What’s the Difference Between Raisins, Sultanas, and Currants? by Kelli Foster Raisins are dried grapes, specifically dried white-fleshed grapes. These grapes are initially green in skin color and darken as they dry, becoming a dense, dark-colored dried fruit containing small seeds and bursting with sweet flavor. Sultanas, sometimes just called golden raisins, are golden-colored dried grapes that are made from various varieties of seedless white-fleshed grapes. The skin of these fruits start off as pale yellow in color, but unlike raisins, don’t darken in the same way as they dry. Compared to raisins, sultanas also easily absorb liquid, but are smaller and slightly sweeter. While raisins and sultanas are sweet and grow on vines, true black and red currants are quite tart and grow on bushes. The name currant on its own just refers to the fresh currant fruit. So what exactly are the sweet, dried fruits labeled Zante currants? These are not actually proper currants! They come from very small grapes (about one-fourth the size of standard grapes), and that’s where some confusion may arise. Here’s the history: Around 1911, the commercial cultivation of black currants was outlawed, as it was believed they were spreading disease that affected the U.S. timber industry. Shortly thereafter, Greece started exporting Zante currants, small, dried grapes that were a fraction of the size of standard grapes. Supposedly when the first shipment reached the U.S., the word “Corinth” was mistakenly translated into “currant,” and the name stuck. Since true currants were banned for some time, people came to know Zante currants as currants. https://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-raisins-sultanas-and-currants-223285
It makes sense that Sun-Maid and its competitors in the raisin sector, all working and living in the same water-hungry valley, might not be the best of friends. But the American raisin industry, which is estimated to be worth about $500 million, is particularly fractious. Other groups of farmers also band together to set prices; while raisin growers do that, they do not tend to cooperate on much else. That includes a reluctance to work together on raisin advertising, which is especially strange given that the raisin industry commissioned and paid for one of the world’s most recognizable advertising campaigns. The first California Dancing Raisins commercial debuted on television in the fall of 1986. You may recall the ad with their version of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” These anthropomorphic raisins, conceived as an R&B group in the Motown mold, were some of the first animated characters created with Claymation. Raisin sales spiked. But success bred discontent. Even as Sun-Maid benefited disproportionately from the ads as the biggest brand in town, Barry Kriebel, then the company’s president, worked to limit his competitors from profiting in the same manner. He was dead set on restricting the way that the dancing raisin was displayed on the packaging of other brands—and Sun-Maid, which now represents about 40 percent of the industry, was big enough to put the pressure on. Barry Kriebel “and I fought like cats and dogs,” said Kalem Barserian, 81, the leader of the Raisin Bargaining Association, which represents raisin farmers as they negotiate prices with raisin processors, including Sun-Maid. Mr. Kriebel prevailed, poisoning good feeling in the industry about the Dancing Raisins. In 1994, a majority of raisin packers petitioned to terminate the funding, halting the commercials. Raisin farming (like most kinds of farming) is risky. So, starting in the mid-20th century, raisin farmers began committing a significant share of their crop to a communal supply. And through these years, demand for raisins has fallen. The number of acres given over to the Thompson seedless grape, traditionally grown for raisins, has been halved from 2000 to 2019. The U.S. used to provide 50 percent of the global raisin market. Now it’s down to about 20 percent. Turkey exports more raisins than America does. China, Iran and South Africa have become more competitive in this space. Jonah Engel Bromwich Read more and see pictures at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/style/sun-maid-raisin-industry.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Style
THE EASY WAY TO COOK DRIED BEANS Rinse beans and place in large pot of boiling water. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit one hour. Cook beans about thirty minutes. Test for doneness. If not done to desired consistency, continue to cook in covered pot until you are satisfied with the taste.
