Dec 182019

Today features the second O Antiphon,  O Adonai (O Lord) 

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, Who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the Law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.

The name of God most often used in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH). Owing to the Jewish tradition viewing the divine name as too sacred to be uttered it was replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures. It is frequently anglicized as Yahweh or Jehovah. Ancient readers of the Hebrew Bible were signaled not to read YHWH aloud in the Masoretic text, by placing the vowels for Adonai (A O AI) under YHWH – making an impossible word YAHOWAIH. All readers understood that YHWH could not be spoken, but Adonai was acceptable. They did not write the word Adonai in the text itself because the text was sacred and unalterable.  Everyone understood.  Centuries later, non-Jews, who did not know the convention thought that YAHOWAIH was correct, and pronounced it Jehovah.  Jehovah has never been correct. In most English editions of the Bible YHWH is translated as “the LORD” (in caps).

Adonai (אֲדֹנָי, lit. “My Lords”) is actually the plural form of adon (“Lord”) along with the first-person singular pronoun enclitic (“my”). As with Elohim [lit. “Gods” but referring to ONE God], Adonai’s grammatical form is usually explained as a plural of majesty (same as, “we are not amused”). In the Hebrew Bible, it is nearly always used to refer to God (approximately 450 occurrences). Owing to the expansion of chumra (the idea of “building a fence around the Torah”), Adonai itself has come to be too holy to say for Orthodox Jews, leading to its replacement by HaShem (“The Name”). The singular forms adon and adoni (“my lord”) are used in the Hebrew Bible as royal titles, and for distinguished persons. Using Adonai as a name for Jesus signals that he is also God.

I am not sure why, but in the US the use of Adonai in a business’s same usually signals that it is owned by an evangelical Christian.  I think this is an example:

Here is a recipe from a website called Adonai Natural Health (edited).  It’s for a quick version of “baked” beans.  It’s not too bad.  I prefer slow-baked beans, but this can work. Anything homecooked is better than canned. By that token, the recipe calls for canned beans, but cooking dried beans yourself is better.


1 onion, peeled and finely diced
3 slices lean bacon, finely diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tomato, finely diced
1 tsp yellow mustard powder
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups cooked canellini or butter beans
2 cups cooked red kidney beans
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

olive oil


In a saucepan heat a small amount of olive oil. Cook the onion until it softens then add the bacon and stir for 1 minute. Add the bell pepper and tomato and cook for 2 minutes or until just soft Add the mustard and tomato paste and allow the mixture to simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the beans and parsley to the pot and stir until combined and heated through.

To Serve: Top with sliced avocado or a poached egg.


Sep 032016


The Treaty of Paris which finalized the peace between Great Britain and the 13 North American colonies that became the United States, was signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on this date in 1783. Britain acknowledged the right of the United States to be sovereign and independent. The treaty also set the boundaries between the British Empire and the new country, and also included details such as fishing rights and the restoration of property and prisoners of war. The Treaty took over a year to settle because, as always, the devil is in the details. France and Spain also had a large stake in the establishment of boundaries at the time.

Many things come to mind as I contemplate this treaty. First, this is not a date that means much any more in the US. Declaring independence on 4th July is a BIG DEAL – but WINNING independence has largely been forgotten except for a few vagrant (and mostly wrong) memories of Washington, Valley Forge, and “redcoats.” There were 7 years between declaring and winning independence. Even when the battles were over there was a lot to decide, and not a lot of agreement. Second, after signing the treaty both sides set about ignoring the details, particularly with regard to boundaries, one of the key issues in the War of 1812, which people in the US often see as a Second War of Independence, whereas people in Britain see it as an extension of the Napoleonic Wars, if they think about it at all.

Peace negotiations began in April 1782, and continued through the summer. Representing the United States were Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams. David Hartley and Richard Oswald represented Great Britain. The treaty was signed at the Hotel d’York (presently 56 Rue Jacob) in Paris on September 3, 1783, by Adams, Franklin, Jay, and Hartley. A contemporary artist attempted to record the events but the British representatives refused to sit, so the painting was left incomplete.


