The Fourth, John Adams and a Mamie Taylor Cocktail, the Original Moscow Mule (?)

The Fourth of July, John Adams...

In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote:  "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America."

Adam's prediction came as the result of Richard Henry Lee's motion for independence being approved by the Congress on July 2, 1776.  It was Lee's motion that officially separated the thirteen America colonies from Great Britain.

John Adams, 2nd President of the U. S.  1797 to 1801

It turned out Adams was 2 days off from his prediction.  On July 4, the day after writing Abigail, Adams and his colleagues approved the Declaration of Independence, a document that eloquently proclaimed the reasons why the colonies had separated from the British Empire.

An elated and confident Adams declared in his letter to Abigail:

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Even though John Adams spoke these words over 200 years ago, it describes exactly our Fourth of July celebrations to this day!
By the way, our older son, Bill, Jr. (Bubba here on my blog) has great respect for John Adams, has read a plethora of books about, or by him, and has visited his home in Quincy, MA.  Maybe both being born on October 30 has something to do with it! 

Update:  Bubba just reminded me that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both passed away on the same day, July 4, 1826.

With this, our great country, pomp and parade and fireworks, here's a cooler for the 4th of July...

Word is, that circa 1899, coolers ~ refreshing fizzy drinks made with ice, a spirit and soda water ~ became popular throughout the country. 

Ginger ale, lime and a spirit, is known by a plethora of names:   If the spirit is rum, it’s a Dark and Stormy.  A shot of tequila?  Call it a Mexican Mule ~ if it’s made with vodka, it’s a Moscow Mule.

And then there’s the Mamie Taylor, made with Scotch, the progenitor of the Moscow Mule!

Mayme Taylor was an actress; the soprano prima donna of an opera company playing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, New York, in 1899.  

She and members of the company were sailing on Lake Ontario on a hot breezy summer day, when they became rather heated.

Back at the resort, Miss Taylor was asked what cooling drink she’d like to quench her thirst. The barman couldn’t fill her first order, and swapped instead a gingery, smoky, citrusy concoction of Scotch, lime and ginger ale for her to sip on.  She was sold, she loved it:  the easier to spell, 'Mamie' Taylor cocktail was born!  The drink was the insanely popular cocktail of its day, before fading away in the early 1900’s.

Prima donna, Mayme Taylor

However, apparently bartenders became sick and tired of mixing Mamie Taylor’s so they hiked up the price of the cocktail to discourage customers from ordering it.  Or maybe it faded away because of Prohibition (1920-1933), and never recovered…

Today, not many remember this cocktail, and even more so, Miss Taylor, yet this drink has led to many variations that we do recall.

In the early 1940’s, after Prohibition, the Moscow Mule became the popular drink, and remains popular to this day.

There’s not enough flavor in a Moscow Mule for me ~ however, by replacing the vodka with scotch, and mixing a Mamie Taylor cocktail, it's transformed into a great little mixed drink to sip on!

The drink has quite a unique flavor combination with the smokiness of the scotch, the spiciness of the ginger, brought together with the unifying lime juice.

For a spicy smackdown on your tongue, heat it up by using Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap!  If it's a touch too much for your taste, try a tamer version of Blenheim's ginger ale.

Spicy hot Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap
The Mamie Taylor cocktail is effervescent and cool ~ it's a unique summer-time refresher on a hot summer day!

As for Mayme, by 1906, the actress was reduced to performing in San Francisco matinees of “a playful satire on New York fads and fancies.” 

The Mamie Taylor was thought of as a fancy drink back in its heyday.  It's easy to understand why, as Ted Haigh reiterates:  "The scotch soothes the soul, while the ginger excites the heart, and the lime keeps it all in perspective."  

It should be better known!


Yield: 1 serving

Classic Mamie Taylor Cocktail

It should be better known!


  • 2 ounces blended Scotch, such as Dewar's
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 6 ounces spicy ginger ale or ginger beer (try Blenheim Old #3 Hot Ginger Ale - Red Cap)
  • Lime wedge, for garnish


  1. Add several ice cubes to a highball glass.
  2. Pour in scotch, squeeze in lime juice and fill with ginger ale or ginger beer.
  3. Stir with a barspoon and garnish with a lime wedge.
  4. Serve
Created using The Recipes Generator


Zesty Grilled Salmon w/Citrus-Dill Butter

Grilling salmon is as easy as pie.

By following this recipe, and implementing the no-flip technique with your skin-on salmon, you’ll have a delicious fillet, perfectly cooked every time...

Begin with placing the salmon on a grill pan, like we do, or directly on the grill grates, after being coated with cooking spray. 

