Shrimp Kabobs and Ribeye

Due to the fact that I wasn’t planning to create a blog post with this meal, the images I shot leave a lot to be desired. The result on the canvas of my tongue, albeit, was a masterful portrait, if I do say so myself.  A flame flavored palate party for two.

Anyway… You may ask if we really like our rib-eyes charred as seen here on the grill.  Well, one of us does anyway. Which is why I only bobbed the shrimp and veggies rather than overcook the shrimp in the process of reaching my wife’s choice of cook temp on her steak. I prefer mine M.R. (medium rare),  whereas she insist on having hers M.I. (mildly incinerated). Continue reading

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Sourdough Bread Pudding

Certainly not going to win any glamor awards. And you wont see it in next months “Healthy Living” issue, but I thought you might be interested in what became of the little turtle loaf of sourdough bread from last night.

Well, I mean what was left of it today after I toasted slices of it for lunch with tuna salad, green peppers, onions, arugula, dill pickle, crushed fennel, smoked paprika and parsley.

Sorry, no pictures of that. I know you would have loved to of seen them though, they were pretty little sandwich’s for about 10 minutes.

Anyway, Yeah I really didn’t need to win any awards for the dish I made with the remainder of the Sourdough bread, as I received a “Michelin Star” for it last night; turns out the tire was one of theirs.

After the Tuna Salad lunch was over, I decided to recycle the little turtle into something he would be proud of, and so I made up what I’m calling:  Turtle Track Bread Pudding.

I had about four slices left, so I crumbled it into a baking dish, in quarter, to half-dollar size pieces, and got my mixing bowl out.

This is the recipe for “Turtle Track Bread Pudding” if I can recall everything:

“Turtle Track Bread Pudding”

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees,..or, 175 Celsius).

4 slices day old sourdough bread that once resembled a turtle (optional )

(any day old bread will do)

1-1/2  Tb-spoon melted butter

1/8 cup raisins

1/8 cup walnuts

1/8 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/8 cup coconut

2 eggs, beaten ( Though I only used 2 yolks I  had in the fridge from something I already used the whites for )

1-1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all the raisins, nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips, or whatever you are using in with the dry bread by hand.

“Pour melted butter over the bread crumbs”

In separate bowl mix, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Pour mixture over bread and push the bread down so that it is all covered with the liquid. Place into oven on top rack for 45 minutes, or until the top is dry and springy. There ya have it:

Now please excuse me while I go take an insulin shot.

Till next time, this is the “Throw Together Gourmet ” saying good-bye on behalf of myself, my sourdough starter, “Bubbly Child ” and the turtle:

If Only I Had A Turtle Shaped Bread Pan

This was my first attempt at baking an animal shaped sourdough bread. Don’t even ASK why I tried … Okay, go ahead and ask. Yeah, probably because I AM turtle slow at preparing the dough.

Actually, while kneading the dough I left it alone, to go see why Marcos Ambrose hit the wall in the Richmond Nascar Race on the Tele. I mean, of course, other than the obvious that he’s a Tasmanian Devil, and should have stayed the Champion he was in the …

From Wiki-Pedia, or, Richard Petty Car Owners ..or .. well just sue me...

Australian Grand Prix, and British Formula One and left the real race car driving to us REDNECKS !!!   Hehe  I’M KIDDING!!!

The man is an awesome driver, and I am not only proud of him winning his first Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen, New York, last month, but even  MORE   proud to have him as a resident of my home state of  North Carolina…where all the Great Drivers Are From…or at least .. reside.

Except for Mario, ( Nazareth, Pennsylvania)  and his wife, Dee Anne, who taught him to speak English in 1961, and apparently only taught him

mario-andretti-and-nicole-small Whom Ever She Is

two words,   I DO,   And the rest is history…

I actually thought that was a funny-pun …till I tried to find a picture of Mario with his wife… and not just another movie star, or floozy dressed in nothing but a skimpy checkered flag …

But,  I finally found JUST ONE..of him and his wife on his official web-site  and she ain’t the girl in the picture next door >( I might also mention,  for a speed demon, don’t expect his website to be a fast loader)

 Okay,  I’m sorry, this IS  a Tortes Tale and not a Rabbit Trail.

