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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“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!!

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


 

“Well done boys, well done”

The original Worcestershire sauce is the BEST! On everything!!! Burgers, steaks, sushi, kabobs, salads, p-nut butter…well, what the heck, why not?  For 185 years it’s been imitated endlessly but never bested. I know, I’ve tried them all. (I have to go get a snack.)

 

I just love experiments and discoveries.  I’m fascinated how engineers, scientists, and Heat Treaters go out on a limb, try different approaches, take chances, and then “discover” new ways to do things to create new inventions.  It happens in the lab, on the shop floor, and many times comes to people willing to “give it a try” when they don’t expect it. About 185 years ago today, a couple of chemists were experimenting with sauces for food.  They were trying to come up with a flavor that would improve the taste experience of meat dishes – (think meat in the 1800’s – eeuuuww!).  Disappointed by the flat taste, they put their dark liquid a barrel, and stuck it in the basement to be left it for another day.  Through the magic of fermentation about 18 months later, a new product was born, which now sits on refrigerator door shelves throughout the world.  Not an everyday condiment, but a special blend of spices and ingredients, the now famous chemists John and Billy nailed it, inventing … Worchester sauce, that has become a great compliment to sauces and recipes, as well as beverages.  Sometimes just a splash, other times a serious marinade, be sure to try the recipes at the bottom of the blog and be sure to send me your favorites (skowalski@khtheat.com).  With this great stretch of weather, I never lose interest in popping open the grill top and cooking up something new. (the suggested beverage below fits right into my wheelhouse). Enjoy. And thanks to writer Peggy Trowbridge, thespruceeats.com, allrecipes.com, healthline.com and Wikipedia for the info.

  1. Worcestershire sauce (pron. WOO cester shire) has a distinct flavor, yet it can be challenging to identify its complex list of ingredients simply by the taste. Enjoyed for generations, it was developed in August 1835 by two chemists from Worcester named Lea and Perrins.
  2. Chemists John Lea and William Perrins developed this sauce in Worcester, England. They were experimenting with vinegar-based seasoning sauces and had abandoned a batch that didn’t taste right. Sitting in the basement, the sauce fermented and developed complex flavors. The partners bottled more, and a taste for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce spread throughout Europe, to America, and across the world. (to produce the sauce, they allow it to sit for two years with periodic stirrings; the mixture was then sifted of the solids and bottled.)
  3. After much success locally, the product took off.  By the end of the following decade Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce had already gained worldwide fame and was being exported to all the “outposts of the British Empire”.
  4. By the end of the century Lea & Perrins’ iconic orange label had been added to all bottles to ensure they stood out from copycat competitors (the label has hardly changed since) and in 1904 Lea & Perrins was granted the Royal Warrant which it holds to this day.  (the US version sports a tan paper label.)
  5. In 1897 the company opened a new factory in Worcester, where it remains in operation to this day, despite being commandeered by the British Army during the Second World War and suffering a factory fire in 1964.
  6. Now a mostly generic term, Worcestershire sauce is currently manufactured by many different commercial retailers, as well as under the original Lea & Perrins label. HP Sauce is another type of brown sauce, so named because the sauce was reputedly spotted in the Houses of Parliament. It’s similar but not the same as authentic Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made from a base of vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other seasonings. The flavor is savory and sweet with a distinct tang provided by the vinegar. The most common form of Worcestershire sauce is not appropriate for a vegetarian or vegan diet and cannot be used in a kosher meal that includes meat.
  8. Vinegar leads the ingredient list and is included both for the tangy flavor and to preserve the other components of Worcestershire sauce. Anchovies add umami. The ingredient that gives Worcestershire sauce its unique flavor is tamarind, the fruit of Tamarindus indica, or Indian date in Arabic. The pods, somewhat resembling a brown pea pod, contain a thick, sticky pulp which has a consistency of dates and a spicy date-apricot flavor. (learn more HERE.) Ingredients for U.S. version of The Original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce include: Distilled white vinegar, Anchovies, Garlic, Molasses, Onions, Salt, Sugar, Water, Chili pepper extract, Cloves, Natural flavorings and Tamarind extract.
  9. The popularity of gluten-free diets may be one reason that the U.S. version of Worcestershire sauce is made with distilled white vinegar rather than malt vinegar, which contains gluten. To be sure your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free, check the label.
  10. Interestingly, the version of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce sold in the U.S. differs from the U.K. recipe. It uses distilled white vinegar rather than malt vinegar. In addition, it has three times as much sugar and sodium. This makes the American version sweeter and saltier than the version sold in Britain and Canada.
  11. How would you describe the taste?  Chef’s use words like tangy, savory, sweet, and salty. The balance of those flavors makes it an excellent condiment. It is especially valued for adding the umami flavor, which comes from the anchovies. The spices included can vary by brand.
  12.  Worcestershire sauce can be used in many ways during cooking or as a condiment. It is often used as an ingredient in marinades or is brushed onto meat, fish, or poultry as it is grilled, fried, or baked. It can be used when steaming, grilling, or stir-frying vegetables. (I love to dump it into vegies when I make a stir fry or on my favorite burger).  Worcestershire sauce can be used as a condiment on sandwiches and shellfish or seasoning for salads. It is used in soups and stews for seasoning and adding savoriness.
  13. It’s relatively easy to make homemade Worcestershire sauce, but it does involve a long list of ingredients. Feel free to experiment and adjust to your taste. You can even try adding a personal secret ingredient to make the sauce your own.  You will need only a saucepan to simmer the ingredients, which include olive oil, sweet onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, anchovies, tomato paste, cloves, black pepper, dark corn syrup, molasses, white vinegar, dark beer, orange juice, water, lemon, and lime.  Here’s A Recipe
  14. Prior to opening the bottle, Worcestershire sauce can be stored at room temperature.  Once the bottle is opened, it should be refrigerated to preserve flavor. The general shelf life of Worcestershire sauce is approximately two years, after which it may begin to lose flavor and aroma.
  15. Today, Lea & Perrins’ famous sauce is exported to over 130 countries around the world, where it has become a much-loved staple in kitchens, restaurants, hotels and bars. It remains as popular today as it ever has been, and is still lovingly made in Worcester in very much the same way as it was when first sold in the 1830’s.

You will find Worcestershire sauce included in a wide variety of recipes for everything from vegetables to meat dishes, and sauces to soups.  Here’s some fun ones to try:
Red Wine and Worcestershire Sauce Marinade for Chicken
Oysters Kilpatrick
Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Tangy Pork Chops
Tasty Bloody Mary

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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!!

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


 

“Put Me In Coach”

Win or not, school sports of any kind is fun and brings out the best in everybody. 

With all the talk of high school opening back up, it got me to thinking about sports.  As a former student athlete myself, I enjoyed that part of my high school experience – There is something very special about being on the field on a Friday or Saturday night and calling the plays to your teammates. After all of the hard work during those dreaded “2 a days” in the heat of the summer now the fun begins! There really is no substitution for the life lessons learned from competition.  Often times, the lessons learned from failure are as valuable as those from winning!!  And as a Dad, I REALLY enjoyed watching my girls “compete” on the ballfield. Watching them grow was an absolute pleasure.  I’m a huge supporter of “safe” sports for the kids, and hope things can work out this year for all of the student athletes to be able to participate-even if that means moving to later in the year.  With nearly 8 million children involved nationwide, it’s important they get a chance to “play” and compete at some point in the year!  I dug around the internet, and found some interesting statistics on sports participation, the most popular sports played and some amazing stats on those who are good enough to compete in college, and then the “super athletes” who go on to the pros. It’s important to remember, it’s not just the competition outcomes, or the future salaries – for most, it’s about comradery, leadership, teamwork, and just plain old FUN!  Enjoy, and thanks to stadiumtalk.com, NFHS and businessinsider.com for the numbers and info.  Here’s some fun music from John Fogerty to enjoy while you read.