Proceed by generously slathering the salmon with the flavored butter, and cooking the fish, without flipping it, until desired degree of doneness. 

Lastly, quarter a large lemon, and grill the wedges alongside the salmon, for the perfect garnish for this fish.

Here’s a little salmon trivia:
  • Salmon are popular in mythology.
  • There are approximately 21,500 people in the U.S listed on white with the name Salmon.
  • Grizzly bears love to feast on these fish when they are migrating upstream.

  • Fish for salmon in the morning or late at night.    
  • Salmon comes for the Latin word “salmo,” which means “to leap.”  They’re exceptional jumpers, an ability that serves them well when they have to swim upstream or go up rapids in order to reach rivers and streams.
  • The biggest species of salmon is the Chinook, which can weigh as much as a hundred pounds.
  • Salmon is nutritious and considered a health food.
  • And, finally ~ I know that my father-in-law smoked the most delicious Coho salmon on earth, fresh from Lake Michigan! 

If you’re searching for an easy tasty salmon meal, with minimal clean-up, this grilled salmon recipe is for you. 

It’s simple and great for an everyday family meal, but elegant enough to wow your dinner guests at your cookout this summer!

Yield: 3-4 Servings

Grilled Salmon with Citrus-Dill Butter

If you’re searching for an easy tasty salmon meal, with minimal clean-up, this grilled salmon recipe is for you.
prep time: 5 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 25 mins


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 small lemon = ½ teaspoon zested, 1 teaspoon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skin on
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish
  • 1 large lemon, quartered, optional


  1. Heat grill.
  2. In small bowl, combine all ingredients, except last 3, mix well.
  3. When ready to grill, spread butter mixture over salmon fillet.
  4. Place on a rack, coated with cooking spray, on grill or on hot grill grate, skin side facing down, turning once.
  5. Cook, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes, or until desired doneness.
  6. Meanwhile, place lemons on grill,  cut sides down, and grill until golden, for about 5 to 7 minutes, turning once to other side.
  7. Garnish with dill sprigs and grilled lemon quarters.
  8. Serve with lemons on the side for squeezing.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Not Quite so Dirty Rice

No road trip to 'N’awlins', as Bill calls it, for this tasty little dish ~ you can make it right at home!  

We remember our first taste of dirty rice many years ago ~ and Bubba does too.  It was from Popeye’s, the restaurant chain originating in New Orleans.  And then, our many visits to N'awlins...

However, this time, I made it at home in the Instant Pot now that I have one.  It’s a one pot meal that does the cooking for you quickly. 

The Arcadian classic version of this dish normally comes with chicken livers added for that distinctive flavor and dark color making it “dirty” in appearance.  

It always includes the Cajun holy trinity, you know, celery, onions and bell peppers.  

It's the foundation of so many of the world’s greatest dishes ~ from gumbo to jambalaya to chicken fricassee and étouffée, with every cuisine having its version of it.  
  • French cooks call it mirepoix, the combo of onions, carrots and celery. 
  • Italians call the same combination of ingredients soffritto.  
  • Greek cooks prefer lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.
  • In Spain, garlic, onion and tomatoes are combined. 
  • Thai:  Kaffir lime, lemongrass and galangal (relative of ginger.)
  • Cuban cuisine:  garlic, bell pepper and onion.
  • In Spain, it’s garlic, onion and tomato.
  • Brazilians season with dende oil, coconut milk and malagueta pepper.
You get the idea ~ every country has its own version of the holy trinity for their cuisine.  
I didn’t add chicken liver to the mix this time, but the basic concept is still there:  ground beef, the holy trinity, spices and rice.  It’s delicious, no matter.  

It’s spicy, but not too spicy, you can always bump up the heat if you prefer.  It’s a loaded dish with the best flavors in it.  

We enjoyed it with grilled catfish, but I could definitely make a meal of just dirty rice.  And, it tastes even better leftover, after the flavors have mingled longer.  

One pot Not-Quite Dirty Rice is a great dish to try in your Instant Pot (providing you can get the lid on.)  It's a perfect dish your family will want second helpings of.  No Instant Pot?  Cook it in a Dutch oven on the stove top.

Next time, same recipe, with the exception of substituting Andouille sausage and chicken liver for the ground beef.

And perhaps a Dirty Martini or two on the side ~ with a little jazz or Zydeco music!  

Woo hoo!  