So there I was… S  l  o  w  l  y  K  n  e  a  d  i  n  g  t  h  e  D  o  u  g  hzzzzzZZZzzz  Huh, Qu..wut??  Zzzz   Oh…  yeah okay…so, there I was..?,

Oh…Yeah,  when I came back to the kitchen I noticed I had left the bread ball all alone, looking more like a Turtle than a loaf of bread…So I quickly pinched out a head, and poked two “Cloves” in his eyes…and

Dude!!! Wake Up !!!

Okay, Okay…so then I decided;  Hey this is going to be a real masterpiece… (maybe,.. If  I had a Real Camera)

I didn’t take into account yet that the Turtle shaped raw dough, would also require a Turtle Shaped Pan to remain that way.

So, anyway,.. I baked it…

Voila' "ONE TURTLE TURD BALL"

You of course will want the recipe right- a – way, I’m sure:

I’ll give it to you…but first, I have to run to the Grocery Store and grab a bottle of expensive wine…

Let’s see…This is on close out sale: “Fat Bastard” Chardonnay ( For Real ) …whoa…let’s see… Here

I picked up a …………………………………………………………………   And then I  ran into ….her

Walmart Girl

Hmmm… am I really awake?

Okay… just in case..here’s the recipe… But .. don’t forget, whether you HATE Nascar or not.. you are going to love “Marcos Ambrose” so please watch the videos at the end of the article.. I realize the post is lame..but, one thing is for sure… We are the people of Walmart, and the people  of   Walmart …have no shame…

People of Walmart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • (I used Honey Instead)
  • 1/2 cup corn oil ( I used garlic infused olive oil)
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • If you don’t know Sourdough Starter see my post called: The Sweetest Sour I know

Directions

  1. Mix sugar, corn oil, salt, water, and 1 cup of sourdough starter together in a large bowl. Sift the flour and add to the mixture. Grease or oil the dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise overnight.
  2. The next day, ( Though I only waited 3 hours this time ) knead the dough for 10 minutes. Divide in half, and place into two greased 4 x 8 inch bread pans. Allow the dough to double in size.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and taps hollow. Turn out to cool on wire racks.

On this one I added chopped tomatoes, fresh parsley, and dried Basil Leaves…Plus topped it with Honey, and greased the baking dish with garlic infused olive oil.. But, you can improvise.

Please take a look at Marcos Ambros’s videos … even if you don’t like nascar…you’ll love a sweet success story…and believe me… @ 200 miles an hour, Ambrose is MUCH faster than any turtle, or me baking one…
His First Win…the following week:  

Dude…you think I could get some “Wheels”?

you know what…you’re going to need some wheels:

Till next time…this turtle was a little slow…but He sure tasted like fast  sourdough.!!!

Alton Brown

When Alton Brown left the New England Culinary Institute in 1997 he may have been, as he sometimes refers to himself   just “One Lowly Cook“. Today, with numerous awards  for his show, and starring in two other slow simmering television rolls from 2006 to 2008  on the Food Network prime-time dinner menu, Brown is “cutting edge” Prime Beef.

After more than a dozen years of preparing and analyzing frittatas, beef, bacon, and stew, in the scientific, satirical way that only Alton Brown can do, his long

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running “Good Eats” will soon be on the chopping block.

Alton will not pick up his knives and go home, however, as it is he who decided to cancel the award-winning show. This stands to reason, of course. Alton Brown not only starred in the show but also wrote, produced and filmed it.

Shooting and directing film were not new menu items on Browns professional forte either. Upon leaving the University Of Georgia in 1986, with only one credit hour lacking to receive his Bachelors degree, Brown went on to achieve such things as filming videos for the professional rock band R.E.M. as well as filming and directing other music videos and TV commercials.

In 1988, Mr. Brown,(not to be confused with Tyler Perry’s,” (Mr. Brown”)

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panned cameras for “Spike Lee’s” movie, “School Daze ” starring Lawrence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin.

When Alton’s award-winning, drama, producing mind, and cameras weren’t rolling, he spent time with his wife, DeAnna Collins-Brown, at their North Atlanta suburb home, watching cooking shows, as well as cooking, ( a passion inspired in Alton from Childhood by both his mother and grandmother).

By 1993, after coming home from directing intriguing commercials, and vibrant videos, settling on the sofa to watch another sleepy Julia Child style cooking show left him hungry for more than just food.

