Monthly Archives: July 2014

PIMENTO CHEESE

PIMENTO CHEESE

I am not usually a picky eater, I try to be open to new and different foods. There are even a few odd things that I do eat like the occasional grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As they say, “Don’t knock it until you try it.” (This is not peanut butter and jelly on toast – when I say grilled, I mean  “grilled” peanut and butter sandwich where you make the sandwich, butter the bread and grill it in a pan on the stove.) I do have a word of caution –  If you give it a try, do be careful the contents may be hot and a bit messy as well, but it is worth a little mess.

Yet, there is at least one food that I do not like – I do not like it here or there, I do not like it anywhere and that is a pimento cheese sandwich. It has taken me the better part of fifty years to communicate this little piece of information to my Mother, but I think I finally have it firmly established. I am not really certain why I do not like pimento cheese; in fact I am not really certain what a pimento is. So, I conducted an exhaustive and lengthy two-minute search on the Internet and I discovered that a pimento is actually a pepper!

The pimento is a large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper that grows to be 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. They say that the flesh of the pimento is “sweet, succulent and more aromatic” than that of the red bell pepper. Now tell me, have you ever seen a whole pimento pepper? Do you know anyone who ate a whole pimento pepper? If these peppers are so succulent why are there only two know uses for them in the civilized world: 1) sticking them in the middle of a green olive and 2) adding them to a ton of sharp cheddar cheese, a half ton of mayonnaise, a little salt and a little pepper to make pimento cheese spread which, obviously is a lot more cheese and mayonnaise than pimento. It is a little known fact that because they cut these peppers up so small, the entire world-wide crop of pimento peppers is grown on less than a ½ acre in the backyard of a guy in Mississippi.

I hear that Pimento cheese is very popular in the South and, oddly enough, in the Philippines as well. I usually like Southern comfort foods and I have deep southern roots, I have lived in the south and the “deep south”, but I have never acquired a taste for pimento cheese. I acquired a taste for black-eyed peas, grits, even okra, but not pimento cheese.

I am told that you can’t find pimento cheese in Boston, maybe I will take a trip up there and introduce them to grilled peanut butter and jelly.

Friday July 4, 2014 Happy Fourth!

flag

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Danger on the Roads

Cone

I know that with a ling holiday weekend just around the corner that many will be taking to the roads.  So, I wanted to take just a minute of your time to warn you of a little noticed and little understood danger that is lurking on the roadways all across our great nation.  This is something that you have encountered numerous times on your drive to work or school or shopping, perhaps even today without ever giving it a second thought.  It is a silent, stalking creature that moves slowly, almost imperceptibly along our road ways claiming everything that gets in its way.  I am speaking of the ravenous creature know as araungicus barilis or more commonly called “orange barrels.”  In the infant stage, this creature stands about two feet high and is cone shaped; as it matures it begins to reach a height of about feet and begins to round out so that it resembles a large orange barrel. 

These creatures often travel in large herds, usually in a single line formation that can stretch for miles.  The adult barrels are usually seen in the middle of the herd with the cone-like children at the front and the back.  Scientists believe that these creatures are migratory, going south in the winter and making their way north again as the weather warms.  They appear to have a rather voracious appetite for asphalt leaving mile upon mile of road torn up and unusable.  Once they have found a good place to graze, they seem to stay for months, barely moving as they silently feed only to disappear when the cold weather arrives.  While these creatures appear harmless and almost stationary, they can be frightening when they attack, as evidenced by the almost universal presence of idle machinery along their path.  We can only assume that they have either eaten, attacked or frightened off the workers who had used these machines in a vain attempt to protect the roads from the destructive force of this silent menace.    Although they appear almost motionless while feeding, once they have consumed all the pavement in one area, they have the ability to travel quickly to another area where they can appear overnight to begin destroying another stretch of road.  

So be careful while you are out on the roads this Fourth or July weeekend.  Those little cones and barrels along the road may appear still and harmless, but don’t let them fool you or you just might be their next victim.  Drive safely!