The key episodes came in September, 1782, when the French Foreign Minister Vergennes proposed a solution that was strongly opposed by his ally the United States. France was exhausted by the war, and everyone wanted peace except Spain, which insisted on continuing the war until it could capture Gibraltar from the British. Vergennes came up with the deal that Spain would accept instead of Gibraltar. The United States would gain its independence but be confined to the area east of the Appalachian Mountains. Britain would take the area north of the Ohio River. In the area south of that would be set up an independent Indian state under Spanish control. It would be an Indian buffer state.

The Americans realized that they could get a better deal directly from London. John Jay promptly told the British that he was willing to negotiate directly with them, cutting off France and Spain. The British Prime Minister Lord Shelburne agreed. He was in full charge of the British negotiations and he now saw a chance to split the United States away from France and make the new country a valuable economic partner. In the west the United States would gain all of the area east of the Mississippi River, north of Florida, and south of Canada. The northern boundary would be almost the same as today.The United States would gain fishing rights off Canadian coasts, and agreed to allow British merchants and Loyalists to try to recover their property. It was a highly favorable treaty for the United States, and deliberately so from the British point of view. Prime Minister Shelburne foresaw highly profitable two-way trade between Britain and the rapidly growing United States.

Great Britain also signed separate agreements with France and Spain, and (provisionally) with the Netherlands. In the treaty with Spain, the territories of East and West Florida were ceded to Spain (without a clear northern boundary, resulting in a territorial dispute resolved by the Treaty of Madrid in 1795). Spain also received the island of Minorca. The Bahama Islands, Grenada, and Montserrat, captured by the French and Spanish, were returned to Britain. The treaty with France was mostly about exchanges of captured territory (France’s only net gains were the island of Tobago, and Senegal in Africa), but also reinforced earlier treaties, guaranteeing fishing rights off Newfoundland. Dutch possessions in the East Indies, captured in 1781, were returned by Britain to the Netherlands in exchange for trading privileges in the Dutch East Indies, by a treaty which was not finalized until 1784.


Historians have often commented that the treaty was very generous to the United States in terms of greatly enlarged boundaries. Historians such as Alvord, Harlow, and Ritcheson have emphasized that British generosity was based on a statesmanlike vision of close economic ties between Britain and the United States. The concession of the vast trans-Appalachian region was designed to facilitate the growth of the North American population and create lucrative markets for British merchants, without any military or administrative costs to Britain. The point was the United States would become a major trading partner. The French foreign minister, Vergennes, later put it, “The English buy peace rather than make it”. Vermont was included within the boundaries because the state of New York insisted that Vermont was a part of New York, although Vermont was then under a government that considered Vermont not to be a part of the United States.

Privileges that the North Americans had received from Britain automatically when they had colonial status (including protection from pirates in the Mediterranean Sea) were withdrawn. Individual states ignored federal recommendations, under Article 5, to restore confiscated Loyalist property, and also ignored Article 6 (e.g., by confiscating Loyalist property for “unpaid debts”). Some, notably Virginia, also defied Article 4 and maintained laws against payment of debts to British creditors. The British often ignored the provision of Article 7 about removal of slaves.


The actual geography of North America turned out not to match the details used in the treaty. The Treaty specified a southern boundary for the United States, but the separate Anglo-Spanish agreement did not specify a northern boundary for Florida, and the Spanish government assumed that the boundary was the same as in the 1763 agreement by which they had first given their territory in Florida to Britain. While that West Florida Controversy continued, Spain used its new control of Florida to block US access to the Mississippi, in defiance of Article 8. The treaty stated that the boundary of the United States extended from the center of the Lake of the Woods (now partly in Minnesota, partly in Manitoba, and partly in Ontario) directly westward until it reached the Mississippi River. But in fact the Mississippi does not extend that far northward. The line going west from the Lake of the Woods never intersects the river.

In the Great Lakes region, Great Britain violated the treaty stipulation that they should relinquish control of forts in United States territory “with all convenient speed.” British troops remained stationed at a number of forts (Detroit, Lernoult, Michilimackinac, Niagara, Ontario, Oswegatchie, Presque Isle) for over a decade. The British also built an additional fort (Miami) during this time. They found justification for these actions in the unstable and extremely tense situation that existed in the area following the war, in the failure of the United States government to fulfill commitments made to compensate loyalists for their losses, and in the British need for time to liquidate various assets in the region. This matter was finally settled by the 1794 Jay Treaty.

