Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious!

With the autumn season in full swing, it is impossible to stay away from dem apples! Apple pie - an American Classic, apple tarts, apple dumplings, apple this, apple that, everything APPle, AppLE, APPLE-licious! From celebration of Sweet or Sour...Tarts & Strudel in June to Apple Time and the Legend of the Apple in September to National Apple Month & National Applejack Month in October to bobbing apples at Halloween, the apple is center stage. 

October 21 is...
Apple Day


Apple Day is a celebration of apples and orchards mainly observed in the United Kingdom recognizing the wealth and variety of apples available. The day was first started in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden.  The following year it launched nationwide with over 50 events ranging from apple roadshows, grafting classes and village hall markets.  By 2000 the day was celebrated in over 600 events around the country, and abroad! That means it is also celebrated in America. Not surprising since America loves apples: 
The state fruit of New York, Vermont and Washington is the red apple along with the state muffin of New York being the apple muffin, the state beverage of New Hampshire being apple cider and the state pie of Vermont boasting scrumptious apple pie; Minnesota, the Honeycrisp apple; Illinois, the GoldRush Apple; Rhode Island, the greening apple; West Virginia, the Golden Delicious apple, and the state flower of Michigan and Arkansas is the apple blossom. Where there are blossoms, there will surely be apples!

Scientific research supports the ol' adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The health benefits of eating apples are unquestionable. But, here is a new twist on 'an apple' a day. Much like the 'Dried Plums', which have been numbered, now the healthy eating of apples has a number...eat five (5) a day! Of course, that does not mean eat 5 slices of apple pie or indulge in 5 fried apple tarts!

Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fibre and they are low in calories. But only a third of adults eat their five a day, according to the Government. Five turns out to be a number created by the State Nutritionist for California in 1998. [She] looked at the average figure of what people ate and doubled it. Source: MailOnline Health
 Apple Crumble with Custard (Recipe)

 Apple Bake/Apple Crisp (Recipe)

Apple Pancakes (Recipe)

Chicken-Apple Bake with Pumpkin Seeds (Recipe)

Individual Baked Apple Pie Dessert (Recipe)

The only thing left is get to the kitchen! Get to work and bake/fry/saute dem apples in your favorite recipe!

Is your mouth watering yet?

  yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!

♫M&Ms...Music & Monsters♫

With Halloween just 11 days away, M&Ms will be among the many, many treats ready for delivery to little and big ghouls. For today, the M&Ms are not the candy but the connection of music and monsters. The song and artist in the spotlight on this day are very apropos. Among the many decorations and costumes of the holiday, one can anticipate the guttural breaths and rattling groans as creatures prepare for night fright. An essential component to Halloween is, of course, the music. Gearing up for Halloween engages finding just the right sound effects and scary music for the spookiest day of the year.

Today in Music History: October 20, 1962


Bobby 'Boris' Pickett As a 9-yr old, 'Boris' watched a lot of horror films. Since his father was a theater manager this gave him an advantage of easy access to many films. In his nightclub routine, Pickett would do an impression of actor Boris Karloff, who played the monster in many Frankenstein movies. With the assistance of his friend Lenny Capizzi at the piano, the two came up with the plot about Frankenstein's monster starting a dance craze based on the dance of the times, the "Mashed Potato". 'Monster Mash' is arguably the most successful novelty song of all time. Bobby Pickett accomplished the rare feat of reaching the top 100 music chart 3 times with the same song.

The song has been used in several TV shows, including Cheers, The Simpsons and Happy Days. It's also been used in the movies Halloween III and Sweetheart's Dance. In 1995, Monster Mash: The Movie was released, starring Pickett as Dr. Frankenstein.

A Bit of Monster Mash Song Trivia...
This being 1962, many of the sound effects had to be created in the studio. The effects on the song were done as follows:
*The coffin being opened was made by pulling a rusty nail out of a lump of wood with the claw of a hammer.
*The bubbling sounds came from blowing through a straw in a glass of water.
*The sounds of the chains was made by dropping chains onto plywood planks on the recording studio floor.

