Friday, October 21, 2016

Zebra Cake, Using Marble Cake Mix

*** 10/21/2016
Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"Zebra Cake, Using Marble Cake Mix"

I'd been intrigued by a cute Duff zebra cake mix. (Love those stripes!) But it was so much more expensive than household names like Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and Pillsbury. In googling"zebra cake", I found a wealth of resources—especially how to create the stripey effect.

A particularly easy, non-Duff way to make a yummy zebra cake with using only one box of mix is getting marble cake mix. My store carried marble cake mix from only Duncan Hines. Surprisingly, Pillabury and Betty Crocker seem to have ceded the marble cake market to Duncan Hines, as googling those mix products indicates.

My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. ingredients
  2. equipment
  3. prepared pans (spray oil with parchment paper)
  4. mixed cake batter, pre-cocoa powder
  5. scooping of 2 C batter into another bowl
  6. mixing of chocolate cake batter
  7. dispensing of batters into the pans, alternating colors
  8. baked cakes
  9. parchment paper removal
  10. frosted cake
  11. frosted cake with slice showing zebra effect
  • 1 box marble cake mix
  • ingredients for recipe, using the box info for guide
    • eggs
    • cooking oil
    • water
  • spray oil
  • frosting of your choice
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups for oil and water
  • 1/4 C measuring cups for dispensing different color batters
  • rubber spatula(s)
  • electric mixer
  • 2 round cake pans
  • cooling rack(s)
Additional (straggler) items
  • parchment paper as desired
  • knife for spreading frosting
  • cake plate
Instructions (Have the cake mix box handy! And watch the YouTube video for more details.)
  1. Preheat the oven (350°).
  2. Prepare baking pans. (I used parchment paper and cooking spray.)
  3. Prepare the batter as instructed on the box, up till blending in the cocoa powder. (I mixed wet ingredients, then mixed in the cake mix powder.)
  4. Pour 2 C of the batter into a smaller bowl.
  5. In the bowl of remaining batter, pour the cocoa powder and blend together.
  6. Use the two 1/4 C measuring cups to alternate pouring light and dark batters into the two pans. (Afterward, if desired, weigh the two filled pans to confirm the amounts are close to equal. Adjust as desired.)
  7. Bake for about 22 minutes. YMMV
  8. Test cake(s) for doneness with toothpick.
  9. Remove the pans of cake and place on cooling rack(s) for about 15 minutes for cooling.
  10. Decorate as fancy as you wish. Conventional, not-too-fussy decorating is as follows:
    1. Place one layer upside down on a plate and decorate the exposed side
    2. Place the other layer right side up on the first layer.
    3. Frost the sides.
    4. Frost the top.
Post-recipe Thoughts
Seems I wound up with slightly more chocolatey batter than white batter. Maybe next time I'd set aside slightly more of the lighter color cake batter. Maybe the cocoa powder wound up adding more bulk to the chocolate batter than I anticipated.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Some Clarity on Legumes, Haricots, and Nuts

I first ran across "legumes" (beans) and "haricots verts" (green beans) in my high school French class, but probably during different lessons. In the last 10 years or so, I've seen a lot of "legumes" in print.

I got curious enough recently to poke around the web for improve my knowledge about beans. The following sites dispense basic information.

"Legumes: Beans, Peas, and Lentils" provides characteristics differences—"Beans, peas, and lentils are all seeds that grow in pods. We can tell the difference by their shape." The site also provides overall preparation guidelines.

"The battle of the beans: Which are best?" lists and describes 11 common variety of beans.
Beans are part of a food category called legumes and grow in pods then are shelled and dried. Other legumes are peas, which are round and generally sold fresh or frozen, and lentils, which are flattish and round, are sold dried, and come in various tones of gray, green and coral. Beans are either round, kidney-shaped, or oval shapes with varying degrees of size and thickness.
"List Of Legumes - Healthy Protein" describes legumes as "plants that bear their fruit in pods, which are casings with two halves, or hinges". The site lists the following plants to be legumes—beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, and features four columns of names.

Big eye-opener for me—peanuts are legumes, not nuts.

"List of Legume Foods" lists the same four plant edibles, but also explains that peanuts are mistaken for nuts, a different class of vegetable. Further details about nuts are at "Are Cashews Nuts or Legumes?"
Highly diverse in size, shape, texture and flavor, nuts are the seeds of nut trees. All nuts grow encased in a shell, and in some instances, the shell is contained inside a fruit or outer husk. … Much like nuts, legumes are the nutrient-dense seeds of leguminous plants. These seeds are encased in pods, some of which are edible.
During my browsing over beans, questions popped up that I wanted to find answers for and share.

* What's the difference between green beans and haricots verts?

"Green Beans vs. Haricots Verts: What's the Difference?" states the following:
haricots verts tend to be skinnier than traditional green beans, and are also more expensive. … they’re also more tender and flavorful than comparably sized traditional green beans. They’re also younger than traditional green beans.
* Are refried beans fried and refried?

Yahoo's "question about refried beans" yielded a couple of feasible explanations:
We came up with 'Refried Beans' from the Mexican word 'frijoles refritos'
The re- in refrito doesn't mean 'again', as in the beans being fried again. In Spanish, the re- in front of the word for fried means the beans are fried strongly or very well.
Refried beans are the same fried beans BUT with a little more cooking oil or lard; also the lenght [sic] of cooking is extended a few more minutes until the oil or lard soak the beans and turn them browner.
Funny thing is that recipes I've run across call for mashing the beans. Seems this food should be called mashed beans (puré de frijoles).  

* Why are black-eyed peas seldom referred to as black-eyed beans rather than peas? Peas, such a green peas, are spherical.

I've not found definitive answers for why these beans are commonly called black-eyed peas but not black-eyed beans.

From "Why are black eyed peas called peas when they are clearly beans?", a plausible answer seems to be "Jamaica, where a very popular dish there is Jamaican rice and peas. But, the 'peas' are actually small red beans that are the same size and shape as black-eyed peas, but red like kidney beans."

"The battle of the beans: Which are best?" seems to hedge bets by referring to these legumes as both peas and beans—"BLACK-EYED BEANS (black-eyed peas)".

* Are black beans in Mexican food the same as black beans in Chinese black bean sauce?