  1. This fall’s high school enrollment will be approximately 16.89 million students in 20,000 public, private and charter schools.
  2. Nearly eight million students will plan to participate in high school athletics in the United States. High school sports participation has steadily increased over the past 30 years, with a small drop in 2018. The balance of students will also connect to in-school activities through music, drama, art, community service groups, debate, work and special interest groups, In the small town I live in, almost 50% of the student body is involved on a given Friday night!
  3. Studies show student athletes manifest stronger peer relationships, better attachment with adults, higher self-esteem, a closer sense of family, and participate more in volunteerism. They are less likely to engage in high risk behavior and have a greater sense of initiative, persistence and personal responsibility.
  4. The earliest sport in the history of the world, track (and field) is the #1 most popular high school sport in America with 1,093,621 total participants. Just as the Greeks of the first Olympics searched for answers to life’s biggest questions, the students of today will be the seekers of solutions for tomorrow – run Forest, run!
  5. One of the smallest HS sports, is Alpine Skiing with a total of 10,099 boys and girls participants in just 11 states (remember, snow is important here).  Teeth chattering cold, windy conditions and going straight down a giant slalom at 60+ MPH “may” have something to do with the numbers. Yikes!
  6. Moving indoors, the hottest and fastest growing HS sport – is esports.  Growing ten- fold each year, and now in over 1,200 high schools, esports is a competitive and fun place for the kids who don’t like to catch, kick, run or throw.  (Studies show over 500K people “watch” eports competitions, with more to come).
  7. Think competitive dance is a joke? Tell that to the 90-plus dance teams performing for the national HS championship at the University of North Texas in March 2020. Teams (which sometimes can have up to 75 members) will represent high schools, middle schools, colleges, even Japan, attracting over 10K kids nationwide.
  8. Also clocking in at the 10K participation number is archery. Popular in seven states, those who are expert marksmen and women with eagle eyes see a bow and arrow as the ideal tool to score points for their school.  Bring your own apples.
  9. Not just your grandparents’ Sunday afternoon backyard game, badminton, played by over 18,000 student athletes, became an official Olympic sport at the 1992 games in Barcelona. Elite players have speed, agility, strength and flexibility.
  10. If you’re a girl over 5 feet, or a guy taller than 5-foot-7, you’re probably out of luck.  Over 20,000 gymnastics athletes choose to flip, spin, jump, and dance their way into the record books with a combination of balance and awesome strength.
  11. Nearly 30,000 kids in 10 states (8 states for the girls) participate in HS weightlifting. Clean and jerk is not for the meek.  It’s serious lifting at its best and a small group of athletes dedicated to technique.
  12. Quite possibly the toughest sport in HS, about 44 thousand students participate in water polo. The intense contact sport is grueling mix of strength and endurance. (and you have to learn how to float…). Under the water tactics can make or break a victory.
  13. Field hockey, the fourth-most popular sport in the world with over 2 billion fans, doesn’t have quite the same mass appeal in America, but attracts over 60K HS kids to play. And for women, money talks—in the form of scholarships from over 250 colleges.
  14. Another 61K phenom that would make “The Dude” smile is bowling.  Enjoyed in 25 states, back in the day is was Saturday afternoon entertainment on the Wide World of Sports. As The Stranger (Sam Elliott) says, we can “take comfort in that, knowin’, he’s out there.”
  15. With over 165K boys and girls participating, this is one sport to cheer about.  Known as Competitive Spirit (the official name for cheerleading), participation has increased 38 percent since 2012 – maybe it’s all the Hollywood movies, this super competitive sport connects with the crowds.
  16. Nearly 215 thousand kids find their place on the lacrosse field.  A few years ago, it became America’s fastest-growing high school sport.  Now, one of the biggest challenges for athletic directors is finding qualified coaches to lead teams of boys and girls alike. (who chooses to be the goalie, anyway?)
  17. 223K student athletes nationwide know you don’t need to be the biggest, fastest or strongest to win on the golf course. Shrewd, calculating, and poised, the best golfers win between the ears and get to hone their skills to be used for years to come.
  18. Six boys high school sports are played in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and Wrestling is one of them.  It’s man vs. man, man vs. self, blood and sweat — to develop leadership skills, sportsmanship and discipline. 21K of the 268K athletes are girls who you just know will be successful in life.
  19. About 850K HS athletes choose to play fastpitch softball and baseball. As Ron Shelton summed up in Bull Durham, “This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.” That’s why the old ballgame is played in 48 states and at over 17,000 high schools.  You’re killing me smalls!
  20. Coming in at 5th most popular, volleyball attracts over 500K athletes. A “must play” in California, the sport attracts more than 2,300 high schools in the state with 68,000 students setting and blocking. That’s a lot of serves and slams too!
  21. While less than 1 percent of any high school soccer players becoming national players, HS soccer attracts over 850K kids each year. With these numbers, one would hope that a US Men’s World Cup title is possible – as the women have proven time and again.  With so many kids playing, very few make it on to a college team.
  22. Basketball and Football round out the top spots, attracting over 1 million athletes each.  With concussions an issue, and skyrocketing college and pro salaries, time will tell if they will remain on top in the coming years. (tough to beat Friday night games under the lights and on the hardwood).
  23. After high school, only 480,000 will compete as NCAA athletes, and a very select few within each sport will move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level.
  24. The likelihood of a high school athlete playing a NCAA Sports in college is less the 3% (a bit higher for specialty sports like lacrosse and ice hockey).  And that number goes down as students progress through college.
  25. In contrast, the likelihood of an NCAA athlete earning a college degree is significantly greater – graduation success rates are 86% in Division I, 71% in Division II and 87% in Division III.
  26. Statistics show, of the nearly 500K NCAA athletes who compete in college, less than 2% of them go on to play professionally – with the biggest number going to baseball.

Next time you are watching a match, remember the odds of “making it” and enjoy the moments and future memories.  For those of you who “love the stats” here are the links:
http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/estimated-probability-competing-college-athletics
https://www.stadiumtalk.com/s/most-popular-high-school-sports-america-a68e565ca65541f7
https://www.businessinsider.com/odds-college-athletes-become-professionals-2012-2

 

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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!!

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


 

Up, Up and Away

Airmail is a whole lot different since its humble balloon beginnings in 1859. (Fourth image down.)
>> And here’s something to LISTEN TO while you’re reading this fascinating post.  :))))

We have some amazing technology today at our fingertips. I just finished an email to one of my very special customers, providing not only well wishes, but a quote and production schedule on his important PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!  What ease to type, insert info, instantly format, and then ”send” knowing within seconds the “letter” would safely and simply arrive on her desk. Guess we can call it our version of “air mail” today. Not so many years ago here in the good old US of A.  airmail made its official debut.  Hard to image, but next week on August 17th marks the 161st anniversary of the very first air mail flight over land, when a hot air balloon carried a package of 123 letters into the air destined to arrive in NY City. It launched what became known as the US Post Office “air mail” service, through some amazing efforts by the military, townspeople and really, really brave pilots. It also become the framework for local airports, lighted runways and early navigation systems. Here’s some fun history about the first official flight, and subsequent milestones in mail delivery aviation. Hats off to all of my aerospace customers – you continue the make it possible to fly. Special thanks to Wired Magazine and the USPO for the info.  Enjoy!

