Darn Straight Skippy: I Have Things To Do, Links To Share, & A Fact To Tell

PLEASE NOTE: No story or article this week because we’re on staycation mostly doing projects around the house and in the garden. Instead of writing my usual flapdoodle & twaddle I’ll share a few interesting links I’ve saved for no reason in particular. Enjoy!

~ ~ 📌 ~ ~

About your style… As you may know ‘cheugy’ is a slang term adopted by Gen Z as a put down for Millennials. From what I can tell cheugy has two different, but maybe overlapping, meanings: 1) anything that is out-of-date, not trendy; or 2) someone who is trying too hard. Go HERE to read more or HERE to see a diagram [scroll down] that lets you decide if your style is cheugy.

About your spectacles… Naturally the topic of eyeglasses is one of great interest to me. Remember the name of this blog, my little seraphim. Go HERE, watch a short TED talk about the history of spectacles and be informed.

About your pee… I’m at a loss as to how to introduce this link other than to say I never would have thought to use Pantone colors in this way, but that’s just me. Go HERE to see a color chart plus some information about staying hydrated [including drinking beer!] for good health.

About your personality… I give you a way to determine your bean personality because who the heck doesn’t want to know that? Go HERE, answer a few simple questions, and then through the magic of a delightfully accurate algorithm discover your true bean personality.

~ ~ 📌 ~ ~

FUN FACT: When I started blogging this is the kind of post I planned on writing, lists of links with a bit of commentary. It never occurred to me that anyone would want to read about my daily life and random musings. That stuff I saved for friends and family.

However eventually it dawned on me that I could write about more personal things here and people would appreciate it. Thus it came to be that The Spectacled Bean was born.

A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project

Maybe you know this already and I’m the last to know, but I’m going to tell you my story anyhow.

~ 🍪 ~

~ 🍪 ~

I HAPPENED UPON A WRAPPER from a Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate product [see photo immediately above].

I found it among the recipes that my mother had saved, filed loosely in an old notebook. The recipes, ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s, are from her mother and newspapers clippings and friends and packaging. No rhyme or reason to them, just saved.

My best guess is the wrapper is from the early 1940s. It intrigued me.

After glancing at the front I looked on the back at the recipe. I skimmed the recipe and it initially looked about the same as any chocolate chip cookie recipe you’d see today.

The copy on the wrapper states that it’s THE ORIGINAL Toll House Chocolate Cookie recipe created by Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, MA. And it could be. However the current Nestlé website says that this recipe, a recipe that differs in one significant way, is the original Toll House Cookie Recipe.

You see, it wasn’t until I turned the package over again and looked closely at the front that I realized this WASN’T a package for Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate morsels [chips] that we have today. It WAS for a bar of chocolate that was to be cut into “pieces the size of a pea” by the person making the cookies.

As in if you want chips of chocolate in your cookies, do it yourself, darling [see photo immediately below].

~ 🍪 ~

~ 🍪 ~

I HAD A DUH! MOMENT because I’d no idea that chocolate chips had not always existed, which is a rather lame thing to say. Obviously someone invented them. They don’t fall from the heavens above fully formed, now do they?

After a bit of research I discovered that chocolate chips were originally a kind of molasses chocolate-coated candy made popular in the early 1890s by Kauffmanns of Pittsburgh, PA. In 1897 a court case involving the use of the trademarked name “Trowbridge Chocolate Chips” also described chocolate chips as being molasses chocolate-coated candy.

However by the 1930s as Wakefield’s recipe grew in popularity the term *chocolate chip* morphed from being a kind of candy into being an ingredient in cookies, so much so that by the early 1940s Toll House cookies were often referred to as chocolate chip cookies.

Seeing an opportunity for increased sales, in 1940 Nestlé started making and selling manufactured chocolate chips that they called ‘morsels.’ This was in addition to the semi-sweet chocolate bars for which they were known.

So with that short history lesson on what I’d call the primary ingredient in Toll House Cookies, I’ll end this post by asking you:

Did you know there was a time when you created your own chocolate chips [aka morsels] to put in your cookies?

What do you call cookies that have chocolate chips [aka morsels] in them: Toll House Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cookies?

And more to the point, made any of them lately?

~ 🍪 ~

~ ~ 🍪 ~ ~

SOURCES:

A Brief History of the Chocolate Chip via Mental Floss

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chip versus Morsel via New England Recipes

The First “Chocolate Chip” Was a Molasses Candy via Smithsonian Magazine

Who Baked the First Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie? via Chowhound

Let’s Write Friendlier Blog Posts, Shall We?

Everything old is new again…

SORTING THROUGH ANOTHER BOX of stuff I inherited from my mother and her sisters, I found a small booklet, Let’s write Friendlier Letters by Earle A. Buckley, Director of the The Buckley Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

This booklet, published in 1945, is described as: “A practical course in MODERN LETTER WRITING.” It is 36 pages long and has 21 points intended to help you become a better letter writer.

If I may be so bold as to summarize, the gist of the advice in the booklet boils down to 3 smart writing tips: be concise, be conscientious, be personable.

