SWEEEEET!

Grapes are natures candy. Fun & delicious. Kids love them and so do adults. Eat ’em, drink ’em and dry ’em like that pile of raisins above. 

It’s that time of year again-when the sun starts setting a bit earlier, the grass begins to green up, the light dew fills the yards and the thermometer begins to drop.  It’s also the time of year for one of my favorite foods (and I have a lot of them) … grapes.  I know it’s kind of a simple thing – with all that’s going on these days it just sort of struck me what a treat they are.  I’m not picky – give me green, pink, red, purple – I just love the juicy flavor bursting in my mouth.  I especially love the rich concord grapes, seeds and all.  And I know throughout the world farmers and winemakers are rejoicing that another great crop means wonderful wine to come. Same excitement at the jam, jelly and juice plants.  At my local grocery store Jackie loaded up the cart with a bag of some big, tasty red grapes that didn’t last long in the house.  Not sure about you, but I love to pop them into my mouth and savor the flavor.  I did some diggin’ and found a bit of info for my trivia friends and a few tidbits I didn’t know.  Take a read and enjoy, and be sure to grab a bunch for yourself – they’re great this year.

– A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis.

– Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, grape juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters.  (WHY ARE THEY CALLED BUNCHES??)

– A few nutritional specs per 100 grams:  (Higher concentrations) Energy-288 kJ, Carbohydrates-18.1 g, Sugars-15.48 g, Dietary fiber- 0.9 g, Fat-0.16 g, Protein-0.72 g, Thiamine (B1)- 6% 0.069 mg, Riboflavin (B2)- 6% 0.07 mg, Vitamin B6- 7% 0.086 mg, Vitamin K-14% 14.6 μg. And Water-81 g

-The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine. (The earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of winemaking in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in the country of Georgia).

– The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC.  By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East. Thus, it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine.

– Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, and history attests to the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans growing purple grapes both for eating and wine production.  The growing of grapes would later spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, and eventually in North America.

– It only takes about 2.5 lbs. of grapes to make a bottle of wine!
– In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent and were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, Massachusetts, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States.

– Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, and pink. “White” grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape.

– Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes.  Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.

– According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. Approximately 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, and 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned “with no added sugar” and “100% natural”. The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year.

– Commercially cultivated grapes can usually be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw (table grapes) or used to make wine (wine grapes). While almost all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera, table and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit (see below) with relatively thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller, usually seeded, and have relatively thick skins (a desirable characteristic in winemaking, since much of the aroma in wine comes from the skin). Wine grapes also tend to be very sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is approximately 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced “100% grape juice”, made from table grapes, is usually around 15% sugar by weight.

– Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction. It is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques.

– In most of Europe and North America, dried grapes are referred to as “raisins” or the local equivalent. In the UK, three different varieties are recognized, forcing the EU to use the term “dried vine fruit” in official documents.  A raisin is any dried grape. While raisin is a French loanword, the word in French refers to the fresh fruit; grappe (from which the English grape is derived) refers to the bunch (as in une grappe de raisins).

– Muscadine grape seeds contain about twice the total polyphenol content of skins. Grape seed oil from crushed seeds is used in cosmeceuticals and skincare products. Grape seed oil, including tocopherols (vitamin E) and high contents of phytosterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, oleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.

– Comparing diets among Western countries, researchers have discovered that although French people tend to eat higher levels of animal fat, the incidence of heart disease remains low in France. This phenomenon has been termed the French paradox and is thought to occur from protective benefits of regularly consuming red wine, among other dietary practices. Alcohol consumption in moderation may be cardioprotective by its minor anticoagulant effect and vasodilation. (I’m ABSOLUTLEY fine with this stat!)

– The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute kidney failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine production) and may be fatal.

– Although alcohol is permitted in Judaism, grape juice is sometimes used as an alternative for kiddush on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and has the same blessing as wine. Many authorities maintain that grape juice must be capable of turning into wine naturally in order to be used for kiddush. Common practice, however, is to use any kosher grape juice for kiddush.

