The pictures follow the text below. Enjoy!!!!  :)))))

How it’s Fall already is sort of surprising… just sort of snuck up on us… but here it is.  As with many of the seasonal and holiday transitions throughout the year, Fall brings with it some interesting traditions (and chores – leaf raking – I actually love using my backpack blower!). I find myself looking forward to many of these, like our drives in the country for fresh apples, watching the grandkids pull the apples off the trees – magic! There’s more to autumn than just pumpkin spice — it’s also filled with good stuff like pumpkin pie (yum!! – ice cream and Cool Whip too) pumpkin patches, harvesting and even a semi-obscure sport known as “punkin chunkin” (not to mention other non-squash-related customs). I’ve often wondered why I have the sudden urge to wander through a corn maze in the fall, or what it is about October that’s so conducive to bobbing for apples and eating different shaped candy.  Below are the surprising origins of eight autumn traditions that I’m guessing you like too – enjoy, and thanks to,, tailgating magazine and You Tube for the info.

Corn Maze

  • Mazes and labyrinths (elaborate and confusing circular maze structures) date back over 4000 years ago to the time of ancient Greece and Rome.  During Roman times, mazes and labyrinths were seen in artwork, home flooring, pavement on streets, and dug into the earth.
  • It was believed that although beautiful and puzzling, the mazes were actually used for rituals and processions.
  • Garden mazes began to pop up throughout Europe in the wealthiest castles and palaces as a way to amuse their inhabitants.  Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles included an elaborate labyrinth in the garden, which is said to have been inspired by Aesop’s fables.
  • One of the finest examples of garden mazes can be found in the gardens at Hampton Court Palace in England, which was first planted by William III in 1690.
  • By the 18th century, hedge mazes became increasingly popular in England and Europe, but it took some time before the concept came to America, at which point it took the form of a corn maze.
  • In 1993, the first modern elaborate corn maze was created by Don Frantz and Adrian Fisher, which inspired a worldwide fad of corn mazes.  Their corn maze was constructed on only 3 acres of land and had 1.92 miles of pathway.  The maze received accreditation in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest corn maze.
  • The record now belongs to Cool Patch Pumpkins for their 60 acre maze in Dixon, California in 2014.

Leaf Peeping

  • This one goes back more than 1,200 years, which is another way of saying it didn’t originate in America. Rather, it appears we have Japan to thank for the custom. Their version of it, which carries the considerably more evocative name of momijigari (“autumn leaf hunting”), dates back to at least the Heian Era of 794-1185. A renaissance of sorts, that epoch brought about both visual art that celebrated the vibrant colors of fall and the endlessly influential Tale of Genji, which explicitly mentions “an imperial celebration of autumn foliage.”
  • As for how it became an American tradition, a professor of Asian art history has a theory: Japan and New England were connected via shipping routes, resulting in New Englanders being exposed to Japanese lacquerware featuring a maple-leaf motif that made them more inclined to seek out gorgeous leaves without traveling halfway across the world.
  • Best places to see Fall leaves include Rocky Mountain National Park, Sonoma Valley, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan, Acadia National Park, Maine and pretty much anywhere in Ohio and Pennsylvania


  • Beginning in the third weekend of September and lasting until the first Sunday in October, Oktoberfest has long served as an excuse for revelers to do as the Germans do and wet their whistle at the local beer hall (lederhosen optional).
  • The first Oktoberfest was a wedding reception: On October 12, 1810, the citizens of Munich gathered at the city’s gates to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The event (known locally as d’Wiesn) was so popular that it took place again the following year — and the year after that, and so on and so forth until it became the world-famous festival of Bavarian culture that it is today.
  • You can’t start drinking until the mayor opens the first keg.  The festival officially begins when the mayor says “O’ zapft is” during the opening ceremony on the first day of the event. There’s only one place to be to witness this; the Schottenhamel tent. Here you’ll get to experience the Bavarian tradition where the Mayor of Munich will have the honor of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at noon. Once the first barrel of beer has been opened, then everyone else can get their beers in and officially start Oktoberfest… AND, only beer from Munich is sold at Oktoberfest.  CLICK FOR A TOUR!
  • And Check THIS Out————> The Oktoberfest in 4k Time lapse & Tilt shift

