Let’s Hoop It Up!

(row 1, l to r) Richard Knerr, foreground, and Arthur Melin, co-inventors of the Hula Hoop; 1958 was the beginning of the Hula Hoop’s incredible rise in global popularity. (row 2, l to r) Two housewives in Holland take a hula hoop break while hanging the wash; At a fashion show in Germany these models add hula hooping to the fashion show. (row 3, l to r) Hooping it up in Paris, France; Glasgow, Scotland; and in the 1962 film Lolita with Sue Lyon (hula hooping) and James Mason (sitting) directed by Stanley Kubrick. (the rest of the images) Hula hooping really is a great family activity or a solitary activity or a fun with friends activity— no matter your age.


Over the weekend I was digging in the back of the shed, looking for some lawn stuff, and came across on of the girl’s hula hoops.  Wow, did that take me back.  I remember how much fun they had in the driveway just spinning around, laughing. Now, keep in mind…I happen to be a spectacular hula hooper!! Just ask all of my ladies at home! Going online, I found out that the craze hit the US 50 years ago in the summer of ‘68, so I gathered some fun trivia for you to enjoy.  Like many things from the 50’s, hula hoops have found a resurgence, and are now a staple with kids, exercise groups and meditating adults around the world.  Thanks Wikipedia and Smithsonian for the info. Whirl away!

  1. hula hoop is a toy hoop that is twirled around the waist, limbs or neck. The modern hula hoop was invented in 1958 by Arthur K. “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr, but children and adults around the world have played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them throughout history. Hula hoops for children generally measure approximately 28 inches in diameter and for adults around 40 inches.
  2. Now 94, Joan Anderson, the subject of the new documentary short Hula Girl, is finally getting her due for helping kick off the country’s hoop mania six decades ago. In 1957, while visiting family in Australia, she joined her cousins playing with a rattan hoop in the backyard. She brought the idea back to the U.S., and shared it with Spud Melin in the parking lot of the Wham-O plant.  The rest just spun off from then on.
  3. The trademarked name evoked the still-exotic Territory of Hawaii and it’s sexy but still family-friendly hula dance and then launched a marketing campaign that was downright viral. The men took the hoops to Los Angeles parks, demonstrated the trick to kids and sent a hoop home with everyone who could keep it spinning. Company executives took the hoops on plane trips, hoping fellow passengers would ask about the odd carry-ons. And Wham-O tapped the powerful new medium of television with hokey, seemingly homemade advertisements. The word spread.
  4. Before it was known and recognized as the common colorful plastic toy (sometimes with water or sand inside the actual hoop), the traditional “hula hoop” used to be made of dried up willow, rattan, grapevines, or stiff grasses. Even though they have existed for thousands of years, they are often misunderstood as having been invented in the 50’s.
  5. According to authorCharles Panati, there was a “craze” of using wooden and metal hoops in 14th-century England. He reports that doctors treated patients suffering from pain and dislocated backs due to hooping − and heart failure was even attributed to it. Panati also says that the name “hula” came from the Hawaiian dance in the 18th century, due to the similar hip movements.
  6. Native American Hoop Danceis a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to thirty hoops as props. These props are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, which represent various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. The dance is generally performed by a solo dancer with multiple hoops.
  7. The hula hoop gained international popularity in the late 1950s, when a plastic version was successfully marketed by California’sWham-O toy company. In 1957, Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, starting with the idea of Australian bamboo “exercise hoops”. With giveaways and national marketing and retailing, a fad was started in July 1958, when twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months, and in two years, sales reached more than 100 million units.
  8. Carlon Products Corporationwas one of the first manufacturers of the hula hoop. When the hula hoop craze swept the country, Carlon was producing more than 50,000 hula hoops per day.
  9. The hula hoop craze swept the world, dying out again in the 1980s, but not in China and Russia, where hula hooping and hoop manipulation were adopted by traditional circuses and rhythmic gymnasts.
  10. Recently there has been a re-emergence of hula hooping, generally referred to as either “hoopdance” or simply “hooping” to distinguish it from the children’s playform. The jam bandThe String Cheese Incident is widely credited with fostering a renewed interest in hooping. Band members started throwing larger adult-sized hoops into their audiences in the mid-1990s, encouraging their fans to hoop and dance, spreading the word and the fun. It wasn’t until 2003 with the launch of Hooping.org that these small bands of hoopers began to find each other online and a real community and movement began to grow.
  11. Bay Area Hoopers began in San Francisco at that time holding regular “hoop jams” with music to hoop to and the hooping group began being replicated in cities around the world. In 2006 Hoopin’ Annie had the idea to create a hooping holiday and the first World Hoop Day was held in 2007. Modern hula hooping is seen at numerous festivals and fairs in the USA, UK, Australia and Europe.
  12. Many modernhoopers make their own hoops out of PVC piping, or polypropylene tubing (known as polypro). The polyethylene hoops, and especially the polyvinyl chloride hoops, are much larger and heavier than hoops of the 1950s. The size and the weight of the hoop affect the style of the hooper. Heavier, larger hoops are more often used for beginner dancers and easier tricks, while lighter, thinner tubing is used for quick hand tricks. These hoops may be covered in a fabric or plastic tape to create more of a visual image and distinguish between the hoop and dancer. Gaffer Tape is also used to line the inside of a hula hoop to add grip or when using a bare hula hoop it can be roughened by using sandpaper. Some use glow-in-the dark, patterned, or sparkling tape, and others are produced with clear tubing and are never filled with materials (usually hoops for children are filled with an array of materials). LED technology and programmable ‘Smart Hoops’ are available which provide a range of special effects and some can even be customized through an application on a mobile device.
  13. Hooping now includes many ‘on body’ moves and many ‘off body’ moves. A few examples include breaks, isolations, leg hooping, and double hooping. Hooping has also become a popular fitness activity, with classes taking place in many towns and cities across the world. It is easy for beginners to get started with many great online resources popping up.
  14. After the sales blitz, sales never again reached those heights, yet the plastic child’s toy has evolved over the years into art, exercise, even a form of meditation. It has been adopted by both counterculture—it is a fixture at Burning Man—and digital culture. This summer, a company called Virfit introduced the Vhoop fitted with sensors and a Bluetooth transmitter to monitor a user’s every twist and turn via smartphone app, marrying the quintessential 1950s obsession to the latest fitness-tracking fad. The price got an update, too: Wham-O’s original hula hoop sold for $1.98; the Vhoop is a much more modern $119.
  15. The hoop was inducted into theNational Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 1999.


