Jewish World Review Sept. 21, 2004 / 6 Tishrei, 5765
Why is it called a Cobb salad?; barns painted red; more
Q: Why is it called a Cobb salad? - B.C. Smith, Charlotte, N.C.
A: Late one night in 1937, Bob Cobb was tired and hungry after rubbing elbows with Hollywood's elite at his famous Brown Derby restaurant.
So he raided the massive icebox in the kitchen, pulling out greens, avocado, tomatoes, chicken, hard-boiled eggs and Roquefort cheese.
Sniff, sniff! "What's that delicious smell?" he thought. Ah, bacon from a nearby chef preparing for tomorrow. Lemme grab a strip or two of that, too ...
He piled together the "salad" - really more of a picnic in a bowl - and served up one for him, and one for a friend. They dove in.
The salad might've only been remembered as a scrumptuous midnight snack - except for the identity of the friend.
He was one of Hollywood's greatest promoters - Sid Grauman, the man behind the elaborate Chinese Theatre, where celebrities are memorialized with their footprints and handprints in the courtyard's cement.
Grauman raved about the thrown-together feast - and began regularly demanding that Brown Derby waiters bring him "one of Cobb's salads."
Thus, a legendary dish was born.
At least, that's the story that was passed down by the Brown Derby.
Hey, any story that includes the smell of frying bacon can't be all bad.
Q: My husband is driving me nuts about this: Why are barns painted red? - Nancy, Jacksonville, Fla.
A: Hundreds of years ago farmers painted their barns with a mix of linseed oil, milk, and lime. It protected the wood. Sometimes they would also add ferrous oxide to the paint.
That's another term for rust.
Rust made the paint red, and also killed fungi and moss on the wood.
After a while, red barns just became tradition. (It didn't hurt that red paint was plentiful and cheap.)
You gotta admit: They do look good contrasted with white farmhouses.
Q: My friend Yussel Fafoonick claims that when a U.S. Supreme Court justice is appointed it is for life and he cannot be removed for any reason. I maintain there is a provision for impeachment. Who is right? - Willard Shapira, Minneapolis
A: You are. (Sorry, Yussel Fafoonick.)
The Constitution says justices may be removed by "Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." But no a Supreme Court justice has ever never been impeached.
Q: I am and avid golfer who frenquently will hit a wayward shot and when I do, I yell, "look out!" instead of "fore!" Where did the term fore come from and why fore? - Dennis Hamric
A: Dennis, here's what the United States Golf Association has to say on the matter:
Fore is Scottish in origin, and is a shortened version of "before" or "afore."
The old Scottish warning, meaning "look out ahead!" probably originated in military circles, where it was used by artillery men as a warning to troops in foreword positions. Golfers as early as the 18th century simply adopted this military warning.
Q: Who won the first Heisman trophy? - Gus Allen
A: Jay Berwanger, the "one-man gang" running back for the University of Chicago Maroons, won the first Heisman Trophy in 1935.
Actually, at the time it was not called the Heisman. It was the New York Downtown Athletic Club's trophy to the outstanding college football player east of the Mississippi River. (Catchy!) In 1936, John Heisman, then the DAC's Director of Athletics, passed away and the Award was named in his honor.
Wanna see somethin' really cool? Go to www.heisman.com/winners.html and check out a film clip of the very first Heisman Trophy winner in action.
On commercials ...
1. Who told TV viewers: "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us"?
2. What actress sold cameras and film on TV opposite James Garner?
3. What side dish is hawked as "the San Francisco treat"?
4. Who cried while looking out on a polluted waterway in an enduring public service announcement?
1. Burger King
2. Mariette Hartley
4. Iron Eyes Cody, who was Italian, not Native American, some sources contend.
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Jeff Elder is a columnist for The Charlotte Observer. Comment or try to stump him by clicking here. If you send him a great question, he'll send you a Glad You Asked T-shirt.
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