The cuisine of the 13 colonies reflected the cuisines of their regions of origin. Colonization occurred in four waves:

Virginia. The first wave of English immigrants began arriving in North America, settling mainly around Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland. The Virginian settlers were dominated by English noblemen with their servants (many were Cavaliers fleeing in the aftermath of the English Civil War 1642–51) and poor peasants from southern England. The society the Cavaliers brought with them was highly stratified and this was reflected in food and eating habits. The aristocrats that would be the basis for the First Families of Virginia were very fond of game and red meat. Roast beef was a particular favorite, and even when oysters and goose were available, wealthy colonists could complain about the absence of meat. Virginia was the only place in North America where haute cuisine of any kind was practiced before the 19th century.

New England. New England was first settled beginning in 1620, and it was dominated by East Anglian Calvinists, better known as the Puritans. The religious fundamentalism of the Puritans created a cuisine that was austere, disdainful of feasting and with few embellishments. Though New England had a great abundance of wildlife and seafood, traditional East Anglian fare was preferred, even if it had to be made with New World ingredients. Baked beans and pease porridge were everyday fare, particularly during the winter, and usually eaten with coarse, dark bread.


Delaware Valley. The Quakers emigrated to the New World from the Northern English Midlands during the 17th century, and eventually settled primarily in the Delaware Valley. They were similar to the Puritans in the strictness that they applied to everyday life, and their food was plain and simple.

The most typical cooking method of the Quakers was boiling, a method brought from ancestral northern England. Boiled breakfast and dinner were standard fare, as well as “pop-robbins,” balls of batter made from flour and eggs boiled in milk. Boiled dumplings and puddings were so common in Quaker homes that they were referred to by outsiders as “Quakers’ food”. Travelers noted apple dumplings as an almost daily dish in the Delaware Valley and cook books specialized in puddings and dumplings. Food was mostly preserved through boiling, simmering or standing.


A popular genre of dishes made from this favored method of food preparation was “cheese” (or “butter”), a generic term for dishes prepared by slow boiling or pressing. It could be made from ingredients as varying as apples (i.e., apple butter), plums and walnuts. Cream cheese had its origins in Quaker cooking, but was in colonial times not true cheese made with rennet or curds, but rather cream that was warmed gently and then allowed to stand between cloth until it became semi-solid.

Backcountry. The last major wave of British immigrants to the colonies took place from 1720–1775. About 250,000 people travelled across the Atlantic primarily to seek economic betterment and to escape hardships and famine. Most of these came from the borderlands of northern Britain and were of Scots-Irish or Scottish descent. Many were poor and therefore accustomed to hard times, setting them apart from the other major British immigrant groups. They settled in what would come to be known generally as the “Backcountry,” on the frontier and in the highlands in the north and south.


The back country relied heavily on a diet based on porridge or mush made from soured milk or boiled grains, a diet that was despised in wealthier parts of the colonies as well as in Britain.  Oatmeal porridge was popular but eventually the oatmeal was replaced by corn, and became what is known in the South as grits. Cakes of unleavened dough baked on bake stones or circular griddles were common and went by names such as “clapbread,” “griddle cakes,” and “pancakes.” Rabbit, squirrel, and possum were common hunted meats.

The Revolutionary War disrupted the diet a little, although historians differ concerning the extent. For example, wool was in great need for uniforms, so slaughtering sheep became uncommon, thus pig rearing increased in popularity for meat over lamb and mutton. Imported foods from Britain were banned, and had been highly taxed anyway. Coffee replaced tea as a hot drink, and whisky replaced rum because it could be distilled from corn instead of from sugar which was imported from the British West Indies. Colonists preferred eating barley over brewing beer with it, and, in any case, making alcoholic cider is simpler than brewing beer.

What passes as “American” cuisine these days reflects these colonial realities. I’ll leave you to it, whether it be Boston baked beans, Philadelphia cream cheese, or grits.

