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Showing posts from November, 2017

For Find Out Friday - How Did a Campfire Staple Make It to The Table on Thanksgiving Day?

Last week I am sure most of you were in a turkey food coma. I wasn’t but I was sure was beat from all of the cooking I did leading up to the holiday. Even though I didn’t prepare the entire meal, I cooked for two solid days and that was enough for me.  Hence there was no new Find Out Friday last week. But the topic had been picked and I am still going with it.  With Thanksgiving on the brain I had a lot of cooking minded questions swirling around my mind. But I decided to seek out the history behind a common Thanksgiving side dish; the sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping.  I have never made it nor eaten it because I don’t understand the appeal. Sweet potatoes seem sweet enough especially if you sprinkle some cinnamon on them.  What is the necessity of the marshmallow?  And more importantly who was the person that started this insanity? It seems our story begins way back in the fifteenth century. That is about the time Christopher Columbus lan

For Alexander Hamilton’s Home on “The Grange”

One day, three items checked off my 2017 to do list ( )! That is what I call a successful day. Alexander Hamilton is one of our most famous founding fathers. He was never president but in many ways his contributions to our country’s establishment were even more important. His most vital role was likely as the first Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington’s cabinet. Hamilton is also well known for creating the national banking system we still use.  These accomplishments are not too shabby for a man who was born in another country (Nevis), orphaned by age thirteen, and grew up having dreams of grandeur for himself. This immigrant was a modern man of his times. Unlike other founding fathers he never owned slaves, in fact he was very much opposed to slavery. Unfortunately Hamilton only lived in this house for two years. He died at the age of forty-nine, in 1804, having been murdered by then Vice-President Aaron Burr in a du

For Find Out Friday - What is the Connection Between a Former New York Governor and a Set of Infamous Drug Laws?

Last  week  I  wrote  about  my  visit  to  Kykuit ( ), the family home of John D. Rockefeller. His son Nelson was the last member to inhabit the home before it was open to the public. But Nelson wasn't known simply because he was a Rockefeller but also because he served fourteen years as the Governor of New York. New York State has no term limit and elections are held every four years. Governors serve as long as they are re-elected.  After fourteen terms as Governor, Nelson Rockefeller spent three years as the Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford. As Governor all those years, Rockefeller had many accomplishments such as creating a breakfast program for low income children in schools, expanding assistance under Medicaid, and establishing the state’s first major support of the transportation system.  Crime under Governor Rockefeller was dealt many blows. One was doubling the size of the State Police Academy. Ano

For Putting the “Tipsy Tea” Back into Brunch: “Tanner Smith’s”

One of the many fun and unique restaurant experiences I had on my 2017/2018 to do list ( ) was the Tipsy Tea Brunch at Tanner Smith’s in New York City. As of late last month I am a happy patron of this amazing spot.  The original Tanner Smith was a resident of Manhattan in the early nineteenth century. He was a thug and leader of the Marginal Gang. Like any good gang they had their own private club and it was appropriately located above a saloon, a word I much prefer to bar. The Volstead Act a.k.a. the eighteenth amendment officially sent the U.S. into prohibition from October 28, 1919, until the twenty-first amendment repealed that legislation on January 16, 1920.  Last week we celebrated the suffrages success on the one-hundredth anniversary of the passing of the twentieth amendment ( ).  Needless to say an establishment like the Marginal Club transformed into a speakeasy during this time and made a ki