No. "Is black bean sauce made from black beans?" explains that "black bean sauce is made from dried, fermented soybeans, which turn a dark brownish-black during the curing process".

* What's with the fancy name "edamame" for soybeans?

"Edamame - What is Edamame?" differentiates these two types of soy beans.
Edamame is young soybeans, usually still in the pod. Because the beans are young and green when they are picked, edamame soybeans are soft and edible, not hard and dry like the mature soybeans which are used to make soy milk and tofu.
* Are the red beans for making red bean paste in Asian food the same beans as for red beans and rice?

No. The US Dry Bean Council's "Bean Varieties" site lists separate entries for adzuki and small red beans.

"How to make Red Bean Paste" shows how to make paste for Asian recipes. Although the video owner does not mention moon cakes, they are a major dessert that uses red bean paste.

"Red Beans and Rice" calls for small red beans. Numerous other recipes on the Web call for kidney beans.

* Split peas resemble lentils more than they do green peas. What's up with that?

"Relationship between split pea and green pea" specifies
the split pea and the green pea are one in the same. The split pea can be either a green pea or a yellow pea. Green split peas are identical to green peas. The difference lies in how they are processed. Both are the seeds of Pisum Sativum. To make a split pea, the green pea is peeled and dried. The skin is removed and a natural split occurs in the cotyledon. The split can be further exaggerated manually or mechanically.
* So, how do lentils differ from split peas?

"What's the Difference Between Split Peas and Lentils?" shows images side by side and explains:
Split peas are field peas, which are a variety of yellow or green peas grown specifically for drying. … Lentils are pulses, which are the dried seeds of legumes. There are two main groups, the large ones with flat seeds, and smaller more rounded ones.
* Pulse WRT lentils? What's a pulse, and how does it pertain to legume?

"What is a Pulse?" states that pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. It further explains and contrasts "legume" and "pulse":
The term "legume" refers to the plants whose fruit is enclosed in a pod. … Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses.
* What are Mexican jumping beans, and what makes them jump?

From Wikipedia
seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth (Cydia deshaisiana) and are native to Mexico. The "bean" is usually tan to brown in color. It "jumps" when heated because the larva spasms in an attempt to roll the seed to a cooler environment to avoid dehydration and consequent death.
Read further details and view images at "The Jumping Beans Life Cycle". Also view the short video explanation at "Why Do Jumping Beans Jump?".

The jumping beans don't whet my appetite. However, all this poring over bean info makes me want to cook beans, such as the pinto beans in my pic (and the rest of the one-pound package).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dozen Matter If 12 Is Significant

Why does 12 seem a significant quantity? The thought occurred to me after I counted to 12 in one of my exercise stretches that I usually count to 10. I then thought about terms and expressions that include "12" or "dozen".

The association between twelve and dozen are numerical meaning. From Online Etymology Dictionary,
from Old French dozaine "a dozen," from doze (12c.) "twelve," from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" + decem "ten".

Some Familiar Expressions that Refer to Dozen

a dozen eggs (in a carton)
from New York Times
Under a system that came to be known as English units, which was a combination of old Anglo-Saxon and Roman systems of measurement, eggs were sold by the dozen. It made sense to sell them that way because one egg could be sold for a penny or 12 for a shilling, which was equal to 12 pennies. That system held sway in the American colonies and persisted after the revolution, becoming part of the system known as U.S. customary units.
Why are Eggs Sold by the Dozen?
from fresheggsdaily
The number twelve has had special significance for man since the ancient times, from Jesus' twelve apostles to twelve full moons per year and twelve months in a year. There are twelve inches in a foot and twelve hourly divisions on a clock. There are twelve zodiac signs, twelve tribes of Israel and twelve Knights of the Round Table.
In Western Europe, particularly England, from as early as the 700s and continuing right up until around 1960, the Imperial Unit System was used. Under this system, there were twelve pennies to a shilling, likely because of the huge importance of the number twelve to civilization. This meant that an egg could be sold for a penny, or a dozen eggs could be sold for a shilling, with no change-making required.
cheaper by the dozen
from YourDictionary
"Things are handled more efficiently as a group, rather than individually." This expression is best known as a book and movie about a couple that has 12 children.
The Dirty Dozen
from IMDB
Another movie, this one about a US army major and 12 convicted murderers to assassinate German officers in World War II.
a dime a dozen
from knowyourphrase
copious newspapers from that time (1800s) advertised how certain kinds of food, like eggs, oranges, and peaches, were available for purchase by the dozen, and their cost was nothing more than a single dime
baker's dozen
from The Phrase Finder
the practice of medieval English bakers giving an extra loaf when selling a dozen in order to avoid being penalized for selling short weight
Maybe somewhat surprising, no national chain claims the name for baker's dozen. I found four independent shops with the name—all donut-themed.
Six of one or half a dozen of another
from Programmer Interview
“6 to one half dozen to the other” is a phrase that’s used to basically say that the 2 options you have are essentially the same. Since a dozen is 12, and half a dozen is 6, then it should be clear that 6 and half a dozen are basically 2 different ways of saying the same exact thing.
a gross of items, related to dozen—144, which can be 12 x 12 configuration/grid. From The Word Detective
The use of “gross” as a noun to mean “twelve dozen” (144) of something arose in English in the 15th century, drawn from the French “grosse douzaine” meaning “large dozen.”
In the 14th century, English adopted the Old French term “grossier” (from the Latin “grossarius,” wholesaler) as “grocer,” meaning a merchant who buys and sells “by the gross,” i.e., in large quantities.

