Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented where?

I was making a cheese ball a while back (recipe here) and got to wondering about Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It’s been around for forever, it seems. 127 years, it turns out. I have a sister who lives in Philadelphia, so I think it’s cool that they have a cheese named after the city. Except the cheese isn’t made in Philadelphia. In fact, it wasn’t even invented in Philadelphia. It was invented in Chester, New York, by a guy who thought his cheese needed an urban name and wanted to, apparently, capitalize on Philadelphia’s renown for delivering quality dairy products. Kraft bought the “Philly” label in 1928, but as near as I can tell, this cheese has never been made IN Philadelphia. Hmph.

That got me to wondering about other products named after cities and towns, and if they were invented or made in the cities named after them:

Baked Alaska – Although there are earlier variations on this ice cream and cake dessert, this version, and it’s name, were created in New York, at Delmonico’s Restaurant, in 1876 to commemorate the Alaska Territory purchase.
Boston Cream Pie – Yep. Invented in Boston. (That’s one.)
Coney Island Hot Dog – named after Coney Island, but invented in the midwest, (say it aint’ so!) although it’s origin is a little murky.
Worcestershire Sauce – Originated in Worcester County. (Yay!)
London broil – U.S. origin, circa 1931. Maybe in Philadelphia? (I hear this is not a way of cooking beef that is well known IN London?)
Speaking of London, how about:
Yorkshire Pudding – yep, invented in Yorkshire.
And back to our beginning city:
Philadelphia Cheesesteaks were invented in Philadelphia. In fact, if you’re ever in that great city, I suggest a stop at Pat’s or Geno’s on the South side for a sandwich.

So it seems most foods are actually named for the places where they were invented. Not sure why that makes me feel better, but it does. And I think that’s enough fun for today. It was fun researching these, but now I’m hungry for cheesesteak and pie. :)

Happy Anniversary to Me

Yesterday, the 19th of October was thirty years since I took the oath of admission to the Florida Bar. I was twenty-three on that long-ago day and so excited to start on my journey to “Save the World” one client at a time. When I look back at the girl I was back then, I see someone who thought she was smart and savvy until the day she walked into a real courtroom for the first time to try a case and learned that people lie on the witness stand. They actually lie- actively and purposefully. I can remember how stunned I was at that revelation. It was a total blow to the solar-plexus. I quickly figured out I needed to factor that into my arsenal of skills and learn to cross-examine more aggressively and effectively.

I have been privileged to represent people from all over the spectrum of wealth, social status and mental health. Each client has etched something into my heart whether for good or for bad. I carry the scars of all those cases but amazingly, I learned in the early days of my journey that I could not bring that stuff home with me or I’d be in the mental ward myself. Some cases were harder than others not to take home- especially when I did child custody work, but leaving it at the office was important so I did my level best to do so.

One funny story from that first year of practice involved the first criminal case I handled. The accused was an 18 year old girl. She was charged with criminal mischief. In Florida, at first appearances (where the plea of not guilty and request for jury trial is taken by the court), if the case is a misdemeanor, the client does not have to appear. So, I walked in and when my client’s case was called, I came forward to the bench to face the judge. He looked down at me and said, “Little girl, where’s your lawyer?”

I replied, “I AM the little girl’s lawyer.”

He slunk down in his chair and apologized. I thought it was pretty funny myself but the man continued to apologize to me whenever he saw me until the day he retired.

By the way, I won that case- all charges were dismissed against my client when I showed there was no way the witnesses could identify the culprit since it was a dark night and the street lights were out. As well, my client was across town at a bonfire. That victory was sweet and showed me I could really do this job.

A Bit of Paradise by Valerie J. Patterson

I had a completely different topic in mind for this blog article, but here I sit with my toes deep in luxurious beach sand and out popped this article instead.

The bubbly hubby and I are on holiday at the Outer Banks where the temperatures are a wonderful 83 degrees and absolutely no humidity daily and the evenings are balmy in the 70s.  Our days are spent lazily on a private beach we’ve been sharing with less than a dozen people.  Every hour or so we run into the surf and crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.  There are no cares here on the beach.  We sip chilled glasses of juice or ice cold bottles of water, snack, nap, search for sea shells, talk quietly, and soak up the beauty surrounding us.

But this article is not about the holiday in its entirety.  That’s coming next month complete with some photographs.  No, this blog is about what happened at the beach today.

I was studying the horizon–vast spanse of blue sky meeting vast spanse of ocean–and what should appear?  Two dolphins frolicking in the water.  Their beautiful, water-silkened bodies literally leapt out of the ocean, arcing gracefully before plunging back into the water’s depths.  Then again, they appeared as though playing a game of tag.  Over and over these two beautiful creatures danced in and out of the water to my very delight and ecstatic pleasure.

Because it’s off season, the dolphin and whale watching tours are done. Steve and I were certain we would have little chance of seeing any dolphins. Then it happened. I was right where I was supposed to be, looking exactly where I needed to be looking, and the dolphins were there right where they were supposed to be, and I had a wee bit of paradise.

Until next time, may you find paradise right where you least expect it to be.

