Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Heard a Scuttle. You Know, A Scuttle

I had lunch with some people today at an Indian restaurant in Sorrento Valley area. It was a gathering of said-company that we all worked for a few years ago. I was very very reluctant to go on this lunch date not because I didn't like the company but rather that it was Indian food. I have tried Indian food several times in the past and no love each time. But I'm happy to say that I was really enjoying my Indian lunch buffet and had even a thought of maybe taking the Mister to try (this was a breakthrough moment for me). That is, until we looked up and saw this gigantic bug scuttling across the drapery rod. Someone thought it was a beetle. But whatever it was, it was gigantic. I kid you not. As Sebastian Haff (aka the real Elvis in hiding) would say, "Man, you are one big, bitch cockroach."

So for the rest of lunch, while we were sitting there, catching up on each others' lives, making small talk, my mind couldn't help repeating some of Sebastian's one (or two) liners, "You got a bug problem. They were big, the size of my fist, the size of a peanut butter banana sandwich." Oh well. Easy come, easy go. Sorry if I ruined any appetites out there. What can I say except, thank you. Thank you very much.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Do You Know Where Your Umami Is?

We've all gone through this, a craving for something sweet, salty or sour. Maybe even something that's *bad* for you, such as fried or high in fat. But what about craving for umami? Yes, umami. I have cravings for it all the time. You might know it as wanting something that's savory, hearty, full in flavor. Or that missing element of "something but can't put your finger on it" when you taste a dish. It's all about the umami. There are many sites dedicated to this proposed "5th" basic taste. Just do a quick google and you'll see. Even the Culinary Institute of American offers some insight to this "5th" taste.

I grew up with umami, or xiāng wèi, the Chinese equivalent of umami. My Grandmother was the one who introduced me to the concept of xiāng wèi, which can be translated literally as fragrant taste (and I'm sure someone's going to argue with me on the translation). But I never fully understood it until much into my adult life. I've referred to the "umami need" as "I want something tasty" or the elusive "I want something satisfying but I don't know what."

Umami is used to describe the savory taste caused by glutamate that naturally occurs in many foods. It can be found in meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. It doesn't have a very discernable taste but it enhances other flavors, making things taste more yummy. You can detect umami in ripe tomatoes (not the bland tasteless kind you often find in stores), Parmesan cheese, cured ham, mushrooms, meat and fish. Asian cultures have been using soy sauce in this aspect for decades. You may also know glutamate as MSG. Before you start flaming, I'm not suggesting putting MSG in every dish. If you're not allergic to MSG, by all means, add away. But if you're like thousands of people who can't eat MSG, there is another way. Use foods that contain natural glutamate.

I'm certainly not going to bore you with techniques considering all the multitudinous sites on the Internet dedicated to this topic. But I will leave you with one thought. Next time you're trying a new recipe or ordering a new dish, and it just doesn't taste that good or you feel something is missing. Maybe all it needs is a little umami.

Have a wonderful week. Now go and eat well (or is that savory?).

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Myojo Ramen Okinawa Style

I love ramen. Let me clarify that. I love most kinds of noodles: soup noodles, fried noodles, cold noodles, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian, etc. Many of my eating habits were influenced by my maternal grandmother. And she loved her noodles. I used to help her make all sorts of noodles so it's not surprising that noodle dishes are comfort foods for me. So I thought it would be nice to do some posts on noodles every now and then, sort of in memory of my Grandmother.

For the past 3 nights, I've been kind of on a ramen binge. Not making the noodles myself (yeesh, that would be up there with making my own shui jiao peels) but using prepackaged ones. I'm not one who can just eat any brand predried noodles doused in some highly saturated fat powder... Oh wait, I can and I have. I don't particularly care for the taste of brands like Top Ramen but there are some good ones that are almost as cheap and handy when I'm jonesing for ramen and too lazy to go out for it. I do prefer the prepackage ramens that have fresh noodles in them, like the Myojo brand.