About Time and Twelve

12 hours on a clock, most common display for number of hours, whether analog or digital—
The history section describes timekeeping and devices, 24 hour displays being the initial standard.
The origins of our 24 hour day can be traced back at least 4000 years, to ancient Egypt and Babylon, and perhaps further back in time. The Egyptians and Babylonians divided the parade of stars that appeared in the sky each night into 12 sections, marked by the various stars that rose and set that night.
Gradually the 12 hour dial became used for most standard clocks, and the 24 hour dial was reserved for the more esoteric, technical, or complex clocks.
12 days of Christmas and related Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night
from A Company of Fools
'Twelfth Night' is usually considered to be a reference to Epiphany, or the twelfth night of the Christmas celebration (January 6), as in the popular song “Twelve Days of Christmas”
12 months in a year
from Calendar Origins
Ultimately, all calendars began with people recording time by using natural cycles: days, lunar cycles (months), and solar cycles (years). ... The Ancient Egyptians are credited with the first calendar of 12 months.
12 signs of the Zodiac WRT ecliptic
ecliptic, the apparent path the sun appears to take through the sky as a result of the Earth's revolution around it. … Because of the Earth's yearly revolution around the sun, the sun appears to move in its annual journey through the heavens with the ecliptic as its path. … Twelve constellations through which the ecliptic passes form the Zodiac.
12 years in the Chinese Zodiac
from Time
Because the Chinese calendar is based on the moon's rotation, the new year can occur anytime from mid-January to late February. According to legend, the calendar was created by Ta Nao, a minister of Emperor Huang Ti's, and has been used in Asia since 4000 B.C. … After 12 years, the cycle restarts, matching the length of Jupiter's solar orbit.

Untimed 12

12 inches to the foot
from Fact Monster
In the 14th century, King Edward II of England ruled that 1 inch equaled 3 grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise.
12 disciples, and other biblical references to 12
from patheos
There were 12 tribes in Israel and this symbolizes the completeness of the nation Israel. Jacob had 12 sons which were the heads or fathers of each of the 12 tribes of Israel which are likened to 12 princes. ... Jesus chose 12 disciples who later became the 12 apostles which seem to fit the context of the number 12 used elsewhere in the Bible as this number also signified governmental rule or authority.
"12th of Never", recorded by Johnny Mathis and the group Earth, Wind & Fire

An Oddball Connection to 12

In my online travels for this article, I encountered a site, "Printable Paper Graph Paper", where you can print grid paper, including 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 to the inch. This site could be very useful for students who graph images. The top level "Free Paper" site shows numerous other printable offerings.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Molted Cicada Exoskeleton with Wasps

Last month, I published "Closeup of Molted Cicada Exoskeleton (and More Info)". I had taken the accompanying pic of that lifeless shell on July 25. A few days ago, another cicada exuviae showed up on the same porch column, about a foot higher. Oh, boy! Another opportunity for another pic or more! Spotted more subjects than I expected, and got a bit more practice with my Fuji JX665.

I took the pix August 21, 22, and 23. With some of the images, I stood on a stepladder to get a better view of shell interior. Some pix are better focused than others. The pixstrip shows seven images. Click the following links to view very large images, which I saved as jpgs to reduce file sizes.
  1. Wasp perched on the shell (taken 8/21, 8:09 AM)
  2. Two wasps near the shell (taken 8/21, 8:11 AM)
  3. One wasp near the shell (taken 8/21, 8:14 AM)
  4. Wasp perched on the shell (taken 8/21, 8:19 AM)
  5. Shell (taken 8/21, 12:23 PM)
  6. Shell (taken 8/22, 1:40 PM)
  7. Shell (taken 8/23, 12:10 PM)
Part of my autofocus problem might have been cloudiness on those days, as we'd been getting rain several days that week. (The Fuji doesn't have manual focus, and the autofocus feature is ok but not great.) The porch overhang that obscured some ambient light might have also helped make it too dark. Otherwise, the camera would deliver a cheery-sounding autofocus double beep, signaling me to fire away.

Another issue I had was the camera focusing on greenery several feet away instead of my favored subject(s). A couple of times, I tried taping some cereal box cardboard as background, but breeziness kept flapping it, maybe affecting the camera's optimum capability. (Yes! Blame the camera! LOL!)

I think the main reason I didn't get optimal images is from inexperience. Learning for future shots:
  • Keeping subjects inside the rectangular marks, especially with trying to capture shell with nearby wasp(s) or getting too near the shell as I did with the last two shells
  • Avoid zooming in if I use the closeup mode (flower)
  • Increasing lighting so autofocus works better
I mulled over including the last two images because of less than optimal focus. However, details looking inside the shells are unusual to see. Better luck next time for me! And may the next cicada not shimmy so high up the porch column before planting itself for its skeletal strip!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Duncan Hines Perfect Size Cake--Off Golden Path

*** 7/4/2016
Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"Duncan Hines Perfect Size Cake--Off Golden Path"

Duncan Hines debuted its Perfect Size cake line about a year ago. The ingredients make a smallish single-layer cake. The kit includes cake mix powder, a 6" paper pan with detachable liner, and frosting powder. The five flavors:
The Duncan Hines Perfect Size product I tried was “Golden Fudge”—the “Golden” referring to the cake itself, and “Fudge” referring to the accompanying frosting. "Chocolate Lovers" name, and to some degree, "Strawberries and Creme" seem pretty implicit of cake and frosting flavors also. The other two flavor names seem marketingish, but their accompanying images and very short descriptors provide info for expected results.

I decided to try out the recipe, even though the cake result is less than half an actual fully frosted cake but nearly the same cost ($2.78, fortunately, offset by 55¢ off coupon). The instructions seemed more bothersome than what I’d normally tolerate. I figured by the time I finished the project, I might deviate anyway, and I could get an article, video, or both out of the effort.

The main off-golden-path part of cake is the frosting—having used ready-to-spread white frosting instead of following instructions of the included frosting packet. (The frosting pack requires mixing the powder with water and butter.) An example video of the frosting hassle is at "Duncan Hines Perfect Size Cake Review", starting at 5:55 and stopping at 10:27.

My other deviation was using oil with the cake mix instead of butter. "Fat chance: Is Butter Really Better?" indicates that subbing oil for butter is fine, if not better, than using butter for the fat. I tend to favor mixing oil with water and egg together as a wet-ingredient mixture, then mixing the powder in.

The baking temperature was 300°, and for 34-39 minutes. My cake required 34 minutes—good thing I went for the minimum time. Looking at full-size cake mix boxes, most times are shorter and baking at 350°.