Alton’s personal and  professional palates were craving more well-rounded entertaining meals than the current television culinary productions offered on the carte du jour. He had the perfect recipe to remedy the situation too…   “I wrote down Julia Child, Monty Python, Mr. Wizard and thought if I could put those three things together, that would be fun,”  Brown says. Unfortunately, he was missing one key ingredient.

Before the butter could melt, 1994 rolled around, finding the  Browns living in Vermont, with Alton  enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute to study the art of fine cuisine under renowned Chef Jean-Patrick Matecat. Matecat began his cooking career in Paris at age 14, which is the traditional age for a Frenchman to begin their apprenticeship. Jean-Patrick Matecat, working for a well-known French corporation, moved to New York 40 years ago to help develop a line of baked goods. He remained in New York for nine years, before moving to Vermont as Executive Chef for British born, Mike Wares, ” Common Man” Restaurant.

By 1997, Alton and DeAnne were living in Atlanta, and had written and filmed the first two pilot episodes of the soon to become award-winning show,”Good Eats“. By 1998, Food Network  purchased the show, which aired in July, of 1999, the same year Dianna, and Alton, produced their daughter,  Zoey.

Seems Alton has a way of beating odds, and skinning fish in a huge way.

Ironically, while giving up on, or, at least, keeping at bay, the thought of spending five years of his life at the University of Georgia in the early 1980’s only to come short of his degree by one fourth quarter French credit … He studied culinary arts under a French teacher, and had earned the  “Bon Appetite”  Magazines  ” Cooking Teacher of the Year” award the same year the University changed the curriculum requirements, gaining Brown his all but forgotten Bachelor degree…of Drama.

Man, Talk about Drama!!!  Browns comment upon receiving his Degree “I outlasted the high standards of the University”  was an understatement to say the least. I’m thinking the (W) on the forehead, in this case, stands for no less than… Winner!!!

The Iron Chef America MC will be signing his  8th book ” Good Eats 3…the Later Years” at the “Theater  Cedar Rapids ” in Cedar Rapids, Michigan, tonight @ 7:30, But …sorry, it’s sold out… but he could be coming to your town next, “Here are some dates of the itinerary”

As a literary, culinary, and all round lover of a sweet success story kind of guy, I find Alton Brown the ultimate “Supper Hero” And no, I didn’t misspell Super, and did I mention he loves God? 

( the entire series can be viewed beginning  Friday, Sept.30th 2011 @ 8 pm ET on the Cooking Channel)

Bon appetite!!!

Nuestra Senora de Atocha 1622 “Lost at Sea”

(AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Sharon Wiley)

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Shipwreck experts are evaluating a centuries-old 40-inch gold chain plucked from the seafloor while searching for a 17th-century sunken Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys.The piece is tentatively valued at about $250,000. It is believed to be from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank during a 1622 hurricane. It was found Wednesday by divers from Mel Fisher’s Treasures about 35 miles west of Key West.The chain has 55 links, an enameled gold cross and a two-sided engraved religious medallion featuring the Virgin Mary and a chalice. In 1985, the Fisher crew recovered more than $450 million in artifacts and treasure from the Atocha shipwreck, but part of the ship has not been found.

A Spanish galleon similar to the Nuestra Señora de Atocha. as seen : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lasalle/owners.html

Some fifty years before the first city in North America was found, the Spaniards occupied cities in Central America, the Caribbean, Cuba, and many other “New World” ports de old sod. As far back as the late 16th century, cities such as Potosi, Lima, and Mexico City, housed populations greatly exceeding the largest cities in Spain. Huge tracts of land granted to Spanish colonist in these areas by the Crown produced Coffee, Tobacco, and other commodities and were traded for supplies from Cadiz .

The system was extremely profitable for the Crown, as well as the colonist from 1561, until 1748, ( though colonization and sporadic trade started earlier). Of course, the most profitable commodities for advancing Spain’s world domination, and continuing the colonies were the more shiny, monetarily valued items found on the continent such as silver and gold.

Two separate fleets sailed from Spain to the new world annually loaded with do-jiggers, and vendible for the colonist. In return, many pelagic souls, slaves, doubloons, and pieces of eight, launched from the Gulf of Mexico headed back to Spain on the same ships. The slew of  ships lost to hurricanes and squalls in the area from 1500 till now represent many nations, yet the majority being Spanish Galleons, hands down, leaves many of their hands and deck, beneath the sea, and treasures on our minds, almost as valuable as the history itself.