Election Day

  • Though rarely thought of in the same way as apple cider and leaf-peeping, American elections take place in autumn for a reason. Out of consideration for farming schedules, Congress chose November (when the harvest was finished but it hadn’t usually begun to snow yet) in its 1845 decree establishing the date.
  • As for Tuesday? Weekends were a no-go due to church, and Wednesdays were off the table because farmers usually went to the market to sell their goods. Thus, Tuesday emerged as a sort of compromise, and the tradition stuck.
  • It’s a blessing we can enjoy free and open elections …be sure to vote!


  • It may not be as popular now as it was a century ago, but bobbing for apples persists as an autumnal activity, especially on Halloween. Long before kiddos dressed up on October 31, however, British singles played the game as a sort of courting ritual. Each apple represented a different eligible bachelor and, if the young woman bobbing for said apple bit into it on her first try, the two would live happily ever after.
  • Succeeding on the second attempt meant that the two would be together for a time but the romance would fade.
  • Not getting it right until the third try foretold doom – yikes!  Click For Video

Punkin Chuckin

  • For the past two decades, “chunkers” have created slingshots, trebuchets, and even pneumatic cannons to hurl pumpkins as far as possible. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest has taken place in Bridgeville, Delaware, every November since 1986, with First State native Bill Thompson claiming credit for inventing the sport.
  • The Guinness world record shot is held by a pneumatic cannon dubbed “Big 10 Inch”, at 5,545.43 feet (1,690.25 m), on September 9, 2010 in Moab, Utah. (for you math majors out there…that’s over a mile!!)
  • Enjoy this “chuckin” link – made me just laugh out loud seeing the machines and the people


  • The history of tailgating dates all the way back to the start of the Civil War. In 1861, civilians gathered in Washington DC, to watch the first battle of the Bull Run and cheer on their “team,” the Union or the Confederates.  People brought picnic baskets filled with minced meat, apple pies, and plum puddings. This time in history marks the beginning of aged whiskey and wine production, so we can assume the colonists were also celebrating with adult beverages.
  • Tailgating is now a year-round activity at sporting events and concerts, but it’s always been especially popular at football games. One theory posits that it dates all the way back to the first college football game, a contest between Rutgers and Princeton that took place in 1869, when some in attendance sat at their horses’ “tail end” while grilling sausages before the game began.
  • Another theory centers around the Green Bay Packers, whose fans are said to have coined the term “tailgating” when the “cheeseheads” first began supporting the team in 1919. Ever industrious, they positioned their trucks around the field and sat in the beds for comfortable viewing while enjoying their food and drinks.
  • Today tailgater’s across the country come early, set tables and tents, and serve all sorts of grilled and “crock pot” goodies, along with snacks galore.
  • “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” takes place around the college football games between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, where fans meet in the parking lot, RV lot and local marina, entertaining nearly 200,000 fans.

Candy Corn

  • It may be the year’s most polarizing candy, but its history is long and sweet. Candy corn dates back to the 1880s, when a confectioner at the Wunderle Candy Company began producing it under the even-less-appetizing name of Chicken Feed.
  • The corn-shaped sugar molds were then manufactured by the Goelitz Confectionery Company, who made the product famous (you may now know Goelitz as Jelly Belly too). More than 35 million pounds (or nine billion individual pieces) of candy corn are produced every year, so someone must like the stuff.
  • California residents consume more of the orange, yellow and white confection than any other state. To be fair, it is a big state, and so is the state that comes in second in the eats-the-most-candy-corn lineup: Texas! Florida, in third place, takes the proverbial bronze, followed by New York, Michigan and Illinois.

I have to admit, this candy does not even make my top 100 list!

