VOL. 0 NO 0   ABOUT FOOD AND DRINK

PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON'S LEVEES

Mr. Lewis, Thomas Jefferson's secretary, who later joined William Clark exploration of western United
states recorded that Jefferson's dinners were known for commencing at 4 p.m. and continuing late
into the night usually catered to congressmen foreigners and all types of people.  Massachusetts
Congressman Manasseh Cutler recorded a dinner he attended on 6 February 1802 as consisting of:
"rice soup, round of beef, turkey, mutton, ham, loin of beef, cutlets of mutton, fried eggs, fried beef
and a pie called macaroni ... ice cream very good crust ... many other jimcracks, a great variety of
fruit, plenty of wine (and good)". The Congressman must have been intrigued by the macaroni pie as
he specifically commented on it saying it, "appeared to be a rich crust filled with strillions of onions,
or shallots, which I took them to be, tasted very strong the president told me there were none in it;
was made flour and butter, with a particularly strong liquor mixed with it."  President John Adams
evidently did not approve of Jefferson's dinner parties for he wrote, "I held levees once a week that
all my time not be wasted by idle visits. Jefferson's whole eight years was a levee.  I dined a large
company once a week, Jefferson dined a dozen a day."
(Source: American Food by Evan Jones)

HONEY FOR FIVE CENTS A QUART!
Ancient Egyptian monuments dating to 3500 B.C. depict Bees and someone has worked out that a
quart of honey in those times cost the equivalent of 5 cents.
(Source: The Healthy Taste of Honey the Bee People's Recipes, Antidotes and Lore by Larry James
Lnnik) HORSE RACE FANS ARE QUICK TO IMAGINE TIPS ON RACES  The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of
a Muslim sect, was in the habit of sending the British Queen Marya gift box of mango each year in
June.  The Queen received numerous gifts of food from many parts of the world and after seeing
them she sent them to the kitchen staff at Marlborough House. The mangoes were usually served for
dessert some given to friends and the remainder made into mango jelly which was popular with the
Royal family. The food gifts usually had cards attached identifying the giver. In June 1948 the box of
mangoes from the Aga Khan had a card attached that had only two words "My Love". It was only a
short time before the running of the Derby and anyone with even passing interest in racing knew that
the Aga Khan had a horse in this Derby named "My Love".  As the kitchen staff unpacked the
mangoes, after reading the card, there was much speculation among then as to whether the words on
the card were intended as a tip on the coming races. Discussions went on until almost race time as to
meaning of the two words in the end the kitchen staff of five bet on the Aga Khan's horse "My Love".  
The Aga Khan's horse won its race and the kitchen staff, who had bet rather heavily, were well
rewarded. They never discovered if the Queen had taken the tip and placed a bet but each of the five
happy winners created a memento by taking a mango seed and carving "My Love, 8/6/48".
(Source: Royal Chef by Gabriel Tschumi)

TEN YEAR OLD FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID UNDER FIRE TO BE REVISED ????  John Webster USDA's director
of public information and government affairs said recently that a broad based panel was reviewing
the Food Guide Pyamid.  He said the panel is reviewing the present pyramid "to judge the pyramids
usefulness and efficiency by consulting with nutrition professionals, academics, stakeholders and
every day users." They will also consider the scientific and nutritional advances made since 1992
when the Pyramid was instituted. Stakeholders are representatives of the powerful meat and dairy
industries.  The Pyramid has been criticized by some nutritionists and consumer advocates because it
does not reflect the latest nutritional research.  Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine
(PCRM) has been opposed to the Pyramid and its guide lines. This Washington, DC group that
promotes preventive nutrition won a nine month legal battle against USDA last year for allowing a
group with very close ties to the dairy, meat and egg industry to develop the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans 2000  Because of the lawsuit the guideline committee had to acknowledge the importance
of a plant based diet and that soy was a good source of calcium.  Walter Willet, Ph D., chairman of
Department of Nutrition at Harvard Public Health and a professor at Harvard Medical School claims the
Pyramid offers "scientifically unfounded advice and misinformation that contribute to poor health and
unnecessary early deaths'. He objects to USDA not differentiating between whole and refined grains,
its lack of emphasizing the good fats such as those from nuts and avocados and focusing on animal
products for protein. His recent book 'Eat Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide the
Healthy Eating covers these items and more.  Willet also objects to stakeholders being represented
on the reassessment team saying they, "shouldn't even be at the table because " they want us to
eat in ways that aren't optimal to our good health". Hopefully the increased interest in USDA's
Pyramid will result in a more nutritious one.
(Source: Vegetarian Times Dec. 2001, News Bites)

AVOCADOS
Probably the first European to enjoy an avocado was Hernando Cortez (1485-1547). The pleasure was
not experienced until after 19 Nov. 1519 when he entered Mexico City and met the ruler Montezuma.
Montezuma introduced him to the 'ahucatl'.  It was explained that the word 'ahucatl' came from their
word for testicle which it not only resembled, but also excited sexual passion.  When the fruit and
word of its powers were introduced to Europe Avocados ~ became popular in the palaces of Europe.
Avocados were popular~ with French King Louis XIV
(1638-1715) who thought they seemed to rejuvenate his libido.  In the States we use the avocado
mainly in salads and hors d oeuvres In Mexico the 'aguacate' is still valued as a love food. They say
raw avocado soaked in rum for a day or two is specially delicious.
(Source: Foods for Love The Complete Guide to Aphrodisiac Edibles by Robert Henderson and The
Encyclopedia Americana)


