Thursday, April 21, 2011

Old School Thursday: From Huck Finn to the Jetsons Edition

Last Thursday, I was happy to see that National Pecan Day celebrated just the nuts – no special presentation or weird subset of pecan. Well, that happiness was short-lived because today is National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day. So, whatever.

It’s also St. Bueno's Day. I didn’t know there was a St. Bueno (St. Good?) and I also didn’t know there was a patron saint battling against cattle diseases. But there is, so there you are.

In other, not really food-related, news, today is John Muir’s birthday (1838). Muir, as nature calendar enthusiasts know, was a naturalist and was a driving force behind establishing Sequoia and Yosemite national parks.

Nearly a century later, today in 1910, Mark Twain passed away. Though I feel sort of guilty and un-American saying this, I’m not really a fan of Twain’s fiction (maybe I can blame my seventh and tenth grade English teachers?). I do like some of what he had to say, though – like this observation from A Tramp Abroad:
“Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born. I might glorify my bill of fare until I was tired; but afer all, the Scotchman would shake his head, and say, "Where's your haggis?" and the Fijan would sigh and say, "Where's your missionary?"
Finally, in genuinely food-related April 21st news, today in 1962, The Top of the Needle restaurant opened in Seattle’s space needle. It was the country’s second revolving restaurant (after La Ronde restaurant in Hawaii) and it’s still open. While I firmly believe that Anthony Bourdain’s observation that the quality of a restaurant’s view is usually inversely proportional to the quality of its food, I’d still like to eat at a revolving restaurant – just for the mid-century/future/Jetson’s factor.

So that’s it for today. If you can’t make it to Seattle, to dine on top of the city, you could always celebrate by whitewashing a fence or maybe picnicking in a park. Or both!

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