Since the beginning of time man has hunted beast. For sustenance, status, and recreation, as rite, and as tradition. Throughout much of history peopled hunted by necessity. Before the wide spread availability of the awesome variety of meat products we enjoy access to today people either had to raised their own small herds or hunt to get any substantial amount of protein in their diet. Our development of a vast network of food production which makes nutrition available to, theoretically, everyone (even though thats not exactly how it works in reality) is one of the prime factors in the expansion of life expectancy and growth in world wide average height over the last few thousand years.
Archeologists have found many artistic examples from antiquity proving exactly how highly hunting was regarded to ancient civilizations. There are endless images of kings and deities hunting big game animals and mythological creatures to show their power and strength as leaders or warriors. Many ancient taboos are also related to various prey and the mythos associated with them. Some form of semi hunter-gatherer lifestyle endured all the way up until the Age of Discovery when urban growth in Europe really started to take off in a much more pronounced way.
Ancient greek fresco from Tunis of a hunt with lions
As hunting moved from a subsistence activity to a social one, two trends emerged. One was that of the specialist hunter with special training and equipment. The other was the emergence of hunting as a ‘sport’ for those of an upper social class. As game became more of a luxury than a necessity, the stylized pursuit of it also became a luxury. The evolution of the word ‘game’ to include an animal that is hunted was a direct result of the development of hunting as sport. Dangerous hunting, such as for lions or wild boars, often done on horseback or from a chariot, had a function similar to tournaments and manly sports. It was considered to be an honourable, somewhat competitive pastime to help the aristocracy practice skills of war in times of peace. In most parts of medieval Europe this trend was enforced as law, making large tracks of land private hunting reserves for the nobles. Poaching could be punishable by death. These laws are where the original stories of Robin Hood began.
As the wealth of Europe grew and their colonial empires grew the aristocracy became increasingly mobil and a wealthy merchant class began to grow. By the 19th century many of the laws regarding hunting in Europe had fallen by the wayside and so was born one of the most iconic British traditions. The fox hunt.
Everyone has seen images of groups of many riding their horses in top hats and red coats, bugler in the midst, chasing their dogs who are hot on the tail of fox. The fox hunt has become a largely symbolic activity but, starting as far back as the 17th century farmers were chasing foxes and killing them as pests. As the industrial revolution came into full swing more people moved away from the country into urban environments and hunting slowly started becoming a leisure activity. With better more accurate guns and few laws or people to enforce them out in the country, hunt clubs began to develop throughout the 19th century. Originally the foxes were hunted because they kept killing the prized pheasants, which the hunt clubs enjoyed, but with the development of new hound breeds trained to handle the new industrialized landscape the fox hunt became a staple activity for the quality in Victorian Europe.
As travel became more luxurious and more reliable people of means with a more adventurous spirit started using their leisure time a bit differently. Foreign tourism began in force and apart from the cultural aspects of the various colonies safaris and big game hunts began to be organized for the enjoyment of the nobles and other wealthy visitors. These safaris were always complete with a team of trackers and local experts, usually of a local tribe, to aid in insuring the comfort and success of the tourists. Although many tribal people were treated as less then human they were still revered for their ‘primitive skills’ such as, hunting, tracking and understand nature and the land. This concept of the “noble savage” was developed throughout the colonial era as a way to acknowledge the skills they had but, in a subservient manner.
Roosevelt standing with native hunters over a dead lion while on safari in 1910
Ernest Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt were some of the most famous big game hunters of the modern era shooting all manner of beast from atop horses, elephants, jeeps and camels. This type of ‘trophy’ hunting, where specific animals are sought out for their beauty, rarity or ferocity to prove the prowess of the hunter gave rise to the concept of a trophy room where mementos of each kill such as mounted heads, taxidermied beasts, pelts, and furniture made from bone could be kept as a monument to their owners skill.