View my video of my Duncan Hines Personal Cake experience. If you want to try making one of these cakes, beware of some caveats. To Duncan Hines' credit, the websites I cited at the top of the article for their Personal Size cakes include comments from customers and their 1-to-5 star ratings. The most common complaints:
  • Costly for such a small cake result.
  • Too much time required for baking.
  • Labor-intensive for making frosting with included powder. Would be much more appealing for an envelope of ready-to-spread frosting.
  • Terrible-tasting frosting results from using powder and required additional ingredients.
  • Leaky paper baking pan and liner during baking, spilling batter onto the oven. (Oy!)
My recommendations: Buy a full-size box of cake mix and full container of ready-to-spread frosting. It'll be less preparation hassle, more flexibility for cake and frosting flavors, and better economy. The only real convenience to the Perfect Size is a throwaway paper baking pan.

If you want to make a smaller size cake, divvy up half a box of cake mix, follow the instructions on the box, adding only half the added ingredients. Pour the batter into one prepared (wax paper or whatever) round cake pan and bake as instructed. After cooling, frost with 1/2 container of ready-to-spread frosting of your choice.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Closeup of Molted Cicada Exoskeleton (and More Info)

Earlier this week, I spotted a sizable empty shell of a bug, maybe a beetle, I thought. It was about an inch tall, stuck to a corner of a porch column, seemingly hugging it, about three feet above the porch. It looked like all the innards might have been cleanly sucked out, maybe consumed by parasitic larvae, leaving only exoskeleton and maybe other chitin.

For a larger, unreduced image, click here.

Not being an entomologist or gardener who might know about bugs, I wondered how to get information about the shell's former occupant and how it departed. A Google image search yielded seemingly countless, overwhelming results.

I decided to turn to LinkedIn connections, and posted a pic and update, hoping to get someone to identify the item. I was in luck! Two people, John Rothgeb, and Steven Schwartzman, replied with great leadoff info.

From John, a declaration and web link: "Looks like cicadas or even a Giant cicada -". The website images and first .wav file sent me off to Googling more info.

From Steve, a strongly specific term and also two links to blog articles he had written about cicadas himself:
The thing in your picture appears to be the exuviae of a cicada. That word is a Latin plural that entomologists use for the exoskeleton that an insect casts off as it grows from one stage into the next.

Here are a couple of instances from my blog:
A third LinkedIn connection declared the shell to be cicada. (Happily, LinkedIn networking can be fruitful for topics besides work, careers, and occupations. (My LinkedIn home page shows more number of views for the exoskeleton picture and inquiry than any other topic I've announced in recent memory.)

Besides increasing my curiosity about the animal, the terminology I was encountering sent me hunting down definitions and pronunciations for chitin and exuviae. Interestingly, the first "c" in cicada, according to both and, is pronounced as an "s". I've heard people pronounce it as only a "ch" sound. And I myself pronounce it as "ch". BTW, those two dictionaries also provide long/short vowel pronunciation options of "i", and the first "a".

I have listed some links about cicadas, many of them YouTube videos that show cicadas molting.
Anyway, the bottom line about the clinging bug shell on the porch column: It's a castoff exoskeleton after a cicada molts and flies away, not shell remains after parasitic larva(e) dined on the insect. Coincidentally enough, a wasp that captures a cockroach for its larva's future food supply uses similar methodology as a wasp that targets cicada.

From "10 Facts about Cicada Killer Wasps"
  1. The adult female wasp will paralyze the cicada with her venomous sting.
  2. The wasp will carry the cicada to a burrow, where it will place the cicada.
  3. The wasp will lay an egg under the left or right second leg of the cicada.
  4. The egg hatches, and the larvae begins to eat the cicada, while taking care to keep it alive.
  5. Once the larvae [sic] has had its fill, it spins a cocoon, in which it will change into an adult wasp.
Such behavior looks similar to that of jewel-wasp-on-cockroach, in comparing information in "How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies" of Scientific American.
venom compounds work fast, paralyzing the cockroach …
leads her victim to its final resting place …
Once inside her burrow, she attaches one egg to the cockroach's leg, then seals her offspring and the roach in.…
wasp larva hatches from its egg, its meal is ready to eat. And soon enough after that, a new wasp emerges from the burrow, leaving the roach carcass behind.
Note: The SA article states that the larva hatches and emerges as a wasp, omitting the details of how the larva becomes a wasp. The site explains that the stage between larva and wasp is pupa, "usually enclosed in a cocoon or protective covering".

August 31, 2016: Read my article about a more recent cicada exuvia that wound up on the same porch column.

Monday, July 4, 2016

EZ Mini M&M Confetti Cookies

*** 7/4/2016
Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"EZ Mini M&M Confetti Cookies"

My cake mix cooky recipe is the summer counterpart (summer-temperature tolerant) to my winter cake mix cooky recipe "Minty Choco Chip Cake Mix Cookies". I wanted to bake some cookies that have chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. I thought about M&M's, then remembered chomping on mini M&M's the previous Halloween. Then I thought such cookies would look even more festive, besides having the colorful candy shells, if I added jimmies.

Several mini M & M cooky recipes I ran across are scratch and require about 10 ingredients. Well, how about starting with the standard cake mix cookie process that requires only cake mix, oil, egg?

My method of cake mix for this recipe was using 1/2 box of chocolate cake mix and 1/2 box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix. The Funfetti powder contains 2 tablespoons of jimmies, so my half box contained one tablespoon.

If you want the milk chocolatey cooky effect without weighing out cake mixes, you can use a marble cake mix. Stir jimmies into the cake powder(s) before mixing up the batter.

My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. Initial
    1. Implements
    2. Ingredients
    3. Partially mixed dough (wet ingredients, dry ingredients) and set-aside mini M&Ms
  2. Main mixing
    1. Mixed dough and and set-aside mini M&Ms
    2. Dough with mini M&Ms being poured
    3. Dough and mini M&Ms being stirred together
    4. Mixed dough
  3. Baking
    1. Raw dough in pan
    2. Baked cookies in pan, some being scooped and flipped onto cooling rack
    3. Cooled cookies
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Larger mixing bowl
  • Pastry blender
  • Spoon for measuring out cooky dough
  • Measuring cup
  • Spatula for scraping dough onto pan
  • Cooky pan(s)
  • Cooling rack for done cookies
  • Cooky spatula to lift and transfer baked cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 box Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix (or 1/2 box white cake mix and at least 1 tablespoon of jimmies)
  • 1/2 bag of mini M&Ms (~ 5 oz)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Combine the powders and jimmies.
  3. Combine the oil and eggs.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The dough will be thick.
  5. Stir the mini M&Ms into the dough. Slow and steady works.
  6. Use a round tablespoon to scoop the dough, and use the rubber spatula to shape.
  7. Drop the spoon's dough onto the cooky sheet. (For slightly flatter cookies, slightly flatten the shaped dough rounds with the spatula or the measuring cup.)
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes.
  9. Use the cooky spatula to lift and transfer the done cookies onto cooling rack.
The yield was 41 cookies, amounting to ~73 calories each. YMMV

Post-recipe Thoughts
The confetti part of the cookies was sparse. To give the cookies a more "celebratory" look in the future, I'd probably ensure three to four tablespoons of jimmies for each batch.