  • 74 hours, 54 minutes– the longest verified record for keeping a hula hoop spinning is held by Aaron Hibbs fromColumbus, Ohio who kept a hoop spinning for 74 hours and 54 minutes between October 22, through 25, 2009.  THIS MAN HAD WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS!
  • 245– most hula hoops caught and spun in one minute – Sheng Xue, China
  • 39 seconds– fastest time to climb 50 stairs while hula hooping – Ashrita Furman, USA
  • 16 Min. 13 Sec.– longest time to balance a hula hoop on head while swimming – David Rush, USA
  • 203– most hula hoop rotations on the leg in one minute – Ashlee Male, UK
  • 10in.– diameter of largest hula hoop spun – Yuya Yamada, Japan
  • 71 seconds– Roman Schedler spun a 53-pound tractor tire for 71 seconds at the 5th Saxonia Record Festival inBregenz, Austria.
  • 70 hoopers– on Team Hooprama hula hooped theMusic City Half-Marathon to raise awareness and funds for Hooping for Hope.
  • 407 participants– the largest hula hoop workout (407 participants) was achieved atRavenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Scotland by North Lanarkshire Leisure and Powerhoop Fitness.







(top) This isn’t how it actually happened but it’s a pretty cool painting done around 1816 by Benjamin West (1738 – 1820) titled “Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This digital depiction embellished in 2018 by an unknown artist. 🙂 (middle left) Lightning over the great plains. (middle right) Lightning over the lake. (bottom left) Lightning in volcanos is common, too. (bottom right) Franklin was one very smart man.

With summer and warmer weather comes thunders storms.  I love ‘em.  From my office, I can see out across the lake, and get a real sense of when a storm is rolling in. What is most amazing from my office, is the way the storms will actually follow the Lake Erie shoreline and highway here in Cleveland. I can watch the storms literally come around the corner toward KHT! The skies darken, the wind picks up and bam, they hit – lightning -thunder and rain.  It’s so cool.  It got me to thinking about the story of Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite-in-a-thunderstorm experiment. I did some searching on the internet and found some fun facts and a good rendition of what happened.  Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia, The Franklin Institute and Kids Discover.com for the details.  Here’s how the story goes … with some lightening trivia at the end.

