Easy Recipes, Food Facts & Lore, Monday Magazine

The Monday Mag – August 1, 2016

In This Edition Of Our Somewhat Weekly Magazine:

  • Why Do Carrots Cause Hiccups & There’s a Dip Recipe For That
  • The Varnum’s Food Fare
  • Time Capsule: Food Trends, The 80’s

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week ~ “Logic is one thing and commonsense another.” – Elbert Hubbard

why do carrots make us hiccup (2)

Why Do Carrots Cause Hiccups & There’s a Dip Recipe For That ~ Chowing down on carrots before a meal is a guilt-free activity. It can be a funny or embarrassing one too thanks to the incomprehensible carrot hiccups. Incidentally, cauliflower and broccoli may have the same effect. The reason is simple: When chewed, raw carrots break down into morsels that allow a lot of air to be swallowed along with the carrot. The diaphragm reacts with quick spasms, as if to nudge the pieces into a more compact formation by pushing against the walls of the digestive tract. The hiccup actually takes place as the vocal cords react in a chain reaction of spasms. The solution? Dip it. The added moisture changes everything.

Thaw a 10 oz package of frozen spinach. Squeeze water out and chop. In a bowl, combine with 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and 1/4 cup chopped scallions. Add black pepper to taste. Blend well. Serve with carrots… and other veggies too.

the town that food saved

The Varnum’s Food Fare: The Town that Food Saved, by Ben Hewitt. ~ Bet you’ve heard a lot about this book, but you may not have had a chance to dive into it. The introduction aptly sets the stage: “If you claw your way to the top of Buffalo Mountain and look out over the town, you’ll see how Route 15 becomes Main Street, and Main Street Lasts for about a mile… Here’s what you won’t see: over the past three years, this little hard-luck burg… has embarked on a quest to create the most comprehensive, functional and downright vibrant local food system in America.” Now that it has been 8 years since the beginning of this adventure, many who have had occasion to drive through Hardwick, or stop for a while at their lively cafés and unique shops, could not help but notice the overnight transformation that continues to this day. Small rural towns around the nation are changing, making strides to unfold their unique personalities. This gem of a true tale of resilience and creative spirit is an inspiration to all. Find it at The Varnum Memorial Library, or at your local library.

ramen noodles 1980

Time Capsule: Food Trends, The 80’s ~ Food preparedness was a thing of the 90’s, as we discussed last week. One of the main items on the “must-have” list appears in the 80’s in the form of packaged ramen noodles. A favorite for many, along with those mechanically generated Pringle chips in a tube (also an 80’s delight); an acquired taste for others; and certainly a saving grace for a little something different in the work-day lunch box. Convenience is the operative word here. Moving on to something we Americans embrace with pleasure: Ranch Dressing. It was invented in 1956, but truly popularized only three decades later. Last but not least, for us here anyway, frozen yogurt. This, in fact, was right in line with the singular focus on dieting that would emerge in the 90’s. Frozen yogurt was a way to have our cake and eat it too, guilt-free. It was yogurt, after all. The guilt hit later, when we realized it was not necessarily health food. On the bright side, don’t you like our imaginative food creations? 


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