I had some boxes of cake mix on hand, so I measured and used half boxes, storing the other halves in the refrigerator. An easier process would be to use a marble cake mix and stir in jimmies into the powder. If you prefer a vanilla instead of summer-tolerant chocolate cooky, use just white or yellow cake mix, jimmies, and mini M&Ms.

July 12, 2016: I baked a second batch Sunday. This time, the 1/2 box of chocolate cake mix was Duncan Hines Classic Devil's Food Moist instead of Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge. Also, I added more jimmies—2 1/2 tablespoons, all that was left in my jar. The image on the left has the BC mix; the one one right has the DH mix and extra jimmies.
 I was surprised to see that the BC-mix cookies were much darker than the DH-mix ones. IMHO, the DH ones are closer to my idea of milk chocolatey cookies.

The yield for DH-mix cookies was 45, probably as a result of 1 1/2 tablespoons of additional jimmies, and variation of my cooky dough dispensing. I calculated DH-mix cookies to be about 71 calories each (BC-mix cookies, about 73 each.)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pronunciation Musements

Pronunciations of some English words can be unobvious or inconsistent, particularly when encountering the printed form for the first time. My article is primarily about consonant combinations ("consonant blends" and "consonant digraphs"), but also includes related information farther down. "Teaching Blends and Digraphs" differentiates the two combinations.
  • consonant blend—"two or more consonants are blended together, but each sound may be heard in the blend"
    Examples include bl, br, cl, cr, …
  • consonant digraph—"two consonants stand together to represent a single sound"
    Examples include sh, ch, th, …
Some Consonant Digraphs with Multiple Pronunciations
Three consonant digraphs that can be confusing for determining pronunciations are "ch", "th", and "gh". The examples I list are simple, but I'm sure less familiar words can cause pause.
Numerous words contain "gh", which most frequently don't seem to serve any phonetic purposes. "Laugh" sounds like three letters could take care of the spelling—"laf". Arthur Laffer of Laffer curve fame is a good example of using "laffer" phonetic spelling instead of "laugher".

No "gh" in Laffer Genealogy
My Google lookup session of Arthur Laffer meandered over his genealogy, which goes as far back as the 1600s (Joseph Laufer). His most recent ancestor that was a Laffer was Bartholomew (Bartol) Laffer. Bartholomew's father's surname was Lauffer (Christian Lauffer Sr.). Slogging through text, I encountered a piece of amusement—Peter Piper, not a picker of pickled peppers, apparently. Anyway, "gh" was never part of the surnames.

The site "words with the -gh- letter pattern" provides detailed guidelines and grouped examples about this consonant pair. Another site, with more historical background, is "Pronunciation: How did "gh" at the end of some words become an "eff" sound?"

"ph" Consonant Digraph
Closely related to "gh" digraph for "f" pronunciation is "ph" (examples: photo, phone). "Spelling the /f/ sound with ph" states "The /f/ sound is usually spelled with just f (or ff after a short vowel … but words from ancient Greek use ph." This site provides good lists of "ph" examples and contexts.

Aural Disconnect with Three Consonant Combinations
Two consonant blends and one consonant digraph have always struck me as sounding differently than graphically alleged—"tr", "dr", and "ch". As a native speaker of English, I always felt those combinations sounded like "tchr", "jr", and "tch", respectively. Try pronouncing "trap", "draw", and "choke", and consider if they sound like "tchrap", "jraw", and "tchoke". "How to pronounce the 'ch' sound" provides linguistic details about "ch".)

More Pronunciation Items
Some additional thoughts WRT pronunciations are a few words I've run across that sound differently than I thought they would.
  • cupboard—I was surprised it's pronounced "kub-ərd" instead of "cup-board".
  • drawer—jroor (C'mon. If you pronounce it as draw-er, it sounds like a non-English speaker pronunciation.)
  • iron—eye-yern (Does anyone pronounce it as "eye-ron"?)
More mystery of consonants and their pronunciations in words, depending on nearby letters—
  • g: g or j (gang, general)
  • c: s or k (ceiling, cake)
  • s: s or z (seek, bees)
  • f: f or v (off, of)
  • h: h or silent (honey, honest)
For a related article about "h", visit "Pronunciations Heck with Hermione and Homage".

Diphthongs and two-consonant digraphs have a similarity: two characters and formation of a single sound. "The Difference Between Digraphs and Diphtongs" states "digraphs are letters and diphthongs are sounds". More specifically, "a digraph is two letters that spell one sound.… A diphthong is one vowel sound formed by the combination of two vowel sounds."

Coincidentally, "diphthong" is a good example word having a pair of consonant digraphs. (BTW, interesting to see the "ng" sound represented by a hybrid symbol. View that symbol and rest of Merriam-Webster's pronunciation key.)

Short and Long oo
While perusing consonant digraphs, I ran across the expressions "short oo" and "long oo". I had not heard of long and short "oo" designations (typical for normal vowels) in my younger years. "Long Sounds of 'oo', Short vs. Long 'oo' Vowel Digraphs" provides word and sentence examples for contrast. For explanations of "oo" and other "o" sounds, visit the site.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sprinkling Caraway Seeds for Quick Rye-ish Fix

A few weeks ago, I had a yen for rye bread. Being ignorant of rye bread dough, and seeing that caraway seeds always seemed to be in rye bread, I simply thought of these seeds as the add-in that makes rye bread rye bread.

I wondered why rye breads weren't called caraway seed breads. I wondered if one-syllable "rye" edged out three-syllable "caraway". Turns out that rye is its own item—a grass.

