Monday, February 27, 2012

Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs

We like bananas at the launchpad. Sometimes they get eaten while ripe, other times they wind up as banana bread. I have found success recently making the banana bread in small muffin tins, which SoBA and LBA devour quickly. SoBA has also recently developed a French Toast addiction problem, demanding it for every breakfast. Now, I'm good, but that can't happen every day. Unfortunately, I don't think these could make an appearance during the week. Not that I wouldn't like that . . .

Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs
Adapted from Betty Crocker and others

If you don’t wish to use buttermilk, you can replace it with regular milk and nix the baking soda (keeping the baking powder). I like to get the toppings ready first because they take so little time to bake, you don’t want to be scrambling to have something to dip them in.

Yield: 9 to 12 standard muffin-size puffs or 30-ish miniature ones. Try not to overfill as I did or you won’t get as great domes on them.

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing muffin cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 standard size or 30 miniature muffin cups, or line cups with paper liners.

Prepare coatings: In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until brown bits form on the bottom and it smells nutty and heavenly. Immediately remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside as well.

Prepare puffs: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of buttermilk, repeating again and finishing with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined.

Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling only 3/4 of the way. (I filled mine higher and they ended up spilling over a bit and doming less than they are capable of.) Bake standard sized muffins for 20 to 25 minutes and miniature muffins for 12 to 14 minutes. When finished, muffins will feel springy to the touch and a tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer them in their pan to a wire rack.

As soon as you feel you’re able to pick one up, take your first puff and roll the top and upper edges in the browned butter. Don’t be afraid to pick up the browned butter solids at the bottom of the saucepan; they’re the dreamiest part. Let any excess butter drip off for a second before gently rolling the butter-soaked cake top in cinnamon-sugar. I find if you roll too firmly, or have too much wet/not absorbed butter on top, the sugar can clump off, which is heartbreaking. Transfer puff to wire rack to set and repeat with remaining puffs. Eat warm.

For an even more indulgent, doughnut-like puff: Make an extra two tablespoons of the browned butter and roll the whole puff in it and the cinnamon sugar. (I usually have enough cinnamon sugar to fully roll the puffs.)

Do ahead: Puffs are best within hours after they are baked. They can be made it advance and stored in a freezer bag until needed, too. Simply spread them out on a baking tray and reheat them until warm in the oven.

Friday, February 24, 2012

On this Day in History - Go Read a Book

There's a strange confluence of events to mark today. Earlier this morning, LBA participated in a Black History Month program at his school (the first graders sang ABC, by the Jackson 5) - I would have liked to attend but unfortunately couldn't make the time to do it.

It was on this date that ground forces pushed into Iraq during the first Persian Gulf war. A month earlier, I remember vividly sitting at the Syosset train station waiting for my father to arrive listening as George H.W. Bush announced the liberation of Kuwait had begun.

The event that prompted this blog post is that today also marks the day that President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act. Whenever I think of this event, I am reminded of Edmund G. Ross, the Kansas Senator whose one vote made the difference in keeping Andrew Johnson in office as President. In high school we watched a film made from the book Profiles in Courage, in which one the individuals written about by John Kennedy was Senator Ross.

I like to think that I went to a pretty good high school. In fact, there is some agreement on this. In June 2011, Newsweek rated my high school number 57 on its list of Top High Schools in the United States.

In English class, we read a lot of books (and I liked to read anyway - plus I worked in a library during high school). I found these two lists of the Ten Books You Should Have Read in High School (one more traditional and an alternate list). How many of them have you read?

In no particular order, with my annotation if I've read the book:
  1. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (no)
  2. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne (yes, along with other Hawthorne works)
  3. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger (still have a copy in the house, everyone should)
  4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (no)
  5. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (no)
  6. Siddhartha - Herman Hesse (I feel like this crossed my desk at some point - but I might have done the Cliff Notes version)
  7. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (yes, and it's on the bookshelf next to Catcher in the Rye)
  8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain (yes)
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (yes. "Stand up, your Daddy's passing")
  10. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand (no)
The alternate list (a little more off the norm and several which came out after I was out of high school)
  1. Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace (no)
  2. Maus - Art Spiegelman (no)
  3. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (no, but I did read Gulag Archipelago in college)
  4. Swamplandia - Karen Russell (no, and have never heard of this one)
  5. Reality Hunger - David Shields (no)
  6. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy (no)
  7. Against Interpretation - Susan Sontag (no)
  8. Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card (no)
  9. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein (no, but I was never a big Sci-Fi reader)
  10. Beloved - Toni Morrison (yes, but in college, not high school)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maryland - #7, April 28, 1788

Named for Queen Henrietta Maria, this week we find ourselves in my new home state, Maryland. One piece of trivia for Maryland - there are no natural lakes in the state. Maryland is also home to the oldest airport in the world and still a working airport - The College Park Airport (and Aviation Museum).

