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The Blues Brothers Movie

On 25 Nov 2005 at 14:59, Christine wrote:

> Hi Phaed
> I was the Blues Brothers movie, Jake and Ellwood
> destroy a  shopping mall in their car.  This looks like a real mall,
> with real  stores.  Was this an actual mall which was set to be torn
> down?  They  crashed into store windows and smashed up everything in
> the store. Thanks for  all your help, Christine

Hi Christine,

It was a real mall, the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. It's been abandoned for over 25 years. It was constructed for $8 million in 1965 and opened in 1966. In the 1970's, more and more stores began moving out. The last three stores, Penney's, Walgreen, and Jewel Food Store, moved out in 1979. Soon after the last store (Penney's) left, Director John Landis rented the mall for eight weeks to film the chase scene from "The Blues Brothers" there. It was dressed up to look as though it was still open. As you know from the movie, police cars were driven through the mall for the chase scene. The movie filming left the mall in rather bad shape, but the wall that's crashed through at the beginning of the chase was a fake wall.


Washington Square Song Lyrics

On 12 Dec 2005 at 13:13, Marie wrote:

> Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
>   I am hoping you can help me find the words to the song, Washington
>   Square, by the Village Stompers.  The song was an instumental that
>   played on radio stations in the 60's.  I have fond memories as a
>   teenager sitting at my friend's player piano, playing Washington
>   Square and singing the words from the piano roll, yet I can find no
>   reference to any lyrics written for it.  I have never had problems
>   finding the words to any other songs I have ever tried to look up on
>   the internet, even very obscure songs.  Unfortunately, finding the
>   lyrics to Washington Square has eluded me.  I remember quite a bit
>   of the song, so I know that I am not just dreaming that Washington
>   Square had lyrics.  Here are some of the ones I remember:
> "And so I got my banjo out, just settin' catchin' dust.  And painted
> right across the case, Greenwich Village or bust.  My folks were sad
> to see me go, but I got no meanin' there, so I said goodbye to Kansas,
> Mo, and hello to Washington Square."
> "In New Orleans we met a girl, a walkin' with no shoes.  And from her
> throat there came a growl, she sure was singin' the blues.  She sang
> for all the world to hear..................................?  So come
> on to Washington Square."
>   The rest of it eludes me.  I would greatly appreciate an help you
>   can give me in finding the lyrics to this song.
> Sincerely, 
> Marie

Hello Marie,

See below.


by Bob Goldstein

From Cape Cod Light to the Mississip, to San Francisco Bay,
They're talking about this famous place, down Greenwich Village way.
They hootenanny all the time with folks from everywhere,
Come Sunday morning, rain or shine, right in Washington Square.

And so I got my banjo out, just sittin' and collectin' dust,
And painted right across the face "Greenwich Village or Bust."
My folks were sad to see me go, but I got no meanin' there.
I said "Goodbye, Kansas, Mo, and hello, Washington Square!"

Near Tennessee, I met a guy who played 12-string guitar.
He also had a mighty voice, not to mention a car.
Each time he hit those bluegrass chords, you sure smelled mountain air.
I said, "Don't waste it on the wind. Come on to Washington Square."

In New Orleans, we saw a gal a-walkin' with no shoes,
And from her throat there comes a growl. She sure was singin' the blues.
She sang for all humanity, this gal with the raven hair.
I said, "It's for the world to hear. C'mon to Washington Square."

We cannonballed into New York on good old US 1,
Till up ahead we saw the arch, a-gleamin' bright in the sun.
As far as all the eye could see, ten thousand folks was there,
And singin' in sweet harmony right in Washington Square.

So how's about a freedom song, or the old Rock Island Line?
Or how's about the dust-bowl crop, or men who work in a mine?
The songs and legends of our land is gold we all can share,
So come and join us folks who stand and sing in Washington Square.

Extracts & Oils

On 23 Dec 2005 at 11:03, theresa wrote:

> I need to know how to make mint extract and and mint oil out of real
> mint plants. thank you Theresa 

Hello Theresa,

There is a general recipe for some simple extracts below. The strength of a peppermint extract made this way is going to be dependent on the strength of flavor in the peppermint leaves used. Steeping longer extracts more flavor. Don't expect the strength and quality that you get from commercial peppermint extract and oil.

Extracting oils is much more difficult. The oil is extracted with a solvent, usually ethanol. This may be done several times with the same batch of leaves to get all of the oil. Then the solvent is removed, leaving pure oil. The oil is then purified and concentrated.

Better alcohol extracts are made similarly. The difference is that the flavor/oil is left in the alcohol solution. Then this alcohol extract itself is purified and concentrated.

It's not impossible to make decent quality homemade extracts and oils, but it's a bit beyond e-mail instructions. There are herb books that explain how to do it. Once upon a time you could buy a small device for extracting and concentrating plant oils at home. I don't know if it's still available. I can't recall the name of it. It may have been taken off the market because users of illicit drugs used it to concentrate plant drugs.