~ ~ 🌟 ~ ~

AS I UNDERSTAND THEM, the 21 points are as follows:

  1. Every letter is a sales letter.
  2. Make friends with people by understanding their perspective.
  3. Stereotyped, trite, hackneyed phrases serve no useful purpose in letter writing.
  4. Words cost money so eliminate unnecessary ones.
  5. Your opening sentence is your first impression.
  6. Stop writing when you’ve said what you need to say.
  7. Prepare yourself mentally so that you’re thinking clearly about the subject you are about to discuss in your letter.
  8. Your letter must have personality if it is to be perceived as truthful.
  9. Stay away from long sentences because “they’re dangerous.”
  10. Letters are either categorized as “inquiry” or “answer.”
  11. Write in a way that makes the letter look pretty while molding opinions in your favor.
  12. When answering a complaint you must show you understand why the complainant is upset, then move the discussion to friendly terms quickly.
  13. Use contractions to make the tone of your letters seem conversational and natural.
  14. Don’t write like a telegram because your letter won’t be perceived as written by a friendly human being.
  15. Look at the appearance of your letters as you would the appearance of a salesman.
  16. Tell enough to be interesting, but not everything.
  17. Write so that your ideas flow logically + smoothly from paragraph to paragraph.
  18. Your relationship with your stenographer needs to be one of effective teamwork.
  19. Avoid form letters that look “form-letter-ish.”
  20. Get in the habit of editing your letters, you’ll become a better letter writer.
  21. To be an effective letter writer you must sell yourself first so that your tone will be a friendly one, sure to increase your business.

~ ~ 🌟 ~ ~

WITH THE EXCEPTIONS OF Point 4 [words don’t cost money in the blogosphere] and Point 18 [who has a stenographer?], I’d suggest that these points are amazingly good advice for today’s modern blogger.

Good advice that is spot on IF you want to write friendlier, well-received blog posts. Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t. Who am I to say what it is that you want to do with your blog?

However, if’n you’ve been wondering how to zhoosh up your blog making it more convivial in these stressful, antagonistic times, then may I suggest you heed this old-time letter-writing advice from 1945.

Just a friendly thought. Agreed?

#ThursdayDoors | Finding A Whimsical Building About Local History In A Park

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, by sharing photos of a fun + unique building that we stumbled upon in a Cincinnati suburban park.    

I’ve not seen anything like this before, both the building and the doors on the building that have doors painted on them.  It’s a double door, double door extravaganza.  Or something like that. 

~ ~ • ~ ~

On a whim we stopped at a new-to-us park called Home of The Brave Park.  This 54-acre park, established in 2012, is located in Symmes Township, Hamilton County, OH.

Along with sports fields, playgrounds, a shelter, and a veterans plaza, this park has a building unlike any other I’ve seen around here.  It’s painted on all four sides to explain the history of the township, one side focusing on the man who founded the township.

A fast Google search lead me to the life story of John Cleves Symmes, the man featured on one side of the building.  In a nutshell he was a rich NY/NJ Revolutionary War dude who came west to Ohio to make his fortune by selling land that he did, and did not, own to settlers moving this way.

He’s credited for naming many places around here, and is also the father-in-law of President William Henry Harrison [#9] and grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison [#23].

And with that, here are the photos of the exterior of the building.

~ ~  ~ ~

DOUBLE DOORS on the front of the building.

• • •

The side of the building where the image of John Cleves Symmes dominates.

• • •

The back of the building showing a melange of images that apparently summarize this township.

• • •

The fourth side of the building.

• • •

A closer look at the FRONT DOOR DOUBLE DOORS on which a FRONT DOOR and a GARAGE DOOR are painted, hence creating a double door, double door extravaganza.

~ ~ • ~ ~

A Small Adventure In An Old Cemetery, Because My Curiosity Must Be Satisfied

Many people have Bucket Lists of things they want to see/do before they die. I’m not one of those people.

Instead I have what I call a Measuring Cup List of things I’d like to see/do if I get around to it and can do so without too much inconvenience.

The following is an example of a Measuring Cup List item. 

~ ~ ~ ~

ON A WHIM AS WE were driving by Union Cemetery in Symmes Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, we went into it to see what we might see.

I knew of this cemetery because many years ago there was an article about it in our local newspaper.  In the article the reporter interviewed a township trustee about this historic cemetery, asking specifically about the size of the chapel that you can see from the road.

The trustee said something to the effect of: the chapel is big enough to hold a dozen Brownies or seven Girl Scouts. 

Naturally with a memorable description like that I knew I needed to see this building in person.  Sometime.  And now that I have, he did not lie.

~ ~ ~ ~

WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT this cemetery is that there are Revolutionary War Veterans buried there.  It was only after we walked around the exterior of the chapel that I/we began to wander through the cemetery.

Close to the chapel I saw the following tombstone and was immediately drawn to it.  It’s in good shape, which suggests family or some organization is tending to it.  Also as you can see, John Ross died 200 years ago in 1820.

That’s trippy if’n you ask me.  He died centuries ago, yet there I stood looking at the grave of someone who helped shape the world in such as way as to allow me to live in a democracy, instead of a monarchy.

~ ~ ~ ~

AS WE CONTINUED TO MOSEY around the cemetery we realized we had parked in the oldest section so we walked over to a newer section, that is to say an area with burials dating around 100 years ago.

Here we found a mausoleum with a healthy peony bush growing beside it.  On the mausoleum, a rather basic one, were the following two plaques with thoughts that are relevant today.

Mother’s plaque says: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”  [This a quote from Luke 6:31 in the Bible.]

Father’s plaque says: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor;  therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” [This is a quote, complete with a semicolon, from Romans 13:10 in the Bible.]

~ ~ ~ ~

And with that we left the cemetery to get on with our day.  I felt inspired and pleased with myself for taking the time to notice what’s been in front of me for years.

You may consider this item crossed off my Measuring Cup List.