Confession: I cannot hold chopsticks properly. Somehow, I weave my middle finger between the two sticks, bestowing little control, and allowing me to navigate my food anywhere but into my mouth. Due to this deficiency, I no longer allow myself to go out to sushi bars, Chinese restaurants, hibachi places, or any such establishment where my ineptitude is displayed.
But this is a conundrum, as I dearly love sushi. So, on a quest to remedy my problem, I began to wonder who in the world created these sticks, and where the rest of flatware came from. Initially, I thought that chopsticks were probably the oldest utensils since they seem the most simplistic, but I was way off…by thousands of years.
Hands down, spoons take the cake as the oldest eating utensil, next to fingers, of course. Spoons can be dated back to the Paleolithic period, before the woolly rhinoceroses went extinct. In other words, they’ve been around for a while. It’s thought that the spoon most likely originated in southern Europe. The Greek and Latin words for “spoon” come from the word cochlea, meaning a spiral shaped snail shell, so you can then guess what the first spoons were made of. In ancient Egypt, spoons were made mainly of ivory, flint, slate, and different woods, while Greeks and Romans fashioned theirs out of bronze and silver. In Medieval times, spoons were made of cow horns, wood, brass and pewter. Of course, there were fancy ones too, made of silver and gold, but they were reserved for nobles and royalty.
Bad reputations are often really hard to shake. Once set in place, people seem to have that same perception forever. I guess you can’t really blame them (we’re all guilty of holding onto what we know) but sometimes what we know is pretty far from the truth. Like people, certain foods can get thought the worst of. We think we know what they’re all about, but in reality, what we think of them is totally wrong. These foods have received a lot of criticism over the years, though most of it is undeserved (and somewhat harsh):
People think that because it’s so delicious, this temptress just has to be bad for you. Plus, it’s chock full of sugar. Well guess what chocolate, you can remove your scarlet letter. Studies show that a single serving of cocoa has more powerful antioxidants than green tea, black tea, and red wine. Plus chocolate boosts your memory, and is full of flavinoids, which help increase blood flow to the skin, making it look real nice. (Learn more about Chocolate)
Sure, they’re jam-packed with cholesterol but that’s the only real downside. They’re one of the only foods to supply naturally occurring vitamin D, have only around 80 calories, and contain all nine essential amino acids. Suddenly, eggs aren’t sounding too bad, right? And, eggs are running some pretty good beauty promotions. They’re shown to promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulfur content and numerous vitamins and minerals. (Learn more about Eggs)
Girl Scout week is upon us, and no one has even knocked on my door to sell me Samoas or Tagalongs or Thin Mints. How can this be? In years past I bought at my office from moms and dads doing their daughters’ bidding, from my friends’ children and even from the adorable scouts who used to set up in front of the local supermarket.
It’s no wonder we gain weight in winter. In the Midwest, the snow whips up frantically, the cold is painful. Reading on the couch wrapped up in the afghan seems like a good way to pass a Sunday afternoon. And what sounds good for dinner?