  1. On a hot summer day on August 17th 1859, the temperature soared toward 91 degrees, John Wise stood at the town square in Lafayette, Indiana, standing next to a balloon named Jupiter. Even for a balloon enthusiast and a well-known aeronaut, it was a big moment.  Wise was set to carry what would be the first U.S. airmail. A postmaster had handed him a bag with 123 letters. Destination of the balloonist and his precious cargo: New York City.
  2. Delivering letters by air had been attempted before and there had always been carrier pigeons. And in 1785, a balloon flight from Dover, England, to Calais, France, had carried mail.  Wise’s attempt was to be the big event for the United States. Wise, who was 51, was also hoping to set a record for the longest balloon flight. He took off at 2 p.m.
  3. But the weather wasn’t on his side. He found that the wind was blowing southwest, not east. Still, he went up to 14,000 feet. But five hours – and just 30 miles later – Wise gave up and landed in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  A piece of mail from Wise’s first flight has survived over the decades and now resides at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. The letter bearing a 3-cent stamp (about 80 cents in today’s buying power) was sent to the address: “W H Munn, No. 24 West 26 St., N York City.”
  4. The mail had only gone partway by air but was ignominiously put on a train to New York City to assure the swift completion of its appointed round. (The Lafayette Daily Courier mocked the flight as “trans-county-nental.”)
  5. A month later, Wise tried again. This time he made it as far as Henderson, New York – flying nearly 800 miles. A storm forced a crash landing, and he lost the mail in the crash.
  6. On June 14, 1910, Representative Morris Sheppard of Texas introduced a bill to authorize the Postmaster General to investigate the feasibility of “an aeroplane or airship mail route.”  The bill died in committee. The New York Telegraph deemed airmail service a fanciful dream, predicting that, when it was offered: “Love letters will be carried in a rose-pink aeroplane, steered by Cupid’s wings and operated by perfumed gasoline. … [and] postmen will wear wired coat tails, and on their feet will be wings.”  
  7. Aviator Earle Ovington had the distinction of piloting the first history-making flight, on September 23, 1911. The pilots made daily flights from Garden City Estates to Mineola, New York, dropping mailbags from the plane to the ground where they were picked up by Mineola’s Postmaster, William McCarthy.
  8. In 1913, 22-year-old Katherine Stinson became the first woman to fly the U.S. Mail when she dropped mailbags from her plane at the Montana State Fair. Stinson captivated audiences worldwide with her fearless feats of aerial derring-do. In 1918, she became the first woman to fly both an experimental mail route from Chicago to New York and the regular route from New York to Washington, D.C.
  9. Pilots followed landmarks on the ground; in fog they flew blind. Unpredictable weather, unreliable equipment, and inexperience led to frequent crashes.  Gradually, through trial and error and personal sacrifice, U.S. Air Mail Service employees developed reliable navigation aids and safety features for planes and pilots.
  10. In 1916, Congress finally authorized the use of $50,000 from steamboat and powerboat service appropriations for airmail experiments. The Department advertised for bids for contract service in Massachusetts and Alaska but received no acceptable responses.
  11. Congress authorized airmail postage of 24 cents per ounce, including special delivery. The rate was lowered to 16 cents on July 15, 1918, and to 6 cents on December 15 (without special delivery).
  12. On February 22, 1921, the first daring, round-the-clock, transcontinental airmail flight started out with four planes. Two westbound planes left New York’s Hazelhurst Field while two eastbound planes left San Francisco. One of the westbound trips abruptly ended when icing forced the pilot down in a Pennsylvania field. The other was halted by a snowstorm in Chicago. One of the eastbound pilots fared even worse — William E. Lewis crashed and died near Elko, Nevada. The mail was salvaged and loaded onto another eastbound plane.
  13. It was after dark when the airmail reached North Platte, Nebraska, and pilot Jack Knight was ready to fly the next leg of the relay, to Omaha. A former Army flight instructor, Knight looked bad and felt worse, suffering a broken nose and bruises from a crash landing the week before in Wyoming. He had flown to Omaha many times — but never at night.
  14. Knight’s first taste of night-flying was nerve-wracking. Residents of the towns below lit bonfires to help mark the route. As the weather worsened, Knight set down in Omaha, wind-chilled, famished and exhausted. Then he got more bad news: the pilot scheduled to fly the next leg, to Chicago, was a no-show. Though the route was unfamiliar, Knight volunteered to fly the mail to Chicago himself.
  15. Between Omaha and Chicago lay a refueling stop in Iowa City, which Knight had never seen in the daytime, let alone at night in a snowstorm. There were no bonfires or beacons marking the airfield — the ground crew had gone home, assuming the flight had been canceled — but by some miracle Knight found it. He buzzed the field until the night watchman heard his airplane and lit a flare. After landing and refueling he was back in the cockpit. He touched down at Maywood Field, outside Chicago, at 8:40 a.m. The mailbags were quickly loaded onto a plane bound for Cleveland and then the final stretch to New York.
  16. The mail from San Francisco reached New York in record time — 33 hours and 20 minutes. Newspapers hailed Knight as the “hero who saved the airmail.” Congress, which had debated eliminating funding for airmail, instead increased it.
  17. To better its delivery time on long hauls and entice the public to use airmail, the Department’s long-range plans called for a transcontinental air route from New York to San Francisco. The first legs of this transcontinental route — from New York to Cleveland with a stop at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, then from Cleveland to Chicago, with a stop at Bryan, Ohio — opened in 1919. A third leg opened in 1920 from Chicago to Omaha, via Iowa City, and feeder lines were established from St. Louis and Minneapolis to Chicago.
  18. The last transcontinental segment — from Omaha to San Francisco, via North Platte, Nebraska; Cheyenne, Rawlins, and Rock Springs in Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Elko and Reno in Nevada — opened on September 8, 1920. Initially, mail was carried on trains at night and flown by day. Still, the service was 22 hours faster than the cross-country all-rail time.
  19. To prepare for night flying, the Post Office Department equipped its planes with luminescent instruments, navigational lights, and parachute flares. In 1923, it began building a lighted airway along the transcontinental route, to guide pilots at night. The first section completed was Chicago to Cheyenne, 885 miles.
  20. The now famous 5-cent airmail stamp issued on July 25, 1928, depicted the beacon light tower at the emergency airmail landing field near Sherman, Wyoming.
  21. In 1922 and 1923, the Department was awarded the Collier Trophy for important contributions to the development of aeronautics, especially in safety and for demonstrating the feasibility of night flights.
  22. The Department extended the lighted airway eastward to Cleveland and westward to Rock Springs, Wyoming, in 1924. In 1925, the lighted airway stretched from New York to Salt Lake City.
  23. Regular cross-country through service, with night flying, began on July 1, 1924. In 1926, the trip from New York to San Francisco included 15 stops for service and the exchange of mail. Pilots and planes changed six times en route, at Cleveland, Chicago, Omaha, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, and Reno. The longest leg was between Omaha and Cheyenne, 476 miles; the shortest, 184 miles, was between Reno and San Francisco.
  24. Before Charles Lindbergh made his record-breaking solo transatlantic flight in 1927, he flew the mail. Lindbergh was the chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Corporation, which held the contract to provide airmail service between Chicago and St. Louis beginning April 15, 1926.
  25. As commercial airlines took over, the Department transferred its lights, airways, and radio service to the Department of Commerce, including 17 fully equipped stations, 89 emergency landing fields, and 405 beacons. Terminal airports, except government properties in Chicago, Omaha, and San Francisco, were transferred to the municipalities in which they were located.
  26. Airplanes were used to transport mail internationally with the establishment of routes from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia, on October 15, 1920, and from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, beginning November 1, 1920. The Havana route was discontinued in 1923, but resumed on October 19, 1927, marking the beginning of regularly scheduled international airmail service.
  27. Transpacific airmail routes began operating on November 22, 1935, with FAM Route 14, from San Francisco via Hawaii, Midway, Wake, and Guam to the Philippines. Airmail service was extended to Hong Kong on April 21, 1937; to New Zealand on July 12, 1940; to Singapore on May 3, 1941; to Australia on January 28, 1947; and to China on July 15, 1947.
  28. Transatlantic airmail routes connected the United States with Europe beginning May 20, 1939, with the 29-hour flight of Pan American Airways’ Yankee Clipper from New York to Marseilles, France, via Bermuda, the Azores, and Portugal. That same year, on June 24, a route was inaugurated between New York and Great Britain by way of Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland.
  29. On December 6, 1941, direct airmail service to Africa was made possible by the inauguration of a route from Miami via Rio de Janeiro to the Belgian Congo. Though interrupted during WWII, improvements in aviation fostered the rapid expansion of international airmail routes in the postwar years.
  30. On October 4, 1958, a jet airliner was used to transport mail between London and New York for the first time, cutting the transatlantic trip from 14 hours to 8.
  31. Airmail as a separate class of domestic mail officially ended on May 1, 1977, although in practice it ended in October 1975, when the Postal Service announced that First-Class postage — which was three cents cheaper — would buy the same or better level of service. By then, transportation patterns had changed, and most First-Class letters were already zipping cross-country via airplane.
  32. Airmail as a separate class of international mail ended on May 14, 2007, when rates for the international transportation of mail by surface methods were eliminated.
  33. That simple “send” button we push was created by Ray Tomlinson, generally credited as having sent the first email across a network, initiating the use of the “@” sign to separate the names of the user and the user’s machine in 1971, when he sent a message from one Digital Equipment Corporation DEC-10 computer to another DEC-10.