On a June afternoon in 1752, (some say it was 266 years ago today, June 15th) the sky began to darken over the city of Philadelphia. As rain began to fall and lightning threatened, most of the city’s citizens surely hurried inside. But, not Benjamin Franklin. He decided it was the perfect time to go fly a kite.  Franklin had been waiting for an opportunity like this. He wanted to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning, and to do so, he needed a thunderstorm.

He had his materials at the ready: a simple kite made with a large silk handkerchief, a hemp string, and a silk string. He also had a house key, a sharp length of wire and a Leyden jar (a device designed to capture a high-voltage electric charge from an external source that’s collected between electrical conductors on the inside and outside of a glass jar. … The Leyden jar was used to conduct many early experiments in electricity, and its discovery was of fundamental importance in the study of electrostatics). His son William assisted him.

Franklin had originally planned to conduct the experiment atop a Philadelphia church spire, according to his contemporary, British scientist Joseph Priestley (who, incidentally, is credited with discovering oxygen), but he changed his plans when he realized he could achieve the same goal by using a kite.

So, Franklin and his son “took the opportunity of the first approaching thunder storm to take a walk into a field,” Priestley wrote in his account. “To demonstrate, in the completest manner possible, the sameness of the electric fluid with the matter of lightning, Dr. Franklin, astonishing as it must have appeared, contrived actually to bring lightning from the heavens, by means of an electrical kite, which he raised when a storm of thunder was perceived to be coming on.”

Despite a common misconception, Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity during this experiment—or at all, for that matter. Electrical forces had been recognized for more than a thousand years, and scientists had worked extensively with static electricity. Franklin’s experiment demonstrated the connection between lightning and electricity.

To dispel another myth, Franklin’s kite was not struck by lightning. If it had been, he probably would have been electrocuted, experts say. Instead, the kite picked up the ambient electrical charge from the storm.

Here’s how the experiment worked: Franklin constructed a simple kite and attached a wire to the top of it to act as a lightning rod. To the bottom of the kite he attached a hemp string, and to that he attached a silk string. Why both? The hemp, wetted by the rain, would conduct an electrical charge quickly. The silk string, kept dry as it was held by Franklin in the doorway of a shed, wouldn’t.

The last piece of the puzzle was the metal key. Franklin attached it to the hemp string, and with his son’s help, got the kite aloft. Then they waited. Just as he was beginning to despair, Priestley wrote, Franklin noticed loose threads of the hemp string standing erect, “just as if they had been suspended on a common conductor.”  As Franklin moved his finger near the key, the negative charges in the metal piece were attracted to the positive charges in his hand and he felt a spark.

“Struck with this promising appearance, he immediately presented his knuckle to the key, and (let the reader judge of the exquisite pleasure he must have felt at that moment) the discovery was complete. He perceived a very evident electric spark,” Priestley wrote.  Using the Leyden jar, Franklin “collected electric fire very copiously,” Priestley recounted. That “electric fire”—or electricity—could then be discharged at a later time.

Franklin’s own description of the event appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette on October 19, 1752. In it he gave instructions for re-creating the experiment, finishing with:

As soon as any of the Thunder Clouds come over the Kite, the pointed Wire will draw the Electric Fire from them, and the Kite, with all the Twine, will be electrified, and the loose Filaments of the Twine will stand out every Way, and be attracted by an approaching Finger. And when the Rain has wet the Kite and Twine, so that it can conduct the Electric Fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the Key on the Approach of your Knuckle. At this Key the Phial may be charg’d; and from Electric Fire thus obtain’d, Spirits may be kindled, and all the other Electric Experiments be perform’d, which are usually done by the Help of a rubbed Glass Globe or Tube; and thereby the Sameness of the Electric Matter with that of Lightning completely demonstrated.

Could any of us imagine today the following statement…  let’s go outside and play with the lightening!

