Irish American Food Pioneers, The McDonald Brothers

Richard James “Dick” McDonald (February 16, 1909 – July 14, 1998) and his brother, Maurice James “Mac” McDonald (November 26, 1902 – December 11, 1971) were early American fast food pioneers, who established the first McDonald’s restaurant at 14th and E street in San Bernardino, California in 1940.  They introduced the “Speedee Service System” in 1948.

The McDonald family were of Irish origin. In the US Federal Census of 1910, both brothers (Maurice as “Morris”) appear in Manchester ward 8, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, and their father Patrick J. McDonald is shown as originating from Ireland, having emigrated in 1877 as a baby. Their mother Margarete is also shown as Irish born, emigrating to the USA in 1884 as a child

Originally coming from a low class family in Manchester, New Hampshire, the McDonald brothers began franchising their restaurant chain in 1953, beginning in Phoenix, Arizona with Neil Fox. The brothers goal was to make 1 million dollars before they were fifty. At first, they only franchised the system, rather than the name and atmosphere of their restaurant. It has been said[by whom?] that when Richard went to check on Fox, he was shocked to see an exact replica of his San Bernardino store, right down to the name “McDonald’s”. When he asked Fox why he had kept the same design and name, rather than calling the restaurant “Fox’s,” Fox said “Why change it? It’s great as it is”.[cite this quote] From then on, the brothers started franchising the entire concept.

The McDonald’s Museum, Des Plaines, Illinois in the style of an original McDonald’s

Franchised McDonald’s Restaurants were built to a standard design, created by Fontana, California architect Stanley Clark Meston and featuring the Golden Arches. In the early days, there were literally two arches, one on each side of the building. The arches were lined with pink neon that flashed sequentially. The second franchised restaurant opened in Saginaw, Michigan in 1953. The third franchised restaurant was opened in Downey, California the same year. As of 2010, the Downey restaurant remains the oldest surviving McDonald’s franchise.[citation needed] Additional franchises were granted for stores in Azusa, Pomona and Alhambra, California in 1954.

In 1954, Ray Kroc, who was a milkshake machine salesman at the time,  became inspired by the evident financial success of the brothers’ concept, immediately grasping the restaurants’ enormous potential. He partnered with the brothers, and within a few years turned their small idea into the huge franchise that would become the McDonald’s Corporation.  The franchiser took only 1.9 percent of the gross sales, of which the McDonald brothers got 0.5 percent.

Kroc became

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Homemade Gourmet Caramel Apple Recipe

When I was younger and my teeth were stronger, I use to tear into caramel apples.   Working with youth later on I got the chance to share the opportunity of creativity of gourmet apples lining up bowls of crushed cookies, marshmallows, butter fingers and more.   Check out the recipe below for pointers on Gourmet Apples from anoccasionalchocolate.comcommentary from MCCN Editor, Crystal J

Heat the bulk caramel in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals to avoid scorching. Be careful! That is hot, boiling, sticky, sugar! Hot hot hot! Keep the caramel warm by placing the bowl on top of two towels that are laid on top of your frying pan, set on low heat.

Make a small cut in the apple where you would like the stick to go, and put the caramel apple stick into the apple.

Dip 1 apple into about 150°F caramel, submerging it. Lift the apple out, allowing the excess caramel to drip back into the bowl. Turn the apple up and hold it for several seconds to help set the caramel around the apple. Place this coated apple on greased foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil).

Let the apples cool for about 5 minutes. Push the caramel that has pooled around the apple back up against the apple.

You can choose to decorate warm caramel with chocolate chips, red hot candies, nuts, toffee crunch, candy confetti, or other fun things.

