The Daily Bug

Happy Halloween !

By: palmettobug53, 11:57 PM GMT on October 30, 2013

I'm a bit late getting something up for Trick or Treat.

This isn't going to be very inspired but here it is:

My favourites are not scary movies but they do seem to fit the season. I love it when they air at this time of year. I haven't seen either of them in quite some time.

First up is Frank Capra's 1944 comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace. Starring Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre, John Alexander, Josephine Hull and Jean Adair, it's set right about October 31st.

Two sweet little old ladies poison their lodgers with arsenic laced elderberry wine and bury the deceased in their basement.

It's great fun and a barrel of laughs!

Second, is Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 comedy, The Trouble With Harry. While the month isn't specified, it is set at a time when the leaves are all in a blaze of color. It stars John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick, Edmund Gwynn, a very young Jerry Mathers (prior to his Leave It To Beaver TV series) and introduces Miss Shirley MacLaine in her first movie role.

It's a hilarious story about a body that is found on a nearby hillside and the confusion that surrounds who killed the victim (and how)and what to do with the body.

What movies are your favourites to watch at Halloween?

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Saying Goodbye to The Pig

By: palmettobug53, 4:47 PM GMT on October 25, 2013

The Pig photo piggly-wiggly_zps2c0d5292.jpg

Their motto was 'Local since forever' but nothing remains forever. Sob......

Last month, Piggly Wiggly Carolina announced it will sell 22 corporate-owned stores to Bi-Lo and seven others to Harris Teeter. Only a handful of stores will remain in the Charleston area.

The residents of the Charleston area are in total shock. No one can get their heads wrapped around the fact that there will no longer be a conveniently located Pig in their neighborhood.

The nearest one to me would be south. Down Hwy 17 to Hollywood: a good 30-40 minute drive.

No more Mrs. Mac's Fried Chicken. No more local peaches and other produce. No more Pig decals, cups, T-shirts. No more of those 'one of a kind' local canned goods and gourmet items. The staff of the local Pigs were helpful and friendly.

We grew up with The Pig. The thought of losing it is just too much to comprehend.

I suppose we'll adjust. We'll have to. But that doesn't mean we have to like it.

Piggly Wiggly

Piggly Wiggly Carolina

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Updated: 5:49 PM GMT on October 25, 2013


Hot Stuff Part 1

By: palmettobug53, 12:31 AM GMT on October 10, 2013

There's seldom a middle of the road or take 'em or leave 'em attitude, when it comes to hot peppers.. You're either a chile head or you aren't.

My love affair with hot peppers dates back to, as usual, my childhood. In the summer, on every mealtime table belonging to any member of Dad's family, there was a bowl of ladyfingers. Big ones, little ones, fat ones and skinny ones.

There was a ritual involved in choosing one to accompany your meal. A finger would be inserted into the bowl and the peppers would be stirred a bit. One would be picked up, eyeballed, sniffed, with exclamations of, "Oooeeee. That one looks mean," or some such pronouncement. The contents of the entire bowl would be inspected. Eventually, one would meet with approval and the bowl would be passed to the next person, where the whole procedure unfoldeded again.

Some family members took the bull by the horns and simply chomped into them. Others would nibble. Some would take knife and cut the pepper into strips and then small pieces, scattering them across their rice and butter beans or crowder peas, discarding the pith and seeds.

My Mama was of this last persuasion. She did not grow up eating hot peppers and wasn't as experienced in the ways of a true chile head. By discarding the pith and seeds, she avoided the worst of the heat. Or so she thought; the heat is really in the placenta (the inner membrane), not the pith or seeds. She'd sometimes have to pick them back out of her food, as they were simply too hot for her to eat.

Granny always made sure there were a few 'baby' peppers in the bowl for us kids, so we would feel included. The really little ones just tasted like full sized peppers but lacked any heat. Once in a while, though, one of us would get an imposter; a full grown ladyfinger with stunted growth, masquerading as an innocent 'babe'. Howls of pain would ensue.

It's no wonder we howled. I found out after I was grown that 'ladyfingers' is just what Dad's family called them. They were cayenne peppers. YIKES!

There are about 25 species in the genus capsicum, all of which originated in Central and South America. They are believed to have first been domesticated by at least 7500 B.C. The pepper is the fruit of the plant. They are well named: Capiscum comes from the Greek kapos, 'to bite.'.

In the 1600's, Spanish and Portguguese explores introduced chiles to South Asia. It is assumed that Arab and European traders carried them further throughout China and Southeast Asia via traditional trade routes. People of these areas were already familiar with pungent and spicy flavors and readily incorporated the chile into their local cuisines.

Columbus also brought seeds to Western Europe from the Caribbean. Peppers were also brought west from Asia via the spice routes. They were mainly used in Europe as ornamental plants. Wild chiles were often spread by birds, as well.

From Europe, they were brought back to the Americas. Just like potatoes, peanuts and tomatoes.

How hot are they?

Wilbur Scoville developed his Scoville Organoleptic Test in 1912 to measure the pungency of chile peppers. Wilbur gave his name to what became the Scoville Scale. A pepper's heat is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The Scoville Organoleptic Test has since then been supplanted by high performance liquid chromatography, which can acccurately measure the amount of the chemical compound, capsaicinoid. Capsaicin is is what stimulates the nerve endings in the skin and mucous membranes and translates to the brain as heat. A measurement of one part capsaicin per million corresponds to about 15 Scoville heat units.

Bell pepper - 0 SHU
Banana - 100 to 900 SHU
Poblano - 1,000 to 2,500 SHU
Jalepeno - 2,500 to 8.000 SHU
Serrano - 10,000 to 23,000 SHU
Cayenne - 50,000 to 100,000 SHU
Habanero - 100,000 to 350,000 SHU
Naga Viper - 1.4M SHU
Bhut Jolokia - 1.6M SHU
Trinidad Scorpion - a whopping 1.5M to 2.0M SHU - YOWZA !!

How do you get rid of the burn? Dairy products. More specifically, milk, ice cream or yogurt. The protein compounds in them bind to the capsaicin, so that you can flush it down the pipes. Liquids, such as water, beer or soda, simply spread the burn around your mouth, making a bad situation worse.

So, arm yourself with a glass of milk and enjoy the wonderful world of chiles. If you dare!

The Natural History of Chile Peppers

Chili Pepper

Scoville Scale

Part 2 (coming soon) will cover hot sauces and salsas.

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Updated: 4:32 PM GMT on October 10, 2013


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About palmettobug53

WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.

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