 

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

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!!

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

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!!

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


 

 

“They’re In, and boy-oh-boy are they good.”

Tomatoes are the best in so many dishes: Salads and pizzas—yep! Salsa, bouillabaisse, ketchup slathered on French fries, tacos, fresh spaghetti sauce, on any sandwich, in drinks. And tossing a tomato on the grill with steaks is a great idea, but you’ve got to see the recipe for grilled tomatoes at the end of this post! It is stupendous!!!!  Oh, and you can find that cute baby soup can bunting online, google it.  :)))

 

I may have written about this in the past – but, Yep.  You’ve guessed it.  Those red, ripe, juicy, tasty, yummy, luscious locally grown tomatoes are in.  In all sizes and shapes. And I’m sure loving it. With the hot weather, the farms and shelves are busting with home-grown goodness.  I stopped the other day to pick up some fresh corn – then of course I grabbed the beans, and cucs, zucchini, couple peppers, peaches, cherries – ok, so I couldn’t help it.  When I got home, I grabbed the knife, some bread, mayo, salt and pepper and loaded up some fat slices of tomatoes and “boom” – summer flavor at its finest. Then you can have the sliced meaty ones covered in a thick blue cheese dressing!  I jumped back to my childhood when Mom would fill the table with all the summer vegies and fruits. Here’s some fun trivia, and some even better recipes.  I KNOW each of you have your own favorite recipe, so please send my way – especially the salsa and sauce ones!!  skowalski@khtheat.com Enjoy!  And thanks to tomatodirt.com (amazing site), simplyrecipes.com, feastingathome.com (love that name!) and chefsteps.com for the recipes.  Plus a bit of reading music from our friends at YouTube – HERE

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22-24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. (More than half of those munchies are ketchup and tomato sauce.) I know I do my share in pulling that number up! Remember, ketchup is heart healthy!
  2. The tomato is America’s fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions.
  3. Americans consume three-fourths of their tomatoes in processed form and have increased their tomato consumption 30% over the last 20 years (mostly in processed forms such as sauce, paste, and especially salsa).
  4.  While tomatoes are perfectly safe and healthy to eat, their leaves are actually toxic, so don’t eat them.
  5. The largest worldwide producer of tomatoes is China, followed by USA, Turkey, India and Egypt.  Here in the U.S., California produces 96% of the tomatoes that are “processed”. Florida is the number one producer of fresh market tomatoes.
  6. Tomatoes are thought to originate in Peru. The name comes from the Aztec “xitomatl,” which means “plump thing with a navel”.  The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, which mean “wolf peach.”
  7. When the tomato was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, The French called it “the apple of love.” The Germans called it “the apple of paradise.”
  8. In different languages: English: tomato, French: tomate, Dutch: tomaat, German: TomateDanish: tomat, Spanish: tomate, Italian: pomodoro (those silly Italians).
  9. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says there are 25,000 tomato varieties. Other sources cap the number of types of tomatoes at 10,000. (Either way, that’s a lot.)
  10. Tomato is a cousin of the eggplant, red pepper, ground cherry, potato, and the highly toxic belladonna (a herbaceous perennial, also known as the nightshade or solanaccae, that has historically been used as both a medicine and poison).
  11. For the best tomato, check color, texture, and touch. A ripe tomato is uniformly colored, in a shade true to its variety. An unripened tomato has inconsistent color. An overripe tomato has soft spots and may ooze juice from cracks. A ripe tomato is smooth, plump, and glossy and not too soft or not too hard to the touch. It “gives” when you press it with a finger.
  12. The heaviest tomato on record weighed in at 3.51 kg (7 pounds 12 ounces). A “delicious” variety, it was grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986. Gordon sliced the tomato to make sandwiches for 21 family members.
  13. The largest tomato plant (a “Sungold” variety), recorded in 2000, reached 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length and was grown by Nutriculture Ltd. of Mawdesley, Lancashire, UK.
  14. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest tomato tree grows at Walt Disney World Resort’s experimental greenhouse and yields a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and weighs 1,151.84 pounds (522 kg). The plant was discovered in Beijing, China, by Yong Huang, Epcot’s manager of agricultural science, who took its seeds and grew them in the experimental greenhouse.
  15. Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio – (right behind Bud Light).
  16. La Tomatina (Bũnol, Valencia, Spain), held festival held annually on the last Wednesday in August, attracts tens of thousands of visitors. The highlight is the tomato fight, in which 30,000+ participants throw an estimated 150,000 overripe tomatoes (100 metric tons) at each other.
  17. TomatoFest (Carmel, CA), coined as “America’s Favorite Tomato Festival,” was launched in 1991 and features 350 heirloom tomato variety tastings.
  18. In Ohio, the big one is the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival.  Started in 1965, the festival honors Reynoldsburg’s claim to fame as the birthplace of a sweeter, edible tomato created by resident Alexander W. Livingston. In 1870, he was the first to upgrade the wild tomato plant.  (sorry, cancelled this year).
  19. The antioxidant lycopene is a red pigment found in tomatoes. Tomatoes with the most brilliant shades of red indicate the highest amounts of lycopene and its fellow antioxidant, beta-carotene.
  20. Cooking tomatoes releases lycopene to do its work. A combined analysis of 21 studies published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention showed that men who ate the highest amounts of raw tomatoes had an 11% reduction in risk for prostate cancer. Those eating the most cooked tomato products fared even better: their prostate cancer risk was reduced by 19%.
  21.  Lycopene is fat-soluble. That means you’ll get the maximum benefit of tomato nutrition when tomatoes are absorbed in your body with the help of fats. Cook tomatoes in a touch of olive oil or pair tomatoes with avocados (in small amounts) to help your body absorb lycopene more easily.  I have been trying to find the health benefits of French fries covered in ketchup!!
  22. Eating tomatoes regularly is also good for your heart – one of the leading benefits of tomato nutrition. In a study of 40,000 women conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA), those who consumed 7 to 10 servings each week of tomato-based products were found to have a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women eating less than 1.5 servings of tomato products weekly.
  23. Eat 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato (or 1 cup of tomato sauce or ½ cup of tomato paste) daily to get best tomato nutrition benefits. According to a study in Cancer Research, the tomato-broccoli combination shrank prostate tumors in lab animals by 52%.