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From Cadiz, sailing Columbus’s wake to the Caribbean, the fleets (though Spain had many other fleets sailing many other seas) would split

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for separate destinations. Fleet Nueva Espnana’, for Veracruz, Mexico, and Tierra Firme, for Portobello, Panama. After unloading their cargo, and being loaded to the hilt,  sitting lull a hull, both fleets keeled with lucre, barring no contender, would meet again in Havana, Cuba, which just happens, was the birth place of the ship, “Senora de Atocha”.

 ( to be continued )

The Sweetest Sour I Know

I remember my granny getting all giddy one day some twenty years before she rose to that great bread basket in the sky. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that sourdough was not a new concept to her culinary forte, but to a lady who had never driven a car, or even traveled more than 100 miles from the back-wood coastal plain Carolina farm she grew up on,  it was more likely something she’d only heard of and hopelessly dreamed of one day kneading together into a ball of love, and spreading throughout the countryside to everyone she knew or may just happen to meet.

Few things in this world having to do with growing, cooking, canning, or sharing for friends and family ever escaped my grandmothers hard earned cognizance. From sunup until sundown she never sat down. Unless it was to shell peas or shuck corn she’d grown or clean fish she’d caught on the end of a hook. Those along with attending church on Sunday were the few occasions she allowed herself away from the garden or cookstove.

Once in a while, we could get her to join us at the bountiful blessing she’d labored to bestow before us on what seemed to the boy I was then, a table that had no end, nor any space on it to place another dish of culinary gold.

Most of the time, however, she would just drift along from person to person filling their tall floral designed glass with sweet iced tea.

I still remember her picking up a bowl of butter beans, or fried okra that had already made its way to the other end of the table from you in response to a ” please pass the biscuits” ritual, and bringing it back offering you more of something already filling a sizable spot on your plate she herself had filled on her last trip by.

They just don’t seem to make them like her anymore. Oh, how wonderful it would be if like the sourdough starter that she was so elated to have finally come to possess — Grandmothers could go on living with us forever.

Still, nothing takes me back to almost being there, though there are many aromatic triggers and residual fruit jar reminiscents. Like the sweet mental rendering smell of  love and sourdough bread that my granny cultivated, nurtured, and shared, twenty years ago.

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Though sourdough dates back to ancient Egypt, circa 1500 B.C. a date that parenthetically fits the mold and time of the Israelite Exodus according to many historians, many bread lovers of today think of San Fransisco, California, when this sweet manna comes to mind.

There is, in fact, an abundant resource of gold remaining still today in the hills of San Francisco.

It isn’t the same gold that many young men sought and fought for in wild west Victorian America upon hearing the faithful words; “Go West Young Man,” however, but, is in fact, the same surrogate Mother that nourished many of those who lived and sought for gold in 1849.

The Boudin Bakery, founded by Isidore Boudin, a Burgundy, France Master Baker’s immigrates son, bakes some of the finest sourdough bread known to the world still today. And all the while boasting that each one of the golden bulging babies that pop hot from their ovens originated from the same yeast starter that the first loaf baked in 1849 came from.. the “Mother Dough”

I don’t claim to be an expert on chemistry, or bacterial things, whether good or bad by any means. But if there is one thing I love more than eating wonderfully, sweet tasting,  fresh-baked sourdough bread — it’s baking it.

Yes, that for me is the sweetest hour. Or the sweetest sour, as it were. Nonetheless, for one to be able to do just that, they must first have a good starter. And since I was too busy eating granny’s lovely finished product to ever think of inquiring of how I might one day give birth to my own, like Isidore Boudin, I set out on a quest in search of my “Mother Dough”.

I thought I would break bread and share what I found for those of you who may also like to pick a slice from the “Mother Loaf.”

And here it is — “The Popping Fresh, Unadulterated, Unleavened Staff and Start of the Sourdough Yeast Starters Life”

You don’t have to buy the store brands though they are convenient and usable.

Experts say the best culture to start bread with comes from the indigenous area of the finished product. Though the microorganisms needed to start your own yeast starter can come from the air in your back yard, bad organisms can infiltrate your starter if not harvested correctly.

