Raggedy Ann’s Candy Heart

Rag doll characters Raggedy Ann and Raggedy An...

Before Woody and Buzz were animated and commercialized there was Raggedy Ann, the most innocent of toys that come alive.  Raggedy Ann was a curious floppy yarn-headed doll who took care of her fellow toys and not too far into the original book received a candy heart.  A candy heart that made her sweeter than sweet.

At a Store Near You – Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day.  I can tell because the grocery store is awash with items in red and pink.  It seems everyone has a valentine angle.  “Pick me I’m a cute cuddly stuffed animal.” “No, no, pick me because I’m chocolate” or the “Buy me not because I’m romantic or cute but because the store put a pink ribbon around my packaging.”  From the romantic to the “really?” it’s all on sale right now.

Bags of candy hearts bring back memories of Raggedy Ann.   Honestly, I don’t know that I read Raggedy Ann as a child. I probably discovered her about the same time I discovered the Little House books; that would be when I had children.

Where Did R.A.’s Candy Heart Come From?

Raggedy didn’t start out with a candy heart.  As I recall, and feel free to leave a comment below if I’m wrong, she fell into a bucket of paint.  Raggedy Ann had been tied on a string so she would be the tail of a kite but as happens when children tie knots something went wrong. Splat!  Cloth dolls do not mix well with buckets of paint. One of the young painters took Raggedy home to see if his mother could clean her up a bit.  Of course, good ‘ol mom to the rescue.  Isn’t that always the way things get fixed!  Mom not only cleaned the paint off, but restuffed the doll and then stuck inside a small treat – a candy heart that said “I Love You”

English: A photograph of a heap of candy heart...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It just brings out the warm feelings inside you doesn’t it?  Unless you’re a realist who immediately thinks “What if the doll gets wet?  That candy heart will make a sticky mess.”  Or there’s the pragmatist who says “Mice, dogs, other vermin they’ll all smell that candy and rip the doll to shreds.”

Luckily for lovers of innocence the realists didn’t write the stories about Raggedy and her friends.  Soon we’ll be exchanging small candy hearts with silly sayings on them; both children and adults.  It’s an annual ritual of innocence.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all exchanged silly greetings year round?

English: Gruelle's Raggedy Ann design patented...

Gruelle’s Raggedy Ann design patented by United States Patent Office on Sept. 7, 1915.


Oatmeal – The New Fad Food

English: Oatmeal Русский: Овсяныехлопья

Oatmeal has been around longer than I have which means it’s been around a long long time.  It’s been the staple of the prune-eating crowd for years as well as the school age child.  How many children have woken up to find a bowl of hot oatmeal, fresh out of the microwave, ready on a winter day. Something has changed. Suddenly oatmeal is everywhere in ready to add water and eat containers from McDonald’s to my local gas station mini-market.

I know we baby boomers are aging, way to quickly I might add, but why has oatmeal become the “it” food?  Some sources say it’s because the FDA now allows food with oat bran or rolled oats to say on the label that they might reduce heart disease.  That’s not the usual American way – the eat your way to health – we’re more into take a pill or vitamin and all medical problems will be solved sort of society.  Quick fix, that’s us.

A Sprinkle of This – A Dollop of That

Down here in the South we’re used to eating grits with our breakfast.  Grits have fiber; I just looked that up. Why the change in breakfast habits then?  I don’t have a clue.  I can tell you though that we American’s haven’t lost our food touch.  We eat oatmeal ostensibly because it’s good for us but in order to take it palatable we add a few extras.   Since Waffle House introduced their oatmeal  (it’s actually made from scratch not out of a packet) I have been watching other diners.  Bob #1 takes brown sugar on his.  Bob #2 adds honey.  Someone else at the end of the counter asks for butter.  Personally I prefer 2 creamers, some honey for sweetness and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Caveat – you have to take your own cinnamon to WH)  I can’t forget my husband, he’s a 3 – 4 creamer diner with pecans mixed in with the honey.  Are any of those options heart healthy?  I seriously doubt it.  They’re all probably canceling out any benefit of the oatmeal.

English: Waffle House Logo

Again – Why Oatmeal as a Fad?

Hubby has been pushing bran as nature’s broom for several years.  He talked a lot about bran but didn’t really eat any.  Now that oatmeal is so readily available he has jumped off the bran bandwagon and is totally on the” oatmeal is saving my life” one.