Top Virginia Winery Trips

Almost ten years ago, I visited historic Monticello.  The area is known for the Thomas Jefferson estate anda less commonly know fact is that it is the birthplace of American wine.-Crystal J- MCCN Editor

Virginia has become the new hot spot for travelers who are passionate about wine. Home to more than 160 wineries surrounded by lavish scenery, breathtaking views and monumental historic sites, Virginia is a wine destination unlike any other. These ten getaways highlight what makes wine travel new and refreshing in Virginia.  READ MORE

Learn about Food History and Virginia, CLICK HERE

American History in a Cookbook: The Virginia House Wife

Probably the first person to be buried at Arlington Cemetery, Mary Randolph was a member of a high society and definitely a foodie.  Married to Peyton Randolf, the first President of the Continental Congress.  Needless to say she had a busy schedule and she wanted to make the daily routine of kitchen duties for women less time consuming.  Thus, she creates the The Virginia House-wife booking housekeeping and cookbook. READ MORE

History of Oysters Rockefeller and Recipe

Oysters Rockefeller was created at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s. Antoine’s was founded in 1840 by Antoine Alciatore, who moved to New Orleans after two frustrating years in New York to open a restaurant of his own. It is the country’s oldest family-run restaurant. The dish was created in 1899 by Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant’s founder.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine’s in 1937. Mayor Robert Maestri commented to Roosevelt “How you like dem erstas?”, as the national press transcribed Maestri’s Yat accent.

The dish was named Oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the richness of the sauce. The original recipe is a secret, the sauce is known to be a puree of a number of green vegetables other than spinach. It consists of oysters on the half-shell topped with the sauce and bread crumbs and then baked.[citation needed] Jules Alciatore developed Oysters Rockefeller in the face of a shortage of French snails, substituting the locally available oysters for snails. Antoine’s has been serving the original recipe dish since 1899. It is estimated that Antoine’s has served over three million, five hundred thousand orders

See Recipe

*Read more at Wikepedia

The History and Passion For Tamales

THE HISTORY

A tamale or more correctly, tamal (Spanish tamal, from Classical Nahuatl tamalli) is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa (a starchy dough, often corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be further filled with meats, cheese, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned. READ MORE

THE PASSION

Legendary Actress Lupe Ontiveros talks about her passion of tamales as comfort food.

The Cupcake: History & Recipe

Origins:  It believed what has come to be  known as the cupcake orignated in the United States in the late 19th century; however, similar constructs of this theme date back centuries before.

The cupcake (the common US, Canadian, South African and Australian term) or fairy cake (the common British and Irish term), is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small, thin paper or aluminum cup. As with larger cakes, frosting and other cake decorations, such as sprinkles, are common on cupcakes.

Chocolate Butterfly Cake

History:

In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the name “cup cake” or “cupcake”. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in. This is the use of the name that has persisted, and the name of “cupcake” is now given to any small cake that is about the size of a teacup. The name “fairy cake” is a fanciful description of its size, which would be appropriate for a party of diminutive fairies to share. hi guys lol

The other kind of “cup cake” referred to a cake whose ingredients were measured by volume, using a standard-sized cup, instead of being weighed. Recipes whose ingredients were measured using a standard-sized cup could also be baked in cups; however, they were more commonly baked in tins as layers or loaves.

Recipe:

In later years, when the use of volume measurements was firmly established in home kitchens, these recipes became known as 1234 cakes or quarter cakes, so called because they are made up of four ingredients: one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs.  They are plain yellow cakes, somewhat less rich and less expensive than pound cake, due to using about half as much butter and eggs compared to pound cake. The names of these two major classes of cakes were intended to signal the method to the baker; “cup cake” uses a volume measurement, and “pound cake” uses a weight measurement.

The Food Traditions of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Food Ornaments

The tradition of popcorn and berry garland was birthed in the United States.

Did you know that ornaments are supposed to be different every year? That’s right, Christmas ornaments are meant to be a board-overview symbolizing memories of Christmas over the years. The earliest ornaments were apples, used during the 1800s. Eventually paper streamers with bits of shiny metal foil were added as an effect to make the Christmas tree reflect light.

Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, Christmas trees were decorated with any household odds and ends, varying by country. Americans, for instance, would string long strands of cranberries or popcorn to circle their trees. Small gifts began to be used to decorate the tree, some times containing tiny intricately woven baskets, or at times just hanging by a thread or a piece of yarn.