I got a package of Myojo Okinawa Style Ramen from Marukai and I think this has become my favorite. As you can see in the picture, the noodles and seasonings come in separate packs. This particular package came with 3 servings, each individually packed. I decided to use up leftover krab that I purchased for California Rolls since I didn't have any kamaboko or fish balls on hand (and yes, too lazy to go out to get some). The green stuff on the right is baby bok choy. Typically, I like to have some kind of greens, preferrably baby bok choy or Napa cabbage, as well as a couple of poached eggs with my ramen.

Here is the dry soup content. Here is the soup content after adding hot water.

I also added a good dousing of some Korean hot chili powder to give it some kick.

And here's the final product. In the upper part of the bowl, there's some pickled ginger that came with the package. I think I will forgo adding this in the future since it was overbearing everything else. The red flakes on top of those eggs were pepper flakes that came with the package.

Overall, this was a very satisfying meal. The broth had very good flavor. The Okinawa style noodles are wider and firmer than ramen noodles that had a very nice bite to it, not slimy or soggy at all. I liked it a lot. What would have made it perfect was some fish cakes but hey, when you're lazy like me, krab will do in a pinch. My eggs turned out perfect. The whites were firm but tender (not runny), and the yolk perfectly cooked through and gooey. Ah, a good meal it was.

On a side note. Yes, I changed the layout of my blog. I've been experimenting for the past 3 months now, trying out new configurations, colors and styles. I finally landed on this one and think I'll leave it for a while. I don't think it makes the pages overly crowded and the posts are still easy to read (to me). Let me know what you think.

Have a wonderful weekend. Now go and eat well.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chipotle Restaurants Health Alerts

Update: As of Friday, April 25, the number of Hepatitis A incidences linked to the Chipotle restaurant in La Mesa has increased to 12.

There's been two health alerts related to Chipotle restaurants in the past week. The latest is the one in La Mesa on 8005 Fletcher Parkway. So far, about 6 Hepatitis A infections have been reportedly linked to the La Mesa Chipotle restaurant. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and County Department of Environmental Health are urging anyone who ate at this location between March 1 and April 22 and experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms to immediately see their doctors to be screened for the illness.

Blood samples have been taken from the employees and patients but Officials have yet to determine if the source of the infection was person or food related. There are 2 common ways of getting infected by the Hepatitis A virus. One way is transmitted when something contaminated with the stool of someone who has Hepatitis A comes in contact with someone else's person's mouth (that is just gross). Another way is when a person eats food or drinks water contaminated with the virus.

So if you've eaten at that Chipotle restaurant during that time period and you're experiencing symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice, you should make a trip to your doctor's office immediately for testing. The only good news is that Hepatitis A does not become chronic like other forms of Hepatitis and symptoms of Hepatitis A usually lasting less than two months (that's about 2 months too long for me).

This latest outbreak is not good news for the Chipotle restaurant chain. Especially coming right after the closing of a Kent, OH location just last week. The Portage County Chipotle restaurant voluntarily closed on Friday (4/18) when about 20 people complained of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea and Chipotle was found to be the common factor. Food samples were taken by Officials for testing and the restaurant threw out all prepped foods and began sanitizing all the equipment (hope they sanatized the entire restaurant). The restaurant reopened the next day.

But it hasn't gotten easier for the Kent, OH location. As of Monday (4/21), approximately 180 people have come forward about possibly having had food poisoning at the Kent location. The health commissioner said those people who got sick all ate burritos. By Tuesday (4/22), the total number of reports went up to about 440 people. Officials have stated that there hasn't been proof that the illnesses were food related and that the restaurant continues to work with health officials. Health officials are still investigating the exact cause of the sickness.