(L) Ernest Hemmingway with his double barrel (R) Teddy Roosevelt sitting on his felled African Buffalo
The trophy room at the Wilbur D. May Museum in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno Nevada
Modern day hunting as evolved to include a bit of everything from the past. There has been a concerted effort by some to try and move “off the grid” including growing or killing their own food. That is an extreme example but, hunting to this day is one of the most popular sports in America. With sustainability and animal rights on the fore front hunting ethics laid down as far back as Teddy Roosevelt have been another hot topic. Roosevelt wrote of a concept of “fair chase.” Simply defined, fair chase is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner which does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal. The rules of fair chase are simple and seemingly intuitive, treat all things with the respect they deserve. The Boone and Crockett Hunt Club put these rules in writing all the way back in the 19th century.
- Obey all applicable laws and regulations
- Respect the customs of the locale where the hunting occurs
- Exercise a personal code of behavior that reflects favorably on your abilities and sensibilities as a hunter
- Attain and maintain the skills necessary to make the kill as certain and quick as possible
- Behave in a way that will bring no dishonor to either the hunter, the hunted, or the environment
- Recognize that these tenets are intended to enhance the hunter’s experience of the relationship between predator and prey, which is one of the most fundamental relationships of humans and their environment
With new technology come new challenges so the Pope and Young Hunt Club have added some more guidelines to fair chase.
- From any power vehicle or power boat
- By Jacklighting or shining at night
- By the use of any tranquilizers or poisons
- While inside escape-proof fenced enclosures
- By the use of any power vehicle or power boats for herding or driving animals, including the use of aircraft to land alongside or to communicate with or direct a hunter on the ground
- By the use of electronic devices for attracting, locating or pursuing game or guiding the hunter to such game, or by the use of a bow or arrow or firearm to which any electronic device is attached
Oilskin (oilies) and waxed cotton clothing owe their origins to the great age of the sailing ship and the age of navigation. Its hard to pin point exactly when oilskin techniques began but, its probably a safe bet that, in some form or another, that some rudimentary version has existed as long as sea travel. With the invention of the compass and increasingly better maps in the late middle ages, the beginning of long distance exploration all around the world was begun.
Italianate Harbour Scene with the Monument of Ferdinand I de’ Medici at Leghorn
Sailing ships were traditionally rigged with linen sails and so, with the fabric in such abundance fishermen and sailors used it for everything. From clothes to wadding. At some point these professional sea folk found that by applying boiling linseed oil (from flax seed) to the linen and letting it set the linen was rendered waterproof and was excellent material for making waterproof capes. However, the linen was heavy and the linseed oil turned yellow and stiffened over time. Oilskin proved to be a great way to keep yourself, as well as anything else, dry in very wet environments such as the deck of a ship but, it was also difficult proved to be dangerous to make and restrictive to wear. All the same, cloaks, chests, and document folds were all made from this versitle (and compared to leather or fur, light weight) material to protect their contents from the elements.
High-Tech Modern Oilskins in the midst of a squall
Cotton sails eventually replaced linen. Cotton was lighter and could be woven into a tighter and stronger fabric. It also led to lighter and stronger clothing such as oiled cotton jackets, coats and trousers. The jackets became especially popular among fishermen who would paint them bright colors with ordinary house paint to make themselves more visible if and when they went over board. The next major evolution came in the mid-19th century when linseed oil was replaced by parafin wax. Parafin wax treated garments maintained their flexibility and were also breathable so condensation wouldn’t build up. This led to more sophisticated garments providing the wearer with significantly more movement and utility. Although the cut, style, and technology in waterproofing changed over the centuries the need for men of the sea to be easily seen in a squall stayed consistent throughout.
(L) Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post with a fisherman in a slicker
(R) the Gorton’s Fisherman in his Sou-Wester
When plastics and synthetic fabrics were invented in the mid-20th century traditional oilskins became obsolete. ”Space age” technology made slickers better, lighter, easier to make, more comfortable, and infinitely customizable. Everyone in American has the classic image of the Gordon’s fisherman from the fish sticks box or the Norman Rockwell-esk idea of the stalwart seaman battling the ocean in his bright yellow slicker. Another advantage of modern technology is that man “professional” slickers these days include floatation devices, GPS location, built in harness, and in some cases a small tool kit.
