Thursday, 30 April 2009

Waiter there is something in my retro 70’s Charlotte...

Interesting challenge – Cooksister’s blog. The popular food blog Cooksister published an interesting challenge... To time travel back to the 70’s and try out a retro 70’s dish which you remember. Boy did this challenge inspire me. I wanted to do a whole menu, but will not be able to accomplish that before the closing date on the 4th of May. What I did is do a bit of writing on what I can remember and some inspiration I’ve found doing informal research (browsing in a dusty bookstore really) Non internet research In addition to what I remember, I decided to do some research in a retro way – without the internet. I went to our local book exchange’s recipe book section for inspiration. I found a series of magazines called ‘Supercook’ which was published in the seventies and I include scans of two photos further in the post. What I, J. Hardspear de la Azotea remember, what I associate with the 70’s and SA steakhouses & restaurants What did we (in my case – white middle class Afrikaner family) eat in South Africa in the 70’s? I first went to school at the age of 7 in 1980. I was a very fussy eater as a pre-schooler (something like little Nigel Slater in his book ‘toast’). I remember that our menu’s consisted mostly of gekookte kos or boerekos which was cooked meals and consisted rys, vleis en aartappels, rice, meat and potatoes. Rice was served with the gravy of the mutton (baby sheep weren’t the thing back then), beef (roast silverside) or chicken. Potatoes were either peeled and boiled or peeled and cut into thick chips and cooked with the meat. The meat was very often a roast (how did my parents afford it then?) Veggies were sweet pumpkin with cinnamon, green beans cooked with diced potato and onion – slightly mashed, very sweet sweet potato, very sweet carrots, very sweet peas – overcooked cabbage, overcooked spinach or overcooked cauliflower. Quick and easy meals were chops baked in the oven – also served with the above veggies, fish & chips, spaghetti bolognaise, stew or curry and rice. Saturdays were hamburgers or braai. Dessert used to be baked brown pudding or jelly and custard. My Grandmother was fond of making sago pudding. Of the above I only ate roast chicken (breast without skin), peas, fish & chips, spaghetti, hamburgers, and braaivleis. If anything else was on the menu, I only had cooked rice. I remember that I liked Weetbix, Pro-Nutro, soft white bread (crust removed) with cheese spread. I loved Coke and Salt & Vinegar crisps and Nicknacks. I didn’t eat eggs. I didn’t drink milk and I still don’t, unless if it is with tonnes of chocolate Nesquick. I didn’t eat custard, baked pudding and definitely no sago. I didn’t eat boerewors. I loved eating stiff or phutu pap like our domestic – eating with your hands, making balls with the pap and dipping it into the tomato relish (sheshebo). I loved polony. I loved KFC then already. Though it was called Kentucky Fried Chicken and the menu was limited to pieces, mash & gravy, coleslaw – which I didn’t eat - and those funny little loaves. Today there is very little I don’t eat. I do not eat tripe or offal of any kind. I don’t like peas but I’ll eat it and the one time I tasted abalone I did not like it. I still love rice and any rice dish: Pilau, paella, pilaf, nasi goreng, jambalaya, risotto. I like basmati, Thai fragrant, brown, wild, long grain, short grain, sticky, loose and yes – good old Tastic, whatever type that might be. So what do I associate the 70’s with? I cannot think of anything more 70’s than a fondue. I know the origins of fondue in Switzerland are shrouded in age old myth and legend, but the fondue came to the pinnacle of its popularity in the 70’s. In SA the fondue bourguignonne (small beef fillet cubes cooked on spears in a metal fondue pot filled with oil) were just as if not more popular than the cheese fondue. For me as a child, there was nothing more fancy and impressive as a fondue. My mom would do a fondue for the family if she planned one for a dinner party in order to keep us kids satisfied not being able to attend the dinner party – the family one usually a few days before the dinner party. Flambéing things from steaks to puddings were all the rage during the 70’s. Steak Dianne (as remembered by Cooksister), Crepe Suzettes, flambéd cherries – and they came to prepare it at your table! What can be more impressive? Never again after the 70’s did people serve entire meals in aspic. All