One thing I really like about honoring different states throughout the year is that I get to learn something new. Each state has its own treasures, bits of history and interesting perspectives. Oh I suppose we could wallow in mud and negative aspect of any place and its inherently evil people. But why?
Now this is just my opinion, but I think part of why we all the finger pointing and blame today is because it’s so easy to dig up dirt. I think in part we’ve lost our sense of pride as a people. People have developed a need to feel superior and righteous over others in a very strange way. All you need do it turn on the evening news for proof of this twisted morality. The woke among us have confessed the sins of their ancestors and wear their self-loathing like a badge of honor, feeling holy superior to those who disagree. Seems you cannot turn on the news without someone telling you what’s wrong with the world and how it’s your fault from birth if you are white, or that you can never rise above your oppressed station in life if you are of color. So sad and hurtful.
Finding the hidden gems to uplift us, now that’s not an easy accomplishment. It requires you to look and not just accept. Are their negative aspect in the world? Yes, both in the past and today. Yet we have far more to celebrate. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather celebrate the past or be entertained by it, or to grow as a person while learning from it than to tear it down and sweep it under some gigantic rug. Seeking the positive is uplifting to all. And much better than wallowing. That’s my rant for today.
Just ask Hubby – I’m a walking encyclopedia of bits of information. Everything fascinates me. So learning new things about this country I adore is stimulating and exciting.
New Hampshire Fun Facts
New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is one of the windiest places on earth. The Mount Washington Observatory recorded a wind speed of 231 mile per hour on April 12, 1934. It held the record for highest wind speed on the planet until 1996 when Australia recorded wind speeds of 253 miles per hour during a typhoon. Unlike the record set at Mount Washington, Australia’s gust was recorded as Tropical Cyclone Olivia passed by Barrow Island. Mount Washington still holds the record for greatest wind speed witnessed by a human. And before the arguments begin, these speeds involve winds not associated with a tornado.
The state motto dates back to the Revolutionary War. New Hampshire resident and Revolutionary War Hero John Stark is credited with “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.” The folks in New Hampshire take the notion of “Live Free or Die” seriously. It is the only state in the union where seatbelts are not mandatory. Neither are helmets for motorcycle riders.
Scottish settlers planted the first potato crops in American. Settling in the Nuffield Area (Londonderry as it is known today), the first potato crops were planted in 1719. The potato remains New Hampshire’s state vegetable today.
If you measured just the coastline of Alaska, it has 6,640 miles of coast. New Hampshire by comparison has the smallest coastline of any state, with just 18 miles of sea-touching coast. It’s no wonder the beaches are so popular in the summer.
In 1830 New Hampshire resident, Sarah Josepha Hale, had her poem published. It’s one that is recognized by children everywhere, “Mary had a Little Lamb”. Sarah was an American writer and activist. She successfully campaigned for the creation of an American Holiday, Thanksgiving. Sarah would have been called an influencer today, having an impact on women’s issuers of her day. But not the way you might think. Sarah Josepha Hale believed women were the moral backbone of society who had an obligation not to vote themselves but rather to influence male voters. She felt women were a secret weapon against the evils and corruption of politics.
Today’s recipe has a very strange name. Beyond New Hampshire, and New England for that matter, this popular working-class dish goes by other names. In some parts of the country, it’s known as Goulash or American Goulash. Still others know it as Chili Mac. But in New Hampshire you’ll find American Chop Suey on the menu of many a diner. Despite the name, the dish today does not resemble Chop Suey by any stretch of the imagination. However; early on rice was used instead of pasta. And like Chinese Chop Suey, this Italian influenced dish has a little of this and a little of that. Whatever you call this classic childhood dish, one thing is certain – it’s comfort food at its best. Enjoy!
American Chop Suey
1 medium Yellow Onion
1 Bell Pepper (traditionally green)
2 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Butter
1 lb Ground Beef
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Kosher Salt to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can Organic Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Tomato Paste
2/3 cup Tomato Juice
16 oz Elbow Macaroni
Peel and dice onion, set aside. Stem, seed and chop bell pepper, set aside. Peel and mince garlic, set aside.
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté for about 1 minute.
Crumble ground beef into the pot. Continue to cook, breaking the meat into small pieces as it browns. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Drain off most of the excess grease. Season well with Oregano, Basil, salt and pepper. Mix well to incorporate the seasonings.
Add the canned tomatoes with all the juices, tomato sauce, tomato paste and tomato juice. Add a pinch of sugar to brighten the flavors to taste. Simmer meat sauce simmer while the pasta cooks..
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente according to package directions, about 9 minutes depending upon brand. Drain pasta well.
Mix the macaroni into the chop suey. Simmer for a few minutes to warm through.
Serve hot. Great with warm rolls and a simple toss salad.