Numerous rye bread recipes call for both rye bread flour and white flour. Some recipes call for additional type(s) of flour. Almost all specify one or two tablespoons of caraway seeds. FWIW, my bottle of Morton & Bassett caraway seeds states a serving as 1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds. Thus, I infer that each pound of bread should have 4 teaspoons of seeds.

Looking at several recipes for rye bread, which require more ingredients than I wanted to bother with, my eyes glazed over. Rather than pay a king's ransom for rye bread at the store, I decided on a cheapie, quick way to get a rye-ish fix—a jar of caraway seeds for sprinkling onto buttered carb delivery products (grin). Some suggestions:

With room-temperature bread, toasted bread, or toasted English muffin, spread butter or peanut butter on it, sprinkle seeds, and use the knife to pat the seeds down.

With a toasted English muffin, another suggestion is to sprinkle seeds, add shredded or sliced jack cheese, and microwave until the cheese melts. Melting cheese with added seeds works well also for crackers. If you spread butter or peanut butter on crackers, it's optional to use the knife to smear and "glue" the sprinkled seeds.

At the supermarket's spice aisle, I found caraway seeds from McCormick, McCormick Gourmet, and Morton & Bassett (no relationship to Morton of salt game). Tabulation of the three brands is as follows:
Brand Weight Price Price/
McCormick   .9 $4.34 $4.82
1.62 $3.78 $2.33
Morton &
2 $6.42 $3.21

I'd have chosen McCormick Gourmet for best economy. However, the store displayed a coupon for $2 off for Morton and Bassett, reducing the price per ounce to $2.21. (Yay!) As the nutrition table states each serving as 1/4 teaspoon (.7 grams), about 81 total servings, I'd be shaking about 6 cents of seeds for each bread slice or muffin half. (FWIW, if the seeds were the density of water, the amount of servings would have been only 48 servings.)

While perusing the spice areas, I noticed that Morton &Bassett also sells whole cumin seeds, 2 ounces for $6.68, a smidge more than the normal price for caraway seeds. Cumin seeds are yummy with jack or cheddar cheese. One bread loaf came out divine when I mixed in cumin seeds and shredded cheddar.

Thinking about the caraway and cumin seeds, I recalled having bought something called kuminost cheese many years ago. Did not think to look at the list of ingredients, but associated the name with cumin. provides the following information:
Kuminost Cheese; Kumminost meaning in Cooking Dictionary
Danish semifirm mozzarella cheese made of entire or skimmed cow's milk, having either a natural or waxed rind and a pale yellowish to orange interior; flavored with cumin, caraway seed and clove. Kuminost is great in casseroles as well as for treats and sandwiches. Also called nokkelost.
Quickie DIY kuminost cheese sounds like a reason to buy cumin seeds and mozzarella or jack cheese on my next store trek. Maybe I'll skip the cloves, though. Hmmm, a flour tortilla rollup with cumin/caraway seeds and melted jack cheese sounds tempting.
Some websites about caraway seeds and rye:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Jacks Part 2

This article is the second half about jack(s). Read about jacked food, music (beyond the previous article's mention of "From a Jack to a King"), video media, and other scattered jacks. ("Jacks Part 1" centered around the name, children-item associations, and games.)

Jack Food and Related
Monterey jack cheese seems to be second to only cheddar as a popular cheese. (I hesitate to consider American and Velveeta to be in the same class.)
Around the 1700s, these monasteries around the Monterey region were making a semi-firm, creamy, mild flavoured cheese from cow’s milk which they aged for a little period. An American entrepreneur named David Jack realized its commercial value and started selling it all over California. The cheese came to be known as “Monterey Jack's” or “Jack's Monterey,” eventually acquiring the name Monterey Jack.
Anyone ever not eaten Cracker Jack snacks, otherwise called Crackerjacks? This product, and variations of spelling, are a food, an attribute (complimentary term), and movie. The food was immortalized in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in 1908.

A jack in the box is a toy, eatery, and movie. Although a jack in the box would be a "Kid Stuff" item that seems to belong in Jacks Part 1, I decided to write about it in Part 2 because of food.
A jack in the box toy is a spring-loaded toy with popup figure. Phrase Finder provides information about some unsavory associations.
Jack-in-the-box was variously a religious insult, a swindler, the Devil and an incendiary device - clearly a character not to be meddled with.
I'm guessing all American fast food diners know what a Jack in the Box (eatery) is. Not to sound like I'm plugging their offerings, but JITB has been serving breakfast during all their open hours long before McDonald's. As most with most fast food eateries, their offerings are deadly loaded with fat, sodium, or both. (Sigh.)
In 1951, a businessman named Robert O. Peterson opened the first Jack in the Box® restaurant in San Diego on the main east-west thoroughfare leading into city. Equipped with an intercom system and drive-thru window, the tiny restaurant served up hamburgers to passing motorists for just 18 cents, while a large jack-in-the-box clown kept watch from the roof.
Jack Animals
Three animals—one fictitious—have "jack" in their names.
Jack in Music and Video Entertainment
Jack is prominent in songs and video media.

 Mostly Music
This section is mostly about music oldies that have Jack in song titles, lyrics, or both. Although "From a Jack to a King" fits this section, it also fits well into Jacks Part 1 WRT to references to a playing card, in a romantic sense.
 Mostly Movies
This section is mostly about movies with Jack in titles, characters, or both.
Miscellaneous Jacks
"Jack" shows up in unusual contexts, sometimes in related, compound word forms.
  • Hijack, skyjack, carjack indicate stealing a vehicle by force, although some speculate the origin of hijack pertains to sneaking out of zinc ore, known as "jack", by miners. "Skyjack" does not seem to have retained popular use, and far fewer planes seem to be hijacked—maybe because of much tighter airplane boarding restrictions. For that matter, hijack seems more popular a term pertaining to changing of subjects in discussions among people.
  • A LoJack is recovery system for motor vehicles, laptops and similar devices.
  • "Jack of all trades" is an expression often accompanied by "and master of none")
  • "What is the difference between a connector, jack, plug, and port?" explains jack connector and other related items.
  • Read about the origin of the Union Jack name for the British flag.
  • Neatorama explains the origin of "you don't know jack". The article includes additional jack expressions, including reinforcement of some items I've previously mentioned.
Find more jack references at "The Phrase Finder" for "jack". Also visit Jacks Part 1. (Numerous well-known people are named Jack, and a few for Jackie, easily googlable for interested readers.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Jacks Part 1

When I heard or read “jackpot” recently, it occurred to me that it was a strange word. Almost immediately afterward, I thought about “jack” as a frequently encountered word or name, something to write about.