Franklin wasn’t the first to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. A month earlier it was successfully done by Thomas-François Dalibard in northern France. And a year after Franklin’s kite experiment, Baltic physicist Georg Wilhelm Richmann attempted a similar trial but was killed when he was struck by ball lightning (a rare weather phenomenon).

After his successful demonstration, Franklin continued his work with electricity, going on to perfect his lightning rod invention. In 1753, he received the prestigious Copley Medal from the Royal Society, in recognition of his “curious experiments and observations on electricity.”

Lightening Trivia:

  1. A lightning bolt is about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit — roughly five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
  2. Lightning flashes more than 3 million times a day worldwide — that’s about 40 times a second. Not all those flashes hit the ground — some happen between or inside clouds.
  3. An average lightning bolt can release enough energy to operate a 100-watt light bulb for more than three months straight (about 250 kilowatt-hours of energy).
  4. Lightning starts in cumulonimbus clouds — aka thunderheads — which have a positive charge up top and a negative charge below. We don’t know how the charges start, but water droplets and ice crystals carry them.
  5. That negative charge in the cloud creates a positive charge on Earth below, and the two charges start trying to connect and create a circuit. Ever seen electrical sparks jump across a space? It’s like that, but way bigger.
  6. The air between the clouds and Earth blocks the connection — until the charge gets so strong that an electrical impulse called a “stepped leader” shoots down from the cloud. The leader drops in steps of about 150 feet each at about 136,000 mph, until it almost reaches the ground. That’s when an electrical charge called a streamer rises up to meet it and complete the circuit.
  7. Then a bolt of electricity streaks back up along the leader’s path at about 62 million mph and creates lightning. More bolts can rise up the same path again right after. Because it all happens so fast, all we see is one bolt of lightning.
  8. All that energy travels along a bolt path about as wide as your thumb!
  9. The streamer can travel up through a building, a tree, or even a person, which can be fatal.
  10. Lightning kills about 2,000 people a year, so stay inside during lightning storms.

On a more optimistic note – for all of my really – really smart readers.   Can anyone tell me a cost-effective way to capture all of this free electricity, and transfer it in to KHT to help run my machines?  This would certainly help me cut my bills!

How to Photograph Lightning

A couple You Tube links HERE and HERE with advice for taking photos of lightning.





Fathers hold a special place here at KHT.  It’s Dad who got this whole thing going over 40 years ago – on a dream to do something special for his family.  Along the way, he and Mom decided to raise a family … all 18 of us!  To this day, even though I was part of it, I can’t imagine the amount of love and effort and caring that went into keeping us all together. Thanks Dad! And many thanks to all the Father’s out there.  Enjoy your special day with family – love your wives, kids, grandkids, great grandkids and if so blessed great great grandkids!  Finally, keep being the role model you know you need to be.  Life is an amazing gift.  I still remember holding each of my wonderful daughters when they were first born and today they are all grown up. I could not be prouder of each of them.  I am one incredibly blessed Dad!

Here’s a favorite of mine, from the famous Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story” archives.  Enjoy!


Paul Harvey on Fathers

A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth, without an anesthetic.

A father is a thing that growls when it feels good–and laughs loud when it’s scared half to death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of worship in his child’s eyes. He never is quite the hero his daughter thinks, never quite the man his son believes him to be. This worries him, sometimes, so he works too hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.

A father is a thing that gets very angry when school grades aren’t as good as he thinks they should be. He scolds his son although he knows it’s the teacher’s fault.

Fathers grow old faster than other people.

And while mothers can cry where it shows, fathers stand there and beam outside–and die inside. Fathers have very stout hearts, so they have to be broken sometimes or no one would know what is inside. Fathers give daughters away to other men who aren’t nearly good enough so they can have grandchildren who are smarter than anybody’s. Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table, off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop…where they tackle the dragon with three heads: Weariness, Work and Monotony.

Knights in shining armor.

Fathers make bets with insurance companies about who will live the longest. Though they know the odds, they keep right on betting. Even as the odds get higher and higher, they keep right on betting more and more.

And one day they lose.

But fathers enjoy an earthly immortality and the bet is paid off to the part of him he leaves behind.

I don’t know where fathers go when they die. But I have an idea that after a good rest, he won’t be happy unless there is work to do. He won’t just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he’s loved and the children she bore. He’ll be busy there, too…oiling the gates, smoothing the way.