If he can rock it so, can you
Now, of course these professional level outfits are extreme for the average person but, in the cold wet grey months ahead having a good coat to keep you dry is a must. Having some color to brighten up your day is also never a bad thing plus, the sunshine yellow acts the same for you in the city as it does for the fishermen in the sea. It will get you noticed. Don’t wait to long, get out there and enjoy in the rain in style.
A lot of boys first pocket knives came as gifts from grandpas or dads, sometimes uncles or brothers many times against the best wishes of mothers. In any case, the pocket knife is an indispensable tool for the growing young man and is an emblem of his burgeoning manhood, an invitation to the fraternity of man. I remember getting my first Swiss Army knife from my uncle when I was young and all the adventures it helped me through as well as all the trouble it helped me stir up. I have it still to this day, worn but, still ready for action.
Folding knives of many different designs have been around for thousands of years. The oldest found to date is nearly 2600 years old. Although it was simple, a bone handle and a single iron blade, it was the beginning of long history of innovation. The origins of the modern Swiss Army knife lay with the Romans. The old empire was renowned for its metal workers and many different versions of multi-facetted tools have been found throughout the Mediterranean including everything from knives, spikes, forks, and spoons in a handheld package. You can imagine how, for a legion on the move, a pocket knife could come in handy all the time. Sadly, the skills to develope a working multi-function pocket knife were lost in Europe during the dark ages so, although many people carried swords, daggers or other sharp edged implements very few if any pocket knifes were available.
Roman army knife from 200 AD. Made of silver with an iron blade it has a fork, knife, spoon, spatula, and a spike.
A post-n-groove knife call the Navaja has been a popular choice in Spain since the 15th century. It made a distinct clicking sounds when opened and closed which became its trademark. The only other pocket knife available until the 18th century was a heavy crude tool known as the Jack Knife. it wasn’t until the 18th century when the Sheffield knife-makers designed and built what is widely recognized as the first modern pocket knife. The Sheffield pen knife became de rigueur among the educated set who used it to, of course, cut the nibs of their quills.
the year knife, mid-1970s
In 1822 as a display of their craft, Joseph Rodgers and Sons Ltd. of Sheffield debuted their Year Knife with 1,822 blades to mark the date. It was designed to have another blade added to it every year until the end of the millennium in 2000 when the knife would finally be finished with its 2000th blade, ending, of course, far to large for anyones pocket. The firm went on to create the Norfolk Sportsman’s Knife in 1851 which took two full years in production and ended up with 75 blades. These two examples seem pretty extreme but, they show the level of innovation in the world of folding knives in the mid-19th century. By 1893 an American cutlery catalogue had over 1,500 pocket knives listed for sale showing exactly how popular they had become. but, it wasn’t until 1897 when a man by the name of Karl Elsener decided there was no good reason for the Swiss Army to be buying its knives from Germany that the most popular and recognizable knife in the world today got its start. The red body and silver crossed shield have become the standard for modern pocket knives.
1891 Swiss Army soldier knife
Pocket knives have also been an essential tool for soldiers throughout American history. New York and new Hampshire required their militias to carry pocket knives during the American Revolution. Even George Washington toted one around as he led his troops. The U.S. Navy began issuing them to sailors during the Civil War and they became standard issue for all American GIs during WWII.
Although in the first half of the 20th century pocket knives were popular among young boys and many carried them around in their pockets or ruck sacks always prepared for the occasional whittle or game of mumblypeg (a knife game that involves throwing a knife into the ground as close to your opponents foot as possible without hitting them), public concern quickly arose over children’s safety and knives were deemed unsuitable. As the century continued adolescents who still did carry knives gained a progressively more negative reputation especially with the rise of gang violence in the urban areas.
Boy Scouts playing mumbly peg
Today, it seems that we have hit a fork in the road you could say. One side lead to more and more authoritarian control and heavy security measures such as the Bureau of Homeland Security or any international airport and the other leads to peoples interest to become more self sufficient and seeing things like pocket knives as tools as opposed to weapons. In my humble opinion, if a boy is old enough to be in Cub Scouts, he’s old enough to get his first knife but, with great power comes great responsibility so, with these young’n’s there must be a few ground rules and it has to be approached delicately.