If you are in the Kent, OH area and may have gotten ill from food at the Chipotle restaurant, please call the Kent Health Department at 330-678-8109.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Barefoot Running (update) and Kettlebells

It's long overdue for a barefoot running update. In all honesty, I have not been running consistently in the past 6 months but there are a few updates to report on. In October of 2007, I finally purchased a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, during our vacation to Kauai. It was really by chance that we came across the Five Fingers. The Mister noticed it in one of those comfort feet type shoe stores in the Grand Hyatt. So I decided to try them on and I've been running and exercising in them ever since.

The good news about these "shoes" is that I no longer have any blisters on the bottom of my feet. Yea! The bad news is that my toes always feel a little claustrophobic. Don't laugh because I know some of you know exactly what I mean (the Mister laughs when I say it but he was born with shoes on). My toes are a little stubby, in a cute way that is. Just stubby enough that they feel a bit cramped in the Five Fingers. Maybe it's all mental (as the Mister thinks) but after running for about 30 minutes in them, I sometimes get a tingly sensation in some of my toes (probably not good). But wiggling a bit helps relieve the sensation, which convinces me even more that the toes may be on the tight side. Now someone is probably thinking that I should have gotten the next size up. No can do. I tried and it was way too big on my feet. The heel kept slipping off no matter how tight I pulled it. Even the one I have now is a little big in the heel (maybe it's some Asian foot thing--like that doesn't sound weird). But I've learned to live with it and it's less annoying than running on blisters.

I'm also happy to say that I have the toe-heel-toe technique down now. I know my technique is correct because I had to increase my speed to keep up the movement without exerting more energy. This is one of the benefits of running properly. Run faster and don't tire as easily. My running movements have also become smoother.

So in an attempt to kick start my workout program again (if I had a nickel for every time I've said that...), the Mister has helped me with a custom weight lifting regimen to supplement my running. The Mister purchased Russian kettlebells several years ago (before they were cool and only a handful of people knew who Pavel Tsatsouline was) and I've worked with them on and off (yes, I have my own set). If you've never worked with kettlebells before, all I can say is that it really works you hard. There's been several movies that either used kettlebell training to condition the actors (ever heard of 300?) or featured in (Rocky Balboa) and it's even being taught in some fitness centers now.

Let's just say that my start has been a sore one. More stiff than sore. It's been a very long time since I've done any real weight training (and the body shows/feels it, ugh!). I'm starting slow (although I think my legs would beg to differ) and will gradually work up to more reps and different moves. The other thing the Mister has me doing is sandbag training. Whew. I'm tired just writing about it. Guess this probably comes at a good time to counter all that frying I've been doing. Since I can't really give up good tasting food (as the Mister points out, I am not one who can live off a bean and lettuce diet--pssst, just kill me now why don't you?), I'm going to have to ramp up the exercise to counterbalance those calories.

Okay, enough about exercise and such. Next post will be about food (glorious food!!!). Now go and eat well.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Democratic Nominees Smackdown!

Not really but it's funny nonetheless. Maybe this is a look into the future as to how all future political debates will be someday. Just kidding, sort of. One thing for sure, they portrayed Bill Clinton dead on. And where do I get me some tats like the Samoan??

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Fish and Chips

With the arrival of my new Staub 5-quart French oven (Dutch oven if you will), I decided to test it out on frying foods. After all, that was the primary reason why I got it. For my first fried food test, I decided to make Fish and Chips. Well, the chips was really Ore-Ida® Zesties!® baked in the oven but if you're in the mood for some homemade fries, you can follow the recipe for my Sweet Potato Fries. Just substitute it with Russet potatoes. I was just a little lazy after coming home from a not-so-hard-but-boring day at work. Also, I love Ore-Ida Zesties and felt like some zestie fries without the fuss.

So on to the Fish. I've made the fried fish (cod) twice now, trying to perfect the beer batter. I think if I was to use tilapia, I would soak it in buttermilk for about 30 minutes to eliminate any "muddy" taste that tilapia can sometimes have. Same goes for catfish. I used Alton Brown's recipe the first go-around but the batter was way too thick. His recipe also didn't specify the exact amount of beer to use. I just used 1 bottle of beer.