–––––– : : ––––––

I wish I could have found a recording of Paul Harvey reading this but it just isn’t available. But, HERE is a link to Paul Harvey reading an incredible letter one of his listeners wrote to his late father and wanted to share with everyone.






(top) KYIV, UKRAINE – OCT. 9, 2017: Croatia scores a goal during a FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying game between Ukraine and Croatia. Croatia won 2-0. (row two left) The very first official international association football match was played between Scotland and England in 1872. The final score? Read on. 🙂 (row two right) A cool photo I found. (row three) The yellow card and the red card. What do they mean? They are explained below. (row four) Ticket prices. (1 US Dollar = 62.08 Russian Rubles) So for the finals, a prime seat would be $1,063 and a cheap seat around $113.40. (row five) Ukraine (yellow) and France fighting for the ball during a FIFA 2014 qualifying match. The action is really awesome. (row six left) For noshing while watching, try Betty Crocker’s Borscht Recipe – BettyCrocker.com(row six right) Or some tasty Chicken Pelmeni. More Russian food ideas below. (row seven) To wash down your Borscht try a refreshing glass of Kvass – a drink made from bread. Or a very healthy for you caramel milk product called Ryazhenka. Or try another healthy Russian milk product called Kefir. Or maybe not. 🙂 

Are you ready for some football? (no, not the pointy ended ones I’m most familiar with), but international football (soccer). Now in full and complete transparency.  I am not a “football” fan.  Growing up I just could not wrap my brain around a game where you had to do so, so, so much running just to have the opponent kick the ball over my head and have me start all over again! BUT!  next week begins an amazing sporting event – the World Cup, hosted this year by the Russian Federation. Estimates include a worldwide viewership of nearly 3.5 billion people, with over 1 billion watching matches online (that’s about half the world’s population folks). Since there are  just few folks actually interested in this sport!! I thought it would be fun for you to pick up some info and trivia, so when you find yourself in front of a TV, watching your favorite team or superstar like Ronaldo or Messi, you can join in the chatter.  Enjoy, and thanks to multiple sites for the trivia and info.

  1. The FIFA World Cup was first held in 1930, when FIFA president Jules Rimet decided to stage an international football tournament. The inaugural edition, held in 1930, was contested as a final tournament of only thirteen teams invited by the organization. Since then, the World Cup has experienced successive expansions and format remodeling to its current 32-team final tournament preceded by a two-year qualifying process, involving over 200 teams from around the world.
  2. The first official international football match was played in 1872 in Glasgow between Scotland and England, although at this stage the sport was rarely played outside Great Britain. By 1900, however, football had gained ground all around the world and national football associations were being founded. FIFA was founded in Paris in 1904 – comprising football associations from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, and Germany.
  3. The 2018 World Cup will be played in twelve different locations throughout Russia. Building new stadiums, infrastructure, hotels, training grounds and more, the country is estimated to invest $12-13 billions dollars.  Click HERE to see the awesome stadiums.
  4. Ticket prices are reasonable.  Three categories of tickets will be available, with Category 1 the most expensive.  The cheapest seats, Category 3, will cost from $105 for group stage matches, to $175 for the quarter-finals and $455 for the final. Category 1 seats will cost between $550 in the group stage and $1,100 for the final. There is also be a Category 4 price band, available only to Russian residents at discounted prices varying between 1,280 roubles ($22.19) for group stage games to 7,040 roubles for the final.
  5. Obviously, there is some variation depending on the position they play—midfielders run the most; the goalie not so much—but it’s not uncommon for a player to average seven miles per game, with hard working players running as much as 9.5 miles in a game.
  6. The first World Cup hat-trick was achieved by Bert Patenaude of the U.S. in the Americans’ 1930 3–0 win against Paraguay.
  7. In Brazil, calling someone by their first name or nickname is a demonstration of intimacy (as naming conventions often include 4-5 names). Names like Pele’, Neymar, Hulk and others are world famous.  Another soccer player, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, is believed to have gotten his nickname “Kaka” because it was as close as his brother could get to saying “Ricardo.”
  8. Matches are 90 minutes in length, with a halftime.  The center referee, who has the final control of a match, has the option to add extra time or “injury time” based on his/her discretion. The fourth official will hold up an illuminated sign board, showing the additional time added.
  9. A yellow card is given to a player who consistently infringes on the game or who, in the opinion of the referee has played with unnecessary carelessness to opposing players.  It can be given for dissent, failing to respect required distance, or leaving the field.
  10. On average, a soccer ball, when struck, reaches a speed of 65-80 mph.The fastest shot on goal during an English Premier League game was recorded at 114 mph, when a football kicked by David Hirst (UK), playing for Sheffield Wednesday, hit the crossbar from 13. 5 m (14.8 yards; 44 ft), during their match against Arsenal at Highbury, London, UK in September 1996.
  11. A red card is given to a player who, in the opinion of the referee, is guilty of abusive language, serious foul play or violent conduct, including reckless tackles, striking or spitting on an opponent, denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity or receiving a second yellow card.
  12. Two different hand-sewn leather balls were used in the first final (Argentina supplied the first-half ball (the ‘Tiento’) and Uruguay supplied the second-half ball (the ‘T-Model’ which was larger and heavier).  This year, the ball will be the Telstar, made by Adidas.  The original Telstar used in the 1970 FIFA World Cup was the first football to show a black and white pattern, done to ensure that television audiences would know where the ball was while games were in operation, due to many televisions at the time sporting a black and white screen. Although the original Telstar had 32 panels, the Telstar ‘18 has six textured panels. They are not stitched, but seamlessly glued together.
  13. The 2018 game balls have an embedded near-field communication (NFC) chip. However, it is of no value to players, providing no information about their kicks or headers of the ball.  Consumers who purchase a Telstar 18 are able to connect to the chip using a smart phone to access content and information that is unique to that ball, personalized and localized, providing the consumer with interactivity themed on the upcoming World Cup competition.
  14. While every match will have its hero’s, stars to watch this year include: Timor Werner and Toni Kroos (Germany), Kylian Mbappé (France), Gabriel Jesus and Neymar (Brazil), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Isco (Spain), Lionel Messi and Paul Dybala (Argentina).

