Q: Why is a bride supposed to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?

A: This wedding tradition comes from an old English rhyme describing the custom of a bride to wear something old, something new and something blue, as well as putting a sixpence in the bride’s shoe. Something old is to signify continuity, and could be a piece of lace, jewelry or a handkerchief. Something new signifies optimism for the future, and is often an article of clothing or the wedding rings.

Something borrowed represents happiness, which is often a piece of jewelry or a handkerchief from a happily married relative or friend. Something blue signifies fidelity, loyalty and love. In early biblical times, blue – not white – symbolized purity.

Both the bride and groom usually wore a band of blue material around the bottom of their wedding attire. The sixpence was originally presented to the bride by her future husband as a token of his love.

Q: How is the heat of chili peppers measured?

A: There are hundreds of varieties of chili peppers available. The heat of a chili depends on the variety, and to a degree, the growing conditions. A test was developed back in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville to measure the heat of a chili. The units of measurement are called Scoville Units after the researcher and are measured by using gas chromatography (a broad range of physical methods used to separate and/or to analyze complex mixtures).

The hottest chili is the habanero, which measure 100,0000 to 300,000 Scoville Units. In comparison, the jalepeno measures around 5,000 Scoville Units, and cayenne and Tabasco peppers are both about 50,000 Scoville Units.

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Q: What can I add to my meatloaf to make it different?

A: There are many ingredients you can add to your meat before cooking to add some interesting flavors. You may try adding crushed Ritz crackers or barbecue potato chips instead of breadcrumbs. Instant stuffing mix added into the meat and placed on top of the loaf also adds great flavor, as does a tablespoon of your favorite barbecue sauce, or try adding some pineapple chunks. Use your imagination and your taste buds when making meatloaf. The same special ingredients work well with homemade meatballs.

Q: Where did ice cream come from?

A: It seems that the early history of ice cream is widely in doubt. There are many different stories and accounts. Although chilled or iced drinks were known in the biblical world, the Chinese most likely were the “inventors” of iced desserts.

Emperor Nero of Rome is recorded as being the first to serve a frozen dessert to his guests. As the story goes, teams of runners ran from the mountains carrying fresh snow, which was flavored with honey, juices and fruits.

After Marco Polo visited the Far East, he returned with a recipe for a flavored ice to which milk was added. The Italians adopted the dish and it spread throughout Europe. Later, cream was substituted for the milk. Charles I of England was very fond of this unique dish, and had a French chef who made it for him. His son, James II, paid one pound apiece for “A dozen dishes of ice cream” in 1686.

When the colonists came to America, they brought recipes for frozen desserts with them. The first known mention of ice cream in America was in a 1700 letter written by a guest of William Bladen, Governor of the Maryland Colony: “A Great Variety of Dishes, all serv’d up in the most elegant way, after which came a Dessert no less curious; among the Rareties of which it was Compos’d was some fine Ice Cream, which, with the Strawberries and Milk, eat most Deliciously.” As time went on, and technology advanced, ice cream became more and more popular.

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