Father’s Day

I’m so lucky to call you my Dad,
You’re the best anyone ever had,
To call you my own is a true honor,
There really could never be a better father!

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 


 

Underwater Adventure

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, his sons and now his grandson. Exploring the deep, deep blue sea. Read on to wet your beak (so-to-speak) of exploring where it’s very, very hard to explore. Fascinating!!!!!

This past week I had the opportunity to go down to the beach in my town and take in the sites and sounds. Being in the 80’s, it was filled with swimmers, kids playing in the sand, and sun worshipers.  I’m so lucky to live so close to Lake Erie – a simple run or bike ride and I’m there.  While I was walking the shore, I thought about some of my favorite TV shows as a kid, including underwater documentaries made by Jacques Cousteau.  Born on this day in 1910, he became a world-renowned oceanographer, plus a French naval officer, conservationist (way before it was fashionable), inventor, filmmaker, scientist, photographer and sea explorer on his boat the Calypso.  I was mesmerized by his cool French accent, “undersea world” and seeing all the different creatures.  He made the sea a thing of intrigue and beauty.  I did some digging and found some good info on “Jacque”.  Enjoy, and thanks Wikipedia, You Tube and for the history.

A little tribute song by John Denver to enjoy while you read.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, AC (/kuːˈstoʊ/) June 11, 1910 – June 25, 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the Aqua-Lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie Française.

One of his great quotes: “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat.”

Cousteau was born in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France, to Daniel and Élisabeth Cousteau. He had one brother, Pierre-Antoine. Cousteau completed his preparatory studies at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. In 1930, he entered the École navale and graduated as a gunnery officer. However, an automobile accident, which broke both his arms, cut short his career in naval aviation. The accident forced Cousteau to change his plans to become a naval pilot, so he then indulged his passion for the ocean.

In Toulon, where he was serving on the Condorcet, Cousteau carried out his first underwater experiments, thanks to his friend Philippe Tailliez who in 1936 lent him some Fernez underwater goggles, predecessors of modern swimming goggles.

On 12 July 1937 he married Simone Melchior, with whom he had two sons, Jean-Michel (born 1938) and Philippe. His sons took part in the adventures of the Calypso. In 1991, one year after his wife Simone’s death from cancer, he married Francine Triplet. They already had a daughter Diane Cousteau (born 1980) and a son, Pierre-Yves Cousteau (born 1982), born during Cousteau’s marriage to his first wife.

The years of World War II were decisive for the history of diving. After the armistice of 1940, the family of Simone and Jacques-Yves Cousteau took refuge in Megève, where he became a friend of the Ichac family who also lived there. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Marcel Ichac shared the same desire to reveal to the general public unknown and inaccessible places — for Cousteau the underwater world and for Ichac the high mountains. The two neighbors took the first ex-aequo prize of the Congress of Documentary Film in 1943, for the first French underwater film: Par dix-huit mètres de fond (18 meters deep), made without breathing apparatus the previous year in the Embiez islands in Var, with Philippe Tailliez and Frédéric Dumas, using a depth-pressure-proof camera case developed by mechanical engineer Léon Vèche, an engineer of Arts and Measures at the Naval College.

In 1943, they made the film Épaves (Shipwrecks), in which they used two of the very first Aqua-Lung prototypes. These prototypes were made in Boulogne-Billancourt by the Air Liquide company, following instructions from Cousteau and Émile Gagnan. When making Épaves, Cousteau could not find the necessary blank reels of movie film so he had to buy hundreds of small still camera film reels the same width, intended for a make of child’s camera, and cemented them together to make long reels (talk about a PIA (Pain in the @$#) Job!).

During the 1940s, Cousteau is credited with improving the Aqua-Lung design which gave birth to the open-circuit scuba technology used today. According to his first book, The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure (1953), Cousteau started diving with Fernez goggles in 1936, and in 1939 used the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.  Cousteau was not satisfied with the length of time he could spend underwater with the apparatus so he improved it to extend underwater duration by adding a demand regulator, invented in 1942 by Émile Gagnan. In 1943 Cousteau tried out the first prototype Aqua-Lung which finally made extended underwater exploration possible.