My older sister lived in Maryland when she was first married and we used to travel from New York to visit her. In those days, you would go through the Baltimore-Harbor Tunnel (our only option back then - the Fort McHenry Tunnel wasn't opened until 1985), I remember going through the tunnels and waving to the guards in the booths inside. They waved back. There aren't any guards in the tunnels anymore.

Partially because of it's proximity to the Brave Astronaut (and its central location in the MARAC region), I have been to Baltimore fairly often. I am convinced however, the city hates me. Once when Mrs. BA and I were on our way to Baltimore, we got lost and it was not a happy time in the car. Recently, we were on our way to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Baltimore when SoBA got sick in the car. The city just doesn't like me.

I have been to the far corners of the state, spending a long weekend at Wisp Resort at Deep Creek Lake (man-made - remember no natural lakes in MD) and spending several relaxing days in Ocean City on several different occasions. Going back to Ocean City was made even more attractive recently, when Coke was named the official soft drink of the city, pushing out Pepsi. Maryland also has some good Civil War cred, with the Antietam battlefield not far. Been there too.

Like last week's state, Massachusetts, Maryland is also a reliably "blue" state. Our governor is Martin O'Malley and our two Senators are Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, Democrats all. The House delegation is majority democratic, with only two Republicans - one of which might be flipped in the next election.
Prominent Marylanders (a little more difficult to find a list to reference. here's one and a second)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Creme di Mascarpone

Stolen from one of the local chefs here in our little town.

Creme di Mascarpone
Serves 6
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 TB fine white sugar* (fine texture, not classy ohh la la)
  • 1 1/3 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2-3 TB rum
  • Garnishes
Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold the mascarpone into the yolks, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the orange zest and rum.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into the yolk mixture. Fold whites into the yolk/cheese mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Garnish with shaved dark chocolate, fresh berries and light, crisp cookies!

*The sugar does have a vanilla bean split and stored in the sugar does have some vanilla essence. If you want, feel free to add a drop or two of vanilla extra for further awesome flavor.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Random Ramblings

This is a holiday weekend for most, as we will celebrate President's Day on Monday. LBA and SoBA are going to my MIL's house for a few days so Mrs. BA and I are going to go out like people who don't have kids. Tonight is dinner with friends and tomorrow is a movie and maybe dinner again! We are evidently also getting phone upgrades this weekend, which makes Mrs. BA very, very excited.

Later today, I will be attending the memorial service for a resident of our town, who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Sherry, we are all thinking about you and we are there for you as you go on without Tim by your side.

There is some talk about snow tomorrow. I have given up on getting excited by this possibility, with the mild winter we have had this year. If I want to relive some weather, I can go here, too.

Mrs. BA and I like to play Scrabble - though are games have moved onto Facebook, but we haven't played there in some time. I did note recently there was a move afoot to retool Scrabble, including a typeface makeover. Don't screw with the classics, please?

If the boys were around this weekend, maybe we would go bowling.

More than likely we will spend some time sleeping, watching TV, and doing regular mundane stuff. That's how we roll. Speaking of TV, found this list some time ago. I believe that I can honestly say, I saw every single one of these.

Top Ten TV Show Finales You Should Have Watched Live
  1. M*A*S*H - "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"
  2. Cheers - "One for the Road" (sorry, we're closed)
  3. Seinfeld - "The Finale"
  4. Friends - "The Last One"
  5. Magnum, P.I. - "Resolutions"
  6. The Cosby Show - "And So We Commence"
  7. All in the Family - "Too Good Edith"
  8. Family Ties - "Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
  9. Home Improvement - "The Long and Winding Road"
  10. Frasier - "Goodnight Seattle"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Massachusetts - #6, February 6, 1788

If April Showers bring May Flowers,
What do Mayflowers bring?

(get it?)