the salads were set in rings. Avocado ring, cucumber ring, mustard ring etc. My Grandmother’s standard starter was steamed and flaked haddock with whatnot else, set with gelatine in a square dish. She served small squares in shells on a bed of shredded lettuce and topped with a mayonnaise sauce and curled carrot shavings as garnish. Also ever popular was the salmon mousse set in a large fish mould and turned out on a bed of shredded lettuce. Mains meant Chaudfroid beef, -chicken or –venison, which is meat and elaborate garnish set in a glaze of sauce/gravy and aspic. For desert – strawberry jelly mixed with a can of evaporated milk and whisked with an electric mixer till frothy. It used to set to a weird frothy mousse-esque something. Snacks in the 70’s were prunes / olives / cocktail sausages wrapped and baked in bacon; bread spread with margarine coloured with food colouring, wrapped around viennas (wiener sausages) and sliced in rings; pieces of cheese, viennas and green / yellow / red cocktail onions and gherkins skewered onto toothpicks. You could spear basically anything onto a toothpick and stick it into those green blocks florists use wrapped in foil. Oh, and can you forget the stuffed boiled eggs? My favourite though was called Wolmuise, woolly mice if you must translate directly. It was made by cutting rounds with a cookie cutter from slices of soft white bread. The rounds of bread were spread with a mixture of margarine and marmite. The one side was stuck to a Bacon Kip cracker and the other dipped in powdered biltong. For very long SA restaurants were stuck in the 70’s and some still are. You’ll find the following on the menu: chicken liver pâté; prawn cocktail; melon balls with parma ham; garlic snails; Chicken Fricassee; Chateaubriand; Chicken Kiev; Roquefort Steak; Fillet of Sole Mornay; Peach Melba and Cherries Jubilee. But admit it – how lekker do you eat at such a restaurant. Pork chops with apple rings, chicken terrine, braaibroodjies, slaphakskeentjies, this-or-that-Au-Gratin, Quiche Lorraine, French onion soup, beef olives and horribly sweet punch at weddings made with cheap white wine, crushed pineapple and lemonade. Devilled meant adding a shitload of pepper. I do not remember freshly ground black pepper in the 70’s - it used to be fine white pepper and it made you sneeze. No Shell UltraCity or Engen OneStop next to the roads – on long road trips lunch was packed. Padkos consisted of hard boiled eggs, frikkadelle, biltong sarmies, chicken legs and tea in a flask. This I remember and associate with the 70’s. My Entry (with authentic 70's pic) The Seventiest of 70’s puddings to my mind must be a Raspberry Charlotte (Charlotte aux Framboises) Ingredients: 28-30 finger biscuits 115 g castor sugar 8 egg yolks 15 g gelatine dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water 750 g fresh raspberries, hulled, washed and drained 750 ml fresh cream stiffly whipped. Line the sides of a 2 litre mould with dampened waxed paper. Place a row of finger biscuits upright all around the inside of the mould. Do not line the bottom with biscuits. In a large mixing bowl beat the sugar into the egg yolks with a whisk. Continue beating until the mixture is pale yellow and will form a ribbon trail on itself when the whisk is lifted. Place the mixing bowl over a saucepan of just-simmering water and continue beating, over moderate heat, until the mixture is thick and hot. Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and stand it in a basin of cold water. Add the dissolved gelatine. Continue to beat the mixture until it is cold. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and leave it to chill for 30 minutes. Sieve 500 g of the berries into a small bowl and place the puree in the fridge to chill. With a metal spoon, fold the puree into the chilled egg yolk mixture and add 2 ½ cups of the cream and stir until well blended. Pour mixture in a lined mould and arrange the remaining sponge fingers over the top to completely cover the mould. Trim off any protruding sponge fingers. Cover the mould with waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve the Charlotte, remove the paper from the top and run a knife around the edge of the mould. Place a serving dish over the mould and turn it upside down, giving a sharp shake. The Charlotte should slide out easily on to the dish. Decorate with the remaining berries and cream. Although it is a lot of trouble – it can be made the day before – leaving you more time with your guests.