The way to assure a great original tasting bread starter exclusive to your area is to start your own starters starter — from an indigenous fruit, such as grapes.

Fruits attract local cultures from the air so you can use locally grown organic grapes or those bought at the supermarket to grow your starter as follows.

Begin with two cups of washed, slightly crushed Grapes, in a large bowl.

Then add two cups of bread flour, and two cups of warm water. Stir till mushy and smooth. Cover the bowl and sit somewhere warm for a few days—Sit the bowl I mean not yourself—unless, of course, you are tired.

— Once the starter has begun to ferment or bubble —

(May take up to 5 days depending on the environment ) — strain the grapes out and don’t forget to feed the starter. Now you are ready to bake bread.

Just google how to bake sourdough, as I’m not sure if you will be using a bread machine or a traditional oven.

Once you are ready to bake be sure to pour some starter food back into the bowl, or jar you plan to store it in the refrigerator in.  Cover Top Loosely With Saran Wrap or a Cloth, NEVER TIGHTLY SEAL IT WITH A LID.

You can experiment with different sweeteners to use as food for the starter now and then, and also change the type of flour to make different types of bread, like Rye, or Pizza Dough even. It doesn’t matter what flour you feed the starter to keep it alive either, just be sure and feed it with a little flour and water every other day or so.

Some recipes telling how much starter to use.

After use, be sure to feed the amount back to the starter bowl. Equal parts water to flour, and even a little sugar now and then if you like… never forget that your yeast starter is a living, food producing friend. You may even want to call it by its first name — I call mine “Bubbly Child”        Bon Appetite !!!

SHAVING AND A HITCH HIKER I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY BALD HEAD (via The only Cin)

My Blogger friend in South Africa is the Queen of my double wide dreams…And Gordon Ramsay better behave himself around her when he goes to see her…Or I will send my meanest, but most favorite TV Chef to straighten him out..
Oh wait.. My most favorite mean TV Chef IS Gordon Ramsay… Okay.. Ramsay.. you better behave or face the wrath of YOU…I mean it … I will send him…you ..anyway…Ya’ll have to know…this girl needs to be seen and her dishes tasted World Wide… The World Deserves Her Creativity…
You Go Cindy

SHAVING AND A HITCH HIKER I CAN'T GET OUT OF MY BALD HEAD Shaving heads is a funny phenomenon inSouth Africa. In some areas the chaps do it to show they’re tough; part of gangs. In others they do it in support of a friend who has cancer. I am not very tough, but I do have two friends who are going through the hell of chemotherapy at the moment. I shaved my hair off this morning. It was very … Read More   ( Or See What Others Are Saying About Cindy)

via The only Cin

“Sons of Enoch” Chapter 27 (Wallam Olam) Red Record

(The City of Tenochtitlan)

Red Record ( Wallum Olam) red record

Long before the Europeans arrived on the eastern shores of  North America, there was a tribe of people living in the land, now known as the Delaware Indians. In more recent years, and as long as the Europeans have been here, the neighboring tribes as far south as Florida refereed to the Delaware  as the “Grandfathers”  or the “Lenni Lenape “.   Though Lenni Lenape in the Lenape, “Algonquian Indian”  language means  “ Original People “, their own tradition, and records  reveal a very different story. The “Red Record”, or Story of the Grandfathers, Delaware Indians is well-preserved and is known in the Indian tongue as the “Wallum Olam”.

The Wallum Olam pictured above is the oldest written account of the migration and colonization of any ” Native American people”, spanning almost a hundred generations and beginning with a written account of Noah’s flood.

From the Pre-Columbian American Religions, p. 162

In the long chain of tribes along the east coast, one ethnic group stands out, not only in the European written sources but also in the judgment of the Indians themselves. This remarkable group was the Delaware, called in their own language the Lenni Lenape. They had a special status in the eyes of many other Indian peoples: they were reverenced as the “grandfathers,”  representatives, after a fashion, of authority and legality.

One of the things that we today have learned from these writings as far as what the term “Grandfathers” meant to those tribes who later came to co-exist the continent with the already flourishing Delaware, is not exactly what earlier historians and anthropologist understood it to mean.  Because of the wonderfully preserved written account of the Delaware, and remnant discoveries of a long-lost civilization along the Mississippi River basin, truth of who the first now known inhabitants of the continent were became overpowering but clear.