"Where the Term 'Jackpot' Came From" explains the origin of the term and also hitting the jackpot. Incidentally, the “jack” part refers to the Jack rank of playing cards.

Behind the Name” explains the origin for Jack, the name.
Derived from Jackin (earlier Jankin), a medieval diminutive of JOHN. It is often regarded as an independent name. During the Middle Ages it was very common, and it became a slang word meaning "man". It was frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Little Jack Horner', and 'Jack Sprat'.
I think it interesting about names Jack/John (English) and Jean/Jacques (French). However, Juan has no Spanish equivalent for Jack.

More Kid Stuff
Petra Turnbull writes about Jack and the Beanstalk symbolisms adding more information about additional story characters named Jack.
The name Jack is commonly used in fairy tales as a symbol for a clever but unreliable character who starts off poor and stupid with an unpromising future, but ends up rich and respected by using his wits. Other Jacks in fairy tales are "Jack the Giantkiller" who starts off as a poor farmer's son but cleverly tricks and slays giants and gets to marry an aristocrat, and "Lazy Jack" who does everything to avoid physical work, but still ends up rich through marriage. There is also a "Stingy Jack" who tricks the devil in Irish folk tales and ends up roaming the world, which is where "jack-o-lantern" is derived. and Pumpkin Nook contain more in-depth info about the jack o' lantern.

 Mother Goose Connections
Scroll to the poems section of Poetry Foundation to links for "Little Jack Horner", "Jack and Jill", and "Jack be Nimble". Click the following links for reading more context about the rhymes.
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Jack (and Jill)
    "Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after)."
  • Origins of Jack be Nimble (Some discussion about "Jumpin' Jack Flash" coming in "Jacks Part 2".)
 Not Mother Goose, but Well-Known Rhyme Anyway
A non-Mother Goose nursery rhyme is Jack Sprat, pertaining to a royal couple in the 1600s.

Jack(s) Games
A jack is prominent as a token in a child's game and also playing card.

Jacks is a child's game with rubber ball and spiky metal piece. Encyclopedia Brittanica provides an phonetic explanation for the pieces' term.
The name derives from “chackstones”—stones to be tossed. ... In the United States and Canada jacks is primarily a children’s game played with six to 12 or more six-pronged iron or plastic jacks and a small ball
 Jack as a Playing Card Figure
A jack is a face card in a deck of playing cards, ranking below queen and king.
  • According to "History of Blackjack",
    The game was still termed ‘21’ when it gained popularity in Nevada in 1931 as the State first chose to make gambling legal. To draw more people to the game, some casinos then offered a special bet: A hand featuring either of the black jacks (the Jack of Spades or that of Clubs) plus the Ace of Spades would pay 10-to-1 odds on the lucky player’s bet.
  • "Why are Jacks Called Jacks?" provides some background about the jack and relationship to knave.
    Originally, in England, the court cards were called king, queen and knave, with knave being the now-defunct term for a male servant. Card game books still referred to the knave in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. …The word jack also had 'a common man' as one of its meanings.
  • A New Yorker cartoon has the image of a jack fulfilling a role as another jack.
  • A very popular older song was "From A Jack To A King" by Ricky Van Shelton. It used references to playing cards to convey love conquest.
Jacks Part 2 includes more jacks-related items of song, video media, food, and miscellaneous.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Taking a Gander at Geese

Geese are interesting in looks, group traveling, and involvement in language. Two common goose types I'd run across during googling have been Canada goose (multicolor) and snow goose (predominantly white). Google results for "goose" yield numerous hits for Canada geese first, which surprised me, as I tend to think of the snow goose as my archetype—white body with orange bill and legs.

Ever see a formation of geese in flight? Such a v formation is a beautiful sight to behold. View flights on YouTube.

An Everyday Mysteries webpage explains why geese fly in formation—energy conservation and visual group member tracking. View "Why Do Geese Fly in a 'V' Formation? - Don't Be Dumb" for a video explanation.

Merriam-Webster shows various noun definitions, with two different plural forms, and use as transitive verb.
plural geese \'ges\
  1. a : any of numerous large waterfowl (family Anatidae) that are intermediate between the swans and ducks and have long necks, feathered lores, and reticulate tarsi
    b : a female goose as distinguished from a gander
  3. plural gooses : a tailor's smoothing iron with a gooseneck handle
  4. plural gooses : a poke between the buttocks
Well, the definition sent me scurrying to looking up other terms pertaining to fowl—feathered lores and reticulate tarsi.
  • From Birdspix (about white-winged parakeet)—
    feathered lores (the part of the face between the eye and the beak)
  • From Glossary of Avian External Anatomy
    Tarsi: plural of tarsus
    Tarsus: lowest segment of leg, before toes
    Reticulate: with small netlike scales (tarsus)
In Merriam-Webster's section for students, it included some information regarding physical features and size comparison—
"a waterbird with webbed feet that is related to the smaller duck and the larger swan"

Goose-featured Expressions
Merriam-Webster's page for "goose" shows a wealth of expressions
"Gander" is not a term as widely used as "goose". This is one instance that a female species noun "goose" (for better or worse) is more common than the adult male noun "gander". And the verb "gander" is not remotely related to the verb "goose"—"'take a gander' means to look".

Remember Jack and the Beanstalk? Remember if the fowl that lays golden eggs? The answer to whether the fowl that lays golden eggs is a goose or hen is in a Yahoo q/a. The best answer also includes information about "killing the goose that lays the golden eggs".

Additional sources of expressions with "goose", apparently widely used are as follows:

loosey goosey
very loose or relaxed
goose step/goosestep/goose-step
1 a marching step of some infantries in which the legs are swung high and kept straight and stiff.
2 a military exercise in which the body is balanced on one foot, without advancing, while the other foot is swung forward and back.
Related: A Wikihow websote includes instructions and images to properly goosestep, along with cautions when exercising. Interesting statement: "In the United States, Goosestepping is often associated with Nazism, which may offend some people. This association is usually not made in other countries".

