Straight from the Scullery

a blog about life, love, and the pursuit of food and happiness...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Holy Moses!

October 2, 1889

Nicholas Creede was born under the name William Harvey in northern Indiana, though he was known as "Billy" to his family and friends. His family moved on to Iowa, and as a teenager Billy worked with the US Army. By the time he was nineteen years old, Billy Harvey was working as a scout for the Army with the Pawnee Indians and traveled throughout the West as they campaigned against the Sioux. 

Having been up in the Badlands and the Black Hills when gold was discovered, Billy's interest in prospecting was sparked. He returned to Iowa in order to marry the girl of his dreams, only to find that she was already his brother. Billy changed his name to Nicholas C. Creede and headed to Colorado in pursuit of a mountain of riches. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Judging the Nation

September 24, 1789

When discussing the birth of our nation, we are familiar with names like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams...names our basic history books referenced over and over again. One name that mistakenly escapes recognition among many Americans is Connecticut-born Oliver Ellsworth. Senator Ellsworth is the reason our government is known officially as the "United States Government" as opposed to the "National Government of the United States." He aided Connecticut throughout the Revolutionary War, was a member of the Committee of Appeals (the pre-cursor to the Supreme Court), helped prepare the first draft of the Constitution, was integral in the passage of the Connecticut Plan,  and basically wrote the Judiciary Act, which was signed into law by President Washington on September 24, 1789.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Don't Give Up the Ship

September 10, 1813

Perry's Battle Flag

The last spoken command from Captain James Lawrence on the frigate USS Chesapeake during the War of 1812 was brought from Boston to the Great Lakes during the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. The fame and honor bestowed upon Captain Lawrence as a fallen war hero were emblazoned on the flag Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry used when signaling his troops to engage the enemy in the largest naval battle of the entire war. Captain Lawrence had been a friend to Perry, and the flag made for him by the women of Erie would help to find a place for Lawrence's famous words in American naval history.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Finding a Home

September 6, 1620

In 1608, a small congregation of Northamptonshire churchgoers decided they'd had enough of the Church of England. To them, it was no less corrupt than the Catholic Church had been, and the group planned a move to Holland. The Separatists (or Saints, as they called themselves) would reside in the town of Leyden. 

The Saints did find the freedom to worship as they chose, but the rest of life in Holland was not ideal. The Saints could only find jobs with meager pay; being an immigrant was not easy. Worse yet, the lifestyle was just a bit too free and easy for this crowd, and it was creating conflict as the Saints tried to raise their children amid all the heathens.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Battle of Cooch's Bridge

September 3, 1777

Late August 1777, General George Washington established camp in Wilmington, Delaware for his army as he waited for the British to land. The overall British objective was to invade the capital of Philadelphia, and smaller battles were engaged along the road north. 

The British infantry included a large number of German jagers who led the advance toward Philadelphia. Americans attacked the Hessian horse soldiers near Aiken's Tavern, just south of Cooch's Bridge. The bridge itself played host to a battle that lasted much of the day. When the ammunition supplies were depleted, the fight carried on with swords and bayonets (not good news for the Americans...we weren't very well-versed in battling with bayonets). 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Steak and the Presidency

September 2, 1958

Historically, American presidents are remembered in a sort of "ranking," with some being more popular than others. Dwight Eisenhower (in office 1953-1961) is renowned for a number of events. He brought an end to the Korean War, authorized the establishment of NASA, contributed to bringing down "McCarthyism," expanded Social Security, introduced the Interstate Highway System, made 5 appointments to the Supreme Court, brought DARPA to the forefront (the precursor to the internet), desegregated the armed forces, admitted Alaska and Hawaii into the Union, and on September 2, 1958, signed the National Defense Education Act into law.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Place Stamp Here

June 13, 1920

I went to the post office the other day to ship off my latest eBay sale, and the sleepy postal worker behind the counter wanted to know if there was anything liquid, hazardous,  or perishable in the package to be mailed. No, it was just a pair of boots that I'd fit into a flat rate box that somehow ended up costing more than the "flat rate" by the time the questions were through. I have mailed (or had mailed to me) many things over the years. Brownies to my children at camp. My brother mailed a Foster's Lager to me for my sixteenth birthday (much to my parents' chagrin). Pike Place Market in Seattle has sent fresh salmon to me overnight. I have not (to this date) tried to ship my children anywhere, however; and I am not sure how they would qualify under the "liquid, hazardous, or perishable" stipulations.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!

June 12, 1987

As World War II ended, Germany was left with four different powers in charge. The United States, the UK, France, and the Soviet Union. The country itself was split by these occupations, as was the city of Berlin. Post-war plans included a path to self-sufficiency on the part of the Germans; however, the Soviets were not interested in complying with this agreement. Stalin's basic idea was to wait it out while the British and the Americans slowly left Germany, which would then leave nothing to stand in the way for communism to take over. 

Over the course of the late 40's and throughout the 50's, the grip on East Berlin tightened. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) was officially formed in 1949, a secret treaty was signed (not so secret once the Soviets gained full control over things) and East Germans began emigrating toward the west. Tens of thousands of East Germans left each year; by 1953 that number reached over 300,000; by 1953 that number reached over 300,000, and by 1961 the total was around 3.5 million.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Future Presiden'ts Duel

May 30, 1806

Remember the scandal of Seamus, the Irish Setter, during the last presidential election? And Mitt Romney having to defend himself by declaring "My dog likes fresh air?" The whole incident (whether you were appalled at the dog riding on the roof or appalled that anyone was making an issue of it) gives cause to question whether or not some of our nation's early elected presidents would survive today's media.

Andrew Jackson, our nation's 7th president (and first Democratic president), is remembered for many reasons. He joined the local militia at age 13 and moved on from there. With little education, he became a country lawyer in Tennessee. He was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court while maintaining multiple careers. Jackson served as major general of the Tennessee militia and is well known for his service against the British in the War of 1812, particularly for his victory during the Battle of New Orleans.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Chestertown Tea Party

May 23, 1774

During the mid-1700's, tensions were running high between the British and Americans. In London, Parliament had issued a whole new set of taxes (called the The Townshend Acts) on goods that were bound for American shores. Things like molasses, paper, paint, glass, and tea could not be unloaded from the ships without a significant amount of money in return. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Three Cheers for an Adventure

May 21, 1804

Lewis and Clark set out from St. Charles, Missouri as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, sent by President Thomas Jefferson to establish an American presence in the newly acquired territory of the Louisiana Purchase. Captain Lewis and his crew were to find a route to the Pacific Ocean on their journey, and were tasked with creating maps of the country along the way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rockefeller and Trail Dog Chicken Curry

The first American worth more than one billion dollars would appreciate the "Best Soup of 2014." In fact, he'd probably sell it and increase his net worth.

The characteristics of an entrepreneur and those of a chef creating an eclectic, delectable new dish really are quite similar. If Mr. Rockefeller were here, he'd tell you. Never mind that his father was a con man who had extramarital affairs, nor that his father's idea of raising a son was to "cheat him every chance he got..that'll make 'em sharp."

In fact, the richest man in history probably became that way because of the way he was raised. He was a risk-taker, a man who understood how to put the right combinations together to create success, and the number one rule for entrepreneurs..."Do what you enjoy."