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June 17 2014 Published by PTK Corp.
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HERBS AND SPICES by Kathy Wolfe What’s in your cupboard? This week, Tidbits takes a look at the culinary and medicinal uses of the herbs and spices found in nearly everyone’s home. • The Egyptians were studying the use of herbs as far back as 3500 B.C., using them for medicine and in their religious rituals. Today, about 7,000 compounds used in medicine originate from plants. About 200 million pounds (90,718,474 kg) of herbs and spices are consumed in the U.S. annually. The most common are black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, paprika, chili powder, oregano, celery seed, and parsley. • There’s a difference between herbs and spices. Generally, herbs are the leaves of a plant, while spices are taken from the roots, bark, or seeds. This means rosemary, thyme, and mint are herbs, and cinnamon, paprika, coriander, and nutmeg are spices. • Botanically, peppermint is known as Mentha piperita. It not only freshens your breath, it’s been shown that inhaling peppermint oil can relieve motion sickness and an upset stomach. Some clinical trials indicate its effectiveness in relief of irritable bowel syndrome and tension headaches. Peppermint oil can even repel annoying bugs! • Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice and has been used in trade for more than 4,000 years. It comes from the dried threads of the saffron crocus plant, which grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) and bears only four flowers. One pound (450 g) of dry saffron requires 50,000 to 75,000 flowers, with 40 hours of labor needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Retail prices for saffron can spike as high as $5,000 per pound. Some medical studies suggest that this spice has antioxidant and cancer-suppressing properties and might also be helpful in treating depression. In the kitchen, it’s used in Indian and Pakistani sweet dishes and Italian risotto. It’s also used in religious rituals in India. • Vanilla is second most expensive spice after saffron. It’s no wonder vanilla is an expensive commodity when you consider the labor required to process it. It comes from the pod of the only fruit-bearing orchid plant, with a waiting period of three years after being planted before the first flowers appear. The flower opens only one day a year, and each one is hand-pollinated in order to produce a pod. turn the page for more!
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Tidbits® of the River Region HERBS AND SPICES (continued):
1. Is the book of Lamentations in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. Which book may be summarized, “It really is true, Jesus Christ is God Himself”? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John 3. In Esther 2:17, Esther was made queen instead of ...? Vashti, Ruth, Anna, Sapphira 4. Who gave Solomon cedar and fir trees according to all his desire? David, Hiram, Chalcol, Mahol 5. From Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time to mourn and a time to ...? Leave, Dance, Love, ProfitÊ 6. In 1 John 4:8, God is “what”? Always, Grace, Love, Beloved
Those pods remain on the vine for another nine months and when harvested, have no flavor or fragrance. Those qualities develop during the extensive curing process, when the pods are treated with hot water before being placed in the sun for months. During this time, they shrink to about one-fifth of their original size. It’s another month or two of “resting” before the pods develop their distinctive aroma and taste. • Vanilla takes its name from the Spanish word Vaina, which translates “little pod.” Vanilla extract is made by finely chopping the beans and dripping alcohol on the pieces. • Nutmeg is harvested from the seeds of the fruit of the large evergreen nutmeg tree, native to the West Indies. This tree grows to a height of about 60 feet (18.3 m), and yields both nutmeg and mace. The seeds are grated to produce nutmeg, while mace comes from the lacy threads that surround the seed. Nutmeg may spice up your desserts, but its medicinal uses are many. Ancient Chinese medicine called for using its oil for digestive ailments, relieving inflammation, and reducing joint pain. Nutmeg is a good source of Vitamin C, many B-complex vitamins, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Some claim it promotes a restful night’s sleep when steamed and inhaled. Nutmeg contains the same essential oil as cloves, eugenol, that can be used for toothache relief. • Sweet aromatic cloves are used in baking and flavoring meats such as ham and lamb, as well as serving as an anesthetic for a toothache. Eugenol oil can also reduce blood sugar in diabetics and help relieve indigestion. Naturopaths claim that rubbing a mixture of oil of cloves and mustard into aching joints and