I visualize "loosey goosey" and "goosestep" as contrasts in restful relaxation vs. rigidly rhythmic motion.

Goosebumps are skin features, but, additionally, a 2015 movie based on a series of books. Per Scientific American:
tiny elevations of the skin that resemble the skin of poultry after the feathers have been plucked. … caused by a contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair
Gooseneck definitions depend on context and possible accompanying terms, as in the following examples:
Did you know that groups of geese have three different collective nouns? TheAlmightyGuru's Animal Collective Nouns webpage differentiates as follows:
Flock (General)
Skein (Flight)
Gaggle, Herd, Corps (Ground)

Weird Plurals—wonder why the plural of moose is not meese?
goose geese
moose moose

Visit Meme Center's Goose memes for goose phrases, accompanied by images and videos.

Mother Goose, Father Goose, and Granny Goose
Run across these named geese? Actually, Mother Goose is better known for many familiar children's rhymes, such as "Jack and Jill", "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep", and "Sing a Song of Sixpence". Father Goose was a 1964 Cary Grant movie. As for Granny Goose, the fame was in potato chips; the TV commercial lives on in YouTube.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Pizza Boxes Part 2

Last month, Pizza Boxes Part 1 focused mostly on non-pizza box use and Bahtinov masks for astronomy. The box needed to be sturdy and spacially efficient for an item that was round and shallow.

The mask measured 10.5" diameter. I wondered if a box for a 10" pizza would be big enough. In researching pizza boxes, I found lots of available pizza box sizes, constructions, quantity purchase options, and dimensions. Couponabox box dimensions show a consistent 1/8" extra for length and width—example, 10" (26cm) box measures 10 1/8 x 10 1/8 x 1 1/4. Thus, a box for a 10" pizza would too small for the mask.

Pizza Box Terminology and Considerations
  • Couponabox provides extensive information about box sizes, standard container paper availability, corrugated-cardboard construction (E and B “flutes”), boxcar shipping container lots, and bulk packaging over various sizes and quantities.
  • Argrov Box provides extensive basics about boxes—measurements, construction, and styles. Illustrations enhance the terms and descriptions.
  • Talk Packaging goes into great detail about mechanical designs, box strengths, and dimensions.
Brown Kraft and White Standard Boxes

Green Packaging Group states that two standard colors come with corrugated cardboard—“white and natural Kraft which is essentially brown”.

More details from Talk Packaging:
Fourdrinier Kraft Liner – “Fourdrinier” is the name of the man who invented the machine on which the liner is made. “Kraft”, the German word for strength, is attributed to the strength applied to pulp, paper, or paperboard produced from wood fibers by the sulfate process. The Kraft liner is produced from a high percentage of pinewood (softwood) fibers which imparts toughness as softwood fibers are longer in length than hardwood fibers and allows for a greater interlocking effect.
Corrugated (Cardboard) Flutes

RSD Creative Packs explains corrugated cardboard construction for strength—use of arches. “Generally the larger flute profiles give greater vertical strength and cushioning. The smaller flutes help enhance graphic capabilities while providing greater structural integrity.” Couponabox’s standard pizza boxes table shows that smallest boxes use only E flutes, largest boxes use only B flutes, and “middle” sizes have both flute configurations available.

Argrov Box provides additional details about the role of flutes for strength in its Box Strength topic and illustration:
A corrugated sheet consists of two major components - linerboard and medium. Linerboard is the flat paper that covers both sides of the sheet and the medium is the “fluted” or arched paper found between both liners. The flute, when anchored to the linerboards with a starched-based adhesive, resists bending and pressure from all directions. When placed vertically on its ends, the flutes form vertical columns, capable of supporting considerable amounts of weight.
Pizza Box Ordering, from Small Scale to Boxcar Shipping Containers

Uline’s pizza boxes webpage shows options to buy bundles of 50 boxes (flat, unfolded) a pack.

For massive buys, Couponabox lists 20 ft and 40 ft HQ for their pizza box boxcar shipping containers. The SOE Source Transport Information topic shows tables and illustrations for boxcar shipment options. The table layout makes it easy to compare dimensional differences among 20 ft, 40 ft, 40 ft HQ, and 45 ft HQ boxcars.

The SOE site also lists “FCL” (full container load). How to Export Import explains FCL and LCL (less container load), which pertain to cargo loads and are commonly used terms in the export/import business.

Regarding FCL,
If an exporter has goods to accommodate in one full container load, he books an FCL Difference between LCL and FCL copy (Full Container Load) to stuff his cargo. In an FCL cargo, the complete goods in the said container owns by one shipper. …

Under an LCL cargo, where in a shipper does not have enough goods to accommodate in one full container, he books cargo with a consolidator to console his goods along with goods of other shippers. It’s possible that US does not need to import pizza boxes, the terminology and definitions were of interest as I landed on various webpages about pizza boxes.
Pizza Items of Interest

Pizza Statistics
Total number of pizza’s sold in the U.S. each year 3 billion
Total number of pizza’s sold worldwide each year 5 billion
Pizza Fun Facts
top 5 pizza sales days are:
Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Eve, Halloween, The night before Thanksgiving, & New Year's Day
Super Bowl 50: By the numbers - the wagers, the people, the wings and pizza
4.4 million: Pizzas ordered from Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John's during the big game
Pi Day 2016: History of the mathematical day and how it is celebrated
Pi Day is largely observed in the US on 14 March to celebrate the mathematical constant π (pi) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits – which also represent the 14thday of the third month. Celebrations of the day coincide with Albert Einstein's birthday.
That Plastic Thing Inside Your Pizza Box Was Invented 30 Years Ago

WebStaurantStore Pizza Boxes, including the three-legged plastic stacker

Paper Box Chemicals No Longer Considered Safe by FDA for Contact With Food
FDA said it was going to ban three specific perfluoroalkyl ethyl types. … The perfluoroalkyl ethyl is used in food contact substances (FCSs) that act as oil and water repellants for paper and paperboard, which comes in contact with aqueous and fatty foods.

Pizza box YouTube videos
Silly Songs with Larry- Pizza Angel (do-wop singing style)
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