Long time no post

I am working very hard on a very long post and therefore have not posted much. I will have to post it this afternoon, whether finished or not. I am surprisingly busy for someone currently out of work. I wonder how that could be. I am tensed about getting onto a new project – companies are cutting back on expenses and projects and consultants are the first to go. I am also loving having time for myself for the first time in aeons. This weekend we are going to Lamb’s mother, Ewe, who lives in Tappet-Valley (A large mining town in the North-West Province). Luckily there are cinemas so Grandma can babysit and Lamb and I can get out for a bit.

Being recidivist

Angel’s son has ADD and is making her moedeloos (no English equivalent) at the moment. Angel feels that much of it is her fault. As parents – people do make mistakes and the things parents do and don’t do does have an effect on their children. I still feel Angel shouldn’t beat herself up too much. Personally I am very wary of blaming ADD for everything that goes wrong in my life, but if you read my blog and the blogs of people like Angel & Momcat (both to whom I regularly refer to) you’ll find that it ain’t easy. The word recidivist often applies to people with ADD. A recidivist is someone who continues to display undesirable behaviour or even commit crimes despite having been punished for such behaviour before and despite of full knowing well what the consequences of such behaviour may be. Lamb tells me of a boy with ADD in her grade 1 class. This boy sits at the back of the class and every afternoon when the final bell rings and Lamb lets them out he puts his schoolbag on his back and as he walks to the door bumps off all the little chairs which Lamb had the children put on the desks before they leave. Notwithstanding everything she’d done to deter the boy from doing this and even in the face of her threatening him with whatever punishment, he continues to do this. People call this anti-social behaviour and whatnot, but here is some insight that I, J. Hardspear de la Azotea can give you, being a recidivist myself. Even though I have become extremely adept at hiding my bad behaviour, I still get caught. Why do I do it then?... Well I don’t know. All I know is that the simplest of tasks, for instance having to make a short phone call at work to arrange something, sometimes seems insurmountable to me. And when I get to such a task – it is like a dam wall, blocking all the other things I have to do. I find it impossible to do anything else until I’ve done this thing which I positively cannot get myself to do. So all my work pile up and pile up till I am in real trouble. When I then get into trouble, it most definitely does not deter me from doing it again. Ok, that is: not doing what I should do. The same applies for: doing what I shouldn’t do. The compulsion to do something I know I must not do sometimes becomes overriding and an obsession. And it is not only addictions. It is like starting to swear real bad at someone without being provoked, simply because you feel like it. Why do I feel it is not anti-social? Because my conscience eats at me when I do that which I shouldn’t and even more so when I don’t do what I should. It positively eats at me. I do feel that people with ADD should face the consequences of what they do like anybody else, but sometimes it feels to me that my life consists entirely of facing consequences. When I am in a good mood I can with effort desist these compulsions, but boy, when I am tired or depressed it becomes real hard. I can deal with significant people in my life’s disappointment in me, but fuck; I cannot deal with my own disappointment in myself nor the regret of not doing which I should. Nor the guilt of doing which I shouldn’t.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Fuuuck Oooooffffff Jeremy Clarkson

Lamb's car was stolen right in front of our house in the middle of the day today. I am thinking again of the letter on how safe SA is which Jeremy Clarkson wrote. Doing a stint here in SA once a year for two weeks may give one the impression that all is well here. But live here and see how your friends, family, colleagues get robbed blind, murdered, raped or attacked. Visiting SA you may not experience all these things, but try living here... Our house was broken into - I did a post a while back - about a month and a half ago. Not long ago I had our alarm system upgraded - fat lot of good that did. I honestly do not know who I am going to vote for tomorrow. Out of the selection we have, I cannot see, honestly, that any one can make a difference. I am fed up and gatvol.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Potato Soup

Saturday morning Lamb and I decided to invite friends over for dinner. Enthused by my new passion for home baked bread, I devised a simple menu of bread and potato soup. I made a focaccia using the ‘sponge’ method described in the post below. Just before baking, I brushed the top with olive oil, fresh garlic and fresh rosemary (I forgot to sprinkle the salt flakes). This is my own version of potato soup and it is truly delicious, very easy to make and surely will impress your guests. This is one of my top winter warmer comfort foods. 5 large potatoes peeled, quartered and boiled till soft. 1 Chouriço (Portuguese) or Chorizo (Spanish) sausage 1 Kassler chop 2 large onions peeled and chopped 2 chicken and 1 beef stock cubes dissolved in 1 ½ litre of water. (I won’t insist on making your own stock or using expensive concentrate) Olive oil Little bit of lemon zest Juice of half a lemon Freshly ground black pepper.
(Serves 4 generous portions – increase stock & potatoes for more guests – double Chouriço and Kassler if more than 8 people)
Remove the piece of bone on the Kassler (but keep it) and chop together with the Chouriço to pieces roughly half the size of dice. Fry on low heat till browned in a large saucepan (including the piece of Kassler bone). Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and fry the onions slowly in the same saucepan till translucent and light caramel colour and add the stock. Increase the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the onions with a sieve and discard. Add the stock and meat back to the saucepan. Add the potatoes and carefully mash the potatoes – you want part to remain whole and the rest will thicken the soup. Simmer on a very low heat for 10 mins, add lemon zest, juice and black pepper. (Remove bone) Serve with a nice crusty chewy bread. The Chouriço imparts its wonderful spicy flavour to the soup and the Kassler adds extra smokiness and depth. Do not add any salt and be careful using too many stock cubes or too much stock powder/concentrate as the Chouriço and Kassler are salty already. Lamb contributed this easy and very good dessert. Some foodies may frown upon this, but trust me – it is good. Pour 1 litre Ultra Mel Custard into a bowl. Heat in microwave. Break up 1 box of Romany Creams Chocolate biscuits (not too small) and mix into the custard. Allow to cool completely before serving.
The table the next morning...

