Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The time is always right to do what is right.

I was driving down the road the other day and thought to myself, “why do we drive on the right side of the road when other countries drive on the left?”

Most countries (about 75% of them) drive on the right with the primary exception being British countries, colonies and territories and their not buckling to pressure to change that.

Anyhoo . . . the reason for why we drive on the right (or the left) goes back centuries and you can thank Napoleon Bonaparte.

In days of old, when knights were bold and automobiles hadn’t been invented nearly everyone travelled on the left side of the road.  The reason is simply ergonomic.  Most people are right handed and would prefer to have their weapon hand closest to potential attackers . . . assuming the attack would come from the opposite side of the road and not from the bushes alongside the road.  And, since most right handed people prefer to mount the horse from the left side, it makes sense that they would want to mount and dismount from the side of the road and not in the middle of traffic.

Then came the French Revolution.  The fancy-pants aristocracy forced the worthless peasants to travel on the right side of the road.  But when the merde hit the ventilateur the big wigs . . . afraid of losing their heads (literally) . . . tried to blend in with the common folk travelling on the right side   . . . shortly thereafter the parliamentary rule of the road was to travel on the right.

As Napoleon attempted to conquer the world country by country rightism followed in his wake.  Only those countries that resisted him stayed to the left . . . including the United States.  However, after the arduous struggle to win their independence from British rule, Americans wanted to discard all semblance of their colonial past and gradually moved to the right.

The trend among nations is slowly but surely moving towards the right . . . Britain still resists the movement. 

Beef Risotto

1 Onion, Minced
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Chianti Classico
¾ Pound Beef Tenderloin, Cut Into Thin Strips
2 Cups Arborio Rice
8 Cups Beef Broth, Heated
2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a wide sauté pan, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the Chianti and beef; cook 10 minutes until the beef is browned. Add the rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring, then start adding the hot broth by the cup, adding more only when the previous addition has been absorbed. Continue in this way, stirring, cooking, and adding broth, until the rice is al dente (you may not need all the broth). Fold in the cream, butter, Parmigiano, salt, and pepper, and serve hot.

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