Spring is coming. The Birds are singing, trees and flowers are starting to bud. Everything is coming back to life after the cold of winter. The days are getting longer, so get outside and enjoy this wonderful warmer weather. Take walk or run on the walking/jogging trail, go for a bike ride, play catch with your dog, or just sit on your balcony or patio and listen to the birds chirping and just enjoy this amazing weather we are having. The 1st day of Spring is March 20, 2012, it’s right around the corner.
There’s no denying that chocolate is especially abundant in store displays every February. If you’ve ever wondered where these nougat-, nut- and liqueur-filled delicacies came from, you’re not alone. Satisfy your curiosity by learning all about chocolate.
Drinks made from ground cacao beans were important for ceremonial purposes for both the Mayans and the Aztecs, and the beans themselves were so highly valued that they were often used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs were the first civilizations known to cultivate and regularly use the cacao bean, beginning at least 1,500 years ago. Spanish tongues had difficulty pronouncing Aztec words, so early explorers changed the Aztec drink “xocolatl” to “chocolat.”
Xocolatl was a bitter drink not well liked by the Spanish conquistadors, but by adding sugar, the drink became an instant hit in Spain and throughout Europe. As European colonies in the New World grew, so did chocolate production; by the 1700s, powdered cacao beans were finding their way not just into drinks, but also into cakes, pastries and sorbets as well. In 1828, methods developed by Dutch chocolate maker Conrad J. van Houten for separating the fat of the cacao bean and treating the remaining “cocoa powder” with alkaline salts like sodium carbonate allowed for more diverse applications of the ingredient. Joseph Storrs Fry, of England, produced the first edible chunks of modern chocolate in 1849 by combining cocoa powder with sugars and then reintroducing the cocoa butter.
By the last quarter of the 19th century, chocolate making was dominated by the Swiss who made a series of advances to improve the quality and the versatility of chocolate. In 1867, Henri Nestle created powdered milk and Rudolph Lindt developed the process known as “conching,” which makes chocolate smoother and more easy to use in a variety of ways. Another Swiss chocolate maker, Jules Séchaud, developed a mechanized process for creating filled chocolates.
How chocolate became the treat of choice for sweethearts on Valentine’s Day is a highly debated topic. Regardless, it’s a sweet that’s enjoyed almost everywhere throughout the world, and one with a history as rich as its flavors.
Read more about the past, present and future of chocolate at http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/chocolate/history.html
For complete details check out The Grape Escape.
Legend has it that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidently fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory near Naples. Today at The Grape Escape winery, you and your team can enjoy the time honored tradition of making your own fresh mozzarella.
The Grape Escape “Mozzarella Making” event includes the following activities:
- 45 minute interactive session with the Master Winemaker and CTO (Chief Tannin Officer) of The Grape Escape
- Wine tasting directly from the barrel—wines from Chile, Argentina & Napa Valley
- Mozzarella making session—craft your own fresh mozzarella
- Tasting—Fresh mozzarella along with Grape Escape Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
- Gourmet lunch
- 2 Bottles of wine, olive oil or balsamic vinegar per person (custom labels included)
Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean that we need to stay inside all winter. Dress in layers, wear hats and gloves and keep moving. This can hlep with the winter blahs. Here are a few ideas –
- Go for a hike
- Sledding is always fun
- Ice skating
- Take your dog for a walk
- What about taking a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and sit outside on your porch or paito
- Feed the birds or go birdwatching
- Head out on a photo expedition to take pictures of the winter landscape
Let us know what you do to keep the winter blahs away.
You Can Drop Off A New Unwrapped Toy For Boys And Girls Ages 3 to 12 In The Management Office from November 21st To December 21st.
Thank You In Advance For Your Generosity.
The Club at Main Street
1. If turkey is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator or cold water. When ready to cook, remove the wrapper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Remove the neck from the body cavity and the giblets from the neck cavity. Drain the juices and blot the cavities with paper towels.
3. Just before roasting, stuff the neck and body cavities lightly, if desired. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position, if untucked. No trussing is necessary.
4. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a flat rack in an open roasting pan about 2 inches deep. A handy, “turkey lifter” comes with each Butterball turkey. Place this special string cradle on a rack, then place the turkey on top and bring the loops up around the turkey. Do this before putting the turkey in the oven and when lifting the cooked turkey from the pan, use the loops as handles.
5. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh next to the body, not touching the bone.
6. Brush the skin with vegetable oil to prevent the skin from drying. Further basting is unnecessary. (Moulton uses butter.)
7. Wash preparation utensils, work surfaces and hands in hot, soapy water after contact with uncooked turkey and juices.
8. Roast at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. To calculate roasting time click here. When the skin is light golden, about 2/3 done, shield the breast loosely with lightweight foil to prevent overcooking.
9. Check for doneness 1/2 hour before turkey is expected to be done. Turkey is fully cooked when the thigh’s internal temperature is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The thickest part of the breast should read 170 degrees Fahrenheit and the center of the stuffing should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. When done let the turkey stand for 20-30 minutes before carving.