In 1948, between missions of mine clearance, underwater exploration and technological and physiological tests, Cousteau undertook a first campaign in the Mediterranean on board the sloop Élie Monnier.  The small team also undertook the exploration of the Roman wreck of Mahdia (Tunisia) – the first underwater archaeology operation using autonomous diving, opening the way for scientific underwater archaeology. Cousteau and Marcel Ichac brought back from there the Carnets diving film, presented at the Cannes Film Festival 1951.

In 1949, Cousteau left the French Navy and founded the French Oceanographic Campaigns (FOC), and leased a ship called Calypso from Thomas Loel Guinness for a symbolic one franc a year. Cousteau refitted the Calypso as a mobile laboratory for field research and as his principal vessel for diving and filming and underwater archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean.

With the publication of his first book in 1953, The Silent World, he correctly predicted the existence of the echolocation abilities of porpoises. He reported that his research vessel, the Élie Monier, was heading to the Straits of Gibraltar and noticed a group of porpoises following them. Cousteau changed course a few degrees off the optimal course to the center of the strait, and the porpoises followed for a few minutes, then diverged toward mid-channel again, evidence that they knew where the optimal course lay, even if the humans did not. Cousteau concluded that the cetaceans had something like sonar, which was a relatively new feature on submarines.

In the 1960s Cousteau was involved with a set of three projects named Precontinent I, II and III,  to build underwater “villages” aimed at increasing the depth at which people continuously live under water and were an attempt at creating an environment in which men could live and work on the sea floor.

A meeting with American television companies (ABC, Métromédia, NBC) created the series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”, with the character of the commander in the red bonnet inherited from standard diving dress intended to give the films a “personalized adventure” style. This documentary television series ran for ten years and a second documentary series, The Cousteau Odyssey, ran five more years on public television stations.

In 1975, John Denver released the tribute song “Calypso” on his album Windsong, and on the B-side of his hit song “I’m Sorry”. “Calypso” became a hit on its own and was later considered the new A-side, reaching #2 on the charts.

In 1977, together with Peter Scott, he received the UN International Environment prize.

On 28 June 1979, while the Calypso was on an expedition to Portugal, his second son Philippe, his preferred and designated successor and with whom he had co-produced all his films since 1969, died in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash in the Tagus river near Lisbon. Cousteau was deeply affected. He called his then eldest son, the architect Jean-Michel, to his side, a collaboration lasting for 14 years.

From 1980 to 1981, he was a regular on the animal reality show Those Amazing Animals, along with Burgess Meredith, Priscilla Presley, and Jim Stafford. And in 1985 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

In 1992, he was invited to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations’ International Conference on Environment and Development, and then he became a regular consultant for the UN and the World Bank.

Reaching world-wide acclaim, Jacques-Yves Cousteau died of a heart attack on June 25, 1997 two weeks after his 87th birthday. He was buried in the family vault at Saint-André-de-Cubzac, his birthplace. An homage was paid to him by the town by naming the street which runs out to the house of his birth “rue du Commandant Cousteau”, where a commemorative plaque is placed.

Cousteau’s submarine rests near the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.  His legacy includes more than 120 television documentaries, more than 50 books, sea diving inventions and an environmental protection foundation with 300,000 members. He liked to call himself an “oceanographic technician”, but was, in reality was a sophisticated showman, teacher, and lover of nature as his work permitted many people to explore the resources of the oceans.

His best legacy is the images and memories he gave us of the wonders of the ocean.