The smell of freshly baked bread

Up till last week I never did a lot of bread baking, as I am never satisfied with the results. It always comes out too dense and you have to eat it as it comes out of the oven – I’ve found my own homemade bread becomes stale before the day is even out. Once I became inspired by reading about bread baked the old fashioned way with a sourdough starter instead of commercial instant yeast. I set out to culture my own starter, with a recipe off the net, but failed. Recently I mentioned my desire to make my own sourdough starter at a braai. Most of the guests looked at me as if I am mad, but the hostess got very excited and said she has a book with instructions which she will borrow me provided that I give her a piece of my starter should I succeed. The book – “The Village Baker - Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America” by Joe Ortiz proved to be a treasure. This guy and his wife own a bakery in California. His mission was to produce very good quality breads, so he visited so called Village Bakers all over France, Italy and Germany to see how they do it. This book has cleared up the mystery of bread making and baking to me to a very large extent. Last week Thursday I have started a new sourdough starter, and so far it seems successful. I should be able to bake with it by tomorrow. With a sourdough starter the aim is to capture natural wild yeast in the air into a mixture of water and flour. This starter can then be used as a leavening agent instead of commercial yeast. It is a slow process though. The method I am trying this time calls for ¼ cup of flour to be mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. This is achieved by making a well in the middle of a small mound of flour and pouring the water into that. The flour is then mixed into the well slowly with your fingers. The result will be a firm dough which should then be kneaded for about 8 mins. One should then end up with a little dough ball the size of a walnut. This is then put in a small bowl, covered with a damp cloth and left in a warm draft-free place. After 2-3 days a crust will have formed, which if removed reveals that the dough has started bubbling and will smell slightly acidic. Without going in to much detail, this is then refreshed twice (every time a couple of days apart) with increasing amounts of water and flour till you are left with a cup or more of the starter which should be sufficient for an ordinary loaf. It is not necessary go through this every time, just keep some of the starter and refresh it (daily if you leave it in a warm place and weekly if you keep it in the fridge). In the meanwhile, I have started to experience with other methods, like the direct method with instant yeast as well as the ‘sponge’ method. I made these Hot Cross Buns from a kit sold by Woolworths. Lamb got it as a gift – but I couldn’t see her making it. The enclosed recipe and ingredients called for using the direct yeast method. This means one adds a sachet of instant yeast to the ingredients and knead it till it forms a dough and let it rise (prove) once. The smell from the oven whilst baking was indescribable. They were very nice straight from the oven, but were totally stale the next day. Here I tried baguettes using the sponge method (the one looks like a turkey drumstick or a club though). With the sponge method one use a lot less instant yeast than is called for in a recipe. The first step then is to create a ‘sponge’ by mixing about half the amount of yeast ordinarily required with flour and water to end up with something the consistency of pancake batter. It is then left in a bowl covered with a damp cloth (somewhere warm out of any draughts) 4-6 hours till the mixture has first tripled in volume and then fallen back on itself. The rest of the flour and water, salt etc. as required by the recipe is then added and left to prove for another 2 hours again. After this second rising the dough is knocked back and left for half an hour. The loaves can now be formed, put on a baking tray and left to relax for 15 mins. The baguettes only bake 15 – 20 mins in a hot oven. I tried one of the tips in the book, which is to put the dough in the fridge instead of a warm place for it to prove and rise much slower (up to 12 hours). A much more interesting texture can be created this way, and wow did it work. Inside the loafs were full of irregular large holes and it was chewy and delicious just as one expect from a rustic French loaf. Although the sourdough bread is my aim, I started experimenting with more common methods in order to start practicing the kneading and all the other steps & techniques in baking bread. With Joe Ortiz’s book as my companion, I learned quite a lot – stuff that as I have said, was quite a mystery to me before. Now I cannot wait for tomorrow, so I can try out the sourdough starter which I cultured myself.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Galaxies in the Air, Annoyance and Genes