I saw this New Yorker cartoon on Twitter…couldn’t resist sharing.  :))))) @NewYorker






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!!



Maize, cob, sweet-corn, kernel, corn-on-the-cob. However you refer to it, it’s just plain good food with plenty of history!!! Read on, and prepare to be amaized!!!!!!!  (Oh, there I go again)  :)))))))) 

Driving out to the country this past weekend, Jackie and I marveled at the extensive amount of corn.  It seemed like in all directions corn was growing everywhere.  I’m so impressed by the farmers and ranch hands who can plant, care for and harvest corn. Talk about PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! Prepping, clearing, turning, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, storing, and all along praying that this year’s crop will be great again. We of course stopped at a roadside country market and filled up on fresh vegetables, tasty fruits, and lots of corn.  I love it boiled some and roasted some on the grill, all black and tasty, smothered in butter and touch of salt… (sounds good, eh?). I thought it would be fun to see what “corny” info is out there – boy did I get an earful (get it?). Seeing the list, it’s unlikely that a day goes where we don’t encounter corn in one form or another. While we enjoy sweet corn as a side dish, it’s also something we all rely on in more ways to count – from washing our hands, brushing our teeth, having a soda  to fueling our cars.  Here’s a hitlist of corn info I thought you’d enjoy – and some facts that all I can say is … now you know!  Be sure to get your fill of sweet country corn from the markets over the next few weeks – it truly is amaizing (ok I’ll stop).  I added some corn recipes at the end for my foodies out there… special thanks to and for the info. Enjoy!