Q: Why did the tomato go out with a prune? 
A: Because he couldn’t find a date.

Q: How do you fix a sliced tomato? 
A: Use tomato paste, of course.

Q. Why did the tomato blush? 
A. Because he saw the salad dressing.

Q. What’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom? 
A. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Q. How do you get rid of unproductive tomatoes? 
A. Can them.

Fresh Salsa – Pico de Gallo

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Grilled Tomatoes

Steve’s Fresh Tomato Sandwiches
– big, thick slices of fresh summer tomatoes, spread mayo on soft bread, salt & pepper – (ta-da!)

 

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

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!!

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


 

“Crack”

(top) What the bat does to a baseball!!! See The University of Massachusetts baseball bat research video HERE; (row 2) The greats: Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth; (row three) A great 1950’s Indians team from left: Dick Howser (SS), Chuck Hinton (1B), Leon Wagner (LF), Rocky Colavito (RF), Max Alvis (3B), Vic Davalillo (CF), Larry Brown (2B), Joe Azcue. (row four) Jim Thome knew what to do with a bat. (row five) Sometimes bats break; (row six) Batting is for everyone; (row seven) What a baseball bat sees milliseconds before smacking its little face! Hahaha…

 

It’s back.  Yea, in a new form, with crazy restrictions and all.  But, for the first time in quite some time we’re “talkin’ Tribe”.  Baseball, in its refined way, makes summer feel – well like summer for me!  Box scores, news highlights, standings, hot players and teams and the amazing voice of Tom Hamilton!.  It just feels right.  And of course, what’s one of the toughest things in sports… triple flip?  Iron cross?  The 10K?  For me, it’s consistently hitting a baseball.  Think about it – the greatest players of all time only got it right every three times at bat. That’s nutty.  So, to celebrate one of the great PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs! – figuring out how to consistently bat .400 – I did a bit of digging and found some great trivia on the history of the baseball bat.  It’s way more complex than I thought but wanted to do a credible job recapping it for my fellow baseball lovers.   And special thanks to Bernie Mussill and Steve Orinick from stevetheump.com for the history.  Enjoy, and for fun, here’s some baseball music to read by:  CLICK HERE

  1. In Europe, Nicholas Grudich played Lupka with other boys by using a five inch round pointed stick that was set at an angle on the ground and hit with a flat bat. From these types of activities came groups of boys playing Rounders, Flyball, Townball and Caddy.
  2. Townball was a game involving twenty to thirty boys in a field attempting to catch a ball hit by a tosser. The tosser used a four inch flit bat with a tapered handle so his hands could grip it firmly for control and leverage. Even though history is sketchy at this time, it’s is safe to say that from this idea came the modern day baseball bats.
  3. Bill Deane, Senior Research Associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York has on record a well-documented account of a baseball game played on June 19,1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. This game was the first played under the Alexander Cartwright rules, which included a 9 inning game, 9 players on each team and 3 outs per side. Baseball players made their own bats and as a result, many different sizes and shapes were used.
  4. During this particular time in history, players experimented with different kinds of wood for their bats in order to improve their hitting ability. They soon realized that wagon tongue wood was the best for making baseball bats. While the transition to wagon tongue wood was taking place, players also realized they could hit a ball much more solidly with a round bat.
  5. While some players continued to make their own bats, others had their bats made by a wood maker. Within the next four to five years, the round bat became very popular. All ball players were using a round wagon tongue bat and the only flat surface bat on any team was used strictly for bunting. The round bat had definitely taken over.
  6. In 1859, The Professional National Association of Baseball Players Governing Committee voted in favor of the first limitation on bat size. The limitation specified that bats may be no larger than 2 1/2 inches in diameter and that they may be of any length.
  7. Approaching the Civil War years, 1861 to 1865, some players had a difficult time gripping the large bat handle. In order to avoid this problem, they wrapped cord or string around the handle. The result was better control and led to wrapped handles.
  8. Before the year 1869, there were no existing limitations on the length of the baseball bat. Then in 1869, the rule governing bat length was adopted and stated “Length limit on bats, maximum 42 inches long.” Surprisingly, this particular rule has not changed. It is in today’s rule book under Division 1.00, Rule 1.10A, “The bat shall be…not more than 42 inches in length”.
  9. In 1879, after considerable experimenting with various styles, it was said that “long and slender is the common style of bats”. In addition, the handle had a carved knob for better control.
  10. During the 1884 baseball season, John Hillerich, a woodworker for his father and a good amateur ballplayer, was in the stands watching ‘The Louisville Eclipse’ of The Professional American Association play. During this game, Pete “The Gladiator” Browning, star outfielder, broke his favorite bat and became very frustrated. After the game, young Hillerich invited Pete to his Dads’ woodworking shop. He claimed that he could create a new bat for Pete. After Browning and Hillerich selected a piece of white ash, Hillerich began to “shape the new bat” according to Browning’s directions. With Browning looking over his shoulder and periodically taking practice swings, Hillerich worked through the night. Finally, Browning announced that the bat was just right. The next day, Browning used the Hillerich bat and hit three for three, and the Louisville Slugger was born.
  11. The Hillerich Louisville Slugger trademark on each bat led to the branding of player signatures on the barrel of the bats. Until then, players carved their initials or in some other way marked the knob or barrel of their bats. Baseball players using Louisville slugger bats before the turn of the century included Willie Keeler, Hugh Duffy, Pete Browning, John McGraw, Hugh Jennings, Honus Wagner and the Delaney brothers, just to name a few.
  12. Babe Ruth, the “Sultan of Swat”, brought fans back to the game of baseball by the thousands. The Babe launched an amazing home run career, including belting 60 home runs in 1927. Ruth would carve one notch for each homer hit. One of Ruth’s bats with 21 notches around the trademark is on display at the Hillerich and Bradsby plant.
  13. Willie Keeler’s motto was “Hit them where they ain’t”. He used the shortest bat ever made by Hillerich and Bradsby. It was 30 1/2 inches long. Willie was 5 feet  4 1/2 inches tall, weighing only 140 pounds. He played for the Orioles and four other teams and became one of baseballs’ greatest place hitters as well as an outstanding bunter. The large barrel of his short bat gave him great bat control. In 1898, Willie hit a record 200 singles out of a total of 214 hits. This record still remains today
  14. Lou Gehrig, a monumental ball player was a product of Columbia University and left his mark on baseball as well as his name on a dreadful disease. During his fifteen year career, Gehrig used a Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville Slugger bat, Model GE 69 with a 2 1/2 to 2 5/8 inch barrel, 34 inches in length and weighing 38 ounces.  Gehrig’s stats simply boggle the mind. He averaged 141 RBI’s and 134 runs scored for fourteen years. He hit 493 home runs with a career batting average of .340. Lou Gehrig, often called “Iron Horse” for his 2,130 consecutive games, was also known as a “run producing machine”. Gehrig and Ruth formed the greatest one-two punch in the history of baseball.
  15. In June of 1969, Evan Baker joined Adirondack as president. One of his innovations was the bat-mobile. The bat-mobile was an Airstream trailer equipped to hand turn bats at various Major League spring training camps. By providing this service, Adirondack converted many big leaguers to using the Adirondack “Big Stick”. For example, in June of 1971, Joe Torre and Tony Oliva used the “Big Stick” and led their respective league in hitting.
  16. In June of 1975, Rawlings Sporting Goods merged with Adirondack. The improvements included updating facilities and increasing the sales of baseball bats. This year, it is projected that 1 1/2 million wood bats would be produced. In order to meet this quota, production will have to be set to nearly 8,000 bats per day.
  17. When Reggie Jackson, of the New York Yankees, hit three consecutive home runs in the sixth game of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he used an Adirondack “Big Stick” bat.
  18. Today most players have the ends of their bats ‘cupped out’. This removes extra end weight and moves the center of balance toward the trademark, giving the batter better whip-like control.
  19. Easton entered the team sports market with aluminum bats in 1970. Their metal working technology has produced one of the best balanced and best performing bats in the world. Easton excels in the aluminum bat market at every level. Their bats were the choice of the Gold Medal winning United States Olympic baseball
  20. With the proper technology and engineering, the aluminum tube of these bats is drawn to redistribute the walls with the desired weight. After tempering, (YES – WE LOVE THIS PART!) the bat is tapered to the proper dimensions. Cleaning treatments and heat treatments are performed on each bat. They are straightened and in some instances the ends are spun closed or machined to accept an end plug. The bats are polished, anodized and silk-screened. Before these bats are labeled and packed for shipment the
  21. To further complicate the newer versions of bats, there is one more type of bat: the composite. Composite baseball bats are made of glass, carbon and Kevlar fibers placed together in a plastic mold. These are anisotropic, which means that these bats are designed to bring out a strength and stiffness of a different kind. The effect is that composite baseball bats are lighter than an aluminum bats. Baseball composite bats incorporated a recent technological advancement of their aluminum counterpart to be used by college and high school players.
  22. The NFHS is currently reviewing composite bats on an on-going basis. They do not maintain their rated characteristics for the life of the bat and that their performance increases the more they are used. As the bats are consistently used, they develop interior cracks resulting in increased performance. Additional Accelerated Break In (ABI) testing is being performed on bats submitted by the manufacturers. With a few exceptions, they were banned in 2011 for high school baseball.