Rule #1: Make it the first gift. Of course a boy is going to be excited when he gets his first knife so, make it the first gift and wrap the snot out of subsequent gifts so that he can demonstrate his instant manliness by allowing him to test out his new prize.
Rule #2: Casually have an old black of wood or a stick conveniently lying in the room. “What’s that stick doing mom?” “Oh, that stick? Oh, i was just rearranging a few things, and… who wants another piece of cake?” Let the whittling commence.
Rule #3: Have a special place. The problem isn’t cutting off a finger, it’s finding the knife. This is an excellent time to start the “it’s your personal belonging-don’t ask me where it is!” rule.
and of course…
Rule #4: Only use it with Mom & Dad around… at least for now. One day, there will be independence with this great gift but, that time is not now.
a boy whittling a boat
All that being said, a nice pocket knife can be a great gift for anyone no matter the age but, how do you decide what to get. Pocket knives can be broken down into three major types. The jack knife is simple and sturdy with just a single hinge where as a pen knife has two hinges one on either end. The term pen knife is also used to describe a very small two hinge knife that could be worn without ruining the line of your suit but, for our purposes two hinges is the important thing and finally the multipurpose knife is more or less the standard today, it boasts many different tools not simply just knives and it’s what made the Swiss Army knife famous. Within each category there are many different varieties some of which I have displayed below.
the Trapper, a type of jack knife generally with two blades. A clip and a spey blade
L-R Whittler, Stockman, and Congress, all types of pen knives. The Whittler is characterized by its three blades. The Stockman is generally distinguished by its sowbelly shape (kind of like an S) and a clip, sheep’s foot, and spey blade. The Congress is marked by its convex front and four blades. *the above knives are all from CRKT classics
Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife
As with most things the more personal the better. Vintage and heirloom knives are fantastic. I am personally a big fan of engravings and hand made things. With a little effort its not all that more expensive to have something made custom as opposed to buying from a store. Finally one of the greatest things about pocket knives is that if you take care of them they will last a lot longer then you and somebody else will see that engraving one day and wonder about the story behind it. You become a part of the legend of that knife.
Sorry for the absence… I’ve had a bit of a rough couple months so, I’m working to get back onto a solid writing schedule. I hope you stick with me and remember I’d love to hear from all of you. New ideas are always welcome…
I declare boot and sweater season officially OPEN!!
Sorry for the absence yall. I have been a bit busy with school and unmotivated to write. So, hopefully Ill get my act together and get it done for next week.
Hope everyones summer is going well. till then…
Cut-off shorts are not only comfortable and easy but, these days they are very much on trend. With memories of stick ball in the col-du-sac and making out with Winnie Cooper under the bleachers there are few things better for a wet hot American summer. On the west coast we are known for our laid back attitude and relaxed style, there is no better time then the long hot days of summer to show it off. Cut-off shorts are a must for the beach, bike, and park, festivals, BBQs, and pools.
Michael Bastian in his signiture cut-off shorts. perfect laid back summer time look all around
Unlike your saggy baggy shorts from high school, cut-offs have the advantage of once being pants. The (hopefully) slim leg and shorter draw make for a much sleeker short and when you cut them yourself you can fit them just right. The key with shorts is to get the proportion just right. A shorter draw looks better with shorter legs just like a longer draw begs for a bit longer to keep the ratio in line. Bigger legs can handle a bit longer short where as a longer short will make skinny legs look even skinnier.
a good visual on how to wear shorts but, remember proportion is top priority. remade from Primer via
Now that your wearing your cut-offs everyday remember to put some attitude into it. These aren’t slacks and you aren’t going to the country club. A bit of a roll on your shorts legs can be great or a funky belt that you normally wouldn’t think about wearing, this is the place. Go a little crazy… it SUMMER!!
