Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
Before we get into the meat of our weekly topic, a brief bit of fun as we play....
One variation, however, from the well-known game show. We’re not going to tell you the password in advance.
Here we go.
CONTESTANT TEAM A:
CONTESTANT TEAM A PARTNER:
No, I’m sorry, that’s not it.
We’ll return to our game later. But first…
The 2013 World Cocktail Championship was held in Prague from August 16-22. The World Cocktail of the Year was awarded to Ms Greta Gronholm of Finland (pictued below) with her Sparkling Cocktail, My Green Summer that consists of:
- 2cl Grey Goose La Poire
- 2 cl Routin 1883 Green Apple
- 10cl Martini Prosecco DOC
- 3 barspoons Routin 1883 Fruits de la Passion
- 1 barspoon Finest Call Lime Juice
- 1 barspoon Monin Cucumber
This is a stirred drink poured into Libbey Perception Coupe glass decorated with apple, lemon, cucumber and lily grass.
(Photo: International BartendersAssociation)
Of course it is.
However, since this is Culinary no-no, we're going to take this classy,prestigious affair and totally turn it on its ear.
Cocktails, of course, can be elegant and sophisticated. They can also be quite strange.
For example, can you mess up a nice tequila? You better believe it. Just soak in Culinary no-no #53.
But that was five years ago. We can certainly find a far worse no-no, and we did.
What the hell is that?
A chimichanga that's been cooked too long plopped into a glass?
Not even close.
Let's take another look at that garnish.
Not exactly an olive or maraschino cherry.
This month of September marks the 40th anniversary of…
The Sourtoe Cocktail.
It was born in in 1973 in Dawson City, Yukon, up there hey in Canada.
OK, so you're wondering...a sourtoe cocktail. That can't be what its sounds like, could it? I mean, are we to take the name literally?
Since inquiring and adventurous minds want to know, let's go to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club website.
"The original rules were that the toe must be placed in a beer glass full of champagne...
and that the toe must touch the drinker's lips during the consumption of the alcohol before he or she can claim to be a true Sourtoer.
The rules have changed in the past twenty-seven years. The Sourtoe can be had with any drink now (even ones that aren't alcoholic), but one rule remains the same. The drinker's lips must touch the toe. 'You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow-- But the lips have gotta touch the toe'."
More from the official website:
“The Sourtoes are actual human toes that have been dehydrated and preserved in salt. Swallowing one is not suggested.”
I’d bet not.
We should not scoff. There is great history, all the way back to the first toe. We go back to the website:
"Toe #1 was that of Louie Liken, trapper, placer miner, and in the 1920's, rum runner. Louie and his brother Otto would cross the border to the United States in a blizzard by dog team to deliver their alcoholic cargo. During one such outing, Louie stepped into overflow and got his foot wet.Fearing that the Northwest Mounted Police were on their trail they had to continue their trip. As a result of extended exposure to the cold, Louie's big toe froze.To prevent the onset of gangrene it was necessary to amputate.
"Lacking faith in doctors the brothers had no intention of traveling 60 miles to Dawson and paying one to do what they could just as easily accomplish on their own.The first step in the amputation was anaesthesia. Consuming large amounts of their 180% overproof rum, they soon felt that they were sufficiently drunk to continue with the amputation. Louie stuck out his frozen toe as Otto lifted the woodcutting axe. With one swing the toe was removed. As a reminder of the incident the brothers kept the toe, pickled in a jar of alcohol.
"Years later, when cleaning the brothers' cabin, the toe was discovered by Captain Dick Stevenson. After conferring, Captain Dick and his friends decided on the rules of the Sourtoe Cocktail and started serving it at the Eldorado Hotel in 1973. In July 1980, a placer miner named Garry Younger was trying for the Sourtoe record. On his thirteenth glass of Sourtoe champagne his chair tipped over backwards and he swallowed the toe. Sadly, Toe #1 was not recovered."
And you should partake in this, why? Again, back to the website:
"Not only do you receive self respect, the respect of peers, loved ones, and drinking buddies. But you also get an official Sourtoe certificate that attests to your achievement."
I’m not sure that would ever be good enough.
And is it worth it? Real life drama sounds like something out of the Wild West.
This bizarre drink isn't going anywhere.
Time now to finish our game of Password.
When we last left our game, the A team gave a wrong answer.
CONTESTANT TEAM B:
CONTESTANT TEAM B PARTNER:
DING DING DING DING DING!
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES:
Love this one!
This one, too!
'McWages' Can Be the Path to the Middle
Fast-food protestors won't tell you that a $15 an hour wage will mean losing jobs.
By PHIL HICKEY for the Wall Street Journal
My first job, at age 14, was washing dishes at a Big Boy restaurant in my hometown of Detroit. It was a job that gave me a strong work ethic and taught valuable skills that helped me move from the kitchen to eventually owning nine of my own restaurants.
This experience is not uncommon. The first job held by nearly one in three Americans is in the restaurant industry. In addition to teaching personal responsibility, teamwork, discipline and accountability, these positions provide workers with opportunities for successful careers. Many of them—like me—advance from their entry-level, minimum-wage positions. Nine out of 10 salaried restaurant employees start off in hourly positions.
This industry provided me a steady job, first as a high-school student, then as I put myself through Michigan State University, and later as an adult raising a family. I'm not alone: The American restaurant industry provides a steady income to more than 13 million workers.
Unfortunately, critics of these jobs have been portraying the industry as ruthless and exploitative. They argue that jobs in restaurants are a dead end. Protesters at fast-food restaurants around the country in recent weeks have alleged that fast-food workers can't survive on $7.25 an hour, the national minimum wage, and that restaurants must pay all of their employees a "living wage" of $15 an hour. On Thursday, protesters—with significant organizing help from the Service Employees International Union—are expected to turn out in 35 cities to make these claims.
The picture painted by unions and their allies is highly inaccurate. If we are going to debate the ethics of the restaurant industry and the value of working in it, let's at least have a discussion based on the facts, which takes into account economic reality.
Consider the facts about the minimum wage. The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry. In reality, only 5% of the 10 million restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. Those who do are predominantly teenagers working part-time jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of minimum-wage employees in the restaurant industry are under the age of 25; 47% are teenagers.
Washington politicians, labor unions and the media often portray service jobs as inferior or less valuable to society than other kinds of employment. Instead of degrading this type of hard work, critics might consider the pride that many restaurant workers take in their jobs and the skills they learn.
The U.S. restaurant industry is vital to the country's economic growth and has helped fuel the recovery now underway. While employment nationwide grew by 1.7% in 2012, restaurant industry employment grew 3.4%—making 2012 the 13th consecutive year that the restaurant industry has outperformed overall U.S. employment growth.
Many Americans rely on the additional income and flexibility these jobs offer as they seek to balance their careers with family responsibilities. Most industry workers, some 57%, are students with irregular schedules, teenagers saving for school or people who need a job with flexible hours that fit their busy lives. Part-time, entry-level work fills a critical need in the nation's workforce.
But you won't hear any of this coming out of Thursday's protests.
The truth is that both part-time and full-time positions make the restaurant industry a versatile career option for a variety of workers. From underemployed or hard-to-employ workers to college graduates, the industry provides a pathway to the middle class and often beyond.
Efforts to devalue the industry and mandate changes, like raising the minimum wage, hurt workers by preventing businesses of all sizes from creating more jobs. As the U.S. economy continues to recover, let's focus on preparing workers for high-growth positions and helping businesses expand—not on implementing policies that would eliminate jobs and shutter local businesses.
Mr. Hickey is chairman of the National Restaurant Association.
More from my friend and colleague Pete Hanson.
And then there’s…