 

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

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!!

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

 

 

 


 

 

Like Spicy Sunshine

Mustard has been around since 2,000 BC. (give or take) Who’d have thought that such a little seed could still bring so much happiness to so many faces and be popular enough to support so many brands at the store. All so I can have mustard on my hot dog!!  :-)))) 

 

Spending time on the back patio, and especially over the grill, is a relaxing treat for me.  With the weather being amazing these past few weeks, I’m finding Jackie and me visiting the local grocery store and talking about “what we’re gonna have on the grill tonight.”  With my love of food, I’m good with just about anything – chicken, chops, steaks, ribs, fish … even the simplest meals, like dogs and burgers, get me going.  And of course, I just can’t have them without tasty mustard.  Just the word mustard starts the debate – traditional yellow, brown, “stadium”, wine, grey poupon(pinkies up please) and more.  Being a Clevelander, we’re a bit partial to Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard – a brown mustard made by Bertman Foods Company, a Cleveland, Ohio, food manufacturer and distributor which has produced several varieties of mustards since 1925 – AND the tasty version sold by The Davis Food Company called Stadium Authentic Mustard.  Being Cleveland and sports related, of course a controversy as to the “best”. A little history:

Bertman’s spicy brown mustard, has been used at sports stadiums in and around Cleveland for over 90 years, including League Park, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Jacobs Field, and Progressive Field. Joe Bertman, who was known for coming up with food solutions for his commercial customers, created the mustard for League Park, one of his top accounts, in the garage of his home in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood.  Bertman’s is well known to sports fans and was declared the “signature concession item” by ESPN.com writer Jim Caple. In 1966, Cleveland had one local brown stadium mustard until David Dwoskin, one of Bertman’s sales reps, decided to step in.  In 1971, Dwoskin registered the name “The Authentic Stadium Mustard” for his new company Davis Food Company.  In 1982 he obtained exclusive rights to sell to both wholesale and retail markets as well as stadiums, arenas and other venues. In the early 1980s there was a disagreement between Bertman and Dwoskin because Dwoskin was producing his own mustard under the Stadium brand through his own company.  A spicy standoff.  Today, both mustards are sold in grocery stores, specialty food shops, and online. The trademarked “Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard” is sold at Cleveland sports venues, and as a competing brand to David’s Stadium Mustard. We’ll leave it up to you to choose your favorite.  While you are deciding, here’s a bit of trivia to make you the smart one around the grill next time you are rolling the franks and flippin’ the burgers.  Thanks to Wikipedia, and thespruceeats.com for the info and recipes.  Enjoy!

– Mustard has been one of the most widely grown and used spices in the world for many centuries. It is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. The Greeks used mustard as a medicine and a spice. The Romans emulated the Greeks using it as both food and medicine as well, ascribing it as a cure for anything from hysteria to snakebite to bubonic plague.

– Mustard is one of the earliest spices on record, appearing in Sanskrit manuscripts around 3000 BC. It is thought to be one of the first crops to be domesticated, and mustard was used throughout ancient Egypt, India, and China.

– The Romans brought mustard to Northern France where it was eventually cultivated by Monks. By the 9th century Monasteries were producing considerable amounts of income from mustard sales.

– The origin of the word mustard is believed to have come from the word Mosto or grape muss, a young unfermented wine which was mixed with ground Mustard seeds by the French Monks.

– Prepared mustard as we know it, began in Dijon, France in the 13th century encouraged by the Mustard loving Pope John XXII of Avignon who created the position of “Grand Moustardier du Pape” or the Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope for his idle Nephew who lived near Dijon.  (I think of myself as “Grand Heatoure of de Metale”).

– In the early 19th century, the British became the world’s first mustard millers – milling the heart of the mustard seed to a fine powder and they established mustard as an industrial food ingredient. The yellow Mustard that we know today was introduced in Rochester New York in 1904 where its pairing with the American hotdog gave rise to its popularity.

– Mustard, the condiment, is made from the tiny round seeds of the mustard plant, a member of the Brassicaceae family. In order to release their flavor, the seeds must be broken—coarsely cracked, crushed, or finely ground—then mixed with enough liquid to make a spreadable paste, which can then be used as a condiment or as an ingredient in many culinary preparations.