Yield: 6 servings

Not Quite so Dirty Rice in an Instant Pot

No road trip to 'N’awlins' for this tasty little dish ~ you can make it right at home!
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 35 MINStotal time: 45 mins


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Heat oil in Instant Pot on sauté setting, or in Crock Pot.
  2. Add garlic and onion, cooking until onion starts to soften and brown a little.
  3. Add celery and bell pepper, sauté for a minute or two.
  4. Remove from pot and set aside.
  5. Add beef, brown and crumble, drain fat.
  6. Return veggies to pot, add remaining ingredients to meat in IP.
  7. Mix all ingredients well, scraping the bottom of the cooker.
  8. Place lid on, set the vent to Sealing and press Slow Cooker, low setting for 30 minutes.
  9. Do a Quick Pressure release and fluff rice mixture with a fork.
  10. If needed, adjust seasonings.
  11. Serve immediately, or set IP to warm setting for amount of time you prefer until ready to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Crispy Homemade Shake 'n Bake Pork Chops

You may remember way back in the day, back in 1965,  when “Shake ’n Bake” first appeared on the grocery shelf…
Shake ’n Bake provides a healthier, less-greasy alternative to frying.  

Vintage 1976

Manufactured by Kraft Foods, the flavored bread crumb-style coating for pork and chicken mimics the texture on the outside of fried foods.  It comes with its own baggie for you to shake the meat in order to cover it with the breading mixture.  

My homemade version is a copycat of the classic dish, only a hundred times better than the packaged version!

If you like crispy, savory chops, the crunch of these baked pork chops will be just the thing for you.  

No marinating needed ~ all that’s required is a resealable bag for covering the chops in the panko breadcrumb coating, made from ingredients right out of your pantry.

Serve the chops with rice and vegetables for an easy, delicious weeknight meal!

Yield: 4

Crispy Shake 'n Bake Pork Chops

This homemade Shake 'n Bake is easy and cheap to make. It makes a great crispy breading for your pork chops that is utterly satisfying.


  • 4 pork chops, about ¾” thick
  • 1½ panic bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400° and set wire rack on baking sheet.
  2. To a large resealable plastic bag, add panko and remaining ingredients, blend well.
  3. One at a time, place pork chop in bag and shake until evenly coated in panko mixture.
  4. Place chops on wire rack.
  5. Bake until pork is cooked through and bread crumbs are golden, about 25 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Crispy Sea Salt-crusted Parsley Jacket Potatoes

Dad had many gardens to tend, after he retired from banking ~ at home, at the large Community Garden he established, and at the Louisville Zoo, where he displayed a garden for zoo visitors. 

Bubba loved that!  He'd go to the zoo with Grandpa, and while Grandpa gardened, Bubba visited all the animals. 

I've watched him dig up many a potato, he was an expert at it ~ no digging fork holes in his potatoes!

So I’ve always been slightly obsessed with baked potatoes, my favorite potato!  Just a pat of butter, a little salt and lots of pepper does it for me most times…   

But when it’s finished with a crackling crust, with a dollop of sour cream, I’m in potato heaven…

The humble spud is the quintessential comfort food, and it wins the prize for the most versatile vegetable ~ there are only so many ways you can cook broccoli, and roasted broccoli could never compete with a baked potato.

First off, start wth the starchy russet potato, with a sort of thick skin.The pectin holding the russet’s cells together breaks down easily when cooked, resulting in a more granular, powdery texture.  Hands down, most chefs swear by this choice of potato for baking.

Scrub the potato well, dry it and puncture the potato in several spots with a fork.  You don’t want to take a slight chance of it exploding due to pent-up steam.  So, put some holes in it for safety’s sake!

Slather the potato with olive oil for added flavor and great texture, the skin becomes tough without it.

Combine a mixture of sea salt, seasoned pepper, garlic and parsley in a bowl.  Roll the potato in the coating and it’s ready to bake into a delicious potato.

Bake in a preheated 400° oven or do it my way ~ in an air fryer for that perfect crackling crust.

An Air fryer does a great job of baking potatoes.  The oil and seasonings on the skin results in a beautiful crisp baked potato.  

It’s crispy, crackling, crunchy on the outside and snow-white pillowy soft on the inside.

Want to enjoy perfect baked potatoes every time?  Try using an air fryer!

Air Fryer Sea Salt-crusted Parsley Jacket Potatoes 


3  russet baking potatoes, medium-sized
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons parsley, dried
1 tablespoon garlic powder, optional
Sour cream, or toppings of your choice


Wash potatoes and puncture with a fork several times
Coat potatoes with oil.
Combine salt, parsley and garlic powder in a bowl; roll potatoes in the mixture.
Place into the Air Fryer basket.
Cook potatoes at 390° for 35-40 minutes, until fork tender.
Slather with your favorite toppings, chives, cheese, bacon bits, etc!
Printable recipe

Happy Cooking!

You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
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You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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