In the UK, creative ornaments of lace, paper or other materials showed the variety of interests and talents of their makers. Small “scraps” cut out of newspaper or magazine illustrations also found their way to the family’s tree.

In the late nineteenth century, German glass blowers, in the area around Lauscha, began  blowing Christmas themed glass strictly for the holiday. Initially replicating fruits, nuts and other food items, they soon branched out and began to manufacture hearts, stars and other shapes that, prior to, were created out of cookies. However, now it had the added dimension of a wide color palette enhanced by the luminosity of the glass itself. Eventually the glass blowers began creating molds of children, saints, animals, and famous people. In the late 1800s to the early 1900s, F.W. Woolworth began to import the German glass ornaments at a value of 25- million.

In many countries there are still special ornamental traditions today. Here are a few of the ornament traditions:

In Germany there is the pickle ornament, placed on the tree first by the parents. The story goes that the child who finds the pickle first (normally the most observant one) would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas.

In Lithuania, Father Christmas spreads grain on the floor and children must perform a special song or dance on this grain so they may receive their presents.

In Argentina instead of placing gifts under a tree presents are put into shoes.

Article written by Jasmine Gore

Why Taste?

Taste of Burbank, Taste of Chicago, Champagne and Truffle tastings are all the rave across the country. Why should you attend these events?  It is like one stop shopping and it tastes so good.

Taste of Burbank

Downtown Burbank recently had its Taste of Burbank to raise funds for the local YMCA.  Priced at $30, attendees got the opportunity to taste cuisine of Cuba, Thailand, France and more.  Music filled the air while people danced and ate all night long.  Portos, Z Pizza, Exotic Thai and many other restaurants in Burbank participated.

Champagne and Truffle Tasting

Crystal with Champagne 2

I recently got the opportunity to attend the Beverly Hills Morton’s Steakhouse Champagne and Truffle tasting.  The champagnes featured were Piper Sonoma Brut, Piper Hiedsieck Brut and Piper Hiedsieck Rose Sauvage.  Before sampling of the Vosges Truffles, waiters served us with smoked salmon wedges, broiled sea scallops and petite filet mignon sandwiches.  All of these appetizers were divine.

Chocolate lovers, contain yourselves, I am moving on to the decadent part.  From white truffle ambrosia paired with the Brut to the Naga sweet Indian curry coconut and deep milk chocolate truffle paired with the Rose Sauvage, there are nuisances to discover.  Balance your sweeter chocolate with a more dry champagne and the less sweet chocolates with a more smooth champagne.  This experience was priced at $45.

MSU 056 About Taste of Chicago

In 1980 a group of restaurateurs approached the Mayor of Chicago with the idea of a food festival on the Fourth of July, and Taste of Chicago was born. Inspired by a “build it and they will come” attitude, a $150,000 budget, and confidence the event could attract 75,000 people, plans for the one-day food frenzy got under way. The festival was held in a three-block area of Michigan Avenue bordered by the Chicago River and the upscale stores and buildings that were then beginning to grace the Magnificent Mile; and between the architectural wonders of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.

It was a huge success, (250,000 attended the first “Taste,” and food and soda sales grossed $330,000) destined to change the way Chicago celebrates the Fourth of July.

Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup

PumpkinSoup

Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup

 

Ingredients
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce package frozen, peeled, cooked shrimp, thawed
Fresh shrimp in shells, peeled, deveined, and cooked (optional)
Plain low-fat yogurt or dairy sour cream (optional)
Snipped fresh chives (optional)

Directions
1. In a covered large saucepan cook the onions, carrots, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and allspice in hot margarine for 10 to 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.

3. In the same saucepan combine pumpkin, milk, and remaining broth. Stir in the blended vegetable mixture and the 8 ounces shrimp; heat through. If desired, on small skewers thread additional cooked shrimp. Ladle soup into soup bowls. If desired, top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt, a sprinkling of chives, and a shrimp skewer. Makes 4 servings.