– Mustard has a long shelf life of one to two years and comes in many varieties: yellow, brown, coarse, extra spicy, flavored.  The name comes from mustard in English, moutarde in French, mostarda in Italian—is thought to come from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens meaning “burning must.” This is a reference to the spicy heat of mustard seeds and the ancient practice of mixing the ground seeds with must, the fresh, unfermented juice of wine grapes.

– Mustard was originally used as a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. Pythagoras employed mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings, and Hippocrates made mustard plasters to treat toothaches and chest colds. While some people say mustard contains beneficial minerals such as selenium and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, most of the nutritional value of the condiment comes from the food it is served with.

– While there are about 40 species of mustard plants, only three of them are used to make mustard: black (Brassica nigra), brown (B. juncea), and white or yellow (Sinapis alba). Mustard, however, takes many different forms depending on how the seeds are ground, what liquid is used (vinegar, wine, juice, or water), and what other flavoring ingredients are added.

– White mustard, which originated in the Mediterranean, is the antecedent of the bright yellow hot dog mustard we are all familiar with. Brown mustard from the Himalayas is familiar to many as Chinese restaurant mustard, and it serves as the base for most European and American mustards as well. Black mustard originated in the Middle East and in Asia Minor, where it is still popular, primarily as a spice in seed and powder form.  Different types of mustard seeds can be—and often are—blended to combine their different characteristics and make a kind of hybrid mustard.

– Seeds can be cracked and used as a seasoning before or after cooking, as they are in many Middle Eastern cuisines. Seeds are also often used as a pickling spice.  Oil extracted from mustard seeds can be used for cooking. High-quality mustard oils can be drizzled over finished food like olive oil to add spice and flavor.

– Mustard powder, either on its own or in a blend of powdered spices, can be used as a dry rub or sprinkled on food as a seasoning agent before grilling, roasting, or sautéing. Ground mustard can also be used to make your own prepared mustard.

– Prepared mustard is used widely as a condiment and goes especially well with charcuterie, classic dishes like choucroute garnie, baked ham, and, of course, hot dogs. Other flavorings—honey or garlic, for example—can be added to prepared mustard, and it is also frequently used as a cooking ingredient.

– While we usually think of mustard as a condiment to slather on hot dogs or just about anything else, it can also be used as a key ingredient in cooking. Prepared mustard is used in sauces, dressings, and marinades, where spicy flavor and creamy viscosity is desired. And mustard seeds, powder, and oil can be used too.

– The green or red leaves of mustard plants are edible, delicious, and widely used in many cuisines, but they come from other species in the Brassicaceae family. Mustard greens, on the are high in vitamins A and C.

– While there is great variation in taste from one kind of mustard to another, there are some basic flavor characteristics that you will find in just about every type and manifestation of mustard. There is always an element of spiciness, from very mild to burning hot. Hot or not, there is also an underlying sweetness from the plant itself, and there is usually a subtle but persistent aroma of yellow mustard flowers.

Recipes:
Salmon, Whole-Grain Mustard and Dill Tartlets
Mustard-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Groninger Mustard Soup
Wet Mustard Rub  

For me, mustard goes with hot dogs and hamburgers, a splash in potato salad, corned beef and ham sandwiches (or pretty much any sandwich) and in sauces on the grill.  What are your favorites – shoot me an email, and any great recipe too.  skowalski@htheat.com

Q:  What do you call mustard you think you may have had before?
A:  Dijon Vu.  HA!  Happy Friday

 

 

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

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!!

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

 

 


 

 

 

Sweet & Juicy

Watermelon!!! Nothing like it. And everybody likes it! But it’s especially fun to watch kids eat it, especially if it’s their first time. Even the first of the summer is fun, too. I think that sweet, juicy watermelon just brings out the kid in all of us. Gotta get me some—NOW!!!!!

 

With the mercury hovering around 90 degrees these days, there’s one favorite snack and dessert of mine I just can’t get enough of when it’s crazy hot – watermelon.  Like you, I have great childhood memories of Mom taking out the big knife, slicing off big pieces, handing it out to all us kids and then running around the backyard eating away and spitting seeds into the air. Now doesn’t that sound really nice and Hallmark like!  In reality, I really didn’t spit the seeds in the air – well they did come out of my mouth go through the air first, then it was onto someone’s shirt, into their hair, on plates across the table the list goes on…… Why would you spit the seeds in the air when there so many other options (yes, my brothers)!  Things certainly didn’t change with my girls either. They simply had more difficulty with getting the seeds to stick in my hair!  Honestly, I never knew just how healthy watermelon really is – especially as a recovery fruit after my runs.  Special thanks to Live Science, Guinness Book of Records, Facebook for the recipe along with YouTube for the fun videos/songs.  Enjoy!

– Watermelons are mostly water (about 92 percent) but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There’s even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup.

– The watermelon probably originated in the Kalahari Desert in Africa.

– Scientists have taken notice of watermelon’s high lycopene levels — about 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board — some of the highest levels of any type of fresh produce. Lycopene is a phytonutrient, which is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables that reacts with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. It is also the red pigment that gives watermelons, tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas their color. Lycopene has been linked with heart health, bone health and prostate cancer prevention. It’s also a powerful antioxidant thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.

– The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
– By weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.

– Egyptians placed watermelons in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife. The first recorded watermelon harvest is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics from about 5,000 years ago.

– Merchants spread the use of watermelons along the Mediterranean Sea. By the 10th century, watermelons had found their way to China, which is now the world’s top producer of watermelons.

– All parts of the watermelon are good and can be eaten, even the rind. There are a lot of nutrients throughout including the white flesh nearest the rind, which contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the flesh.

– The Moors in the 13th century brought watermelons to Europe and early explorers used watermelons as canteens.

– Watermelon may be especially important for older women. A study published in Menopause found that postmenopausal women, a group known to have increased aortic stiffness, who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract.

– The first cookbook published in the United States in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.  GET THE RECIPE HERE 

– A cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of the daily intake of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells. This is why I am so youthful looking!

– About 200 to 300 varieties are grown in the United States and Mexico, but only about 50 varieties are very popular.

– Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.

– The watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma.

– The United States ranks fifth in the worldwide production of watermelons. Forty-four states grow watermelons, with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona leading the country in production.

– The heaviest watermelon weighs 159 kg (350.5 lb) and was grown by Chris Kent (USA) of Sevierville, Tennessee, as verified by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth on October 4, 2013.

– A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid, which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds.  Why would anyone want to eat a watermelon without seeds???

Fun Watermelon tunes:  HERE  &  HERE

 

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

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!!