Though the term “Grandfathers” and other reverencing, and honorable terms used by the neighboring tribes to describe the Delaware came well deserved, as the ensuing revelation of exactly who the Delaware had to conquer when first coming into the new land portrays , it also tells of just how “Earned” the sentiments must truly be.

A View of Cahokia One of the members of this organization — United States archaeologist H.M. Brackenridge — described the ruins in his own words. He examined the great pyramid of Cahokia in 1811-12, and we quote his fascinating record taken from A. J. Conant’s Footprints of Vanished Races (pp. 56-58) — In order for us to form a correct idea of these mounds and pyramids, it will be necessary to give the reader a general idea of the terrain in which they are located. This great American plain consists of extensive aluvial terrain that extends from the tributaries of the Mississippi River, from Kaskaskia to the Chakol River, some 190 miles in length and about seven miles in width; several rivers wind their way through the area; the earth of this region is extremely fertile and is not harmed by the constant overflowing of the mighty Mississippi. Many LAKES are scattered about through this area, which abound in fishes, and in the autumn of the year arrive many wild birds. This valley is capable of supporting a population greater than any other part of the entire Mississippi Valley. The branches of the great river offer proof that this area once supported an ENORMOUS POPULATION. If, for example, the modern city of Philadelphia were to be abandoned, the traces of human existence would not be more numerous! The author goes on to say — The immense number of mounds and the quantity of human bones found everywhere on the surface gives ample evidence that this valley was once filled with towns and peoples. Almost all the land seems to be a superb resting place for its original inhabitants. Most outstanding of all are THE PYRAMIDS AND THEIR MOUNDS. A group of them is located about 12 miles to the north of Cahokia and another is located about 12 miles to the south of the river. There are MORE THAN 150 PYRAMIDS of various sizes. The western branch of the Mississippi also contains A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER. A more detailed description of the pyramids to the north of the Cahokia River, which I visited in 1811, will give you a good idea of them all. I crossed the Mississippi coming from St. Louis and passed through a forest that ran along the edge of the river and entered a plain. After 15 minutes I found myself in the midst of some mounds. From the distance they looked like hay-stacks standing up in a meadow. One of the largest, which I climbed, had a base of 200 feet in circumference. The form of this mound was almost square, although there was evidence of the erosion caused by wind and water over the centuries. The level top had enough room to contain seven hundred men in a standing position. The view from this pyramid was beautiful beyond belief. You could see a plain with some wooded groves and some isolated trees: to the right the prairie extended to the horizon, to the left I could see the Cahokia River winding its way to the Mississippi. Within my view I was able to count FIFTY-FIVE PYRAMIDS and numerous mounds of various sizes. These all formed a semicircle. I continued walking along the branch of the Cahokia and passed by EIGHT MORE PYRAMIDS within the distance of four miles before arriving at a larger connecting tributary. When I arrived at the base of the MAIN PYRAMID, I was astonished! I thought I must be viewing the great pyramid of Egypt. It was truly wonderful to behold! The construction of this one must have required the labor of thousands of men and many years of continuous labor! From:    http://www.hope-of-israel.org/aztec.htm   (From the Mississippi to Mexico — The Great Migration of the Aztecs!)

In 1519,  Hernando Cortez, and his hoard of 600 soldiers landed ship on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and discovered an established, well advanced society who called themselves the Aztec. Later, Cortez, after herding the Aztecs, who were polytheistic, and unable to understand the Spanish language, into great masses and shouting the principles of the Gospel of Christ at them, mistook the seemingly indifferent response of the Aztec as rejection of the Gospel. This military authoritative means of  spreading the Gospel of Christ not only revealed the Spanish hoard’s misunderstanding of the message and Christ himself, but unfortunately resulted in catastrophic annihilation of an absurd amount of human lives.

Google Image from / www2.dsu.nodak.,edu

At first encounter, and until Cortez decided it was time for him to make converts to Christianity, the Aztecs greeted the Spaniards peacefully.  In fact, as some of the Aztec Traditional legends told them of a god  who would return to them one day, they first perceived erroneously that he had returned through Cortez.