 

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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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Barbecue

I’m soooo hungry from working on this. There’s nothing like a good barbecue. Unless it’s a good grilling out. Yes, there is a difference. Read on to find what that difference is. And don’t forget: plenty of napkins and carry your Tide Stick!  :)))

 

This past weekend, after the rain, wind and “felt like it was coming” snowstorm, I had a chance to relax a bit after helping the kids with some DIY projects at their homes.  Like most of us, I stood in the backyard, with my chicken grilling, and beverage of choice in hand, enjoying the wonderful aroma of barbequed chicken.  My results were delicious, although most of my grilling expertise comes from trial and error, not really knowing the inner secrets of great grilled barbeque chicken – marinades, high/low heat, cooking times, temperatures, resting time, etc.  So, I got on the internet and went hunting for some great chicken grilling tips and recipes – and of course, no surprise, there’s a ton of them.  I learned there’s a difference between “grilling” and “barbeque” and I found a fun site, girlsatthegrill.com filled with wonderful info, and also some great recipes, like picnic chicken, South American Chimichurri sauce, alfredo with grilled apples, and more (visit tasteofhome.com)  (man, just thinking about these is getting me hungry!!). Now, one of the best parts will be to see how many of these recipes can be used with other meats especially since one of my good buds doesn’t like chicken! Enjoy, and be sure to email me your favorite tips at skowalski@khtheat.com – and I’ll share with our readers.  Thanks to girlsatthegrill.com, tasteofhome.com, toriavey.com and YouTube for the info.  ENJOY!

The history of grilling begins shortly after the domestication of fire, some 500,000 years ago. The backyard ritual of grilling as we know it, though, is much more recent. Until well into the 1940s, grilling mostly happened at campsites and picnics. After World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs, backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the 1950s.

A common misconception: grilling and barbecuing are not the same thing. While the terms are often used interchangeably, grilling and barbecuing are two very different cooking methods. Grilling is the most basic form of cooking—it is, quite simply, the method of cooking a food directly over an open flame or high heat source. Barbecue, on the other hand, is a low and slow method of cooking over indirect heat. Because of the long, slow cooking process, barbecued meat soaks up the smoky flavors and spice rubs, rendering the finished product moist and tender. Barbecue is more suited to bigger, tougher cuts of meat that do well with slow, even cooking (think brisket, tri-tip, ribs, and pulled pork). Grilling is reserved for foods that can cook more quickly—hamburgers, steaks, chicken, hot dogs, seafood and vegetables.

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly where these cooking methods were first used. Anthropologists have never come to a consensus on when our earliest ancestors first learned to “cook” and prepare food. Current estimates place the advent of cooking anywhere between 2 million and 300,000 years ago—a pretty wide range.

Our American appreciation of barbecue has roots in the Caribbean. The word barbecue likely originated with the Caribbean Taino Indians, who would smoke or dry meat over a frame made of green sticks.

From its earliest Caribbean roots, barbecue settled in the state of Virginia, then moved south through North and South Carolina, Georgia, the Appalachians and into Tennessee and Kentucky. From there, barbecue moved westward as Americans began to settle the West. By the early 19th century, barbecue hit Texas (where it obviously made a big impression), then moved all through the Southwest before finally reaching the Pacific coastline. Today, barbecue is popular nationwide, but remains most culturally significant to the states of the South and West.

Barbecue also has strong ties to African American culture. Black communities in the South embraced barbecue as an affordable way to cook and enjoy meat, leading it to become one of several core soul food dishes. When migrating North in the early 1900’s, they brought barbecue with them. By the mid-century, barbecue restaurants run by black cooks and their families had cropped up in cities across the United States.

The direct descendant of that original American barbecue is Eastern Carolina-style pit barbecue, which traditionally starts with the whole hog and, after as many as fourteen hours over coals, culminates in a glorious mess of pulled pork doused with vinegar sauce and eaten on a hamburger bun, with coleslaw on the side.

Early colonial barbecues were often large group events – loud, unruly, and populated with heavy drinkers. (Glad to see we haven’t lost too much of the old-time traditions!)

It wasn’t until the 1890’s that barbecued foods became commercially available. As the popularity of barbecue grew, men who considered themselves to be barbecue experts recognized a market and began charging for their services during holidays and public ceremonies. At first, they cooked the food in temporary tents that could be moved from place to place. These barbecue tents eventually turned into permanent indoor structures, which became the earliest barbecue restaurants. While barbecue was fast becoming a commercial enterprise, backyard barbecues, often referred to as “cookouts,” saw a rise in popularity.