TIPS ON CUTTING YOUR OWN
- Remember when cutting your pants mark them, then cut them a few inches longer then you think you might want. Cutting more is easy, adding fabric isn’t.
- Mark one leg then fold together and cut both legs at the same time to make sure they come out even.
- A few inches above the knee is a good safe bet. If you have bigger thighs err on the longer side and if you have thinner thighs on the shorter side but, never longer then a couple inches above the knee.
- After you make you final cut at the length you want wash them to get the perfect fray and wear them till they fall off.
- Have a pair of scissors handy every time you wash them to trim back the ever growing fray.
Most people have probably never heard of the Astron but, that should in no way lessen its value to the history of watch making and engineering as a whole. What makes this watch, which Seiko unvailed in Tokyo Christmas Day 1969 so special? Well, chances are good that the watch on your arm uses the technology developed for this watch.
The Seiko Astron was the very first electric quartz wristwatch.
original 1969 18k gold Seiko Quartz Astron
The concepts behind quartz technology had been known going back to the 1920’s when Warren Marrison developed the first quartz clock but, the problem had been shrinking it down to a usable size. Every major power in the post-war world had a group working on this now seemingly simple concept but, it only seems simple because it is so pervasive today.
The story begin in 1959 high in the mountains of central Japan where Suwa Seikosha (the predecessor of the modern Seiko Co.) embarked on a mission to develop the first personal quartz timepiece. This mission became known as the “59A Project” and it bore much fruit over the next decade including a quartz marine chronometer, precision timing clocks for the Tokyo Olympics and the Japanese bullet train system. One of the biggest problems with shrinking things is making a power source that can be that small so, the invention of the integrated circuit in the mid 1950’s was really what made this new technology possible. With the vacuum tubes and transistors of the day it never would have happened. When a prototype was finally produced in 1967 the company sent it to one of the most prestigious accuracy competition in the world, the Neuchatel Observatory competition* and nearly single handedly ended the era of mechanical watches over night.
original 1969 Seiko Astron electronic quartz movement
The Suwa Seikosha quartz wristwatch type 35SQ was released to the public on Christmas Day 1969 under the name Seiko Quartz Astron and within a week K. Hattori & Co., Ltd. (present-day Seiko Co.) had sold 100 18k gold watches at the amazing price of $1,250 which, at the time, was about the same price as a brand new Toyota!
The original Astron boasted ±5 seconds per month or about a minute per year! In 1969 that blew most mechanical watches out of the water and the silver battery would keep it running for a year with no winding. You can see how big of a splash this watch made just by looking at the market today. How many quartz movements do you see?
The Astron also introduced the “dead second” to watch making, where the second hand stops at every marker instead of sweeping around the face. This action became a hallmark of quartz watches everywhere for a very simple reason, power consumption. This style of seconds readout was very tough on the power source. The battery needed to be drained continuously to move the hand. With a “dead second” hand the hand moves just once each second, thus reducing the power consumed from the battery. And low and behold that ticking seconds hand that is the hallmark of quartz watches was born. It is all about power consumption and keeping batteries alive in watches from 2-10 years. All of this helped it to its rightful place on the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering) list of historic engineering milestones
2009 Limited edition 40th anniversary Seiko Quartz Astron, $5000!
For the 40 year anniversary Seiko released 200 brand new commemorative Astrons. The case looks like the original except wrought from titanium instead of gold but, it got a big upgrade in the movement. So, if you have $5000 to throw at a heritage quartz watch, actually no, I probably still wouldn’t say buy this but, it is an amazing watch with an amazing story.
*Observatory testing regimes typically lasted for 30 to 50 days and contained accuracy standards that were far more stringent and difficult than modern standards such as those set by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC). Of the ≈250,000 “official chronometers” certified each year in the 1960’s only a few hundred of the very best mechanical chronometers from around the world would be sent to the observatory competitions. When a movement passed the Observatory, it became certified as an Observatory Chronometer and received a Bulletin de Marche from the Observatory, stipulating the performance of the movement. Observatory competitions ended by the mid-70’s with the proliferation of quartz movements.