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Late Again

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LATE—AGAIN!! It might be a good thing that I don’t have a paid contract to write this blog or I would have been fired a long time ago. Today though I might have a good excuse.  Granddaughter went in the … Continue reading

Evolution in the Kitchen

mag25historic1a__1256072230_4869Years ago my sister-in-law called as she was in the process of cooking dinner. We had gotten a cow, one of the times my husband went country, albeit it was short lived. Anyway we had given them some milk and she was making butter and expounding on how wonderful it would be to go back to the basics.

Umm, I could hear the mixer going, back to basics? It seemed they had gotten home from the kid’s ball game and dinner was a bit later than usual so I just had to give her an eye opener. ☺ I remember telling her that 50 years before she would have to start a fire to cook the dinner she was doing on the electric stove and there would have been a butter churn instead of an electric mixer. And of course no dish washer or hot running water. As she visualized the picture I was painting reality set in.

We have come a long ways. I don’t go as far back as churning butter or cooking on a wood stove but my grandmother did until she died. She did have an electric hot plate. I remember the smell of her kitchen and the wonderful tasting meals she made on that old stove. However I was pre-micro wave and now can’t imagine life without one now.

imagesRecently out son installed a faucet in their kitchen that turns on with a sensor. It’s amazing and something I can see in my future. And, what about the fantastic pre-cooked dinners? I remember when TV dinners tasted like cardboard and looked….well not so good. Now I get packaged dinners like Garlic Chicken/pasta and Chicken and Wild Rice. Yummy.

0x600I looked at kitchens of the future, got to love the internet, and found this one with the caption “iphones that make lattes” and guess what they are here now. But, hold your breath, at a cost of around $11,000. Guess I’ll wait for the prices to catch up with the technology. But it and more are coming. And, nostalgia with yester-year is good but I love the times we are living in and the excitement of change. Especially thinking about how they used to do the washing. Ummm a topic for a future blog. ☺

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October Craziness

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Usually the craziness of October doesn’t start until closer to Halloween but this year my October started off with a bang literally.  And the story does have a good ending :) First off, Tuesday the smoke alarm goes off with … Continue reading

Good To Go!

Oh well, summer is well and truly over here in the UK – it’s blowing a hooly, tipping with rain and the temperature has dropped. It seems ages ago I was on holiday instead of the two weeks since my return. A last minute decision and booking saw my two sisters, my niece and me jetting off to sunny Fuerteventura, the longest and oldest of the Canary Islands, for a week of sun, sand, sea and sangria.

Waiting for take off!

Waiting for take off!

On our way by coach to our hotel in the north of island, all four of us wondered what on earth we had come to. It was bleak, desolate, many buildings empty incomplete shells covered in graffiti, and not a tree in sight. Okay, so it is a volcanic island but everyone was telling us it was a beautiful place. Were we missing something? Had we landed on the wrong island? Suddenly the black rocks gave way to sand. White sand, miles and miles of it.

Camel ride across the dunes, anyone?

Camel ride across the dunes, anyone?

We’d hit the best beach on the island ­– long, wide dunes, all 2,600 hectares of them that form the Las Dunas National Park, made up of soft, clean, white sand (even better than that in Barbados) that must have over millions of years blown across the Atlantic from North Africa, not a million miles away from the island. So, if anyone tells you the Canary Islands are nothing but black volcanic sand beaches, you can tell them they are wrong.

Oliva beach

Perfect location.

Our hotel, a multi-storey complex right on the beach, was perfect and most days were spend relaxing on the sand. We’d booked a family room so we didn’t have to part company at night, and found ourselves in a separate part of the complex, called The Village, made up of two- and three-storey apartments with its own pool area, bar and restaurants.

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Most days were spend on the beach

Our apartment was on the ground floor, with a double twin room, dining area, and vast living space with two sofa beds. I have to admit these sofa beds were the most comfortable I’ve slept on. The bedroom had its own walled private terrace, and leading off the living area was an open terrace facing beautifully kept gardens and lawns, secluded and visited by birds, rabbits and a goat!

Gardens just outside our terrace

Gardens just outside our terrace

We could not fault anything – the staff, the food, the drink, the ambiance, the temperature of the sea, the cleanliness of the complex. Our only disappointment was the evening entertainment. We’re not into karaoke or bingo and the shows and cabaret put on were rather lame, mainly dancers and singers who mimed to everything. Not our thing. We are more used to strolling out of an evening, window shopping and people watching etc. The hotel was some hour-an-a-half walk from the town of Corralejo – too far. We took a taxi there one morning and had a walk around but were again disappointed as it was not the pretty harbour everyone was talking about. Pleasant, yes, with plenty of bars and restaurants, but nothing we would want to go back to. And as we were staying all inclusive, we had no need.

Even bunny enjoyed his champagne breakfast Sunday morning

Even bunny enjoyed his champagne breakfast Sunday morning

Had we’d been staying longer, we might have explored the island more, but a week was enough. We came home relaxed and refreshed and determined next year, we will look for a villa again as we did miss our own private space and pool, and research the area more before we book. I think another Greek island is on the cards, but we are glad we went. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, a lot of food and a lot of drink.

Oh, just one thing. Don’t be tempted to buy a swimsuit with a skirt thing attached – a swim skirt they call it. It looked good, certainly covered my horrible thighs, but was absolutely totally useless for swimming in! The skirt floated up to my neck, looked ridiculous and hampered any swimming, whether in the pool or sea. It’s now consigned to the charity bag. Another excuse to go shopping!