Many years ago, I used to work retail (for Filene's Department Store). Occasionally, I would travel to the "home office" in Boston. It was a fair trip from Poughkeepsie (where I was working) to Boston, but I could do it in a few hours, compliments of the Mass Pike. In addition, most summers growing up, my family would travel to Maine for vacation and for some reason (although the state is more narrow width-wise than length-wise) it would take FOREVER to get through Massachusetts. I have some really vivid memories of stopping at rest areas in Massachusetts to eat sandwiches that my mother had prepared that morning. It was nice to eat with the cars whizzing by with the smell of exhaust permeating your sandwiches.

I have been to Boston several times, the last time was a professional meeting in 2004. It's a great city and I could see myself living there. It's a great walking city (because you really don't want to drive there). But then again, I don't know if I could root for the teams that play there. It's a New York thing, sorry. I will point out that Massachusetts is home to the first lighthouse in the United States, the Boston Light. (and we all know how much Brave Astronaut likes lighthouses).

I've also been to Fall River, home to the Bordens, although I was more interested in seeing the ships. I've also been to the library of the 35th President (I interviewed for a job there many years ago). Kennedy is one of four Presidents to hail from Massachusetts (there's also a fifth who is linked to Massachusetts (although represented another state as President). Of course, the Adams father and son are the first two - can you name the other two? (The fourth one was born in Massachusetts, aligned to another New England state, and elected from another state)?

Massachusetts is, of course the location where the American Revolution got its start, with the Boston Tea Party, the ride of Paul Revere, the battles of Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and is now the permanent home of Old Ironsides.

The Bay State also has made a significant contribution to education in the United States. The state was the first state to require teachers be appointed and grammar schools to be established following the passage of the Massachusetts Education Law of 1647. Horace Mann also made Massachusetts his home and pushed many 19th Century education reforms from his home, founded Westfield State University, and laid much of the groundwork for contemporary universal public education. Other firsts in the state include:
Massachusetts is one of the most "blue" states in the Union, home to the Democratic family dynasty, the Kennedys. The current governor of Massachusetts is a Democrat, Deval Patrick. The Senators for the state are currently split, with John Kerry on the Democratic side and Scott Brown, a Republican, although that may be rectified later this year. All ten Representatives are Democrats.
  • State Capital - Boston (NOT Springfield)
  • Date of Admission - February 6, 1788
  • Area - 10,555 sq mi (44th)
  • State Motto - "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" ("by the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty")
  • State Nickname - the Bay State
  • State bird - chickadee and the wild turkey (or is that the official drink?)
  • State flower - the Mayflower (duh)
  • State dog - you really don't need me to tell you this one, do you?
  • State University - UMass
  • State Archives - Massachusetts Archives
  • Population (2011 est.) - 6,587,536
  • Signers of the Declaration of Independence - John "Sit Down, John" Adams, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine
Prominent Massachusites / Bay Staters (more here and here)
  • The Adamses (Abigail, John, John Quincy, Samuel, et. al.)
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • The Band, Boston (again, duh)
  • John Singleton Copley
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Michael Dukakis
  • Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel)
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. and Jr. (Jr. was the former Supreme Court Justice)
  • The Kennedys
  • John Krasinski (that's why he does these commercials with Alec Baldwin)
  • Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. and Jr.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Christa McAuliffe (although she's remembered as being from New Hampshire)
  • Samuel F. B. Morse (but his home is in Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • Elizabeth Poole (the first woman to found a town in the Americas)
  • Paul Revere
  • Mitt Romney
  • Eli Whitney

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day (in case you forgot). It is an occasion for me to tell Mrs. BA how much I love her and don't know how I would live without her. (incidentally, for years my father used to get a pass for not always remembering Valentine's Day because [he said] it was not celebrated in France. However, it should be pointed out that he came to America when he was 7, so that lame excuse pretty much didn't work so good)

Now I am not sure what Mrs. BA and I will do tomorrow night. I jokingly referred to White Castle's promotion a few weeks ago, but I don't think that's quite what we have in mind. We did score a nice gift certificate from her sister for watching her kids a few weeks ago, so we could do that.