Top 10 Russian Dishes To Serve While Hosting a Party:

  1. Pelmeni – small pieces of minced meat wrapped in dough and boiled in salted water.
  2. Pirojki – salty pirojki (little pies) with cabbage, with rice and egg, with minced meat, and sweet pirojki with apple and berries
  3. Blini – thin pancakes with stuffing. The most delicious are prepared with salmon, caviar or minced meat.
  4. Borscht – a main soup of East Slavic cuisine, it has a bright burgundy color that’s obtained through the addition of beetroot. Even if you hate beetroot, try borscht with pampushkas (little buns) rubbed with garlic and with small pieces of salo.
  5. Shchi – In addition to beetroot Russians love cabbage. It can be brewed for the winter with carrots and cranberries. You can order it as salad in a restaurant. But soup with cabbage is called shchi; it’s very nutritious and healthy.
  6. Ukha – a fish soup for real men, cooked over the fire, and a shot of vodka is added just before serving.
  7. Olivier – a Russian classic made with ‘doctor’s sausage,’ peas, pickles, potatoes and carrots – the original Tsarist-era recipe that used crab and caviar.
  8. Kholodets – is a jelly with pieces of meat, and it is very tasty when eaten with hot potatoes and dill.
  9. Kvass – is a drink made from bread, and it quenches thirst very well.
  10. Kefir and ryazhenka are fermented milk products that are very healthy for your stomach. Kefir has a little sour taste, and ryazhenka a caramel one. Drink them in the evening before going to bed, and the next day you’ll feel great and ready to continue watching the World Cup.

Click below to find your favorite World Cup finals trivia.