  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows. Corn cobs always have an even number of rows. An ear of corn has one silk stand for every kernel and each corn plant produces one to three cobs each.
  • Only 1% of corn planted in the United States is sweet corn – the full list grown in America includes dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Usually corn is yellow, but it can also come in colors such as green, red, or white.
  • The world record for the tallest corn stalk is more than 35 feet.
  • An acre of corn eliminates 8 tons of carbon dioxide from our air – with about 90 million acres planted, let’s see,  that’s about 72 million tons eliminated (yea!)  91 gallons of water is needed to produce one pound of corn.
  • Corn was first domesticated in southern Mexico more than 10,000 years ago. Humans bred field corn from an ancient grass called teosinte. Corn became more widely popular in the late 1700s when it became accessible to Europeans. Corn is grown on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.
  • Early pioneers planted four corn plants to harvest one. There was even a rhyme about it: “One for the maggot, one for the crow, one for the cutworm, one to grow”.
  • Corn is used in foods like cereal, potato chips, soft drinks, cooking oil, and more. It’s also used in non-food items like fireworks, glue, fabric, crayons, fuel, paint, laundry detergent, cosmetics, and plastics.
  • All corn is technically a grain, a fruit and a vegetable. The ear, or cob, of corn is a vegetable, each kernel is a grain, and all grains are fruits.
  • Sweet corn becomes starchy easily, so it should be eaten within a few days after picking.  The husk of fresh corn should be bright green, with a golden tassel. If the stalk end is brown, the corn is not fresh.
  • The first mechanical corn harvested was invented by Gleaner Harvester Combine Corporation in 1930. (bunch of corn harvester videos – wow)
  • Most countries outside of the United States call corn maize.  Maize is a Taino word that means “sacred mother” or “giver of life”.
  • Corn leaves may only be 4 inches wide, but they can measure up to 4 feet long.  The average corn stalk is 8 to 10 feet tall. Corn stalks look like bamboo canes, with 20 internodes of 7 inches each. Although most corn kernels are quite small, they’ve been seen to grow as big as 1 inch.
  • Corn plants have both male and female flowers. The tassel is the male flower while the ear is the female flower.
  • Any variety of maize grown for production of livestock food, ethanol, cereal or processed food is called field corn.
  • Dent corn gets its name from its dented kernels. It’s mostly for animal feed, in processed food, or to produce ethanol.
  • Flour corn, as its name suggests, is usually used to make corn flour and cornmeal.
  • Flint corn’s hard, colorful kernels make it too tough to eat. It’s mainly used like dent corn.
  • Pod corn has extra leaves that cover up each individual kernel.
  • Corn plants had only one ear of corn until Native American farmers crossed different varieties to produce more food.
  • Farmers collectively produce over 45 billion bushels each year.  Corn is measured in bushels. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. The United States is the biggest corn producer in the world, followed by China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and India.  Over a third of the world’s corn is grown in the United States, where it is a major crop.
  • Iowa is the biggest corn producer in the United States and produced over 2.5 billion bushels of corn last year.  Iowa produces so much corn, it’s called the Corn State.
  • Corn grows best in subtropical and temperate climates, which is why it grows so well in Iowa.  Iowa may grow the most corn, but Japan buys the most: in 2019, it spent $3.5 billion on the yellow stuff.
  • 30% of all the corn production in the USA is for livestock feed, while 40% goes for biofuels like ethanol.
  • Corn has over 3,500 uses in cookery, industry and more. That’s a lot of corn products!  Things as diverse as cosmetics, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, fireworks, glue, paint and chewing gum are produced from corn – there is even corn in drywall.
  • Corn is used to supply ethanol production. Ethanol is added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly, reducing air pollution.
  • A major ingredient in many soft drinks is corn syrup. One bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drinks.
  • Your toothpaste has corn in it. Sorbitol, a corn product, is used to bulk up toothpaste.Corn is used to replace oil as a major ingredient in new bioplastic products. It’s less harmful to the environment.
  • Corn oil is produced when a kernel is processed to make cornmeal or cornstarch. Companies then bottle it and sell it for cooking.  As well as frying food, corn oil is used in skincare because of its high levels of Vitamin E.
  • In the USA, corn makes up 95% of all livestock feed as well as being the main ingredient in dry pet food.
  • Corn is a good source of vitamins A, B and E as well as minerals and antioxidants.  Grains like corn are also a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber.
  • Almost every food in Mexican cookery uses maize. It’s the main ingredient in tortillas, tamales, pozole, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas and more.
  • Many cultures like corn porridge. Italy calls it polenta, it’s angu in Brazil, mamaliga in Romania, kacamak in Serbia and cornmeal mush or hominy grits in the US.
  • Maize was first grown about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago in southern Mexico. ‘Maize’ is a Taino word that means ‘sacred mother’ or ‘giver of life’ and was once considered so valuable that people traded things like meat and furs for it instead of money.
  • Sweet corn is only about 1000 years old and was first found in Brazil.  The Iroquois called sweet corn ‘papoon’. The sweet grain spread to Europe when the Iroquois gave some to European settlers in 1779.
  • Archeologists found some corn kernels at a dig on the east coast of Peru. Despite being over 1,000 years old, the kernels still popped when cooked.  5,600-year-old ears of popcorn were found in the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico.
  • Native Americans used corn leaves as chewing gum. Corn is still used in gum production today.
  • Asian countries like China and Korea use soft corn silk to make a nutritious tea packed with vitamin K and potassium.
  • Popcorn is exploding food. The puffy snack is made when a certain variety of corn heats up and explodes.  Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year, enough to fill the Empire State Building 18 times.
  • Fun recipes



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!!


Oh So Sweet

corn 768 blog r2

Lower left photo: Go to the Food Network for classic and some quick and easy corn on the cob reinventions. (l to r) Bacon, sweet & spicy, Japanese, classic & Mexican. Yum! 


Nothing signifies the height of summer like biting into a sweet, succulent (and if possible – fresh picked from the field) ear of corn. It’s tough not to get excited when traveling outside the city and seeing farm after farm of fresh corn, or even better, stopping at a roadside stand filled with piles of cut corn and fresh vegetables. So, in KHT Style, here are just some things to know about corn.

While the normal method of eating corn on the cob is to dunk it in boiling water, slather it with butter and top it with a little salt, some farmers insist fresh is best. Next time, grab an ear, peel back the husk and bite away – you’ll be amazed at the fresh flavor.