muscles will reduce pain. Some people say that drinking water in which a few cloves have been boiled will help relieve a cough. • Cinnamon, one of the oldest known spices, comes from the bark of a cinnamon tree, bark that must be processed immediately after harvesting, while it is still wet. Cinnamon was a gift fit for a king in ancient times, and in Rome, a pound of the spice was worth ten months’ wages. It’s been shown to help with indigestion and upset stomach. Diabetics will be happy to know that cinnamon seems to contribute to reduced blood glucose levels and increased insulin production. Some studies indicate that it promotes lower cholesterol and relief of arthritis pain. • The Scoville scale was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 to measure the hotness of a food item. A food’s number is based on its concentration of the alkaloid compound capsaicin, which is what gives a strong pungent flavor. The hotness of cayenne pepper measures about 50,000 Scoville Heat Units. (Compare this to the Carolina Reaper pepper which averages 1,569,300 SHU’s!) Cayenne comes from a small shrub about 39 inches (100 cm) tall, and is considered the best source of Vitamin A of all spices, as well as being rich in anti-oxidants. Studies indicate that capsaicin has anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. Cayenne has been successful in treating arthritis, sore muscles, and digestive ailments, as well as improving blood circulation. • We usually think of oregano as an herb to flavor our tomato sauces and Italian dishes. That is the Mediterranean species of oregano, which is a member of the mint family. It grows in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco, and has a strong, robust flavor. However, there is another completely different variety, Mexican oregano, a relative of lemon verbena, which has more of a citrusy licorice taste. The USDA tells us that one tablespoon of fresh oregano has just as much antioxidant properties as an apple. • If you’re cooking Mexican food, coriander, cumin, and cilantro are essential. Coriander actually comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant. While fresh cilantro will offer a bolder flavor, coriander adds more of a subtle taste. • When the dried fruit of the sweet red pepper Capsicum annuum is ground, the result is a red powder we know as paprika. We use it to season stews, soups, and sausages, particularly in Hungarian foods. It’s grown mainly in Spain, South America, California, and, of course, Hungary. • Why doesn’t our list include salt? Because salt is a mineral, not an herb or spice!
1. In 2013, A.J. Pierzynski became the fourth catcher to have 13 consecutive seasons of 100 games caught. Name two of the other three. 2. Name the last team to have three 20-game winners in the same season. 3. In 2012, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o became the third college football defensive player to finish second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Who were the first two? 4. In 2012-13, Miami’s LeBron James recorded his seventh season of at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Who else did it six times? 5. Cam Ward is the all-time leader in games played in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes, with 461. Who is second? 6. Name the first American Alpine female skier to win medals in three Olympics? 7. Who was the last golfer before Steven Bowditch in 2014 to have a closing score of 76 or higher in the final of a PGA event he won?
“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 PETER JENNINGS • Peter Jennings was one of the most trusted and respected news anchors in the history of television news. As the son of a noted Canadian Broadcasting Company journalist, Peter got his start in broadcasting at age 9, hosting his own radio program, “Peter’s People,” on a Toronto station. • Although a gifted broadcaster, Jennings was not a gifted student. He admitted that his failure to pass 10th grade was due to “pure boredom.” In an interview he remarked, “I loved girls, I loved comic books. I was pretty lazy.” He dropped out at age 17, and although he tried to attend Carleton University a few years later, in his words, he “lasted about 10 minutes.” • Jennings was anxious to follow his father into broadcasting, but took a job as a bank teller at the Royal Bank of Canada. He got a break in his early 20s when he landed a job hosting a Canadian music program called “Club Thirteen,” followed by a teen dance show similar to “American Bandstand” called “Saturday Date.” • At age 24, Jennings was given the co-anchor position of a Canadian late-night national news broadcast, ironically, in competition with his father’s network. At 25, he was the first Canadian journalist to arrive in Dallas after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After two years as anchor, he moved to the States for a position with ABC News. The following year, he was the anchor opposite the time slots of news greats, CBS’s Walter Cronkite and NBC’s David Brinkley. • Jennings took on a new challenge two years later when he shifted to a job as a foreign correspondent. He set up ABC’s news bureau in Beirut, the first TV news bureau in the Middle East, where he remained for 7 years. After similar positions in Rome and London, he came back to the U.S. to co-anchor World News Tonight, where we saw his face for the next 27 years. At one time, 14 million people watched Jennings every night. His awards included 16 Emmys and two George Foster Peabody awards. • Jennings was present at nearly every historic event during his tenure, including not only the building of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s, but also its fall in 1989. He was one of the first journalists to report from Vietnam, and was on hand at the 1972 Munich Olympics when terrorists attacked Israeli athletes. We heard about the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the Gulf War from Jennings. During the September 11th attacks in 2001, Jennings was at his anchor desk for 17 straight hours. After the tragedy, claiming a “deeper sense of connection to the United States,” he began studying for the citizenship test, and in 2003, he obtained dual citizenship, U.S. and Canadian. • In April, 2005, Jennings announced to viewers that he had lung cancer and would immediately begin chemotherapy. Just four months later, he succumbed to the disease. • Jennings was devoted to his family and was wellknown as a loyal friend who enjoyed entertaining and listening to jazz with friends at his home in the Hamptons. He offered these words of wisdom: “Always have a sense of humor about life – you’ll need it – but always be courteous to boot.”
Tidbits® of the River Region
* On July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of a new United States of America from Great Britain. The declaration came 442 days after the first shots of the American Revolution. * On July 1, 1916, 25-year-old Army Lt. Dwight D. Eisenhower marries 19-year-old Mamie Geneva Doud. He would go on to lead the Allies to victory in Europe in World War II and later become the nation’s 34th president. The couple lived in 33 homes during Eisenhower’s 37-year military career. * On July 6, 1933, Major League Baseball’s first All-Star Game takes place at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The event was designed to bolster the sport during the darkest years of the Great Depression. Fans who could still afford tickets migrated from the more expensive box seats to the bleachers, which cost 50 cents. * On June 30, 1953, the first production Corvette is built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Mich. All 300 Corvettes were white convertibles with red interiors and black canvas tops. The 1953 Corvette was outfitted with a six-cylinder engine and a two-speed automatic transmission. * On July 5, 1975, Arthur Ashe defeats the favored Jimmy Connors to become the first black man ever to win Wimbledon. While the confident Connors strutted around the tennis court, Ashe rested between sets. Finally, with the shocked crowd cheering him on, Ashe finished Connors off in the fourth set, 6-4. * On July 3, 1985, the blockbuster “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox, opens in theaters. The time-travel device in the film was a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car outfitted with a nuclear reactor that would achieve the 1.21 gigawatts of power necessary to travel through time.
Kevin Clay DOB: 2/27/1980 Black/Male 5’1” 165 lbs Hair: Black Eyes: Brown Outstanding Warrants: Probation Revocation (Possession of Controlled Substance)
* On July 2, 1990, a stampede of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead. This was the most deadly of a series of incidents over 20 years affecting Muslims making the trip to Mecca. Hundreds die each year in this pilgrimage, in stonings, stampedes or fires. (c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
Michael Chandler Hall White/Male 6’5” 165 lbs Hair: Brown Eyes: Blue Outstanding Warrants: Failure to appear on the charge of Possession of Marihuana 2nd
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GARLIC In keeping with our theme of spices, Tidbits now zeroes in on the culinary and medicinal benefits of garlic. • Garlic, or Allium sativum, is a member of the onion genus, along with shallots, leeks, and chives. A full-grown garlic plant is about 24 inches (60 cm) tall and yields between 8 and 20 bulbs. It’s one of the oldest cultivated food plants, and its use dates back over 7,000 years. Pictures of garlic have been found on ancient Egyptian tombs and the Greek physician Hippocrates promoted its therapeutic benefits for respiratory and digestion problems, low energy, and eliminating parasites. Olympic athletes in ancient Greece were fed garlic, probably to enhance their performance. • The list of the health benefits of garlic goes on and on. Research has shown the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, as well as a reduction in cholesterol levels. It seems to help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent complications of diabetes. It has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, and was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World Wars I and II. In a study conducted by China’s Center for Disease Control, people who ate raw garlic twice a week had a 44% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Some naturopaths advocate its use for the prevention of prostate, breast, stomach, and colon cancers. • Of course, the downside of ingesting large quantities of garlic is halitosis – bad breath! – as well as sweat that has a pungent smell. This is cause by Allyl Methyl Sulfide, a sulfur-containing gas that is released when you eat garlic. • Helsinki, Finland is home to Kynsilaukka, a restaurant that caters to garlic lovers. Even its name translates to “clove leek.” They serve all things garlic, including beer, ice cream, and cheesecake. In the U.S., San Francisco boasts “The Stinking Rose,” a restaurant where every menu item features garlic. No wonder their marketing slogan is “Follow your nose to the Stinking Rose.” • Garlic isn’t just for seasoning and medicinal benefits. Even the sticky juice found within the bulb cloves is useful as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain. • If you don’t have fresh garlic for your recipes, garlic powder can be used, although it does have a different taste. If you do substitute the powder for the fresh, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is the equivalent of one clove of fresh garlic. • Much of the U.S.’s garlic supply is produced in and around Gilroy, California, which has been dubbed “Garlic Capital of the world.” A single farm in the area produces nearly 25 million pounds (11,340,000 kg) annually. Every July, this community of 50,000 hosts the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a celebration that has raised almost $9 million for assorted local charities since its founding in 1979. • Although Gilroy calls itself the garlic capital, it’s nowhere near the world’s top producer. Over 77% of the world’s garlic is grown in China, about 23 billion pounds (10.4 billion kg) worth. India is a distant second with 4.1%, followed by South Korea at 2%. The U.S. produces just 1.6% of the world’s garlic, with some grown in every state except Alaska.
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Last Week’s Ads where Tommy was hiding: 1. Nationwide, p. 1 2. Montgomery Zoo, p. 4 3. Adams Motorsports, p. 8
Tidbits速 of the River Region
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by Samantha Weaver * It was novelist Tom Clancy who made the following sage observation: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” * Charlie Chan, the fictional Honolulu detective, was created in 1919 by novelist Earl Derr Biggers. The books featuring Chan became so popular that the character made the leap to radio, movies and television. Over the years, 13 actors have portrayed the detective, but not one of them has been of Chinese ancestry. * Rattlesnakes can live up to 20 years. * When the TV sitcom “The Addams Family” was being cast in the early 1960s, actor John Astin came in to audition for the role of Lurch, the cadaverous butler. He was immediately rejected for the part. As he was leaving the room, though, the producer spotted him, pulled him aside, and immediately offered him the role of Gomez -- the lead. All he had to do was grow a mustache. * The nation of France was still executing people with the guillotine until 1977. * In 1973, The Who began a major U.S. tour with a show in San Francisco. As the show was starting, though, drummer Keith Moon collapsed. He was revived, but then collapsed once more. At that point, in an unprecedented move, Pete Townsend asked for volunteers from the audience. Scott Halprin, a 19-year-old aspiring drummer, jumped at the chance. He played three numbers with the band, and lead singer Roger Daltry later told Rolling Stone magazine, “That drummer was really good.” * Milk produced by a hippopotamus mother is pink. *** Thought for the Day: “In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.” -- Paul Dirac (c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS:
1) Old; 2) John; 3) Vashti; 4) Hiram; 5) Dance; 6) Love
1. Johnny Bench, Bill Dickey and Brad Ausmus. 2. The 1973 Oakland A’s -- Ken Holtzman, Catfish Hunter and Vida Blue. 3. Alex Karras of Iowa (1957) and Hugh Green of Pitt (1980). 4. Oscar Robertson. 5. Arturs Irbe, with 309. 6. Julia Mancuso (2006, ‘10, ‘14). 7. Vijay Singh won the 2004 PGA Championship despite a final-round score of 76.
Tidbits速 of the River Region