Barbecue has traditionally been the realm of the American man for generations. Now, Im not saying that women can’t Im just saying that it is definitely an American tradition for men too. This time of year, with the 4th of July just around the corner it seemed like a good time to get into how to do it right. When it comes down to it whether its over an open fire, charcoal briquettes, a gas grill or in a pan on your stove there is an art to cooking a piece of meat correctly. That being said, with a few tricks it is not hard to master and wow your friends.
I have broken it down into three sections. First being your cooking medium. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but, when you do what are the options and what are the pros and cons of each. The second is prep. In almost every type of cooking the prep work is usually what will make or break your dish. Lastly, the seemly easy yet elusive sense of when your meat is finished, whether you want it charred or bloody. But, before you do any of that you need to select your meat. It is worth spending a little bit more for a good cut of meat and it will make your job a million times easier. The best cuts for the grill are laid out below…
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE: Gas vs. Charcoal, Direct vs. Indirect
There have been many debates as to what the best way to grill is but, when it comes down to it if you know what your doing you can do well with anything. There are a few things to consider when getting started though.
First and probably most obviously is the charcoal vs. gas debate. This really only applies if you are using good quality true hard wood charcoal as opposed to those compact synthetic briquettes. The debate generally hinges on two major factors. First convenience. Gas grills light with the touch of a button, heat up in a matter of minutes, are relatively simple to clean up and will burn for a whole day if need be. On the other hand, charcoal is finicky to light and to keep a consistent fire takes constant tending. A charcoal fire will own burn for so long before you have to light new coals and at the end there is a bucket of ash to deal with. The second point people always bring up is flavor. These days you can add smoke boxes to gas grills and chips to charcoal briquettes to get that smokey flavor that people crave. The nice thing about true hard wood charcoal is that it is inherently smokey and there is not need to add anything.
Here is more in depth about charcoal and gas
Next is the question of direct vs. indirect heat. You can think of direct heat like when you are cooking over a camp fire or on the stove where the heat source is coming from only one direction. When using direct heat the fire is hotter and and generally cooks faster. This is how we cook burgers, hot dogs, and generally thin cuts and filets. Anything that will cook fast and flip easily. Indirect heat is like an oven where the low ambient heat cooks your food slowly over a longer period of time. It is best for large roast and thick cuts because it gives the meat time to cook through before burning. This is the basic idea behind grilling with the lid down. You create an ambient environment.
More about direct and indirect heat here
SEASONING: the Super Secret, Secret of Spice and Meat
When it comes to seasoning meat there are really three main choices; to marinade, to rub, or to sauce. Personally, I think if you have a good quality piece of meat there is little need for elaborate spicing and saucing. For the most basic and pure experience with a good cut of meat simply brush it with a good quality flavorless oil and massage some course sea salt and ground black pepper into it. Now you have the best base for anything you want to do. In my opinion thats all you need, just toss it on the grill like that and don’t over cook it but, some need a bit more so, on we go…
The easiest way to marinade is to just put all of your ingredients in a Zip-Loc with you steak. Mix it up and make sure the meat is completely coated, then lay it out flat for a few hours. Check on it sometime and re-coat the meat. The nice thing about marinades is that the acidic base not only flavors but, it also tenderizes.
A dry rub is exactly what it sounds like, a mix of herbs and spices which are rubbed into the flesh. Aromatics and textural spices are popular because they toast over the heat and create a flavorful shell around your meat while imparting flavors while it cooks.
Sauce is a time honored tradition. Many people have personal recipes that they won’t share no matter how much you give them. People have killed for less. Generally with sauce you want to keep a bowl next to the grill and brush it on layer after layer as it cooks. Making sure to cover all sides. Sauce doesn’t permeate the meat like other spice techniques but, it makes for a moist delicious coating.