Oct 112013


Today is the birthday (1844) of Henry John Heinz, U.S. businessman of German descent who founded the H. J. Heinz Company. Normally I would be a tad reluctant to celebrate the founder of a multi-national company, particularly one that specialized in processed foods. But Heinz was a man of admirable qualities that are still reflected in the company (even behind the obvious public rhetoric). Among other things, Heinz was noted for his scrupulously honest business practices, his desire to make his products healthy and unadulterated, and his genuine concern for all his workers. When he ran the company he provided his employees with free medical care, recreation facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, and gardens; and educational opportunities such as libraries, free concerts, and lectures. Heinz also led a successful lobbying effort in favor of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.  The point that seems lost on so many corporate “leaders” today is that Henry Heinz was an honest man turning an honest buck; he did not need to resort to unfair practices and backroom deals to be successful.  Nor was greed his motive. He wanted his customers to enjoy his products because they were good. As such, I think his life is worthy of celebration. His motto was: “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”


The following (in italics) is a slightly edited, and much abridged, appraisal of Heinz taken from George F. Redmond, Financial Giants of America (1922), Vol. 2, 286-295:

For some time he helped his father, who made bricks, until he observed that there was really more produce in the little four acre family garden than they could use themselves. He suggested that he might be able to sell the surplus in the neighborhood. With his father’s consent he started out on his first business venture. In one summer alone, before he had reached the age of seventeen, he sold over $2,000 of garden-truck from the Heinz farm.

He proved that he possessed the shrewd business ability of his ancestors and had an unlimited power to make friends. He was so successful with his small marketing business that his parents relinquished their fond hopes and wishes of some day seeing their son in the ministry. They sent him to a business college rather than to a theological school. There he studied hard, always keeping in mind the fact that he might learn something to help the folks “back home.” He specialized particularly in commercial accounting and sure enough, when he went back to the brickyard he became his father’s bookkeeper and assistant. He introduced new methods by which they could make brick in the winter as well as the summer. His father was justly proud and pleased and gave him a partnership in the business to show his appreciation.


Henry thought that the opportunities in his father’s business were not sufficient for him so he left, with his father’s consent and formed a partnership in Beaver Falls in a business similar to that of his father’s. When he had worked on the farm, and met with such success as a salesman he had had visions of a more extensive market for the produce. This idea was constantly in the back of his mind so he finally left brick-making and with L. C. Noble opened up a small packing and preserving house in one room of a small building in Sharpsburg, Pa. Heinz realized the value of concentrated effort so he at first dealt in horseradish only. All the raw product was taken from the little family garden and treated in a new way and bottled. Heinz himself used to peddle this horseradish carrying his stock in a basket. The business grew and he acquired a wheel-barrow to help him distribute the relish which met with such popularity. Finally he had to get a horse and wagon.


He added different lines of pickles, jams, and jellies as his profits warranted. E. J. Noble was added to the partnership and the business was moved to a large four story building in Pittsburgh. The Nobles retired from the firm after a very successful three years, and Henry Heinz in 1875 sold an interest to his brother, John H., and his cousin Frederick. In 1882 vinegar was added to the other relishes sold, and a vinegar plant was established. The business kept growing and in 1905 was incorporated with Henry John Heinz as president.


Through all the years of development Mr. Heinz insisted on absolute cleanliness throughout the plant. He saw the ideas of his youth bear fruit, and his plans and business ambitions always kept well ahead of the rapidly growing industry. From the first he wanted to give the public tasty relishes, well preserved and packed, at a reasonable price. Though he had many chances to make more by charging higher rates he never deviated from this underlying principle. It is said that his favorite maxim was “Make all you can honestly; save all you can prudently; give all you can wisely.”


[. . .]

Life insurance policies are given outright to any employee who has been with the company for three years. The face of the policy grows from $250 at its inception to $1,000, depending on the length of service of the worker. These policies have no red-tape attached and do not protect either the company or the employee, but are protection for the dependent the employee has chosen as his beneficiary.