Other than eating corn raw or boiled, some people like to soak the corn in water for a bit and put them on the grill. When the husk turns brown, it’s done. You can also grill corn with the husk removed, creating a golden brown on the kernels. Some people even fry corn while still on the cob, which caramelizes it and give it a smooth flavor. The easiest way is to put corn, still in the husk, into the microwave for three minutes, pull back the husk, roll it in butter or margarine, and top it with coarse or table salt.

When cooking corn, don’t add salt to the boiling water, because salt toughens the kernels. As an alternative to butter, rub with wedges of lemon or lime. Instead of salt, sprinkle with cayenne, dill or other spices and herbs. You can also add corn kernels to rice and bean dishes, soups, salads, even pancakes. Frozen and canned are just as nutritious as fresh—just watch out for extra sodium and high-fat sauces.

Sweet corn is technically a grain, not a vegetable, and has undergone radical transformation since the Supersweet hybrid was introduced in the late 70’s. Sugar in corn starts to turn to starch as soon as the ear is separated from the stalk, losing nearly half of its sweetness within 12 hours of picking if not chilled. Hybrids have changed that, extending shelf life and allowing corn to be shipped longer distances.

Corn is a high-carbohydrate food with lots of fiber, some protein, B vitamins (e.g., thiamin and folate), a little vitamin C and a handful of minerals. Treating corn with lime (as in tortillas) makes certain amino acids and niacin more available to the body. Yellow corn contains some beta carotene and is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin—which may help keep eyes healthy and possibly protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Corn contains more calories than most veggies: 175 in a cup.

The typical harvest time for sweet corn in Northeast Ohio is mid-July through early September. Corn typically takes 60-80 days to produce a crop. Many farms will plant multiple crops to take advantage of the weather and growing season. Corn harvested later in the season is usually better than the early ears, as the ears are bigger and at its sweetest point.

Corn is planted in multiple waves throughout the season and is continuously harvested. Ideal growing conditions include temperatures between 68 and 73 degrees – but corn can survive temperatures as low as 32 and as high as 112 for short periods. A steady supply of moisture is essential. This year, due to the lack of rain in late June and early July, the old adage of “knee high by the Fourth of July” didn’t quite make it. To stay on track, a good long soaking is needed.

Corn stalks grow seven to 10 feet tall and each cob has an average of 800 kernels, with one strand of silk for each kernel. Each cob has an even number of rows. Popular bicolor corn is typically sweeter than single color varieties, which can be coarser and chewier.

Ohio is the sixth largest producer of sweet corn in the U.S., and the U.S. is ranked first worldwide. The most popular variety is yellow and white, often referred to as “honey and cream”. The taste of corn, much like a good wine, changes its taste almost every day, depending on the amount of rain, temperature and the soil. Some farmers give the corn a cold water bath as soon as they are harvested to capture the flavor and sustain freshness during delivery.

Growing techniques vary. Some farmers use black, peat-based “muck soil”, much like a drained swamp, to retain moisture and limit irrigation, while others use more traditional planting and watering.

The best way to tell if corn is fresh is not to pull back the husk, but to look at the stalk end. If the cut is brown and dry, it is past its prime. The cut should still be moist and white, or just a little brown on the edges. When you bring it home, place it in the refrigerator where it will retain most of its flavor for up to five days.

The best way to preserve that summertime flavor all year round is by freezing. A good method is to toss the ears of corn into boiling water for a few minutes and then plunge them into the sink filled with cold water. Remove the kernels with a knife, and then turn it over and run the flat end blade down the cob to squeeze out the juice – it makes a difference – add some butter and seal in freezer bags. Another good trick is to place the cob in the center of a bunt cake pan, and scrape the kernels off with a knife. The pan catches the falling kernels and don’t go rolling all over the counter.

Special thanks to Christine Klecic of Mimi newspaper and University of Berkley Wellness Center for insights in helping compose this post.