure I do not need to re-shoot any video from today, I shall paint my hands in Penetrex, the best Arnica Montana delivery device I have yet found, and retire.

The newly redesigned Martin D-45 2018 is awaiting me at Martin, next to my microphones still set in place, the guitar’s case still wrapped in a clear plastic bag after its release from Final Inspection.

But I can still smell oily tobacco smoke sending its free radicals my way from the bag across the room. Alas that it is far too cold to open a window. First world problems indeed.

Meet the Beatles

Released 54 years ago today, Meet the Beatles was the first Beatles album released in America

Meet The Beatles onemanz.com

My baby book said that my first favorite song was “I Wanna Hold Your Hand. “

Actually, it was “Saw Her Standing There,” but I think my mother felt that was a bit too risque, since the first line is, “She was just seventeen, if you know what I mean…”

It turns out Paul wrote the first half of the line, and John wrote the second. The rest is history

The Pink Floyd Reunited and Immortal

Think Pink. Pink Floyd that is

When the Pink Floyd reunited, for the only time, after a quarter of a century, in 2005 for the Live 8 worldwide concerts, it was bittersweet

To see Rick looking practically cured, and Nick looking like some old mathematics teacher if not a conservative Tory MP…

David shorn of hippy dreamboat locks looked more like a slightly sadistic gym teacher or football manager, and Rodger appeared like the aging leading man he was, with what little of his singing voice that remained.

But damn if they weren’t AWESOME none the less!

Only today did I realize they did more than just “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb,” which was all that aired in America. They actually did the opening of the Dark Side of the Moon album and “Money” too.
 
And here is the whole set with enhanced audio.