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Saturday, October 20, 2018

10-20 ~ Picture of the Day ~ Hot Dog/Bun Packaging ~ Crispy Buttery Garlic Roasted Mushrooms ~ National Brandied Fruit Day

Good 35º ice on the barn rood clear morning. 
10-20 is a radio code for 'what is your location?'

Pretty views here.... leaves turning and clear sky!

Picture of the Day.....
Interesting about hot dogs and hot dog bun packaging....
Why do hot dog buns come in packs of eight when hot dogs come in packs of ten?

hot-dogsYes, finally today we are going to answer that question.
For our American readers who’ve been dealing with this infuriatingly mundane problem for years, we’d like to point out that you’re not alone in your struggle. For example, the writer of this piece is from the UK and over here, while hot dogs are usually sold in cans of eight (yes cans), hot dog buns are sold in packs of  six. While the numbers may be a little different across the pond, the result is the same- extra hot dogs lying around with no bun to put them in. So why is it that these two industries whose interests and customer bases are so closely intertwined have failed to pick up on this seemingly obvious gap in their marketing strategy? Is it really just that they want you to have extra of one or the other, so you’ll continue to buy them both in a vicious, but profitable, cycle?
In truth, you can find hot dog packages containing eight hot dogs to match with the buns, but by far the more popular is the ten pack in the states. How did this come to be? The most common explanation for this is that, as with many meat products, hot dogs are sold by the pound and because the average hot dog weighs around 1.6 ounces, this invariably means that your average packet of hot dogs is going to contain ten. According to The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, this was a decision reached by manufactures in the 1940s, prior to which hot dogs were sold by butchers in varying quantities and sizes. (See What’s in a Hot Dog and How is It Made)
However, as mentioned, hot dogs are sometimes sold in packs of eight, often labelled as “jumbo” hot dogs with the weight usually still coming out at a pound. But the ten to a pound rule is by far still the most popular, whether because that’s what people are used to or because the bread to meat ratio is simply to the liking of the masses when the dogs are 1.6 ounces. So barring the hot dog manufacturers deciding to throw out the traditional “pound per pack” metric en masse, this isn’t likely to change anytime soon among most manufacturers. (As with all things, there are exceptions.)
So what about the bread?
Now, bread isn’t really sold by any particular weight in the U.S, though historically in the UK it was- after The Bread Act of 1822, all loaves had to weigh a pound or a multiple thereof. This law, which stemmed from another law passed in 1266 called the Assize of Bread and Ale, was in effect right up until WWII during which it was decided that all loaves had to weigh 14 instead of 16 ounces (or a multiple thereof) to save flour. This soon became the law of the land starting in 1963.  Thankfully for us Brits wanting more diverse loaves, this law has since been abolished. Hot dog buns didn’t really fall under that law, but we thought it was interesting, and since interesting stuff is kind of what we do here, we couldn’t help but mention it.

So what’s stopping bakers from simply making bread buns in packs of ten if they’re not packaged by weight like the meat is? Well, really nothing at all except tradition. This isn’t so easy to change without incurring some expense as changing machinery to accommodate the new package sizes and layout would be no trivial thing. Besides the machinery, other things like pans, newly sized packaging, shipping containers, etc. would need changed. For instance, one of the most common types of pan used to make hot dog buns on an industrial scale bakes them in clusters of four. (For those curious, here’s an industrial hot dog bun pan shaker showing the trays. It’s actually kind of mesmerizing.)
Again, while pans that bake buns in numbers divisible by ten do exist, they’re far less common as is the automatic machinery to package them in a 5×2 arrangement. To incur the extra cost of modifying perfectly good working equipment, a company would need a good reason.  And, as Oscar Meyer noted a few decades ago, only about 1 in 5,000 or so correspondents they receive from customers is a complaint about hot dog buns not commonly coming in packs of ten like the traditional packs of hot dogs. So lack of customer demand (particularly today when jumbo dogs in their packs of eight are readily available to those who like to up their meat to bread ratio) has resulted in little interest in most large baking companies investing the money to start mass producing buns in packs of ten. (Again, there are always exceptions.)
It has also been speculated that as people may or may not bother to count how many buns are in a package while they shop, and the package of ten will inherently cost more, if another brand is putting them out in packages of eight, a casual quick-grab customer might simply always go for the other brand, instead of the one sold in packages of ten. While more leisurely shoppers might not make such a mistake, never underestimate the coupon clipping shopper in a hurry on their way home from work. And, of course, despite it all costing the same in the end, many-a-driver will choose not to fill their car full of fuel in favor of saving money now.  That same individual looking to buy buns may make the same type of decision when choosing the eight vs. ten pack, again favouring the manufacturer who goes with the traditional eight. For a little more hard data in this web of speculative theories, as noted by Eitan Gerstner of Georgetown University and James D. Hess of North Carolina State University, nearly 40% of people they surveyed in their study on this very topic indicated that they do not regularly compare package sizes vs. unit prices when determining which of some item to buy, perhaps lending some credence to this particular theory as to why there would be little benefit in a particular hot dog bun maker making the switch, or offering both.
In any event, at this point you might be wondering why the bakers sold them in packs of eight and twelve in the first place?  For this, we can’t be nearly as definitive as with the origin of the ten pack of hot dogs, and must continue to delve into the tenuous realm of speculation, which we normally do not like to do. Numerous theories have been thrown about, mostly bad, but principally it’s generally thought it started out that way as bakers classically seem to like to work in multiples of four (or really two, if you prefer), rather than multiples of five or other odd numbers. As to why, it has been speculated that multiples of four are easier to work with. For instance, with multiples of four you get more uniform packaging than with multiples of five, which potentially may have an odd man out depending on the configuration. Multiples of two or four, on the other hand, are always going to be even, leading bakers to tend to be biased in flavor of it when making product that are sold with multiple items in a single package.

 Crispy Buttery Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs; gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggino (Parmesan), grated
  1. Place the mushrooms in a baking dish, spoon the mixture of the butter, garlic and thyme onto the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated 400º oven for 10 minutes before sprinkling on the mixture of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and baking until lightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Historically this date............

1944 – Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130.

1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1977 – A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.

1981 – Two police officers and an armored car guard are killed during an armed robberyin Rockland County, NY, carried out by members of the Black Liberation Army andWeather Underground. Hmmmm..... BO's pals!

1991 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

2011 – The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Mutassim Gaddafi are killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte while in the custody of NTC fighters.


And births this date include.... 
1931 – Mickey Mantle, American baseball player (d. 1995)

1942 – Earl Hindman, American actor (d. 2003)

1950 – Tom Petty, American musician (d.2017)


1958 – Viggo Mortensen, American actor
Later the usual, chair, cat in lap, wine, TV. 
All I know. Nuff said. Happy Saturday. Ciao.
xo Sue Mom Bobo
National Brandied Fruit Day is observed annually on October 20.
Brandied fruit is fresh, sweet fruit that is soaked in brandy and sugar, which is then used as a topping on pies, cake or ice cream. Brandy, which has been around since about the 12th century, is distilled from fermented fruit. 
To celebrate National Brandied Fruit Day, enjoy one of the following recipes: