• What is traditional Christmas cooking

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    July 1, 2020 /  Food

    What is traditional Christmas cooking? Well, that depends on you and your family. Tradition is something you make up as you go along. A traditional Christmas is what is traditional in your home. It may be a recipe handed down from your great grandmother or it may be something you thought of in a desperate hurry last Christmas Eve. Anything can become a tradition. What makes something traditional depends on how we feel about it.

    That said, once something becomes traditional then you change it at your peril. If your children expect to come home to stir the Christmas pudding and put in the family favors then you had better not change it. For more details www.cooking-chinese-style.com .They may be away at college or carving out a big career for themselves in the city but they will still expect Christmas to be the Christmas they remember. Christmas cooking is a big part, maybe the biggest part, of the way we remember Christmas.

    Every part of Christmas is accompanied by food of one sort or another. The tastes and smells of that food fixes the memory of Christmas in our minds. That smell of cinnamon or hot sugar. If we catch a hint of it anywhere at anytime we are transported instantly back in time to a Christmas kitchen of our childhood. That is the power of traditional Christmas cooking.

    I remember how when my mother-in-law was alive and would come to us for Christmas dinner, I had to cook a big traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Turkey seemed a very dry meat to me so I looked through one of my cookery books and found a recipe that involved glazing the turkey with apricot jam for the last 15 minutes of cooking. As a “proper” cook I was appalled, but it seemed to work, so every year I poured a pot of apricot jam over my turkey and, I have to confess, it was delicious.

    When my mother-in-law died I saw the opportunity to change our family’s traditional Christmas cooking routine. At last my culinary skills would find true expression in a Christmas dinner that would be original and exciting. No more apricot jam for me. I would amaze family and friends with my creations. For more details www.atkins-diets-recipes.com But no matter what I tried in subsequent years nothing was quite as good as the old turkey recipe with its apricot jam. It had become part of our family’s traditional Christmas cooking. So I gave in and everyone was much happier, even me.

    However good a cook you are and whatever new recipes you may attempt in the rest of the year Christmas is a time to come back to traditional Christmas cooking whatever that might be for you and your family. There is a profound wisdom in that which cooks too easily forget. When we cook we are engaging in one of the great acts of social ritual. We are not just cooking for ourselves we are cooking for other people. Our Christmas dinner table expresses not just our skill but our human relationships. Traditional Christmas cooking encapsulates all those relationships, gathered over the years, with people still living and people long since dead that go into making us what we are. At Christmas ghosts sit down at out tables. Traditional Christmas cooking makes sure they are happy ones.

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  • Gourmet Foods For Every Occasion

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    May 1, 2020 /  Food

    Enjoying fine food is definitely one of the pleasures of life. There is so much fast food and bland tasting dishes today because of the lack of time to really prepare food right, that when you do get to enjoy gourmet fine food, it’s a special treat.

    So what makes any food or drink qualify to be called “gourmet”?

    Well, in general it means that a particular food or drink is considered above average in quality, and will appeal even to those who have the most discriminating tastes. It also usually means that a lot of time and effort has gone into it’s preparation too.

    What comes to mind when you think of gourmet foods? Here is a list of many fine foods and beverages that can be found in the gourmet food category:

    1. Coffees – Gourmet coffees include many exotic coffee blends from around the world and flavored coffees. Frequently you can get a nice mixture of various gourmet coffees that allow you to sample them before buying more of each kind.

    2. Teas – There are several specialty teas from all over the world that qualify to be called gourmet tea.They can be either green, black, oolong or herbal teas. Again, you can often get sampler packs of these exotic teas to try them out first.

    3. Chocolates – Whether milk, dark or white chocolate,gourmet chocolate assortments often come with fruit, nuts, and cream centers that are just incredibly delicious.

    4. Caviar – If you really want to taste the good life, enjoy any of the various kinds of caviar, from the American Golden to the Russian Dark variety. Of course this is one type of gourmet food that can get really pricey fast, but there is a caviar for pretty much any budget if you look carefully enough.

    5. Seafood – There are lots of seafoods that have been specially prepared as gourmet foods including smoked herring, oysters, shrimp and lobster rolls and bisques. There’s lots more in this category too and again you can often get samplers for taste testing in advance.

    6. Fish – Some of the favorite gourmet fish foods are salmon, tuna, and halibut.

    7. Meats – This is one of the largest gourmet categories and lately has become very popular. Entries in this field include ribs, roasts, steaks, and even some dried and cured meats.

    8. Poultry – There are any number of gourmet foods prepared with chicken, but duck and turkey is also top favorites for special dishes.

    So where can you use gourmet foods? Almost any special occasion is a good time to include gourmet foods, drinks, or desserts on the menu. Everything from intimate dinners for two to large social gatherings are all acceptable places to include the delicious taste of gourmet foods to help make that occasion truly special and unforgettable.

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  • The History Of Coffee

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    February 13, 2020 /  Food

    Coffee – THE Drink of Choice

    Did you know coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was the first drink of coffee prepared? Where did the first coffee shop come in being?
    There are many questions about the starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all the facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is the most consumed beverage on the planet.

    The Beginning of Coffee

    It looks as if the first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in the vicinity of the Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of the same period also have a history of using the coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health.

    Coffee began to get more attention when the Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought the coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa— meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling the bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among the Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals.

    After the coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of the beans, this happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn’t take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled the coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD.

    Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only the Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed the seed-germ making sure no one else could grow the coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where the main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, the beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers.

    Coffee Shops Appear

    Around 1475 the first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey the “school of the wise”, because you could learn so much by just visiting the coffee house and listening to conversations.
    In the sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought the drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later the first coffee house opens in Italy.

    There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.

    Coffee Tips Arrive

    In the early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to the New World by man named John Smith. Later in that century, the first coffee house opens in England. Coffee houses or “penny universities” charged a penny for admission and for a cup of coffee. The word “TIPS” (for service) has it’s origin from an English coffee house.

    Early in the 17th century, Edward Lloyd’s coffee house opens in England. The Dutch became the first to commercially transport coffee. The first Parisian cafĂ© opens in 1713 and King Louis XIV is presented with a lovely coffee tree. Sugar is first used as an addition to coffee in his court.

    The America’s Have Coffee

    Coffee plants were introduced in the Americas for development. By close to the end of the seventeen hundreds, 1,920 million plants are grown on the island.

    Evidently the eighteen hundreds were spent trying to find better methods to make coffee.

    The Coffee “Brew” in the 20th Century

    New methods to help brewing coffee start popping up everywhere. The first commercial espresso machine is developed in Italy. Melitta Bentz makes a filter using blotting paper. Dr. Ernest Lily manufactures the first automatic espresso machine. The Nestle Company invents Nescafe instant coffee. Achilles Gaggia perfects the espresso machine.
    Hills Bros. begins packing roasted coffee in vacuum tins eventually ending local roasting shops and coffee mills. A Japanese-American chemist named Satori Kato from Chicago invents the first soluble “instant” coffee.

    German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns some ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfected the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He sells it under the name Sanka. Sanka is introduced in the United States in 1923.

    George Constant Washington an English chemist living in Guatemala, is interested in a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee flask. After checking into it, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee which is his brand name called Red E Coffee.

    Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales suddenly increase.
    Brazil asked Nestle to help find a solution to their coffee surpluses so the Nestle Company comes up with freeze-dried coffee. Nestle also made Nescafe and introduced it to Switzerland.

    Other Interesting Coffee Tidbits

    Today the US imports 70 percent of the world’s coffee crop.
    During W.W.II, American soldiers were issued instant Maxwell House coffee in their ration kits.

    In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. The name Cappuccino comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

    One week before Woodstock, the Manson family murders coffee heiress Abigail Folger as she visits with her friend Sharon Tate in the home of filmmaker Roman Polanski.

    Starbuck’s Hits the Coffee World

    Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle’s Pike Place public market in 1971. This creates madness over fresh-roasted whole bean coffee.
    Coffee finally becomes the world’s most popular beverage. More than 450 billion cups are sold each year by 1995.

    The Current Coffee Trends

    Now in the 21st century we have many different styles, grinds, and flavors of coffee. We have really come a long way even with our coffee making machines. There’s no sign of coffee consumption decreasing. Researchers are even finding many health benefits to drinking coffee. Drink and enjoy!

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