1962 Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Monster Mash', it became a No.3 in the UK eleven years later in 1973. The song had been banned by The BBC in the UK, deemed offensive.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

♫Fm Swing thru Hip Hop♫

With each decade comes a change in music...style, beat, melody, rhythm. Music from one decade often influences music of another as has been witnessed into the 21st century. Many songs from the 50s all the way through the 90s are still popular. Of course, it was by way of the 20s, 30s and 40s that music has evolved into a passion relative to survival as many listeners would so declare today. 

Each decade has offered its own unique genres of music. Below are the #1 hits in the US on October 20 of each decade from the 1940s to 2010.

Number One Songs On... October 20 by Decade

1940 Bing Crosby - Only Forever

Entering the era of the 40s doesn't leave the Swing behind but instead, finds it going strong as ever! Early in the decade swing, jazz and big band tunes rocked the radio and jukebox of young and old alike. Many musical scores tried to capture the pain and suffering of World War Il remaining upbeat even though the impending future of the country was uncertain.

1950 Weavers with Gordon Jenkins - Goodnight Irene
It's the 50s - Rock and RollRock & Roll, Rock 'n' RollRockin' and Rollin'During the 30s and 40s, combinations emerged binding country singing and steel guitar with big band jazz influences and horn sections. These two-beat jazz rhythms preceded rockabilly recordings. A mixture of musical genres definitely made and kept the 50s rockin' and rollin'! 

1960 Drifters - Save the Last Dance for Me
During a time of racial division amid the turn of the civil rights movement, Motown became the sound that changed America with the spirit of the 60s musicPopular music, pop-culture, sprang forth with a tremendous influence on young and old. Now, after over 50 years of success, Motown's sound still reverberates worldwide. Long live rock 'n' roll! MORE @Awakenings...

1970 Jackson Five - I'll Be There

This was a time often described as s.h.r.i.l.l, colorful and simply cr-r-r-r-r-azy. When was it? If you guessed the super groovy 70s, also known as the Decade of the Disco, you nailed it! This was an era filled will the mads, glads and the fads. What do you remember best? Do you ever feel Stuck in the 70s?

1980 Barbra Streisand - Woman in Love
Pop stars and their music changed in the 80s with the help of MTV and a greater focus on image. Thanks to MTV the images accompanying recording artists became more important than ever. Several new genres popped up and by early 80s, hip-hop's distinctive place in music history was set. Unique techniques were established as a new genre of music. MORE @Awakenings...

1990 James Ingram - I Don't Have the Heart
With the 90s came many popular styles of music, including the birth of alternative rock. Many European artists were the driving force behind Pop music through the 90s decade. Contemporary R&B brought forth elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, and hip hop. Adult contemporary music was popular in the form of soft-rock and singer-songwriter styles throughout the decade.
MORE @Awakenings...

2000 Christina Aguilera - Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)
With the coming of the new millennium, the music industry entered a crisis. The advent of digital downloading took quite a toll on single records and albums with sales tumbling within the first decade. Simultaneously, though, hip hop, aka rap music, solidified its standing as the dominant influence on global youth culture.

2010 Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
Rock music has remained popular, though it declined in charts presence beginning in the late 2000s, alongside changes in radio format. It has also moved from hard rock and heavy metal genres that have dominated the genre since the Mid-1980s. Pop Rock music since the early 2010s has become softer and more refined, such as Indie Rock

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fruit with a 'Kick'

Yummy...Dessert! Always the highlight of any meal with fruit being a most delightful ingredient. Many recipes call for canned fruit but of course, the best are baked, fried, whipped with fresh fruit. Sometimes a special recipe calls for a touch of liquor, perhaps whiskey, cognac or brandy. The highlight of this day's celebration is fruit with a 'kick' not limited just to dessert.
October 20 is...