Oatmeal, because of its high fiber content and complex carbohydrates is supposed to stabilize blood-glucose levels and keep me feeling full longer.  Right!  The magic of fiber and complex carbohydrates apparently doesn’t work for my brain.  I had my bowl of morning fad food less than 2 hours ago and quite frankly am already wondering if we have any cookies, oatmeal would be good, around the house.  A PB&J would work in a pinch.

Healthy Food for Not – You Tell Me

Salud! Healthful eating to you.  Do you have other foods that appear healthy but with a few changes taste better but no longer are as good for your body?  Let me know you favorites.

There’s more random food thoughts on the way.  If you’d like to be among the first to read them just fill in your email on the “Follow This Blog” icon on the right.

Salad bar from a Pizza Hut restaurant in İstanbul

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A Pip of a Name

Christmas came and went and so did the New Year but not a home-baked cookie or other baked goodie is in the house.  What happened?  A pip happened, that’s what.  It’s been so warm here in the South that the holidays seem to sneak in.  I need a smidgen of cold to help me anticipate the season. In Florida, even in winter you might still be wearing shorts but since I no longer live in Florida, now when I’m wearing shorts and t-shirts I’m not thinking ho ho ho I’m thinking vacation, vacation vacation.

Good Intentions Gone Bad

Yes, the holidays happened, that’s what and all those good intentions and recipes were laid aside in the final frantic rush.  Then came Christmas morning with a Kindle Fire in my stocking which moved me into the world of Angry Bird and classic literature (it’s free and I don’t have to worry about getting it back to the library in 2 weeks).

Sidney Paget: Sherlock Holmes

I’m fairly certain any statistician worth his or her data would have me reading a romance novel or a cookbook but they would be wrong.  The genre of this new year is detective novels – specifically Sherlock Holmes and works by Dashiell Hammett.   I can guess the killer early on in many of the novels because I have now seen the same plots repeated and slightly updated on CSI, Law and Order, NCIS etc.  Science may have progressed but the plots remain the same.

Yes, I do remember the theme of this blog is food.  Food is about to come in play with my ramblings. A feature I’m enjoying in my electronic reading is the ability to highlight a word and have a definition appear.  Admittedly some of the words used by Sherlock Holmes aren’t in a modern dictionary but I’m surprised how many are.  Take “ulster” for example.  When I see the word Ulster I immediately think of Ulster Knife Works – manufacturers of the first Girl Scout knife but when Sherlock tosses an ulster on before leaving Baker Street I’m pretty sure he’s not wrapping a knife around his neck. A quick tap on the screen and I now know about an ulster overcoat.

Finally Food to Write About

The pip is more interesting.  In one story a client came to see the great detective Holmes and told the tale of an envelope being opened and five orange pips dropping out. I was fairly certain from the passage that a pip was an orange seed.  A tap on the screen and yep, I was correct, except the definition said “like an orange seed.”

My trusty Fire had just let me down. Now I had the nagging thought “do other fruits have pips?”  A further search revealed that my thinking was correct. Many other fruit have pips; especially pomegranates.  The entire inside is nothing but pips.

Pomegrante seeds

Still further research led me to quite a few definitions for “pip” with none really related to the others.  Pips are also the dots on dice or if you’re in a verb sort of mood a pip is also what happens when a baby chicken breaks out of its egg-shell.  It pips at the shell.

Oranges and eggs – now we’re talking breakfast with a side game of craps.  No that’s wrong: maybe Monopoly.  That’s the ticket; on second thought  all the young folk who might have played a board game with me have gone back to school (YEAH!).  Sorry, that was a momentary loss of grandmotherly love wasn’t it?

English: Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)

Dashiell Hammett (credit: Wikipedia)

Doyle and Hammett have different writing styles but I must admit I’m enjoying Doyle more.  There’s a bit more intrigue with the killings. Both authors though spent considerable time describing the various people in their stories…not as much describing the food.  Just a thought, food is so commonplace to an era that it needs no description:  He ate a pickled egg.  The roasted goose was laid on the sideboard.  No matter the decade a villain needs large dirty well-worn hands (to pick up the pickled egg) or a permanent sneer (as he surveyed the plump goose) in order to give the reader a clue.

If I can just manage to solve a few more murders perhaps I’ll take time to bake those Christmas cookies before the next federal holiday.  Stay tuned, if you’re not already on my email list – just sign up on the right and you’ll get an email when send out a new post, perhaps with tasty cookie recipes you can save until next December.