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

 

 


 

Legends

Ahh, the legends. They get told, re-told, embellished and re-embellished. Like St. George and the Dragon, Robin Hood and his Merry Men (Catch the Disney song here at 0.34 seconds in), King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone, The Ghost of The Grey Lady and Longleat House and, of course, Lady Godiva’s naked ride through town to make the Greatest chocolates ever!! (I’m pretty sure. But read on to see for yourself)

Preparing for this week’s blog post, I was surfing the web looking for some fun stuff that happened on this day, when I came across a famous legend from English history.  As the story goes (it’s been rewritten a number of times over the centuries) on today’s date, July 10th, about 900 years ago, an infamous young woman named Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, the powerful Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry, took a rather remarkable early morning horse ride. As the story goes, Godiva was troubled by the crippling taxes Leofric had levied on the citizens of Coventry. After she repeatedly asked him to lessen the burden, Leofric quipped that he “would lower taxes only if she rode naked on horseback through the center of town.” Determined to help the public, Godiva stripped off her clothes, climbed on her horse and galloped through the market square “clad in naught but her long tresses” – only her long flowing hair to cover herself.  Before her ride, she ordered the people of Coventry to remain inside their homes and not peek. But one man, named Tom, couldn’t resist opening his window to get an eyeful and, upon doing so, this “Peeping Tom” was struck blind (bet you didn’t see that coming…). After finishing her glorious ride, Godiva confronted her husband and demanded that he hold up his end of the bargain. True to his word, Leofric reduced the people’s debts. (scroll down to the bottom for more LG trivia).  In a country laced with myths and legends, England’s folklore has made its way to storytelling, storybooks and for some, Hollywood blockbusters. Here’s a few of the more famous, weird, wonderful and downright spooky tales.  Hope you enjoy, and thanks to visitbritian.com, Wikipedia, The History Channel and godivachocolates.eu for the info.

St George and the Dragon – On St George’s Day (April 23rd) the legend goes that Saint George, a Roman soldier in the 10th century, came across a town plagued by an evil dragon about to kill the king of England’s daughter. George is said to have slayed the dragon, freed the town and rescued the princess, thus becoming the patron saint of England.  And a little extra trivia:

– Did St George really exist? Not necessarily… Despite popular belief, St George is not English. Very little is known about the actual man. If he ever existed (and there’s no proof he did), George would likely have been a soldier somewhere in the eastern Roman Empire, probably in what is now Turkey. According to legend, he was martyred for his faith under Emperor Diocletian in the early fourth century, and his major shrine is located in Lod, Israel.

– St George’s earliest legends were so outlandish that the Pope condemned them … Early Christians were known to exaggerate the tortures endured by their martyrs, but St George is in a league all of his own. According to one source, St George was torn on the rack, hit on the head with hammers until his brains oozed out, forced to drink poison, torn on a wheel, boiled in lead, and much else besides – all over a period of seven years.

– St George is also connected to agriculture … His name means ‘earth-worker’ – that is, farmer – and his feast day of 23 April is in the spring, when crops are starting to grow. Many people throughout European history have prayed to St George for a good harvest.

– The dragon was not always a part of St George’s story…The earliest legend that features St George rescuing a princess from a dragon dates to the 11th century. It may have started simply as a way to explain icons of military saints slaying dragons, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.

Robin Hood and his Merry Men – A story much-loved by Hollywood, the English legend of Robin Hood became a figurehead for the triumph of good over evil – the foundation for many a tale since. This lovable outlaw and his band of Merry Men were praised for robbing the rich to give to the poor, outwitting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and remaining loyal to their beloved king – King Richard. You can still visit The Mighty Oak, which stands tall in Sherwood Forest, to this very day.  And a little extra trivia:

– The first known literary reference to Robin Hood and his men was in 1377, and the Sloane manuscripts in the British Museum have an account of Robin’s life which states that he was born around 1160 in Lockersley (most likely modern day Loxley) in South Yorkshire. Another chronicler has it that he was a Wakefield man and took part in Thomas of Lancaster’s rebellion in 1322.

– One well known story about Robin that places him in Whitby, Yorkshire, is about him and Little John having a friendly archery contest. Both men were skilled at archery and from the roof of the Monastery they both shot an arrow. The arrows fell at Whitby Lathes, more than a mile away. Afterwards the fields where the arrows landed were known as Robin Hood’s Close and Little John’s Close.

– All versions of the Robin Hood story give the same account of his death. As he grew older and became ill, he went with Little John to Kirklees Priory near Huddersfield, to be treated by his aunt, the Prioress, but a certain Sir Roger de Doncaster persuaded her to murder her nephew and the Prioress slowly bled Robin to death. With the last of his strength he blew his horn and Little John came to his aid, but too late.

– At the death of Robin Hood Little John placed Robin’s bow in his hand and carried him to a window from where Robin managed to shoot one arrow. Robin asked Little John to bury him where the arrow landed, which he duly did.  A mound in Kirklees Park, within bow-shot of the house, can still be seen and is said to be his last resting place. Little John’s grave can be seen in Hathersage churchyard in Derbyshire.

– But what of his lover Maid Marion? Not much of Robin’s career is known, but nowhere in the chronicles is Maid Marion mentioned, so we must assume she was ‘added’ to the stories at a later date.

King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone – The many legends of King Arthur have captured imaginations for centuries. The most famous of British kings, Arthur was said to have defended the country against Saxon invaders and is at the center of numerous tales, achieving mythical status in Britain. Arguably the most famous of all tales is the Sword in the Stone. Legend says the magician Merlin placed a sword in a stone and whomever was able to pull it out would be the rightful king. Arthur pulls the sword called Excalibur from the stone and becomes the King of England.

– But, who heat treated the sword?  Legend has it, Sir Stefon Kowalski, Earl of Killingham Hamlet Town (precursor to KHT Heat today) spent hours hand forming and heat treating the mighty sword and quenching it in the finest wine of the land before inserting it into the stone.

The Ghost of The Grey Lady and Longleat House – the tale of The Grey Lady (sometimes referred to as The Green Lady) at Longleat House is one of passion, love and loss.  The wife of the 2nd Viscount of Weymouth Thomas Thynne, Lady Louisa Carteret was rumored to be having an affair with a footman. After discovering the affair, the Viscount in a fit of rage pushed the footman down the stairs, breaking his neck. Thomas was said to have had the body buried in the cellar and told Lady Louisa that the footman left without a word. She didn’t believe it and, thinking the footman had been imprisoned in the house, searched every room each night until she died. Legend says that Lady Louisa still searches for her true love and has been spotted by staff and visitors to the house…

– The estate, named after the stream of Long Leat, was bought by Sir John Thynne in 1568. During the 18th century, the Thynnes’ acquired the title of Viscount Weymouth, such was their wealth and social standing.

– The 2nd Viscount Weymouth was Thomas Thynne, a hot headed young man, who married the beautiful and gentle Lady Louisa Careret in 1733 and, as part of the wedding arrangements, Lady Louisa brought her own servants to Longleat House.

– The house is most famously known for the safari and adventure park that are present on the grounds. These features were first opened in 1966, and it is considered to be the first drive-through safari park outside of Africa. The safari park is considered to be a remarkable attraction, unique from other events located elsewhere. The animals are able to freely roam the grounds where they are contained, and the visitors are the ones who are in cages, or in reality, cars.

And a little extra Lady Godiva trivia:  
1 – While most historians consider her nude horseback ride a myth, Lady Godiva—or “Godgifu” as some sources call her—was indeed a real person from the 11th century.
2 – The historical Godiva was known for her generosity to the church, and along with Leofric, she helped found a Benedictine monastery in Coventry. Contemporary accounts of her life note that “Godgifu” was one of only a few female landowners in England in the 1000s, but they make no mention of a clothes-free horseback ride.
3 – The story appears to have first cropped up some 100 years after her death in a book by the English monk Roger of Wendover, who was known for stretching the truth in his writings.
4 – The legend of “Peeping Tom” didn’t become a part of the tale until the 16th century. The Godiva myth was later popularized in songs and in verse by the likes of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who wrote a famous poem called “Godiva” in 1840.
5 – Yep, Godiva Chocolate is named after the good Lady – learn more HERE

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

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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