But as it is a Tuesday night, it might just be brinner as usual. I did however take the Epicurious challenge to design a Valentine's Day meal just for me and Mrs. BA. This is what I got:
Roast Lamb with Lamb Sausage Crust and Fresh Grape Pan Sauce
Bon Appétit | December 2007
Selma Brown Morrow

A savory crust and simple sauce lift this roast into the special-occasion realm.
Yield: Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups halved seedless red grapes
  • 2 cups tawny Port
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Sausage Crust and Lamb:
  • 1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 1/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 8 ounces ground lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 2- to 2 1/2-pound well-trimmed racks of lamb (each with 8 bones)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
For sauce:
Boil all ingredients in large saucepan until reduced to 2 1/3 cups, about 20 minutes. Cool. Puree in blender. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

For lamb:
Pulse grapes, olives, chopped rosemary, vinegar, and garlic clove in mini processor until olives are chopped. Transfer to bowl. Mix in ground lamb,1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Sprinkle racks of lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 rack, meat side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set on rimmed baking sheet, meat side up. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining rack; reserve skillet. Cool lamb completely.

Add 1/2 cup broth to skillet. Boil until reduced to glaze, scraping up browned bits. Add to sauce. Cover and chill.

Spread each rack with 1 tablespoon mustard. Press half of lamb sausage over top of each rack (layer will be thin). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons mustard in medium skillet. Toss over medium heat until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Press crumbs over sausage on each rack. Cut through crumb crust (not lamb) between bones to score. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 135°F, about 30 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer lamb to platter; let rest 10 minutes. Pour juices from baking sheet into sauce. Simmer in small saucepan until reduced to about 1 1/3 cups, about 9 minutes (sauce will thicken slightly). Season with salt and pepper.

Cut lamb between bones into chops. Set two on each plate. Spoon sauce over.

Martín Códax 2005 "Ergo"Tempranillo (Spain, $14), with lively fruit,full body, and supple texture.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Connecticut - #5, January 9, 1788

The first colony of New England to join the United States was Connecticut, in 1788, the fifth state to ratify the US Constitution. Having grown up in New York, on Long Island, I have been to and through the Nutmeg State on many occasions. In high school, I was part of a Model United Nations Club and for two successive years our club traveled to a conference at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Most summers growing up, my family would travel to Maine for an extended vacation and that would bring us through Connecticut, though not at this particular time. The future Mrs. BA and I took an extended trip through New England, stopping at Mark Twain's home in Hartford, Connecticut.

Some years later, I spent an overnight at a bachelor party at Mohegan Sun casino and a motel hard on the highway in New London, which is not the nicest place when the submarine fleet is out of town.

Connecticut holds a distinction of having a presidential birthplace. George Herbert Walker Bush (who of course made his reputation in Texas) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Prescott Bush, was a long-time Senator from Connecticut.

The current governor of Connecticut is a Democrat, Dan Malloy. The Senators for the state are one Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, and one . . . not, Joseph Lieberman. The five Representatives are all Democrats.
Prominent Connecticuters (really?) - here are two for this state - here and here - many New Yorkers tend to say they are from Connecticut. I disagree)
  • Dean Acheson
  • P.T. Barnum
  • Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • John Brown (although I would certainly identify him with other states - he was born
  • Bette Davis
  • Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan
  • Charles Goodyear
  • Ella Grasso (the first woman elected to a governorship)
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Annie Liebovitz
  • Frederick Law Olmstead (although he certainly made his mark elsewhere)
  • Benjamin Spock (no not that Spock)
  • Noah Webster

Monday, February 6, 2012

Garlic Knots

This one's for my friend Gary, who turned me on to garlic knots years ago when we got some at Village Heroes. When we travel to NY and get ourselves some good NY pizza, we will often fill out our order with some doughy balls of love. Now, here's a recipe that you can make at home.

Garlic Knots
from Simply Recipes

It is perfectly OK to use store-bought pizza dough here. One 14-ounce package of pizza dough will approximate this recipe.

  • 3/4 cup warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
  • 1 3/4 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Garlic-Butter Coating:
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes, until it begins to froth a bit.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil, then the yeast-water mixture. Mix this together to form a soft dough and knead for 5-10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil. Put it in a large bowl, top the bowl with plastic wrap and set it at room temperature to rise.
  3. When the dough has doubled in size, anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours, cut it in half. Set out a large baking sheet and line it with a silpat or parchment paper. Take one half of the dough and cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, flatten into a rough rectangle about 5 inches long 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into strips of about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long. Cut these strips in half. Take one piece and work it into a snake, then tie it in a knot. The dough will be sticky along the cut edges, so dust these with flour before you tie the knot. Set each knot down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Remember that the dough will rise, so leave some space between each knot.
  5. Once all the knots are tied, paint them with a little olive oil. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again until doubled in size, anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours or so. Toward the end of this rising period, preheat the oven to 400°.
  6. Uncover the knots and bake in the oven 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
  7. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot and cook the garlic gently in it just long enough to take off that raw garlic edge, about 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the salt and parsley and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
  8. When the knots are done, take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Paint with the garlic-butter-parsley mixture and serve. These are best warm, but are good at room temperature, too.
Yield: Makes about 20 knots.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What'll You Have?

Tonight this Brave Astronaut is serving as a volunteer bartender at LBA's school fundraiser, Casino Night. Tonight's theme is the 70s and I am preparing and serving a 1970s cocktail along with a variety of mixed drinks, beer, and wine. I must extend thanks to Restaurant Gal, who offered me several suggestions on what drink to serve. If you're not reading her blog, you should be.

I have done this for the past two years and am looking forward to this year's event! A good time should be had by all. Perhaps some of my patrons will understand some of the words from this list (see some of my favorites below) toward the end of the evening. If I'm feeling particularly frisky I might even try this trick.

Ben Franklin's Synonyms for Being Drunk
According to Mr. Franklin - "The Phrases in this Dictionary are not (like most of our Terms of Art) borrow’d from Foreign Languages, neither are they collected from the Writings of the Learned in our own, but gather’d wholly from the modern Tavern-Conversation of Tiplers. I do not doubt but that there are many more in use; and I was even tempted to add a new one my self under the Letter B, to wit, Brutify’d: But upon Consideration, I fear’d being guilty of Injustice to the Brute Creation, if I represented Drunkenness as a beastly Vice, since, ’tis well-known, that the Brutes are in general a very sober sort of People."
  • Been at Barbadoes
  • His Head is full of Bees (this is particularly fitting as LBA's school mascot are the Bees)
  • He’s had a Thump over the Head with Sampson’s Jawbone (LBA goes to a Catholic School)
  • Cherry Merry (according to Restaurant Gal - always garnish)
  • He’s been too free with the Creature
  • Fuddled
  • His Flag is out
  • Seen a Flock of Moons
  • As good conditioned as a Puppy
  • As Drunk as David’s Sow
  • The Malt is above the Water

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Georgia - #4, January 2, 1788

This week's entry is for the Peach State, the birthplace of good friend to the Brave Astronaut clan, OSG. Georgia is the first of the southern colonies to join the United States after the adoption of the Constitution. At the beginning of the United States Civil War, it seceded from the Union on January 21, 1861 and was one of the original seven states of the Confederacy. It was also the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia adopted its first Constitution in 1777 and has adopted new ones nine times since then. It is second only to Louisiana in number of Constitutions, which has had eleven.

I have been to Georgia a few times, specifically to Savannah (with OSG) to enjoy the many sights and culinary joys that exist in the city. There is one place in Georgia that I would like to travel - it's the Cathedral of golf, "A Tradition Like no Other." I speak of course of the Masters, the first major of the golf season, which always takes place in the first weekend in April.

One of my sisters is a HUGE fan of Gone with the Wind, which of course has a dramatic scene in Atlanta - home of Margaret Mitchell. Some day I would like to visit Atlanta, but I'm not entirely sure why. Atlanta is also home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, currently the busiest passenger airport in the world.

Georgia is also the home of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, also a former governor of the state and a peanut farmer. The current governor of Georgia is, Nathan Deal, a Republican. Both of the Senators for the state are also Republicans, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. The House delegation is currently split 8-5, in favor of the Republicans.
Prominent Georgians (here are the hot button lists for this state - here and here. Discuss)
  • Ralph Abernathy (although born in Alabama)
  • The B-52s
  • Kim Basinger
  • Herman Cain
  • Ray Charles
  • Ty Cobb
  • Laurence Fishburne
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Amy Grant
  • Boxers Larry Holmes and Evander Holyfield
  • Stacey Keach
  • DeForest Kelley
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Juliette Gordon Low
  • Margaret Mitchell
  • Flannery O'Connor
  • James Oglethorpe (the founder of Georgia)
  • Burt Reynolds
  • The Roberts siblings, Julia and Eric
  • Supreme Court Justice (and court mute) Clarence Thomas
  • Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson
  • Alice Walker
  • Trisha Yearwood