National Brandied Fruit Day 


Brandied fruit is a delicious addition to any dessert or breakfast spread that can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Storing different fruits in brandy is a simple way to preserve the wonderful tastes of the harvest season without the hassle of canning. Even better is the easiness by which this scrumptious treat can be made - all you need is a nice Brandy (the highest quality, the better), sugar, a screw-top glass jar and, of course, ripened fruit.

Steps to Brandying...

Wash the fruit, peel off any skin, and slice if necessary. Fill half a container (jar) with brandy and add the fruit. For each cup of fruit you add, stir in 2-3 Tbsp of sugar. [For each 100g of fruit, you should add approximately 20g of sugar (100g = 3.5 oz).] Make sure all the fruit is submerged in the mixture. This will prevent any fruit being exposed to the air and growing mold. Stir to ensure the brandy and sugar mix together fully. Cover the container (jar) tightly, and store it in a dark place away from direct sunlight. You can continue to add fruit at any time. Your brandied fruit will be cured after a couple of months so it’s best to plan a ahead of time if anticipating serving for a special occasion!

The day has no poetic origin, but it provides a great excuse to indulge yourself with a delicious, homemade treat. Serve a spoonful of brandied fruit over ice cream, with a dollop of whipped cream, or as a scrumptious breakfast side dish!

Need some tasty brandied fruit recipe ideas?

National Brandied Fruit Day Recipes

Champagne and Brandied Fruit (Recipe)

Chavrie Brandied Fruit Trifle (Recipe)

Brandied Fruit & Flan (Recipe)

An added plus for the brandied fruit is not just for dessert...

 Sauteed Chicken with Brandied Fruit and Almonds (Recipe)

 Is your mouth watering yet?

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!


♫Still Going Strong♫

First we are going to step back to yesterday's big music news for you do not want to miss out on the 'grits' incident, especially if you are from the South. To a Southerner, eating grits is practically a religion with breakfast without grits being unthinkable. If you are a Southern gal, then you are one of the true GRITS - Girls Raised In The South. Throughout history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality. They have been epitomized in film, song and catch phrases but one of the most bizarre incidents happened in 1974.

Today in Music History: October 18 Music Incident

Al Green

Soul singer Al Green's "Grits Incident":

In the early 70s, Al Green is one at the top of the charts, a Touring Machine, a man happy with his life until...
1974  After a recording session on October 18, a stewardess friend of Green's, Carlotta Williams and his off-again, on-again girlfriend, Mary Woodson [who had walked away from her family] joined Green at his Memphis mansion. Green was about to shower when he saw Woodson's reflection in the mirror. Woodson assaulted him before committing suicide.
In a split second, my world exploded into a thousand splatters of pure agony. Mary had added grits to the water she was boiling, making a thick, rolling-boil hot paste. With all her strength, she hurled it at me, splashing the bathroom walls and scorching my naked back. The pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure what was happening for a moment.”
Green was taken to Baptist Hospital with second degree burns on his body where he received a series of skin grafts. A year before the incident Al Green had become a born-again Christian so at this time he spent much of his recovery reading the Bible and praying. The seriousness of the incident was not lost on Green. By 1976, Green became an ordained minister and bought the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, where he continues to preach when not on tour.

Al Green is known for the hit song 'Let's Stay Together', which has become a very popular wedding song.

Cyndi Lauper

A true renaissance woman with 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million, Cyndi Lauper is still going strong and continues to reach new heights as a career artist.

1986  Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors', written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, hits #1 on October 19. The song is about looking below the surface to see what a person is really like. It becomes an anthem of acceptance being reinterpreted many times over the years. 'True Colors' was used in a Kodak campaign to advertise their film processing, was covered by Australian country music star Kasey Chambers and used as the 2003 Rugby World Cup theme song.
   Emily West Performs "True Colors" With Cyndi Lauper on America's Got Talent 2014 Finale


And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...