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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 06/19/13

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

VANILLA MILK WITH CHOCOLATE ICE CUBES!


   This recipe come from www.sandrakavital.blogspot.com . A truely mesmerizing drink!  Why didn't I think of this! Oh so good!  Vanilla milk with chocolate ice cubes, what a concept!







If you follow this blog a little from its infancy, you know that if I'm a fan of the use of chocolate in desserts and pastries as I appreciate the vision of its smoothness once melted, it does not, however, part of my favorite dishes from a standpoint of taste.

But like any rule there is an exception in this case, it takes the form of hot chocolate before whom I have a hard to resist and which is also my favorite winter drink.
In reality, I say "drink winter" but you may know from last year that they are not the seasons that stop me to enjoy this delicacy.
How in these circumstances to resist the call of Chocolate Ice Summer Jean-Paul Hevin seen at Keiko , a simple chocolate milk reinterpreted in a fun and original in the form of ice that melt chocolate gently when mixing with milk deliciously flavored with vanilla.

A delicious idea frankly that you can add your button to raise the chocolate flavor: coffee, pepper, pepper, cinnamon ..  who can stop you?


 
 (For 4-6 people depending on size of glasses)


Chocolate ice
  •  200ml milk
  •  50ml water
  •  1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  •   1 teaspoon sugar
  •  1 tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
  •   70g dark chocolate (66%)

Milk with Vanilla
  •  600ml milk
  •  60g sugar
  •  1 vanilla pod

For chocolate ice (12 to 14)


 Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.

Pour milk and water in a saucepan, add sugar, cocoa and instant coffee and mix carefully to avoid lumps. Porter √† √©bullition sur feu moyen puis retirer du feu. Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from heat.
 Pour mixture over the chocolate, melt 5 minutes then mix gently with a wooden spoon to get a cream smooth and creamy.
 Cool and pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.





For the vanilla milk


Pour milk into a large saucepan, add sugar and stir to dissolve.
 Slit the vanilla pod in the center, scrape the seeds and put them in the pan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from heat.
Cool, then refrigerate several hours or preferably overnight.


To serve, place ice cubes in glasses of chocolate (depending on size of glasses 3-4 ice) then pour over the cold milk with vanilla.
You can decorate this beverage serving it with whipped cream and chocolate or cigarettes into the gourmet dessert by mixing milk with the vanilla ice cream for a creamy milkshake: Mister Choc Summer, irresistible nugget of Chocolate  . .

Simple and effective!


GROWING A WORLD-CLASS GIANT PUMPKIN!!




    The French have a phrase--ide'e fixe-- meaning to be obsessed with an idea to the exclusion of everything else. There is probably no better explanation for the growing of giant---approximately one thousand pound--pumpkins. In fact, in some sense, growing giant pumpkins has become a "big business". Although growing giant vegetables isn't restricted to pumpkins, the pumpkin is iconic for what would be called "Paul Bunyan" gardening. At the peak time of growth, a giant pumpkin can grow thirty to forty pounds a day, which is more than a pound per hour!







The Ultimate Experience-the Giant Pumpkin

    One quote says, "To err is human, a pumpkin is Da' Vine". The most carefully chosen pumpkin seeds, though, won't grow a world-class pumpkin without considerable planing and investment. Seeds may now be bought online. An internet search reveals many willing providers and forums dedicated to doing just that. The correct choice must match the temperature requirements the temperature requirements of the variety one chooses to those of the climate. Other factors include soil properties, pruning technique's, fertilization, fungal supplementation, water chemistry and application method, and protection from the elements.






What is Required to Squeak Out Maximum Growth?

    Giant pumpkins should be started indoors well in advance of the outdoor season, with care in choosing pots, soil mix, and lighting. Pots must be large to avoid crowding of roots and only the strongest plants should be kept. Transplanting outdoors, moisture must be carefully controlled. A dry spell can dictate application of as much as a hundred gallons of water per plant. Pruning of tertiary vine branches prevent the plant's vitality from being sapped by multiple fruit. Sun canopies over the developing pumpkin prevent early fruit maturation and helps avoid cracking. Mycorrhizae fungus improves nutrient and moisture absorption considerably. Pests must be eliminated. Some suggest playing music to the potential winner-preferably classical.






I'm not Interested in Giant Pumpkins

    Although most of us will never till our land with the intent of growing a giant pumpkin, is there nothing iN the idea that appeals to your lighter side?

JUNETEENTH THE CELEBRATION OF THE END OF SLAVERY!




    The understanding and excitement of Juneteenth is growing at a phenomenal rate. Cities and States all across the U.S. and beyond are realizing the wonderful opportunity we have to come together in appreciation, reconciliation and commemoration. During Juneteenth we acknowledge the African American spirit and pay tribute to the roles and contributions which have enriched our society. The JUNETEENTH.com website provides a channel in which to connect and unite all whom share the vision of this celebration.
    Through the efforts of those at the grassroots level, to those on the state and national levels, Juneteenth celebrations are now held in most, if not all, 50 states. Over half have passed some form of legislation establishing Juneteenth as a Special Day of Recognition. Several other states have similar legislation pending. The recognition and honor of Juneteenth extends even beyond our borders. Expatriates, teachers, servicemen and others have continued their celebrations internationally.







History

    Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.



Juneteenth Flag


    Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory

General Order Number 3







    One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:


"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."






    The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and






women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.


Juneteenth Festivities and Food

    A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.
    Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors - the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.






    Food was abundant because everyone prepared a special dish. Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion. A true Juneteenth celebrations left visitors well satisfied and with enough conversation to last until the next
    Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition's roots. During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former 'masters'.


Juneteenth and Society






    In the early years, little interest existed outside the African American community in participation in the celebrations. In some cases, there was outwardly exhibited resistance by barring the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that could provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding and barbecues. Often the church grounds was the site for such activities. Eventually, as African Americans became land owners, land was donated and dedicated for these festivities. One of the earliest documented land purchases in the name of Juneteenth was organized by Rev. Jack Yates. This fund-raising effort yielded $1000 and the purchase of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas. In Mexia, the local Juneteenth organization purchased Booker T. Washington Park, which had become the Juneteenth celebration site in 1898. There are accounts of Juneteenth activities being interrupted and halted by white landowners demanding that their laborers return to work. However, it seems most allowed their workers the day off and some even made donations of food and money. For decades these annual celebrations flourished, growing continuously with each passing year. In Booker T. Washington Park, as many as 20,000 African Americans once flowed through during the course of a week, making the celebration one of the state’s largest.







Juneteenth Celebrations Decline

    Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook education in lieu of traditional home and family-taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom text books proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 as the date signaling the ending of slavery - and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.
    The Depression forced many people off the farms and into the cities to find work. In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date. Thus, unless June 19th fell on a weekend or holiday, there were very few participants available. July 4th was the already established Independence holiday and a rise in patriotism steered more toward this celebration.






Resurgence

    The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C.. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor. Many of these attendees returned home and initiated Juneteenth celebrations in areas previously absent of such activity. In fact, two of the largest Juneteenth celebrations founded after this March are now held in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.






Texas Blazes the Trail

    On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.

Juneteenth In Modern Times

    Today, Juneteenth is enjoying a phenomenal growth rate within communities and organizations throughout the country. Institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum and others have begun sponsoring Juneteenth-centered activities. In recent years, a number of local and national Juneteenth organizations have arisen to take their place along side older organizations - all with the mission to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.
    Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.








    The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future - and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.