The Legendary Legend of Kim Jong Il

We have all heard of the reclusive North Korean leader. We all know he was a little nuts…and a little lonely. But did you know that he invented the hamburger?

It turns out he was basically the most amazing human that ever lived…at least according to North Korean state-run media. In fact, all of the legendary facts below were either spoken or written at some point by official government sources.

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Our *Begrudging* Homage to the NCAA Champion Alabama Crimson Tide

“Roll Tide!!” That is an expression anyone who watches college football outside the state of Alabama is sick to death of at this point in time.  The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to their third College Football National Championship in four years last night, crushing an over-matched Notre Dame squad 42-14 and extending a dominating streak by the SEC, which has produced the last seven national champions.

Many of you may have noticed though that the Crimson Tide is kind of an odd nickname, and fairly unbecoming when your imagination gets a chance to run with it.  You also may have noticed that the Alabama mascot is an Elephant.  Political affiliations aside, Alabama is about the last place most of us would associate with an Elephant.  So how did the University of Alabama get these nicknames?  How much moonshine was involved?  How many people in Alabama can spell “Elephant” without an “f”?  Pressing questions that demand answers… Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas: The Christmas Pickle

It cannot be overstated how much we at Abraham Thinkin’ love Christmas. Truly, any superlative to describe a person’s enthusiasm is applicable to our Christmas Spirit, and it probably still falls short of effectively capturing the level of our Holiday Cheer. As we all know by now, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. Fortunately for you all, we cannot sing Christmas Carols to you through the computer, so instead, we are going to do what we think is the next best thing. Every day between now and Christmas Day, we will post something related to Christmas, including Christmas Traditions, Stories of Christmas Lore; some of Abe’s Christmas Faves, and much much more.

We love odd things.  They make us laugh, shake our heads, scratch our chins, and wonder… how high and/or drunk were you when you came up with that??  In this case, I think someone was well in to their tenth cup of wassail or nog when they came up with this doozy.  Ladies and gents, on the Fifth Day of Christmas, we present to you the Christmas Pickle…

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Satsumas – Nature’s Christmas Candy

I love Christmas.  Andy Williams was right when he sang “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  It truly is – because it is the time of year when Satsuma Mandarin oranges are in season.  If you have never had a satsuma, do yourself a favor: Go to the nearest grocery store and buy yourself a box.  Satsumas are sweet, juicy, easy-to-peel, and downright delectable.

For many families, Satsumas are also part of a long-running Christmas tradition of using oranges as stocking stuffers on Christmas morning.  This time honored tradition is quite commonplace, although its origins are not common knowledge.  The practical theory is that in olden days, oranges were a luxury item for most Europeans and Northern-Americans celebrating Christmas as they were not easy to obtain and were symbolic of the treats and treasures of the far-away tropics.

Additionally, as shipping and storage methods evolved and improved, oranges became easier to obtain.  Satsumas were a particular revelation due to their ability to survive cold temperatures (What luck, since Satsumas are also the best oranges!).  Thus, parents started including Satsumas in stockings to give their loved ones an unsuspected “foreign” treat.

However, the true origin of this practice is rooted in the lore of Saint Nicholas, and is far more magical.   Continue reading