WHEN IS IT DONE: How to Cook So People Will Like You
With things like chicken and pork you really want to cook them all the way through but, a good cut of beef or a nice fish filet can be amazing a little on the rare side. There are really two ways to do it right. The first is to use a instant read thermometer. Stick it into the thickest part of the meat and make sure the temperture is correct. In beef…
Blue at around 115º - not for the faint of heart. It is important to trust where you meat is coming from for this. It comes down to a quick sear and a little warmth and thats it
Super rare is around 120º - this is really only for beef-o-philes. At this point it’s
almost still alive
Rare should sit around 125º - people who are serious about their steaks will probably enjoy this. Mostly red and pink. Still full of bloody goodness but a bit warmer through
Medium-Rare is about 130º - this is generally how I order my meat. Pink in the center but not red with a nice browning on the outside. Still a nice tender piece of meat but, with the variety of texture
Medium should be 140º - a medium steak should be pretty consistent all the way through with little to know pink left. Its starting to lose some of that moisture and tenderness
Medium-Well sits around 150º - at this point there will be no more pink and the meat will start getting tough. Some people insist on it but, if its a friend of yours and a good piece of meat maybe undercook it a little or give them the Safeway steak
Well Done is really anywhere over 160º - a “well done” steak is really the opposite. Closer to a charcoal briquette then to a nice piece of meat. I would be very sad if I was ever served something “well done” or in my mind BURNT
Very Important Tip!!
Steak (and all food) keeps cooking when you take it off the heat! So be sure to undershoot a little. You’ll have to play with it a bit but, over time it will become like second nature. If you want your steak medium-rare then cook it on the rare side and let it sit for a minute and check the temp. If its not quite there throw it back on the grill for a second. Don’t forget you want to let most food sit for a minute after cooking anyway to let all those juices and flavors settle in.
Also undercooked foods can make you very sick so, make sure especially when cooking chicken or pork it is done before you serve it.
If your interested in cooking you have probably heard this before but, your hands are the best tool you have in your kitchen. They are more dexterous then anything else, they can feel heat and texture and can with stand a lot without being damaged. That being said with a little practice you can tell when your food is done with just a touch. Heres the quick guide…
Very rare – squishy. Poke the steak when it’s raw. If you’ve seared it a bit on both sides and poke it again, it’ll feel almost the same. That’s how not cooked “very rare” is!
Rare – will feel like your earlobe. Still pretty squishy, but firmer than very rare.
Medium – feels like the tip of the your nose. Definitely not squishy.
Well done – essentially feels like your forehead or charcoal.
For a more in depth analysis of how to be the king of the BBQ check this out
In the end the key is to get out there. Enjoy the summer. Enjoy your friends and eat well. Don’t worry to much about it because that will take the fun out of it. Get the things you like with a good beer and some good people and you will have fun every time. I know thats what Ill be doing as soon as the sun comes back out.
In the summer there is nothing quite like a well worn pair of canvas sneakers. Preferably in white or some other equally light tone, canvas shoes have been favored by summer lovers for years. They were a staple of tennis attire as well as a must have on and around New Englands docks and there was nothing better to bring to summer camp. No need for socks, just some perfectly tanned ankles and a pair that fit just right.
I have had a love for canvas since I was little. My dad played tennis and wore through at least one pair of Nylites and I ran through more Vans then I can count. With everyone online talking about which is best and who should wear what I decided its the right time for another round up SO, here are my recommendations.
…and before you say it. I don’t like converse, never have, never will. They may look good but, at least for me, they are really uncomfortable especially sans socks.
Tretorn Nylites $45… born in Sweden in 1967 the Nylites are regarded as the first luxury tennis shoe. They were sported by tennis great Björn Borg in the 70’s and even immortalized in The Official Preppy Handbook in the ’80s
Feiyue Classics $30… developed in Shanghai, China in the 1920’s Feiyue or Fly Forward in Mandarin was the most popular athletic shoe in China through the 1980’s. Feiyue expanded with a French arm in 2005
PRO-Keds Royal Lo’s $50… originally released in 1949 as the beginning of an athletic footwear line by Keds, the Royal’s were endorsed by NBA greats and Hip Hop royalty alike
Volley O.C $80…. produced by Dunlop Australia in 1959 the Volley O.C. (Orthopaedically Correct) which was developed as a tennis shoe for Australian pro Adrian Quist became a main stay of Australian innovation and was worn by children, military, laborers and sports pros alike. Volley will be suppling shoes for the Australian Olympic team for the 2012 London Summer Olympics
see the US site here—> volleyshoeco.com
Vans Authentic’s $45… created by the Van Doren brothers in 1966 in Southern California the Vans Authentics became a symbol of west coast American style and laid back beach attitude
Every country at one time had their brand. These are just a few that have the heritage and some nice simple kicks out now. Also check out Gola and Umbro from the UK, Fila, Diadora and Superga from Italy, Spring Court from France, Adidas and Puma from Germany, and Onitsuka Tiger (ASICS) from Japan.
