June 19

National Dry Martini Day

First Father's Day. Fat Cat. Sugar Pie. Cherry Garcia. Snail Bay. Dry Martinis. Kung Pao. Angel. Cheerios. Mint.

Days Until. . .

Father's Day -- 1

Restaurant Anniversaries

Valencia-born Angel Miranda opened Lola's on Esplanade Avenue today in 1994. Angel had attracted attention to his Spanish food in a restaurant called Altamira, in the vicinity of the 1984 World's Fair. The neighborhood--now called the Warehouse District--is booming with restaurants. But back then business was sparse, and Altamira closed not long after the Fair did. And Spanish food was slow to catch on. Lola's, however was a big hit. Angel passed away in 2011, but his restaurant still thrives.

Today's Flavor

The consensus on the Internet is that today is National Dry Martini Day. That sounds good to me, although I prefer my martinis not so dry. It's said that the original recipe for the martini was equal parts of gin and vermouth. This makes sense, since the drink is named for a major maker of vermouth. However, now we see recipes like "Gin shaken with crushed ice in front of a vermouth bottle." In other words, many martinis don't have vermouth at all. Which seems wrong to me. I always ask for a little extra vermouth, in fact. But then I'm also a proponent of the idea that no real martini is made without gin.

Music To Eat Sugar Pie By

Today in 1965, the Four Tops had their biggest Number One hit with Can't Help Myself, which is better known to many people by its first line, "Sugar pie honey bunch." What is a sugar pie? Where can I buy a honey bunch?

Overeating In The Comics

Garfield, the fat orange cat in the comic strip drawn by Jim Davis, first appeared today in 1978. Garfield is an extremely dedicated eater, even a gourmet. I have never seen him turn down any food, no matter how unusual. Cat after my own heart.

Annals Of Ice Cream

On this date in 1987, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream created a new flavor, Cherry Garcia, with the blessing of the leader of the Grateful Dead. It's cherries and chocolate in vanilla ice cream. Very good and rich, as Ben and Jerry's usually is.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Snail Bay is in lower Lafourche Parish in southeast Louisiana, about twenty miles north of Grand Isle, the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. The bay is about a mile wide and two miles long, with Snail Bayou passing through from east to west. Just south of Snail Bayou is Barataria Bay, one of the finest estuaries for oysters, shrimp, and fish anywhere in America. It's also one of the places most endangered by the current oil spill. While most of this land has been eroding away as a result of rising sea levels and hurricanes, silt coming in from Bayou Lafourche makes the land around here a little more solid. If you find snails, in Snail Bay, you won't want to eat them. The nearest restaurant is fifteen miles east by boat in Galliano: The Kajun Twist.

Edible Dictionary

kung-pao, Chinese, adj.--A peppery Chinese entree, usually made with chicken but often enough with other meats or even tofu. It's one of the most popular dishes in the Sichuan style of cooking, and one of the first in that style to make it onto the menus of American Chinese restaurants. It's named for the title of a nineteenth-century former governor of the Sichuan province. Kung-pao chicken is made with diced chicken, whole red peppers, and peanuts in its usual American version. However, Sichuan peppercorns--not widely used in this country except in the more expensive Chinese restaurants--are considered indispensible in the classic recipe. Sometimes cashews are used instead of peanuts.

Food Namesakes

Salman Rushdie was born today in 1947. . . The Apple satellite, launched by India today in 1981, was the first to be stabilized in all three axes. . . Edward "Wahoo" McDaniel was born today in 1938. He was a professional football player, then became a pro wrestler. (Wahoo is the name of a very good Gulf fish.). . .Pro footballer David Pollack stepped up to the Big Scrimmage today in 1982. (Pollock is a fish in the Pacific used to make fake crabmeat, among other things.)

Annals Of Cereal

Cheerios was created today in 1941. They're made predominantly of oats, and they taste pretty good, as cereals go. They work well as an evening appetite killer, which is what I use them for.

Sounds Like Food, But Isn't

On this date in 1835, New Orleans gave the square of ground at the foot of Esplanade Avenue to the federal government for the building of the U.S. Mint./strong> It operated until the Civil War, then again in the 1880s. The rumor that the city fathers thought they were getting a plant making after-dinner candies is not true. The Old. U.S. Mint is now part of the Louisiana State Museum, and after an excellent restoration some years ago, its grounds also host the French Quarter Festival and other celebrations. It's a must-visit for numismatists.

Words To Eat By

"There is such a thing as food and such a thing as poison. But the damage done by those who pass off poison as food is far less than that done by those who generation after generation convince people that food is poison."--Paul Goodman.

Words To Drink By

“How about slipping out of those wet things and into a dry Martini?”--Noel Coward.