Quicksilver may refer to: Quicksilver (metal), the chemical element mercury. Find other uses such as in music, film. television, fiction and computing at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicksilver
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, located in downtown Saint Louis, is a state-of-the-art museum facility honoring local military service members, veterans, and their families. Originally opened in May 1938, Soldiers Memorial reopened in November 2018 following a two-year, $30 million revitalization overseen by the Missouri Historical Society. With the help of Mackey Mitchell Architects and numerous local craftsmen, every effort was made to maintain the architectural and historic integrity of the art deco building while also bringing it up to contemporary museum standards. Additionally, Soldiers Memorial is now LEED certified and fully ADA compliant. The Court of Honor, located across Chestnut Street, has also been updated to include a fountain recognizing each of the five branches of the military and a reflecting pool. Walkways connect the Court of Honor to Soldiers Memorial, uniting these two important spaces of reflection and remembrance. Under the operational leadership of the Missouri Historical Society, which also operates the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park and the Library & Research Center on Skinker Boulevard, the exhibits at Soldiers Memorial relate St. Louisans’ stories of service in their own words through oral histories, archival materials, and firsthand accounts. Also featured are hundreds of artifacts, many of which have never been displayed before. Find location and visitor information at https://downtownstl.org/place/soldiers-memorial/
"There is no other place on Earth like this," Angie Carl says. Her voice carries across the swamp of North Carolina's Black River as we sit floating in kayaks at the knees of our elders, an ancient stand of bald cypress trees. Following markers of neon-pink ribbons tied to branches, we've paddled to this remote stand to recreate a journey that Carl took eight years ago guiding David W. Stahle, a University of Arkansas scientist. Carl is the fire and coastal restoration manager for The Nature Conservancy’s Black River Preserve. Stahle is one of the deans of using dendrochronology (growth rings) and radiocarbon dating to study the climate hundreds or even thousands of years into the past. The two conservationists had come upon the oldest living trees in the U.S. east of California and some of the oldest in the world. Testing would later reveal that one of them is at least 2,624 years old, making it alive when Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens in Babylon, when the Normans invaded England, and when Shakespeare first set quill to paper. After examining the timber cores in the lab—measuring tree rings and taking radiocarbon readings—Stahle and his team today published a paper in IOP Science moving the bald cypress up the list of oldest living tree species to number five, behind the Sierra juniper of California and ahead of the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine. The Great Basin bristlecone pine of California remains the oldest, non-clonal living tree in the world at 5,066 years. (These individual trees are distinct from a clonal colony, such as Pando in Utah, a group of trees that have all grown from the same root system.) The value of the ancient bald cypresses in North Carolina goes beyond bragging rights at the old tree club. Tree rings offer a treasure trove of climate history going back thousands of years before the development of climate record keeping using science instruments (widespread use of rain gauges began in the late 19th century). Bald cypresses are particularly adept at preserving the record of rainfall during the growing season. "It's an amazing coincidence that the oldest known living trees in eastern North America also have the strongest climate signal ever detected anywhere on Earth," Stahle says. Jim Morrison See pictures at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/north-carolina-bald-cypresses-among-worlds-oldest-trees-180972134/ Thank you, Muse reader!
Aretha Franklin named The 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Special Awards and Citations Her many countless classics include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain Of Fools,” “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”; her own compositions “Think,” “Daydreaming” and “Call Me”; her definitive versions of “Respect” and “I Say A Little Prayer”; and global hits like “Freeway Of Love,” “Jump To It,” “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” her worldwide chart-topping duet with George Michael, and “A Rose Is Still A Rose.” The recipient of the U.S.A.’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, an eighteen (and counting) GRAMMY Award winner--the most recent of which was for Best Gospel Performance for “Never Gonna Break My Faith” with Mary J. Blige in 2008--a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement and GRAMMY Living Legend awardee, Aretha Franklin’s powerful, distinctive gospel-honed vocal style has influenced countless singers across multi-generations, earning her Rolling Stone magazine’s No. 1 placing on the list of “The Greatest Singers Of All Time.” Aretha Franklin died in her hometown of Detroit, Mich. on August 16, 2018. https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/aretha-franklin Find 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners at https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2019
http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com Issue 2104 May 31, 2019