The Manchester Enterprise: Collectibles & Delectables Bits of Clay

The Left Side


As stated last week about the left side being associated with evil.  For thousands of years the Devil in pictures and other images is portrayed as left-handed.  It is considered that we can only see ghost if we look over our left shoulder and the Devil watches us over the left side.
Evil spirits lurk over the left shoulder; throw salt over this shoulder to ward them off.  In Roman times, salt was a very valuable commodity, giving rise to the word “salary” and was once considered a form of money.  If salt was spilled, it was considered bad luck; that could only be avoided by throwing some of the spilled salt over your left shoulder to placate the devil.
Joan of Arc, burned at the stake in 1431, for being a heretic and a witch was not left-handed but was depicted in this way to make her seem evil.
Getting out of bed with the left food first means that you will have a bad day and be bad tempered.  Therefore, we have “getting out of bed the wrong side.”  A ringing in the right ear means someone is praising you and the left ear it means that someone is cursing you. 
Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend of evil associated with the left-hand.  It was believed that a nerved from this finger ran directly to the heart.
If you hear the sound of a cuckoo from the right it will be a lucky year. If the sound comes from the left it will be unlucky.  If the left eye twitches, you will see an enemy.  When dressmaking, it is believed to be bad luck to sew the left-hand sleeve onto a garment before the right sleeve.  If going on a journey, if the right foot itches, you will have a good journey.  If the left foot itches, it will end in sorrow.  It is thought to be bad luck to pass a drink to another person with your left hand or anti-clockwise around a table. A left-handed toast will curse the victim. Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais are the most famous left-handed couple in history.
Here are superstitions in favor of left-handed folks.  Anyone who digs coal out of the ground from under the left foot in the spring will have very good luck.  Apply ointment to wounds with the left forefinger to heal.  The ancient Zuni tribe considered left-handedness a sign of good luck and believed the left was the older and wiser.
Superstition, in my belief is a state of mind, not supported by facts.  I don’t believe in good or bad luck and ghosts. But to show how in-grained it is, I do sometime knock on wood and find myself aware when a black cat crosses my path and I see no reason for walking under a ladder. Superstitious, I might be.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:12


Hot Dogs


Autumn begins the 23rd of September, I suppose that means summer is ending.  Before summer comes to a halt, perhaps one more grilling out or a campfire is in order.  Simple hot dogs are a must for either, on the grill or roasted over a fire.
Hot dogs are rather a simple food with interesting facts.  They range from cocktail size or big dinner frankfurters.  Seasoned plain or taste may include spices.
Hot dogs are among America’s favorite foods.  Americans consume on average 60 hot dogs each year.  Hot dogs are primarily regarded as a fun, summertime food and most eaten on Memorial Day and Labor Day.  The sausage (a form of hot dogs) is one of the oldest forms of processed food, having been mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, 9th Century B.C..  Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar’s cook, Gaius, is often credited with discovering the first sausage.  It was custom of the time to starve the pigs one week before cooking and eating them.  One pig was brought out well roasted, but it was noticed that somehow it had not been cleaned.  Cook Gaius ran a knife into its belly to see if the pig was fit to eat.  To his surprise, out popped the intestines and they were all puffed up and hollow.  It was reported that Gaius said, “I have discovered something of great importance.”  He stuffed the intestines with ground venison and ground beef mixed with cooked ground wheat and spices.  He ties them into sections and the wiener was born.
Marlene Dietrich said her favorite meal was hot dogs & champagne.  Babe Ruth once ate 12 hot dogs and eight bottles of soda between games of a double header.  He was rushed to the hospital after the game with a severe case of indigestion.  Al Capone’s favorite food was Nathan’s Coney Island hot dogs as was Cary Grant. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport sells more than two million hot dogs a year. 
NASA has approved hot dogs as a regular item on Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions and space shuttle flights. During the war, soldiers were fed the dreaded K-rations that often consisted of beans, corned beef or hot dogs.  To make the hot dogs more appetizing, the mess staff referred to them as steaks in a tube or Tube Steaks.
And lastly, there is even hot dog etiquette.  Don’t put hot dog toppings between the hot dog & the bun.  Always “dress the dog,” not the bun.  Wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, then salt and pepper.  Do eat hot dogs on buns with your hands utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.  Don’t use a cloth napkin to wipe you mouth when eating a hot dog.  Paper is always preferable.  Do use paper plates to serve hot dogs.  Don’t take more than 6.1 bites to finish a hot dog.  Don’t leave bits of bun on your plate.  Eat it all.  Do lick away any condiments remaining on the fingers after eating, not washed.  Don’t bring wine to a hot dog barbecue.  Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.  Don’t ever think it is wrong to serve hot dogs.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 September 2011 12:13


Braised Early Spring Greens



¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion cut into thin rings

2 cloves garlic, thin sliced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

12 cups chicken stock

1 pound collard greens

1 pound chard

1 pound kale

1 pound mustard greens

Clean greens and remove stems. (May use any greens available).  In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil.  Add onion, salt and red pepper: sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes.  Add collard greens to pot and simmer in broth for 15 to 20 minutes.  Using tongs; remove collards from broth; shake off excess liquid.  Transfer to a sheet pan and spread out to cool (this helps retain the color).  Repeat with remaining greens one bunch at a time, cooking each separately for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove stockpot form heat while greens cool.  Then add all cooled greens back to pot together and gently reheat to desired temperature over low heat.  Yield 10 servings.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 13:58


Banana Cupcakes


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

¾ sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large very ripe bananas, pureed

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.  Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the flour mixture and blend ingredients together until only just combined.  Stir in the bananas. Blend mixture until ingredients are fully incorporated.  Pour batter into cups and bake 25-30 minutes or till tester comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Frost with Nutella frosting.  Yield 16 cupcakes.


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup Nutella

8 ounces powdered sugar

Cream together the cream cheese and Nutella until blended. Add the powdered sugar until combined. Mix on high speed until smooth and creamy.  Fill a pastry bag for a swirl look or use a

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 16:06


Loaded Baked Potato Dip

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 15:19

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e-Edition A-Section 10-23-14


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e-Edition B-Section 10-23-14


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