I did a test fry and the coating was thick and not cooked completely through even after 4 minutes of frying. I added some water to the batter to thin it out and it was better but still on the thick side. The fish was moist but it lacked flavor. I don't think there was enough salt or seasoning for my taste. The Mister liked it a lot but for me, just missing something. So back to the test kitchen.

Last night, I decided to use the same technique as the chicken fingers in order to turn it up a bit (ha, bet you thought I was going to say notch, didn't you?). I ended up seasoning the fish and the batter. I suppose I didn't have to add the spices in the batter but I really liked the color the cayenne pepper gave the batter. I also ended up with a bit more batter than I needed, but it's better to have too much than not enough in this case. I also switched from cornstarch (as per Alton's recipe) to mochiko flour for dredging because the cornstarch created a rather thick coating on such thin strips of fish. The mochiko flour provided a very nice, thin coating. The results? Awesome!! The Mister and one of the Eating Machines said it was a keeper!

As for my new French/Dutch oven (oh heck, I'm just going to call it Dutch oven--DO for short), I was really amazed how well it kept the heat. I've used cast iron skillet, stainless steal pans, and electric wok for frying and none of them kept the temperature as well as my DO. It was pricey but I think it's worth every penny. I've even made a No Knead rustic crusty bread in it, but that is another post to come. I should probably do a whole post just on my DO. But for now, I give you fried fish.

For Frying:
I used about 1/2 gallon of peanut oil but I probably could have used a bit less, probably 1/3 gallon. Two 24-oz bottles should do the trick.

For the batter:
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 to 1 1/2 bottles of cold beer (I used some Belgium blonde beer that the Mister had in the fridge)
1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed whitefish (tilapia, Pollock, cod), cut into ~1 oz strips
Mochico flour for dredging

For Fish Seasoning:
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch/French oven over high heat until it reaches 350F degrees. I used a candy/oil thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. I was aiming for anywhere between 350-360F degrees (the sweet spot).

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is free of lumps and has a smooth texture. Use enough beer to obtain a consistency similar to a pancake batter that's on the thinner side. I had to use about 1/4 of the second bottle to get it thin enough. (Use a beer that you like so you can finish up the remainder!) It should run off the whisk fairly quickly, not globby (if you know what I mean). Refrigerate for 15 minutes. You can make the batter up to 1 hour ahead of time, just keep it in the fridge until you need it.

Liberally cover the fish strips with the fish seasoning. Lightly dredge fish strips in Mochiko flour. Work in small batches, I did about 4 strips at a time. Dip the fish into batter and gently immerse into the hot oil. Make sure you immerse the fish going away from you to prevent oil splashing onto you. Safety first!

Once the the batter is set and turns a light tan, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. I recommend using a splash guard to keep the mess down a bit. Note: Alton's recipe said 2 minutes but I found 3 minutes produced a much nicer and thoroughly cooked coating. The fish was not dry at all.

Drain the fish on a rack with some paper towels underneath it. I find laying down the paper towels help wick condensation away from the fish. It's best to serve the fish within 3-5 minutes. Serve with malt vinegar and/or tartar sauce.

Have a wonderful weekend. Now go and eat well.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

This recipe creates some of the moistest muffins I've ever had. The original recipe doesn't include streusel but since I love streusel, I experimented with it and love the end result.