Ensuing are excerpts from Bernal Diaz del Castillo:

The first hand account of Bernal Díaz del Castillo‘s True History of the Conquest of New Spain paints a portrait of a noble leader who struggles to maintain order in his kingdom after he is taken prisoner by Hernán Cortés. In his first description of Moctezuma, Díaz del Castillo writes:

“The Great Montezuma was about forty years old, of good height, well proportioned, spare and slight, and not very dark, though of the usual Indian complexion. He did not wear his hair long but just over his ears, and he had a short black beard, well-shaped and thin. His face was rather long and cheerful, he had fine eyes, and in his appearance and manner could express geniality or, when necessary, a serious composure. He was very neat and clean, and took a bath every afternoon. He had many women as his mistresses, the daughters of chieftains, but two legitimate wives who were Caciques[N.B. 2] in their own right, and only some of his servants knew of it. He was quite free from sodomy. The clothes he wore one day he did not wear again till three or four days later. He had a guard of two hundred chieftains lodged in rooms beside his own, only some of whom were permitted to speak to him.” (Díaz del Castillo 1568/1963: 224–25)

When Moctezuma was allegedly killed by being stoned to death by his own people “Cortés and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him, and there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, which was not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, and was the best king they ever had in Mexico, and that he had personally triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow we all felt when we saw that Montezuma was dead. We even blamed the Mercederian friar for not having persuaded him to become a Christian.” (Díaz del Castillo 1568/1963: 294)[7]    End Wiki

(The City of Tenochtitlan) http://www.hope-of-israel.org/aztec.htm

Paul Willis; part of chapter 9,  Sons of Enoch…much more to come.

LandtiQuaSeas.com

“Steampunk” Art or Atrocity ?

1915-e-ingraham-black-mantle-clocksteampunk-art-0051915-e-ingraham-black-mantle-clocksteampunk-art-001

One of the latest controversial raves in the vintage collectible arena without doubt is the pseudo-realistic  birth child of artist, and collectors called “Steampunk”.  To the traditional nostalgia  collector, first glance at such items borne by marrying a vintage, or antique, otherwise desirable keepsake to a modern piece of technology can seem preposterous, and even sacrilegious.

However, (though my imagination is lacking in its hypothetical example to say the least),  there would likely be something awe-striking about seeing an 18th century hand-pump connected to a Lazy- Susan with a dish rack built on top, and a brass plate attached that reads:   “Benjamin Franklin’s Dishwasher”

I’m just saying!!!

Nonetheless, even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is a much deeper root of intrigue at work here than just that of infatuation to weird science, and back-wood ingenuity.

Though becoming trendy among the baby boomer techno-yuppies in the late 1980’s and early 90’s;  “Steampunk”  had already gathered a full head of steam, hissing and bellowing a wedding vow commemorative of the joining of yesterdays inventions to today’s innovations as early as the 1960’s, as many related works etched in pen reveal.

The actual term however was coined by K.W. Jeter, the science fiction author of  “Morlock Night” in 1979.  In the ensuing letter written to “Locus” Sci-Fi magazine, and published April of 1987, this is clear, and documented.

Dear Locus, Enclosed is a copy of my 1979 novel Morlock Night; I’d appreciate your being so good as to route it Faren Miller, as it’s a prime piece of evidence in the great debate as to who in “the Powers/Blaylock/Jeter fantasy triumvirate” was writing in the “gonzo-historical manner” first. Though of course, I did find her review in the March Locus to be quite flattering.

Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like “steampunks”, perhaps..

All three Authors mentioned by Jeters, including himself, had released books around the same time fashioned on the resourcefulness of  Sci- Fi greats such as ‘H.G Wells”,  and  “Jules Verne “. Although Jeter did coin the phrase, it is well-known that the trend began earlier as afore-mentioned many works released, actually, from 1959 until today  broach the enthusiasm toward the craze.  Below are a few of those books listed:

Titus Alone, 1959  by Mervyn Peake

Worlds of Imperium , 1962 by Keith Laumer

Warlord of the air, 1971, y Michael Moorcock

And,  Queen Victoria’s Bomb,  1967, by Ronald W. Clark, just to name a few.

Ultimately, as many musicians go branded under the title of ; “Steampunks” we know that this trend not only entails Vintage Hybrid Arts and Collectibles, but also brandishes its own fashion statement. The preferred wardrobe for those who consider themselves mainstream

“Steampunkers” is that of the British Victorian era,  as are the most desired Antique items used to play the role of the Groom to be joined to the Bride in modern quixotic artful marriages which could be called a “Bridge Across Forever”.