Heinz established welfare work on a firm footing long before it came into vogue as a sound, paying business proposition for industrial concerns to adopt. He was animated not by the quest of the almighty dollar but by the thoughtfulness and generosity of his nature which was his outstanding characteristic. Of course he realized that welfare work increases the efficiency of his force thereby increases the output, but by no means did he put it on the basis of dollars and cents alone. He had erected a roof-garden, and under it a library, gymnasium, auditorium, picture-gallery, dance-hall, baths, swimming pool, educational classes, a hospital, and other projects of a similar nature. Such organizations as Dockstader’s Minstrels are taken to the Heinz plant to give a special performance whenever they come to town.

These activities and benefits are shared by friends as well as by employees. The customary notice “For Employees Only” is not seen in the welfare work of this great man. The homes of the employees are made brighter and happier by the philanthropy of the Heinz institution. Friends are always welcome at all amusement features. The Dental Department not only cares for the teeth of the employees but it gives instruction in oral hygiene to their families.


Heinz wanted to treat his co-workers fairly and squarely, and he did. In the matter of promotions, which has caused no little trouble in other plants, the existing atmosphere at the Heinz institution is reported by an employee who said, “The only man around here who has a better job than I have is the fellow who has been here longer.”A rather unusual business rule was adopted early in the life of the industry by Mr. Heinz which was adhered to always, namely “no one in my employ shall ever have his wages reduced.”

Another of the big business principles he put into practice and found very successful was that the organization must always be self-perpetuating. Everyone must have an understudy, and at the same time be understudying someone other than himself or herself. Through such a system, which provided amply for expansion, material for high salaried positions was always available without going afield to pick a man for the job. Heinz wanted his employees to know that they had a future before them, he wanted them to stay with his concern and grow with it.


 The wonderful organization which he built up had as its basis his own personality. He was respected and loved by those who worked for him. He was always happy to talk, to work, or to play with even the commonest laborer. He knew many by name, and whenever he saw a new face when he went through the plant he made it a point to make the new man feel at home. He would always make the advances. This practice was so well known, and so highly thought of that it is the affectionate jest of many of the men to take one another by the arm and say imitatingly, “Young man, how long have you been with us?” Yet this is not done in the spirit of mockery, but is done with all due respect and pride in the fact that their employer was genuinely interested in them.

At Christmas time Heinz remembered every one of his employees. He originated the happy custom of giving to the parents in his employ a silver spoon, whenever the stork visits their household. The sick were visited by someone that he had sent, if he was unable to go himself. Weddings were made merrier, and the sadness of funerals soothed by the big-heartedness of the man. He relieved those in financial distress very quietly, frequently keeping his name out of the transaction entirely.


Years before his death Mr. Heinz said, “I am no longer trying to make money. What I am interested in now is to make more success.” And this was the thought he brought home at all the salesmen’s conventions. He did not talk of sales records, or quote prices, or complain about expenses. Instead he emphasized character above everything else. He once said, “Rather a man with 50 per cent ability and 100 per cent character than a man with 100 per cent ability and 50 per cent character.” In the sales rooms there is no motto to the effect that sales must be increased 100 per cent. Instead he had framed and placed there the quotation, “The ruling principle of our business must be to secure the permanent satisfaction of the consumer and the full confidence of the trade.”


Individually, the principles Henry Heinz instilled in his company can seem simple and almost quaint. Taken together though, they’re an all-too-rare combination in today’s business world. Fortunately, Henry Heinz himself showed that common sense, decency and social justice is a proven recipe for enduring business success.

I know this may seem like something of a puff piece, but it was written in 1922 when this sort of writing was more common, and shows genuine affection.  I’ve hunted around a fair bit and have found nothing to contradict anything said here.  It was NOT written by the company.

As a boy, Heinz baked beans and ketchup were household staples.  There cannot be too many Brits or Aussies my age who did not have beans on toast on a regular basis.  I’ve used a fair number of Heinz products over the years (which now include some items such as Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, which are still indispensable in the kitchen). But rather than haul out a recipe with a Heinz product in it somewhere, I am simply going to give you two links.  The first is to their general recipe area:



Heinz Baked Beans

The second is to their British site focusing on beans (or beanz).  Still a perennial favorite there, I gather.