Homemade Extracts Recipes

Vanilla Extract:

2 vanilla beans, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup water

Lemon Extract

1 lemon
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup water

Orange Extract

1/2 navel orange
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup water

Peppermint Extract

1/2 cup fresh chopped peppermint leaves
1/2 cup vodka

To make an extract, combine the ingredients in a 1/2-pint Mason jar 
and set aside to steep. Each recipe can be stored anywhere and should
keep for up to a year. 

Vanilla Extract:

 Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut a lengthwise slit down the middle 
of each vanilla bean. Cut vanilla beans into 1/2 - 3/4-inch pieces. 
Pour vodka into your container. Add vanilla beans to container and 
shake. Wait and shake. It will take 30 days for the vanilla extract. 
Once each day, vigorously shake the container for 30 seconds. Once 
the 30 days has finished, strain the liquid through coffee filter 
or layers of cheesecloth.

Lemon Extract :

Thinly peel 1 lemon with a vegetable peeler taking care not to 
include any pith. Dice the peel (about 2 Tbsp) and combine it with 
vodka and water. Set aside to steep for at least 3 days. More is 

Orange Extract:

Thinly peel 1/2 navel orange with a vegetable peeler taking care 
not to include any pith and cut the peel into chunks (about 1 1/2 
Tbsp). Combine with vodka and water. Set aside to steep for at 
least 3 days. More is better.

Peppermint Extract:

Fill container 1/2 full with vodka, add 1/2 cup fresh chopped 
peppermint. Fill rest of way with water and let stand for 3 weeks. 
Pour through strainer, cheesecloth, or coffee filter to remove solids.

Invert Sugar

On 25 Dec 2005 at 10:20, Lonnie wrote:

> Hello,
> I am hoping you can supply a recipe for "invert sugar" that I can use
> in cooking and making homemade wine. I'd prefer to make it instead of
> buy it - to avoid any unnecessary additives. Also because white sugar
> is inexpensive but "invert sugar" is not. Your site describes what
> "invert sugar" is but not a recipe to make it. I know it uses water,
> white sugar and lemon juice - but not the proportions of each. Can you
> help? 
> Lonnie

Hello Lonnie,

See below. I found this on a message board.


Invert sugar is made by mixing two parts sugar to one part water, 
adding two teaspoons lemon juice per pound of sugar. This is brought
almost to a boil and held there for 30 minutes (do NOT allow to boil).
This is poured into a sealable jar, sealed and cooled in refrigerator.
This process hydrolizes sucrose into glucose and fructose and speeds
fermentation. Invert sugar should NOT be used to sweeten finished wine 
as it will encourage refermentation. 

For 1 pound invert sugar: 
 2 cups finely granulated sugar 
 1 cup water 
 2 tsp lemon juice 

Expand the recipe above to make the amount required by a particular
recipe. For example, to make 2-1/2 pounds of invert sugar, use 5 cups
sugar, 2-1/2 cups water and 5 tsp lemon juice. Make the invert sugar 
at least 2 hours ahead of time (to give it sufficient time to cool).

Crab Dip

On 24 Dec 2005 at 23:53, Mikki wrote:

> Good tidings to you dear, Phaedrus!
> I am looking for the recipe from the Trawler's Warf , located in
> Charleston SC. It is called crap dip. It was served as an appetizer.
> It did NOT have artichokes in it. It was mayonnaise based, with
> shredded cheddar cheese with a "bite" to it. I'm unsure of the other
> ingredients, but it is oh so good with crackers. Can you help Me?
> Thanks so much for an interesting site. I can't seem to surf away from
> your archives. I adore research....If only I could come up with a good
> use for it as you have done. Mikki

Hi Mikki,

Glad you like the site.

I could not find a recipe that stated specifically that it was from Trawler's Wharf. However, the first recipe below is from Charleston, SC, and it's called "Trawler Crab Dip". The second recipe is also from Charleston. Hope one of them is right.


Trawler Crab Dip

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1 teaspoon horseradish 
1 cup crabmeat 
4 tablespoons French dressing 
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated fine 

Mix all of the above ingredients and serve with crackers. If you 
prefer a little extra tang, add more horseradish to suit your 
tastes. Serve with crisp crackers. 
Charleston, SC Crab Dip 

Two cans of crab meat, drained well
1/4 cup of grated sharp or extra sharp cheddar
Prepared horse radish
Salt and pepper

To the drained crab meat, add enough mayonnaise to make it moist. 
Mix in the cheese and add more mayonnaise if it's needed. Add one 
to three teaspoons of horseradish, depending on how spicy you want 
it to be. It will taste stronger after it chills for a while. 
The amount of mayonnaise depends on how "wet" you want your dip to 
be, so it's a matter of personal taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, 
mix well and chill for several hours. Serve with crackers.


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus