Today is March 22

Published 7:30 am Monday, March 22, 2021

By March 22, 1765, the British–short on funds to absorb the costs of their military presence in the colonies–unloaded the Stamp Act on the overburdened citizenry. Already, they were anteing up for the sugar tax on imported goods, paying an assessment for paper money, and a quartering fee for the housing and food costs of the Redcoats.
The Stamp Tax levied a charge on everything from newspapers, and pamphlets, to playing cards, but that offense kicked off outrage and defiance. According to History.com, “They raised the issue of taxation without representation and formed societies throughout the colonies to rally against the British government and nobles who sought to exploit the colonies as a source of revenue and raw materials. By October of that year, nine of the 13 colonies sent representatives to the Stamp Act Congress, at which the colonists drafted the ‘Declaration of Rights and Grievances,’ a document that railed against the autocratic policies of the mercantilist British empire.”
Although it was eventually rescinded, the public’s pique unified the colonists, suffused them with nationalism, and—slowly– activated America’s war of independence.
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution by Edmund S. Morgan and Helen M. Morgan.

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Water Day

Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Drinking water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, and lead to constipation and kidney stones.

Water helps your body:

Keep a normal temperature

Lubricate and cushion joints

Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues

Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

Sporty woman drinking water after exercise

Your body needs more water when you are:

In hot climates

More physically active

Running a fever

Having diarrhea or vomiting

Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. You can get some fluids through the foods that you eat – especially foods with high water content, such as many fruits and vegetables.

Tips to Drink More Water

Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.

Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.

Choose water over sugary drinks.

Opt for water when eating out. You’ll save money and reduce calories.

Serve water during meals.

Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.

Make sure your kids are getting enough water too.

Healthier Drink Options

Of course there are many other beverage options besides water, and many of these can be part of a healthy diet. Beverages vary in their nutrient and calorie content.

Low or no calorie beverages

Plain coffee or teas, sparkling water, seltzers, and flavored waters, are low calorie choices that can be part of a healthy diet.

Drinks with calories and important nutrients

Low fat or fat-free milk, fortified milk alternatives such as unflavored soy or almond milks, or 100% fruit or vegetable juice contain important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, or vitamin D. These drinks should be enjoyed within recommended calorie limits.

For more information visit cdc.gov

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American Chocolate Week

Individuals who fancy themselves adventurous in the kitchen may want to consider homemade chocolate recipes to entice their romantic partners. Ganache, an indulgent chocolate creation, may seem like it requires a master class in chocolate making to create. However, ganache is simpler to create than chocolate lovers may think.

According to the chocolate experts at Coeur de Xocolat, there are various origin stories for ganache. In one such story, French chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, who would become the creator of chocolate truffles, had his apprentice making pastry cream. That apprentice accidentally spilled hot cream into a bowl of expensive chopped chocolate. Escoffier yelled “ganache,” a derogatory term meaning “fool,” at the apprentice. But when Escoffier grabbed the bowl and began to stir it, he noticed an emulsion started to form and the cream and chocolate created a silky sauce that could be used for coating or glazing. When the mixture cooled and hardened, it had a paste-like texture that could form balls. Escoffier coated the balls in cocoa powder and noticed they resembled mushroom truffles. Hence, chocolate truffles were born, as was delicious ganache.

Ganache is relatively easy to make. Enjoy this version, courtesy of Martha Stewart kitchens.

Ganache

Makes 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.

Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over the chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir – doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).

Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify the cream and chocolate.

Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl. Scrape the dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.

To make a whipped filling or frosting with the ganache, let it cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat the ganache with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. This will yield about 2 cups. Use it as a filling or spread it over cakes.

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Lagniappe

A truly comfy bean dip

The pandemic has devastated businesses, big and small and they’ll go to extremes in an effort to attract customers, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. Take the Los Toros Mexican Restaurant in Chatsworth, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. It’s the favorite eatery for Hollywood stuntman, Hunter Ray Barker, who volunteered to participate in an odd publicity stunt in an effort to gain attention by spendinga day and a night in a giant bowl of bean dip. Why did he do it? Barker says that Los Toros is his favorite restaurant and he wanted to “turn a few more people into lifelong customers.”

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Purebred emoji

One never knows what tricks Mother Nature will be up to next but, to be fair, this time she had a little help from a snake breeder in producing a python that sports three distinct, naturally occurring smiling emojis on its body. According to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] Justin Kobylka has been breeding golden yellow and white ball pythons for some twenty years and about 20 of them were born with a single emoji on its scales. But his latest baby python is the only one with three emojis, a rarity that boosted the snake’s price tag to $6,000.

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The Zombies are coming

Is the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] warning us to prepare for the nightmare of a“Zombie Apocalypse?” The short answer is no, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens AMAC]. So, what is the “Zombie Preparedness” page on its Website all about? The CDC explains it this way: “As it turns out what first began as a tongue-in-cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to bea very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via “zombie preparedness”.