Over the years, regional variations developed, leaving us today with four distinct styles of barbecue.

  • Carolina-style has split into Eastern, Western and South Carolina-style, with variations largely in the sauce: South Carolina uses a mustard sauce; Western Carolina uses a sweeter vinegar-and-tomato sauce.
  • Memphis barbecue is probably what most of us think of when we think of BBQ — pork ribs with a sticky sweet-and-sour tomato-based mopping sauce.
  • Texas, being cattle country, has always opted for beef cooked “cowboy style” usually brisket, dry-rubbed and smoked over mesquite with a tomato-based sauce served on the side, almost as an afterthought.
  • Kansas City lies at the crossroads of BBQ nation. Fittingly, you’ll find a little bit of everything there — beef and pork, ribs and shoulder, etc. What brings it all together is the sauce: sweet-hot, tomato-based KC barbecue sauce is a classic in its own right, and the model for most supermarket BBQ sauces.

In suburban Chicago, George Stephen, a metalworker by trade and a tinkerer by habit, had grown frustrated with the flat, open brazier-style grills common at the time. Once he inherited controlling interest in the Weber Bros. Metal Spinning Co, a company best-known as a maker of harbor buoys, he decided the buoy needed some modification. He cut it along its equator, added a grate, used the top as a lid and cut vents for controlling temperature. The Weber grill was born, and backyard cooking has never been the same.

For those who like to “grill”, (no sauces) this comes from girlsatthegrill website – The Grilling Trilogy – The story of the holy trilogy of grilling (or Grilling Trilogy™ for short) is a simple one. Years ago, they developed this technique to use in grill trainings for chefs and food writers, teaching the techniques of grilling without the flourishes (of other flavors). Just oil, salt and pepper.

Oil is truly essential, and you don’t need to use very much. Coat all the outside surfaces with a thin layer of olive or vegetable oil. They prefer olive oil for everything, but you can use any kind of oil except butter because it burns easily. And remember, grilling is intrinsically low-fat and healthy because you aren’t frying or sautéing in oil or butter. If you don’t oil the food, it will dry out and become tasteless.

Likewise, salt is very important. It is a natural mineral, and used in moderation, and is the most important ingredient (besides the food itself) for great taste. There are a few things to keep in mind when cooking with salt. Season food with salt just before it goes on the grill, otherwise it will draw the juices to the surface of the meat. We want the juices to stay inside the meat so it is tender and juicy when we serve it. Start with a little and add to taste, as there is a fine line between just right and too much—it’s much easier to add than take away.

Notes on Salt: Use Kosher or sea salt for the grilling trilogy and everyday cooking. Splurge and buy Fleur de Sel (flower of salt—hand-raked once a year in France) for your table. The natural shape of the Fleur de sel salt crystals add a mild distinctive flavor and texture to salads, meat and vegetable dishes. But don’t stop there, try the Pink salt from Hawaii, Black salt from India, Grey salt from Brittany and any other salt you can find.

And last, but not least, pepper. Pepper is best freshly ground from a pepper mill or spice grinder every time you use it. The flavor that we get from pepper is propelled by the oils in the peppercorns, these oils dry up very quickly which is why already ground pepper has much less taste than freshly ground pepper.

Pepper Tip: Before putting the peppercorns in your pepper mill, put them in a dry sauté pan, stir occasionally and heat gently just until a wisp of smoke is present and you can smell the pepper. Remove and let cool before grinding. This is how you roast a spice to bring out the maximum flavor in the spice. You can do this with all whole spices before grinding them and they will all taste fresher and deeper in flavor. This is the same basic idea behind coffee roasting, and it’s up to you to decide how dark you like your spices—or coffee for that matter.

Have fun, experiment, and when you find something delicious, be sure to send it to us at KHT.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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!!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::