23 March

Melba Toast Day

Melba Cocktail

So we are drinking a...

Melba Cocktail

Melba toast, a beloved snack that has been enjoyed for over a century. To celebrate this delicious food, March 23rd is observed as Melba Toast Day. This day is a tribute to the woman who was the muse for this crispy delicacy, and a time to enjoy the simple pleasure of crunching into a perfectly toasted slice of bread.

The history of Melba toast dates back to the late 1800s. It was named after the famous Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, who was known for her exquisite voice and refined taste in food. The story goes that one evening in 1897, Melba was staying at London's Savoy Hotel, where the famed chef Auguste Escoffier was in residence. Melba was feeling unwell and requested some toast. Escoffier, wanting to create something special for the diva, decided to create a thin, crispy slice of toast that would be easy to digest. He sliced a loaf of bread as thinly as possible, then toasted it to a perfect golden brown. Melba was delighted with the result, and the dish became a staple in high-end restaurants around the world.

Melba toast is made by slicing bread very thinly and then toasting it until it is dry and crispy. The result is a light, crunchy snack that is perfect for dipping in soups, spreads, and dips. It's also a popular alternative to crackers, as it is low in calories and fat. It is often used in hors d'oeuvres and as a base for canap├ęs, as it can hold toppings and spreads without becoming soggy.

One of the great things about Melba toast is that it is incredibly versatile. It can be made from almost any type of bread, from white to whole wheat to rye. It can be flavoured with herbs, spices, and other seasonings to add a unique taste to any dish. Melba toast can also be used as a base for sweet treats, such as chocolate-covered Melba toast or a base for fruit and yoghurt parfait.

So today we'll be taking a moment to appreciate this delicious snack, and toasting Melba toast (pardon the pun) with a Melba Cocktail.

OK, it's your birthday

Indeed, today is OK's birthday. The initials "O.K." were first published on 23rd March 23 1839 in The Boston Morning Post as an abbreviation for 'oll korrect,' common American slang for "all correct" at the time.

Just as today's social media-engaged teenagers might use "kewl" rather than a naff word like "cool", the 1830's in-crowd intentionally misspelt words and then abbreviate them. OK is simply one example that has endured to not only enter American vernacular but internationally, even beyond English speakers.

OK is merely "adequate", "acceptable", even a tad "mediocre" but for today's cocktail we sought something more positive, such as an Absolutely Fabulous even a More Supreme Daiquiri

A star director's birthday

Akira Kurosawa, probably Japan's most influential film director, and the man who brought his country's cinema to a global audience, was born in Tokyo on this day in 1910.

In a career lasting almost 60 years, he made more than 30 films including the epic Seven Samurai and Ran, his adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. A perfectionist and former painter who both directed and edited his movies, Kurosawa's work inspired George Lucas's vision of the original Star Wars, as well as classic Westerns like The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars.

Let's remember his legacy with a cocktail based on another great Japanese export: the Japanese Maple, an outstanding Sour-style concoction with Japanese whisky.

The anniversary of the discovery of Cold Fusion - allegedly

On 23rd March 1989, two scientists held a press conference. They'd produced energy by fusing atoms at room temperature - a reaction that produced as much as double the amount of energy required to run it.

Before, atoms had only been fused at temperatures around the million-degree mark - so Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann's discovery promised a future full of clean, affordable energy. A few more labs seemed to replicate their experiments; no specialists could. And then... Nothing. It turned out there was no hard evidence that energy had been produced, and that they'd most likely misread their results.

Today, some scientists still explore cold fusion - although it's been rebranded as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, and a man named Andrea Rossi has claimed for years that he's bringing the technology to market. But, for the moment, we're stuck with the old, environmentally hostile forms of energy we used before - which is, like our last cocktail for today is Cold Comfort.

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