A few notes:

  1. I crack all my eggs into a bowl, which makes adding eggs easier as I'm mixing. This is especially helpful if using a hand mixer.
  2. Make sure the baking soda and powder are fresh. If they are more than 8 months old, you should throw them out and buy new.
  3. Dusting the blueberries with flour before mixing will keep the blueberries from sinking.
  4. Don't put more blueberries than what the recipe calls for. Too much blueberries will make mushy muffins.
  5. Don't overfill the muffin liners because the muffins will expand quite a bit. Leave about 1/4" at the top for streusel.
  6. The muffins need some time to set after cooling or else they will be almost too crumbly. I find that the muffins are best the day after.
Yield: ~24 regular sized muffins

Ingredients for muffins:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 Tbsp), room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C (8 oz) sour cream
1/4 C milk
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour and a little to dust the blueberries
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, cleaned and stems removed
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Ingredients for streusel:
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/3 C brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the streusel:
Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and combine. Add flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the muffins:
Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. The butter and sugar will get lighter in color, about 5 minutes. On low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated. Add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk and mix.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed.

Dust the blueberries with some flour. I use a colander for this step. Put the blueberries in the colander, sprinkle with flour and toss around until blueberries are covered. Tap and shake the colander to remove excess flour. Fold the blueberries into the batter with a spatula

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, leaving about 1/4" below the top. Crumble the streusel topping evenly over the batter. (I like to pack a lot of streusel on top.) Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Completely cool on racks.

If you like your muffins a bit sweeter, you can dust a light layer of Confectioner's sugar on top of the muffins.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chili Spaghetti

One of the Mister's favorite dishes in Hawaii is chili spaghetti. Chili served over spaghetti has been around for quite a while and has several names. Many know it as Cincinnati Chili. Others call it spaghetti chili. A simple recipe, chili served over hot spaghetti. Can't get easier than that. If you think about it, it's just a variation of spaghetti in meat sauce, with or without beans.

I was too lazy to cook the other night, kind of under the weather. I had some leftover CAB's chili in the fridge so the Mister decided to make some chili spaghetti. We like Barilla pasta. It was a very good rendition of chili spaghetti. The spiciness of the chili really gave the spaghetti a good kick. No need to drench it. Now I'll know to make a double batch of chili next time.

That's all for now. Hope you're having a good week. Now go and eat well.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Sabres' Season Ends - Boo

Last night, the Sabres were finally eliminated from the play-offs by the Habs (those weenies). I admittedly wrote them off 3 games ago. Not because I lost faith (considering mathematically they still had a chance) but the odds were stacked up against them. (Ever see Dumb and Dumber? You got a 1 in a million chance---So you say I have a chance! Uh, no.) Not only did they need to win all the remaining 6 games at that point, the Bruins or Flyers also had to lose some, if not all their remaining games. It's one thing when you have full control, it's another when you have to ride on another team to lose.

I'm sure there will be plenty of what ifs, speculations and what nots in the next week about why last year's President's Award recipients didn't make it into the play-offs. IMO, there was just too much changes and injuries. If we were to look back from the beginning of the season, the Sabres have played exactly the way they did in the last month of their season. Uh, okay, the whole season. Ups and downs. Missed chances, lack luster power plays, too many give aways, lack of enthusiasm, blah blah blah. The loss of some very key players (due to free agency, trade, injuries) were the driving force.

A very young team was another factor. The Sabres biggest loss, IMHO, was the lack of a veteran leader. This is not to say that the Sabres didn't have veterans. They did, just not the true leader type. And in that aspect, I still stand by what I said about losing Chris Drury and the lost leader effect it would have on the team if he left. No, not the Lords of the Flies kind of effect, more like a ship without a router. Oh they had a captain, Ruff McAubrey is his name (another movie reference, if I may). But how do you expect a crew to sail a winning ship without a router? A captain can only yell out so many commands. Never mind the goals Drury brought but I felt Drury was the router of the team. As for the other loses, the Sabres proved that there are enough talent to make up for it. No question the team has talent, which makes not making the play-offs that much more painful. If they just plain sucked and had no talent, it would be easier to not expect the Sabres to make the play-offs. I mean, really, how many Sabres fans actually thought the Sabres "might not" make the play-offs this season?

BTW, Buffalo fans. Can we finally get rid of the saying "Believe"? Please, that's like the Bills mantra, "Strive for Five". Five what? Consecutive Super Bowl loses? These phrases didn't help the year before, or the year before that. What makes you think it'll help this year? I know, how about "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" Works for those Dillon Panthers! (Sorry, FNL)

Some have to wonder what's going to happen to Ryan Miller when he starts to negotiate his contract. Maybe the loss of his cousin in the beginning of the season really messed him up mentally. Maybe he just can't play back-to-back games. Maybe he still has to mature as a goalie. Who knows what the answer(s) is but I sure hope Miller figures it out. He's got talent, there's not arguing there.

Well, I've hung away my jersey for the next 6 months. Official hockey withdrawal will start around June. I'll be sitting on the couch, jonesing for old hockey games to watch until the next season start. Now I have to pick some teams to root against during the play-offs (well, that won't be hard). I think I'm going to root for the Sharks.

It's going to be a nice weekend here in San Diego. Have a wonderful Aloha Friday and a fantastic weekend! And don't forget to eat well.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Marukai San Diego Plaza - Free Annual Membership

In celebration of their grand opening, Marukai San Diego Food and Living stores are offering a free annual membership as well as 10% off first purchase. This limited time offer for the membership (worth $10) is good until April 30th. You can check out the flyer here. Also, if you're going to sign up, you can fill out the form ahead of time (download the application form here) to help speed up the process. One of the gals at the checkout counter mentioned that after this "membership" recruitment month ends, prices will be going up for non-members.

I stopped by yesterday to pick up a few things. I bought a package of cooked tako (octopus) to snack on when I got home from work. It was not bad, slightly on the chewy-tough side but decent taste for store bought. I also picked up some shabu shabu meat and fish balls for Saturday's Chinese hot pot dinner.

I also stopped by Marukai Living to pick up a musubi mold. Took me a while but I found it. I also noticed that they carried some Mac knives. I had to look, with my latest obsession with Japanese knives and all. The price was decent but I'm happy with my Tojiro DP gyotou.

So that's it for this gray Thursday. If you've been thinking about getting a Marukai membership, now is the time. And don't forget about the 10% off coupon.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day

Apparently the history of April Fool's Day is not that clear but some think it began during Charles IX of France days, back in 1582. It was when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, which moved New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1 (you can thank Pope Gregory XIII for that one). Due to the lack of fast communication means, the news about the change traveled very slowly and took several years for news to spread. Even so, there were still people who refused to convert (kind of sounds like Daylight Savings, doesn't it?) and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1.

These nonconformists were labeled "fools" by other people, often subjected to ridicule, such as being sent on fool errands, sent invitations to nonexistent parties and victims of other practical jokes. These ridicules became custom, evolved over time, and spread to other countries such as Britain and Scotland in the 1700's (yes, even folks back then took pleasure in other people's humiliation). And leave it to the English and French to introduce such tomfoolery and shenanigan to the American colonies.

In England, jokes are played only in the morning (because it's bad luck to play jokes any other part of the day) and you're called a "noodle" if you're a victim of a joke (Brits, what a bunch of noodles).

In Scotland, April Fool's Day is known as Taily Day and pranks are focused on the butts (those crazy Scotsmen, guess wearing those skirts make them an easy target for these butt jokes).

I suppose the term "punk'd" is our modern day's terminology for someone who is the butt of a joke (thanks Ashton Kutcher for your contribution to society). So, did you get punked today? Someone at my work (and I know who you are!) posted a sign on the front door asking people to take off their shoes before walking on the carpet. This is so not to ruin their shoes because of the chemicals used to clean the carpet last night. No one has fallen for it yet but some had thought about it. Gee, you think the person who put that up would think people rather ruin their shoes than to walk barefoot on chemicals that would ruin their shoes. Sheesh, even I, the Barefoot Queen (self dubbed, of course), wouldn't do that! Let's hope that someone more creative will come up with a better April Fool's prank (or is that punk?).

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