Year Host Winning Team Captain Head coach
1930  Uruguay  Uruguay José Nasazzi Alberto Suppici
1934  Italy  Italy Giampiero Combi Vittorio Pozzo
1938  France  Italy Giuseppe Meazza Vittorio Pozzo
1950  Brazil  Uruguay Obdulio Varela Juan López Fontana
1954   Switzerland  West Germany Fritz Walter Sepp Herberger
1958  Sweden  Brazil Hilderaldo Bellini Vicente Feola
1962  Chile  Brazil Mauro Ramos Aymoré Moreira
1966  England  England Bobby Moore Alf Ramsey
1970  Mexico  Brazil Carlos Alberto Torres Mário Zagallo
1974  West Germany  West Germany Franz Beckenbauer Helmut Schön
1978  Argentina  Argentina Daniel Passarella César Luis Menotti
1982  Spain  Italy Dino Zoff Enzo Bearzot
1986  Mexico  Argentina Diego Maradona Carlos Bilardo
1990  Italy  West Germany Lothar Matthäus Franz Beckenbauer
1994  United States  Brazil Dunga Carlos Alberto Parreira
1998  France  France Didier Deschamps Aimé Jacquet
2002  South Korea
 Brazil Cafu Luiz Felipe Scolari
2006  Germany  Italy Fabio Cannavaro Marcello Lippi
2010  South Africa  Spain Iker Casillas Vicente del Bosque
2014  Brazil  Germany Philipp Lahm Joachim Löw



Summer Must Be Here

Farm to kitchen to yum-m-m-m!!! Love that potato salad!

Over the holiday weekend, we were treated to some amazing weather here in NE Ohio, with the mercury reaching over 90 degrees – what a treat! And, like most families, we ventured out on to the back patio to enjoy the weather and my favorite part of summer – THE FOOD! Firing up the barbeque, roasting corn and veggies, I hit upon that one yummy side dish that just says “summer” – potato salad. (NOT ONLY AS A SIDE!) Yep, creamy, chunky, tasty potato salad. So, for my post this week, I thought I’d share a little history, some recipes and start a bit of competition, to find out who’s got the “best”. Best potatoes, best ingredients, best dressing. Add Eggs? Pickles? Mustard? Sour cream, yogurt or mayo? Hellman’s or Miracle Whip? Onions or scallions or chives? Now of course, I’m partial to Jackie’s approach, and also have a taste bud or two for when Mom makes her version, although I’m usually pretty easy to please, not when it comes to potato salad! Below you can find a few variations to experiment and send me your family favorites I can share with our blog community … and of course, don’t forget the pepper – (just isn’t right to eat without pepper! – or the occasional dollop of barbecue sauce!) Thanks Wikipedia and various food networks for their history and recipe versions.

  1. Potato salad is a dish made from boiled potatoes and a variety of other ingredients. It is generally considered a side dish, as it usually accompanies the main course.
  2. American potato salad most likely originated from recipes brought to the U.S. by way of German and European settlers during the nineteenth century. Basic ingredients for traditional American potato salad include cubed, boiled potatoes (typically russet potatoes), mayonnaise or a mayonnaise-like substitute such as yogurt or sour cream, yellow mustard and/or mustard powder (dry mustard), black pepper, salt, celery seed, sugar, dry dill, pickles (pickled cucumber), chives, red or white onion, green or red bell pepper, celery and sometimes chopped hard-boiled egg whites. Vegetable ingredients (not including the potatoes) are diced or chopped and incorporated raw. The salad is often topped with paprika and chives, and generally served cold or at room temperature.
  3. German potato salad, or “Kartoffelsalat” is served warm or cold and prepared with potatoes, bacon, vinegar, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, mustard, vegetable or beef broth, and onions. This style of potato salad is usually found in Southern Germany. Potato salad from northern Germany is generally made with mayonnaise and quite similar to its U.S. counterpart.
  4. With hundreds of varieties of potatoes to choose from, it can be daunting to figure out which one to use for potato salad. The type of potato matters.  When shopping, potatoes are generally divided into three categories based on texture.  For potato salad, you’ll want to stay away from starchy, thick-skinned potatoes like russets, which will fall apart during the cooking process. The best potatoes are Waxy: These thin-skinned potatoes have the least amount of starch and retain their shape well when boiled, making them our favorite for potato salad. Thin skins also mean that peeling is optional if you’re short on time or like a more rustic salad. What to look for: Red, new, or fingerling potatoes are the most common varieties.
  5. You can also use “In-Between” potatoes, also known as all-purpose potatoes, these have more starch than waxy potatoes, but will generally work well in most potato dishes, including potato salad. What to look for: White and Yukon Golds are reliable in-between potatoes to always have around.

Now that you are “thinking potatoes, did you know…

  1. Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest crop in terms of fresh produce, coming in behind only rice, wheat, and maize (corn). And they are the largest crop worldwide from the tuber family. Although this staple crop as we know it today has its most recent connections to Europe and European soil the very first potatoes actually originated in South America. After there was European contact with the Americas in the 1400’s and 1500’s the rest of the world was given access to the potato, allowing it to become the powerful staple field crop it is today. According to the guys who track things, the worldwide production of potatoes equaled approximately 750 BILLION POUNDS, making potatoes the fourth highest production crop in the world.
  2. Potatoes are often said to be made up of “empty calories”. This is not true. Potatoes are mostly recognized for their carbohydrate content. This is one of the key food types that our body requires daily. The carbohydrates in potatoes are predominately starch. A small but significant amount of this starch is resistant to digestion in the stomach and small intestine and, therefore, enters into the large intestine essentially intact. This resistant starch is considered to act with the same positive benefits that fiber does in the body; such as providing bulk, protecting against colon cancer, and increasing satiety (feeling of being satisfied or full) to name a few.
  3. Potatoes contain various important vitamins and minerals. By consuming a medium sized potato with the skin (therefore, most likely in the form of a baked potato) your body with receive almost 50% of its daily recommended amount of Vitamin C, around 20% of the potassium your body needs, and 10% of vitamin B6. Also included in this healthy spud are trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.
  4. The skin of the potato, as is fairly commonly known, is also a great source of fiber, providing an amount equivalent to most whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas. The old myth that all of a potato’s healthy elements are found in the skin is not true. Although the skin does house around half of the total dietary fiber of a potato, more than 50% of the healthy nutrients are found within the potato itself. So this makes me half right all of these years!!
  5. The method by which potatoes are cooked can result in a significant difference in the nutrient availability of the spud. Newer potatoes offer fewer toxic chemicals giving them a strong advantage over other potatoes and making them the best source of nutrition. While peeled potatoes that have been stored for a long time have a lower nutritional value, but they still would contain good levels of potassium and vitamin B.
  6. When it comes to preparing potatoes, there are many different ways to cook them and to use them as a part of your diet or fancy meal. You will find potatoes naked (no skin) or fully wrapped (skin on), you will find them chopped up or whole, and they will often be seasoned or unseasoned. Potatoes require to be cooked in some form as this breaks down the starch.
  7. Potatoes, believe it or not, can also be toxic to humans. They contain the toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids which can cause headaches, diarrhea, cramping, and in very severe cases even comas or death. However, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely. In fact, cooking potatoes at high temperatures, which is almost always the case, works to partly destroy these toxic compounds. In the past, potatoes have also hurt humans in a different way; particularly the Irish during the great Irish potato famine when the potato, which was providing about 80 percent of the calories in each Irishman’s diet, had a crop failure. When a fungus destroyed almost the entire Irish crop of potatoes, nearly 1 of the 8 million people in Ireland died of starvation while 2 million more emigrated.
  8. When potatoes are newly harvested they are generally cured to thicken the skin. Prior to this curing the skin of a potato is quite delicate, and these types of potatoes known as “new potatoes” are said to be quite flavorful. Once harvested potatoes are either eaten by the gardener or farmer who has produced them, or they are sent away to be packaged and stored for you the consumer. The storage of potatoes is an intricate process as specially designed storage areas need to be carefully designed to keep potatoes alive and to slow their decomposition.
  9. And now for ingredients: depending on your taste buds, some favorites include:  Celery, onion, eggs, mustard, pickle relish, radishes, bacon, carrots, yogurt or sour cream or different types of mayo, (Hellman’s!, not Miracle Whip), garlic salt, paprika, celery salt, chives, PEPPER! – just experiment and enjoy the variations.

Some great recipes to try: I WILL NOT BE GIVING UP JACKIE’S OR MOM’S!

Traditional: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mama-s-potato-salad
Southern: https://spicysouthernkitchen.com/southern-potato-salad/
Adventurous: https://www.saveur.com/gallery/Homemade-Potato-Salad-Recipes
Zany: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/07/our-5-most-crazy-popular-potato-salad-recipes/


June 12, 2012—The Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck made a special appearance at the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C. You can see what’s inside that giant spud HERE.