I have not done a post on Adult ADD / ADHD / Attention Deficit Disorder in a very long while and I think it is time to do so again. This post will be on one of many aspects of having ADD which I am partial to, it will also include one of many aspects of having ADD which I find objectionable and lastly an aspect which I feel ambivalent about. The Good... You have not the faintest what daydreaming is if you do not have ADD. When I start building Castles in the Air, it soon becomes towns, cities, countries, planets, solar systems and eventually whole Galaxies. Being lost in thought if you have ADD is a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and multi-level experience. I do not have a happy place to go to, I have dizzying Warp Speed flights through a whole star-filled universe bursting with luminous colours. It is a place where I can be anything, where I am everything. I can experience all I want to without taking any drugs – my mind just takes me there. My flights of fancy are elaborate and take place in series and sequels. Sometimes I am the star in my own rock concert / opera / musical / play / movie. I am the DJ, the drummer, the vocalist, the guitarist, the pianist, the violinist, the tenor, the bass the baritone the actor, the choreographer, the set designer. I am attractive, I am talented, I am genius. I smash my guitar, I crowd surf, I hold a note so long that glass shatter. I bring the crowd to tears, I win Oscars. The Bad... People with ADD are notoriously irritable. Nothing, no reason, grounds, catalyst and still I can suddenly get extremely annoyed, wound up, aggravated, irritable, touchy and bad tempered. Fair... we know it is a trait of AD(H)D. (By the way, my Dr. diagnosed my particular type as ADhD. Capitals ADD because I have Attention Deficit Disorder, lowercase h, because I am only mildly hyperactive.) What is funny though, and what is unpleasant, is that I cannot cope with irritability in other people. ESPECIALLY if someone reacts irritable towards me and ABOVE ALL, if I perceive that I am the cause of their irritability. Immediately I feel rejected, silly, not good enough, hurt, self conscious, and hopelessly insecure. I’ll react immediately by lashing out with my tongue and saying horrible and hurtful things. Or I will retract and withdraw so utterly and completely as if it is a shield snapping shut around me. And it is not just a short term effect on my, my self-confidence takes nasty knock. The can be either Ugly or Beautiful... Finally something I feel ambivalent about, is the fact that ADD is hereditary and that there is a good chance that little Image might also have ADD. It is too early to tell, but I really do not know how I feel about this issue. Right, enough of that. I am not even going to bore you with the details of what a struggle I had with Vodakak since Tuesday because of my 3G account. I’ve seen your posts, I know you know what I’ve been through...

Friday, 10 April 2009

The ‘Other Spear’, our Marine Namesake and an Interesting Challenge...