Moral of the story is… get yourself some white sneakers and make sure they don’t stay white for long. Like everything I talk about on here, they are not meant to be baby’d they are meant to be worn hard till they fall off. You can find a pair pretty cheap so, wear the hell out of ‘em and get a new pair next season.
The breton stripe sweater, as many other long lasting clothing trends has, surprise surprise, military roots. In this case it was actually the French navy. On March 27, 1858 Napoleon III declared in an Act of France new requirements for naval uniforms which included a knitted shirt with 21 navy and white horizontal stripes one for each of his victories and at least 3/4 sleeves. The easily recognizable sweater became a staple in Brittany where, because of its abundance of coastline has a thriving seafaring culture. These sweaters were also practical since the distinct pattern was easily sighted beneath the ocean’s surface. Highly visible shirts meant less sailors consigned to Davy Jones’ Locker upon falling overboard. Although the shirt was originally known as marinière (mariners style) or matelot (sailor) it didn’t take long before it became a symbol of the breton region and in doing so took the name.
(L) the flag of Brittany. notice the stripes (R) French sailors in the galley in their breton uniforms.
Since 1889, the sweaters were manufactured by Bretagne, Tricots Saint James in wool and cotton for sailors. With its wide boat neck, 3/4 sleeves and soft knit textures it quickly became popular with breton workers. They also released the Saint James Binic II sweater around the same time in Normandy.
(L) the original French navy boat neck breton (R) Saint James Binic II. notice the button details and the gap in the stripping
So how did this now iconic sweater jump the pond and rise to international acclaim? Legend tells that in the early 1900’s Mademoiselle Chanel took a trip to the fashionable shores of the French Riviera, where she was taken by the distinct look of the breton stripe shirts donned by the hard working fishermen in the riviera marinas. After the trip rumor has it that Chanel brought these amazing stripes home and incorporated them into her wardrobe and in 1917 included them in a new nautical collection. She often paired this much beloved nautical staple with other mariner mens wear such as high waisted wide leg pants. The breton top became a symbol of haute-bourgeois loveliness during the pre-war riviera years
Coco Chanel in her boat neck breton
It even started to make its way into movies and make appearences on the backs of Hollywood A-listers all the way through the 50’s and 60’s. it was first worn in the Hollywood biker classic The Wild One in 1953 by Brando’s co-star Lee Marvin who sported a breton style t-shirt for much of the film. The story goes that after seeing that movie the biker Frank Sadilek drove from his home in the bay to Hollywood to buy his own breton. Frank would later become the president of the infamous San Francisco chapter of the Hell’s Angels from 1955-1962. His style which included a gold earring, clip-on nose ring and his worn out breton stripe influenced biker style and culture immensely throughout his time at the top. James Dean, who is still influencing people to this day, wore a breton stripe T in the 1955 movie Rebel without a Cause and also in 1955 Edith Head, the legendary Hollywood costume designer, dressed Cary Grant in a breton T with a white polka-dot cravat in To Catch a Thief.
(L) possibly Frank Sadilek in his breton with the Hells Angels (R) Lee Marvin as Chino in The Wild One
The breton is one of those amazing basics that has gone from the decks to the docks, from the runways to the big screen, and from high fashion to street style. Today it is impossible to pin exactly where the breton belongs because it can fit anywhere. Just about everyone is makings some form of the breton these days so, get it in t-shirt or sweater form and beat the hell out of it.