Though I must admit, I’m a little old-fashioned about the desecration of Antique items to create an extension to the desired imaginative result of ones fabulous fancy, I must also admit…I’m intrigued.

As a long time picker, and a one time avid collector, my creative wheels have spun round and round from first I saw of these improbable unions…     If only I’d of had such proclivity as those who join these long-lost agglomerations, while I still  possessed the many broken, partial or incomplete wounded soldiers of yesteryear…  I  may have been known as the “Marriage Chaplain of Quantum-Punk”    But, more likely just another accumulator of Quantum Junk!!! But, I’m good with that…really…say…

I wonder what I can do with this broken steam engine? Humm….

See the Video Discussion with  Dan Von Hoyle here:

Victory met defeat though her discovery promises a victorious sweep.

In 1737  the largest sailing vessel ever to set sail on the high seas of her time  launched from Portsmouth England. She lengthened 226 and a half feet long from bowsprit to taff, with a lower gun deck of 186 feet. Construction of such a ship in eighteenth century funding would equate to present day cost of an aircraft carrier.

6000 oak trees fell from life to give birth to her massive 52 foot deck breadth. Seven short years later, along with74 year old war hero Admiral John Balchin, 800 – 1,100  highly skilled seamen sank to their death beneath tons of darkened water while scurrying to try and save her massive four story lamp lit hull.

1884 photo of duplicate HMS Victory built in 1759-1765

Solar Navigator .net

Undiscovered for 12 generations, at the floor of the English Channel near the Channel  Islands, the Victory, along with many sons of the most prominent British dignitaries who volunteered voyage, rested in polyandrous frozen time.

Why would there have been dignitary volunteers?  Presumably to keep watch over the treasures that were aboard the greatest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.

Ships of those days many times were what the “Brinks” and “Wells Fargo” of today are to us…armed transportation!

Victory, at the time of her demise, was the most heavily armed Battle Ship in the world.

( Her replacement built 1759-1765, piloted by famed Lord Nelson is the oldest naval ship still in commission, and is dry docked in Portsmouth ,England as a Museum Ship).

ralliers

Victory ?  For England, or for ( Odyssey ) the Florida Salvage Company who has located the all but forgotten wreckage?

This is the most significant shipwreck discovery in history” Said Odyssey president Greg Stemm. “It’s the solution to one of the most intriguing naval mysteries in history. It went down with the most famous admiral of his time, it went down with the largest collection of brass cannon in the world on-board, and research suggest it has one of the largest shipments of  gold and silver that will likely ever be found on a shipwreck“.  ( Feb.2 2009)

Stemm and his company are very aware of possible controversies stemming from such discoveries by (Original Propitiatory) countries. Odyssey Marine is currently still in a court battle with Spain over the discovery of the shipwreck 17th century ( Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes ), in 2006. The Mercedes is said to hold $500 Million dollars worth of treasure.

*(US federal court records filed by Odyssey, seeking exclusive rights, describe the site as 25 to 40 miles from the English coast, outside UK territorial waters)*.

Wow?  You may ask. How much treasure is the Victory said to have been carrying when she went down?  The answer is a shocking …More!!!

Over 100,000 of these babies with an estimated value of $1 BILLION Dollars.

The HMS Victory was returning from Lisbon, Portugal, according  to Odyssey’s research carrying 100,000 gold coins for numerous merchant companies.  She was dispatched to Portugal’s Tagus River to rescue a Mediterranean Convoy being blockaded by the French. The great “Man of War” was needless to say successful on her last assignment.

Sadly, however, she never made it home to Portsmouth to be greeted or accommodated for her gallant mission. None of the said 900 to 1,100 sailors aboard her final voyage in her short seven year life span would ever see lands end, or the shores of merry old Ingland again. “She went down in deep waters”.  Stemm said; The most likely cause of her demise was faulty construction of the ship herself.

Manned by some of the most highly skilled seaman known and available to England at the time, and piloted by the most esteemed admiral of his, and many days before, (Admiral John Balchin), the HMS Victory rested not alone for 250 years on the silent floor of the English Channel…but in the best company she could ever have been in…the company of her valiant and loyal crew.

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