JOHNNIE WALKER STEPS OUT
Some areas of the economy are up. One month after 11 September sales of Johnnie Walker Black
Label are up 17%& Evidently s~ people preferred ~ drugs to alcohol during the same period as
Prozak sales increased 18% and Valium 11%.
(Source: Newsweek 26 Nov 01)

WINE WAS AN AFTER DINNER DRINK FOR MANY EARLY AMERICANS
When Madeira wine was popular in early America and if it was high quality Madeira people saved it to
savor after dinner. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as Americans began
adapting to French wines they followed the English and colonial custom of savoring their wine after the
meal. They drank beer or cider with their meal. Even President Jefferson continued the practice when
he returned to Monticello to live.  During his eight years in office Jefferson purchased more than
20,000 bottles of wine from Europe  Bottles of wine reported to have been purchased by Jefferson
have turned up at auctions and sold for very high prices.  In 1985 a bottle reported to be Chateau
Lafite 1787 from Jefferson's collection was bought by publisher Malcolm Forbes for $156,450. The
bottle was placed in Forbes' museum highlighted by spotlights. The heat form the spotlights dried out
the cork and it fell into the bottle.  In April 1989 William Sokolin, a New York retailer offered a bottle
of Chateau Margaux, reported to be from Jefferson's collection, for $519,750 to the owners of the
vineyard and winery. He took the bottle with him to show to the owners when he joined them at the
Four Seasons restaurant for diner. He knocked the bottle against a serving cart causing the bottle to
break and the wine to spill onto the carpet It is disputed whether these or any other "Jefferson wines"
should be considered genuine.
(Source: Drink, A Social History of America by Andrew Barr) REASONS FOR DRINKING There are two
reasons for drinking: one is when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to
prevent it.
(Source: Quote by Thomas Love Peacock published in The Hangover Handbook and boozer's Bible by
Nic Nan Oidishoornk) THE ALE MUST BE PROPER  Beginning in 1267 the production, quality and price
of ale in London was controlled by an ale-conner or taster. His job was to assess all ale that was to be
sold to the public. The ale-conner analyzed the ale by spilling a little onto a bench and then sitting
on it for a while. His decision as to the acceptability of the ale was based on whether his leather
breaches stuck to it or not. If his breeches stuck then the ale had not fermented long enough as
there was too much unconverted sugar and not enough alcohol.
(Source: Londoners' Larder by Annette Hope quoting Anne Wilson's Food and drink in Britain)

Lentil Dal (Dhal)
Cost: $ 0.74   Serves: 4
Dal can be made from a variety of beans. They are cooked, seasoned and pureed. Dal may be mild
or spicy hot, thin and runny or pasty thick; thicker daIs are preferred. They may be served with curry,
or as a vegetable dish.  In the western world bread is the staff of life and bread and butter almost a
single item. In the east, the Indian subcontinent the people speak of "Roti and Dal", bread and
lentil, as if one must accompany the other. Indeed, a meal is not complete without "Roti and Dal".
Often for the poor it is the meal, the only meal, and it sustains. This grain and bean combination is
probably based on availability of plant life, tradition, and experience passed down by elders for
thousands of years, even before the ancient Indus Valley civilization.  "Roti" is often the chapati, its
minimal ingredients, flour, water and sometimes salt, make it popular. It is also suited for moving
food to the mouth. Practiced hands deftly manipulate a piece of chapati to serve as a spoon or fork,
scooping up a runny dal or grasping a vegetable from the dal.  Modern science informs us that the
combination of dal, made from beans, and the chapati, made with wheat flour, supplies the body with
complete protein, important to proper functioning of body and brain. Lentils used are the type
commonly found in supermarkets.

Figure

Your Ingredients                               Approximate Cost    Cost
Lentils, 2 c cooked                              $0.03/oz; 16 oz  =$0.48 ......
Onions, 1                                           $0.12 ea; 1 ea   = 0.12  ......
Garlic, 1 clv                                         $0.39/10clv; 1    = 0.04  ......
Coriander, ! tsp                                   $0.2s/tbs;! tsp   = 0.04  ......
Cumin, ! tsp .                                     $0.10/tbs;! tsp   = 0.02  ......
Ginger, ! tsp                                       $0.10/tbs;! tsp   = 0.02  ......
Turmeric, ! tsp                                    $0.32/tbs; ! tsp  = 0.05  ......
Red pepper-crushed,t tsp                     $0.10/tbs t tsp   = 0.01  ......
Pepper, black, t tsp .                           $0.10/tbs; t tsp  = 0.01  ......
Margarine, 4 tbs                                 $0.04/oz; 2 oz    = 0.08  ......
Stock,         4 c                                       by product     = 0.00  ......
or water 4 c                                             from tap     = .00    ......
Approx cost ...                                                        =$0.87  ......

Preparation
Drain and rinse, put lentils in saucepan with 4 cups of unsalted stock or water and cook over low heat,
stir in half the coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, dried red chili pepper, and save remaining for
sautéing. Cook until lentils are soft and stock or water absorbed, 2 to 3 hours. Chop onions, mince or
press garlic, melt margarine in skillet, sauté onion and garlic sprinkle with remaining coriander,
cumin, ginger, turmeric, crushed dried red pepper and black pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, mix
with cooked lentils, and serve as vegetable or with curry.