So I am not the only Spear pottering about in the South African blogosphere (and that of its expats and Diaspora). I am referring to a SA guy living in the UAE. He publishes a very cool blog called the The Spear does Arabia. Do yourself a favour and visit. When we comment on each others’ posts, it can be a little confusing to other bloggers, but here is how to distinguish: My comments will be under the name ‘Spear’ if it is blogger and ‘Hardspear’ for the rest. The Spear does Arabia’s comments will be as ‘The Spear’. Naturally our Avatars also differ. With respect to our Marine Namesake, there is actually a shrimp called the Hard Spear Shrimp (Parapenaeopsis hardwickii)
As to the challenge: I’ve found a very interesting challenge on a blog called Betty Noire (worth the read – please visit).The challenge is under a post called Scotch? Irish? Single Malt? The post deals mainly with two books by Douglas Adams of the Hitchhikers’ series fame, called the Meaning of Liff and the Deeper Meaning of Liff. In these books Douglas Adams and another author took the names of towns and villages in Britain and ascribed definitions to it. Read Betty’s post after reading this, she describes it more fully. Anyhow, here follows the gauntlet which Betty threw down: ..... So, to win a bottle of whisky, take a shot at making sentences with all three adjectives below. If you can do it in one sentence, that will get extra credit. Post entries in comments or send entries to; all efforts will be published on the blog and the winner will be announced when I think I have had enough. It should be not much later than May. Entries will be judged on length; wit; meaning and spelling. And the three words are: swanibost - “completely shagged out after a hard day of having income tax explained to you” duntish - “mentally incapacitated as a result of a severe hangover” climpy - “allowing yourself to be persuaded to do something and pretending to be reluctant” I am tempted to say I will send a bottle of whisky of your choice, but I might have to limit this choice to scotch, irish or single malt.
I am definitely entering! I am also a fan of Douglas Adams’s Liff definitions. Some of them though, I suspect you need to be a guy to fully appreciate. Below are two which made me roll on the floor with laughter. Getting an unwanted, unbidden huby used to be a particularly pesky problem when I was a teenager and the phenomenon of a wimbledon only occurs when wearing tan coloured trousers to work, leaving embarrassing telltale signs that you have visited the urinal, which leaves one having to resort to Mr Bean-esque shenanigans with the hand blower in the men’s room. HUBY (n.)A half-erection large enough to be a publicly embarrassing bulge in the trousers, not large enough to be of any use to anybody. WIMBLEDON (n.)That last drop which, no matter how much you shake it, always goes down your trouser leg.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

I’m Back!

Hi there!


Phew, I am back in cyberspace! I nearly had a nervous breakdown. As per usual, the recovery of my data was worth much more than anything else. And yes, they managed to recover my data - at a cost, but I am so grateful that I do not mind. They couldn't keep my programmes though and I went to find out what Microsoft Office 2007 Professional cost. Seven fucking thousand fucking five fucking hundred fucking Rands at Incredible fucking Corruption! At the PC Shop around the corner R4500. I aint paying that! I AINT! I am getting a crack copy thank you very much. I try to be good in this respect - not copying copyrighted material, but for crying out loud! Microsoft is a rip-off. I know millions of others also rant about this, so any further rantings will be in private.

Monday, 6 April 2009

J. Hardspear de la Azotea's birthday

It is my birthday today! Image's Christening went well yesterday and we are left with all but one guest. Mother-in-law. She is going to look after Image tonight so that Lamb and I can go out tonight. My laptop crashed this morning and I am posting from an Internet cafe. Please do not follow the links, something went horribly wrong with the crap open source 'office' they are using. I'll post again as soon as my computer are sorted Apart from being my birthday, the day is also significant because of the following: April 6 is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 269 days remaining until the end of the year. Other events on this important day in history: 46 BC - Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus. 1652 - Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp at the Cape of Good Hope, which eventually becomes Cape Town. 1814 - Napoleon abdicates and is then exiled to Elba. 1830 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others at Fayette, New York. 1869 - Celluloid is patented. 1917 - World War I: The United States declares war on Germany (see President Woodrow Wilson's address to Congress). 1930 - Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire." Thus he starts the Salt Satyagraha. 1947 - The first Tony Awards are presented for theatrical achievements. 1957 - Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis buys the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founds Olympic Airlines. 1965 - Launch of Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. 1483 - Raphael, Italian painter and architect (d. 1520) J. Hardspear De la Azotea shares his birthday with: 1483 - Raphael, Italian painter and architect (d. 1520) 1890 - Anthony Fokker, Dutch designer of aircraft (d. 1939) 1911 - Feodor Felix Konrad Lynen, German biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1979) 1920 - Edmond H. Fischer, Swiss-American biochemist, Nobel laureate 1928 - James D. Watson, American geneticist, Nobel laureate 1949 - Horst Ludwig Störmer, German-born physicist, Nobel laureate The following people sadly died on this day in: 885 - Saint Methodius (b. c. 815) 1147 - Frederick II, Duke of Swabia (b. 1090) 1992 - Isaac Asimov, Russian-born author (b. 1920) 1998 - Tammy Wynette, American singer (b. 1942) Holidays & Observances Tartan Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, a day set aside for the celebration of Scottish influence The date of organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Joseph Smith, Jr.. Also the date on which many in The Church believe that Jesus was born. Chakri Day in Thailand, commemorating the reign of the Chakri Dynasty. in the Roman Catholic Church Saint Marcellinus of Carthage (d. 413) St. Sixtus Blessed Notker Feast day of Saint Brychan, King of Brycheiniog, South Wales