– Christians have traditionally used wine during worship services as a means of remembering the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of sins. Christians who oppose the partaking of alcoholic beverages sometimes use grape juice or water as the “cup” or “wine” in the Lord’s Supper.

– The Catholic Church continues to use wine in the celebration of the Eucharist because it is part of the tradition passed down through the ages starting with Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, where Catholics believe the consecrated bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a dogma known as transubstantiation.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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May We All Remember, and Never Forget.

 

  • Today, September 11, 2020 is Patriot Day.
  • In the United States, Patriot Day occurs on September 11 of each year in memory of the people killed in the September 11 attacks of the year 2001.
  • A bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House on October 25, 2001, by Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) with 22 co-sponsors, among them 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans.  The bill requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day.
  • Joint Resolution 71 passed the House by a vote of 407–0, with 25 members not voting.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously on November 30. President Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18.  On September 4, 2002, President Bush used the authority of the resolution to proclaim September 11, 2002, as the first Patriot Day.
  • The flag of the United States is flown at half-mast at the White House and on all U.S. government buildings and establishments throughout the world.
  • Americans are also encouraged to display flags in and outside their homes.
  • A moment of silence is observed to correspond with the attacks, beginning at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

For all those who perished, and your families and loved ones, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

 

BE STILL. WATCH. LISTEN.

October 30, 2001: New York City police officer Daniel Rodriguez sings “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium during Game 3 of the World Series.

 


 

“Wheeeeeeeeee!”

I can see why kids are into these Cozy Coupes. But what I really love is how obsessed grownups are. Like in rows 4-7 above, it’s the grownup’s obsession and creativity transforming used and faded Cozy Coupes into new and wonderful designs for their kids. Here’s A STORY about the transformation in row seven. Then there are the truly obsessed grownups like in row eight. This British guy made a full sized, street legal Cozy Coupe that he drives around, VIDEO HERE. And this other obsessed Brit in row nine…hahahahaha!!!!! VIDEO HERE. And of course if you’re totally obsessed, you need one of these cool T-SHIRTS!  

Maybe it’s the “little boy” in me, but I love cars.  And trucks. Big, small, fast, smooth, sleek, and now all electric, I’m fascinated by the designs and tech improvements each year. Here at KHT, we have the pleasure to apply our skills supporting the automobile industry, solving their PIA (Pain in the %@$) Jobs!  Many times I’ll see a vehicle on the road, and think – “Yep, we’re part of that amazing piece of machinery.”  So, here’s a little trivia.  Can you name the best-selling cars of all time? Think about them carefully. Made your picks? Well, you probably missed an important one.  VW Beetle?  Ford Model T?  Mustang?  Caravan? The top three spots worldwide are held by Toyota Corolla, Ford F-Series pickup and Volkswagen Golf. No surprises there. However, close behind them is – the Cozy Coupe. Yes, the “Flintstone“ like car produced for young children by Little Tikes is a consistent top-seller, year in and year out.  Did you know, the Cozy Coupe outsold all engine-powered cars in Great Britain in March of this year. More than 85,000 were purchased that month as parents faced the prospect of being trapped at home with energetic toddlers.  Here’s a fun story I came across in Smithsonian Magazine, written by David Kindy, a journalist, freelance writer and book reviewer who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Exciting to be writing about another Cleveland company success story too.  Enjoy!  And thanks to Smithsonian magazine for the info.

  1. Inventor Jim Mariol was inspired one day as he scooted around on his office chair thinking about children’s toys. It was a “eureka” moment for the former automobile designer, who realized almost immediately that a functional, yet fun car would be ideal for young kids to also scamper around in.
  2. John Mariol, who worked for a time at his father’s industrial design firm, Design Alliance Inc. in Cincinnati, OH said, “I think Dad knew it would be a big hit from the start. He was designing toys for Little Tikes at the time and took it to the president, Tom Murdough. Excited, they decided to get it into production as soon as possible. Dad built a full-scale model and did all the engineering for the plastic-molding process.”
  3. Before Cozy Coupe rolled off the assembly line, the inventor made sure the toy would be a perfect fit for young hands. John’s children were the “test dummies” to see if proportions were right for smaller bodies.  Most of the simple design features came from watching his kids interact with the prototypes.
  4. Mariol Sr. blazed a trail into a new market for the toy industry. Prior to Cozy Coupe, there were few large toys that toddlers could enjoy. Most were smaller handheld playthings that didn’t provide the mobility of a foot-powered car. (I had a metal pump car).
  5. Creating Cozy Coupe was a dream come true for Jim Mariol. He was fascinated by cars growing up during the Great Depression and wanted to become an automobile designer. A car concept he developed as a teenager earned Mariol a scholarship in 1947 to the University of Cincinnati, where he was a co-op student designing hubcaps, steering wheels and hood ornaments for Chrysler. Sadly, he didn’t get to finish his education because he was drafted into the U.S. Army for the Korean War.
  6. After military service, Mariol founded Design Alliance and came up with ideas for shop vacuums, air compressors, radios and campers for clients like Proctor & Gamble, Crosley Corp. and Emerson Electronics. Securing contracts and making payroll for his own business was challenging, and Mariol realized he needed a big design to generate sales from royalties. Cozy Coupe was his ticket to success.
  7. It took just a few months to go from drafting table to production. As soon as it turned up in stores in ’79, sales started to soar—first in the United States and then around the globe. During the 1980’s sales really began to take off.  By 1991, with an annual production of 500,000, Cozy Coupe was America’s top-selling “automobile”. Toddlers craved the cute car with a working door, trunk and independent rolling wheels. Even children who couldn’t walk squealed with delight as their parents pushed them around in it.
  8. According to Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, curator of toys and dolls at the National Toy Hall of Fame, it was the right product at the right time.  “There weren’t many moving toys for younger children,” she says. “Certainly, none like the Big Wheel, which was designed for older kids. Cozy Coupe was an opportunity for little ones to experience what adults do. Kids love to mimic mom and dad. It was perfect for toddlers.”
  9. Large “big box” retailers also had the shelf space to display such a large toy.  The open concept warehouses allowed space for kids to actually climb in and take the Coupe for a test drive.
  10. Said Tina Mariol, one of his daughters, “The Cozy Coupe got it started, but Dad had a lot of other important ideas. He also came up with other large play items including a ride-on electric train for Little Tikes that was a big seller. It was really cool.”
  11. In addition to the car and train, which was marketed in the 1980s, Mariol received patents for other popular toys he designed, including folding dollhouses with handles for carrying, activity sets, sand and water tables and the ever-popular Party Kitchen where little ones could practice their cooking skills. (I’m pretty sure we had them all in our house at one point).
  12. Still produced by Little Tikes, Cozy Coupe continues to be a popular toy around the world. The product line has grown to include a fleet of vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, racecars, even those with ladybug and dinosaur designs. The basic model still includes a red chassis and yellow roof but now features eyes for headlamps and a smile on the front grill. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $54.99.
  13. In 2009, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, which houses historically significant cars, airplanes and bicycles, acquired an original 1979 Cozy Coupe as well as an anniversary edition for its collection.
  14. On the 30th anniversary of the invention of the Cozy Coupe, Little Tikes reported annual sales of 457,000 cars—easily outselling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord that year.
  15. In 2012, a toy industry trade publication stated the company had sold a total of 22 million cars around the world since the first one left the factory floor.
  16. Success never changed the inventor. Tina says her father was the gentle sort who took it all in stride. All he really wanted to do was design toys and cars.
  17. Mariol eventually retired after a long career and passed at age 89. Family, friends and admirers gathered for his funeral and to celebrate his life in January. The inventor was given a final honor for his big sendoff.  “The funeral home made a Cozy Coupe with flowers,” Tina says. “It was a really nice surprise. I’m sure Dad was happy.”

Learn more at LITTLE TIKES.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me
a quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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