Monday, September 13, 2010

13 September 1956 “The Hard Disk Drive is Invented, and More Doughnuts!”

Today International Business Machines, or IBM, have invented the Hard Disk Drive. A hard disk drive is a storage space for digital data. It features one or more rotating rigid platters on a motor-drivenspindle within a metal case. Data is encoded magnetically by read/write heads that float on a cushion of air above the platters. Go HERE to read more about it.
Isn’t it amazing to think how far we have come with this technology? I am certain at this point there was never any though more than for business for these machines. This, as we well know, will change in a few decades.
This film tells the story of the early computer storage drive. It may seem a bit dry, but it is worth it to even see the ladies 1956 business wear. Very interesting stuff and very pertinent to all of us, as we sit sipping our tea/coffee and enjoying the ease and pleasure of our home computers.
Computers are beginning to become a part of offices in a small, or should I say BIG way, at this point. Most offices, of course, won’t have one, but the larger firms in CA and NYC may begin to implement the large business machines for efficiency and accounting.
The movie the ‘Desk Set’ starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, which comes out next year (1957), deals with this very topic. Though it’s release date of May 1957 has yet to come, I am sure I would see the trailer for this around fall or Christmas time this year. Here it is.
deskset This is a great movie and you can get it in the corner store HERE. I think there are copies as inexpensive as $6.
Here is a lovely song from this year sung by David Whitfield. After all, it is September.
And, as it is September, Fall is just around the corner here in New England. Yesterday it was such a lovely cool but sunny day, Hubby, Gussie and I decided to have a fire in the outdoor fireplace on our little terrace.
doughnutsoutsidebwWith the smell of ripe leaves and to see the ripening grapes on the vine, we couldn’t help but think of lovely autumn traditions. One of those being cinnamon doughnuts and cider. Though, we hadn’t any cider, I thought it would be fun to use my little stovetop percolator on the fire.
This little pot was used and loved on our sailboat. I recall the cool mornings when hubby and I were playing vagabond for a year and living mainly on the boat. I had forgot he had even grown a thick captain’s beard. The cool late summer mornings on Martha’s Vineyard with the mist rising above the water. You would awake to the sound of the water lapping the sides of the V-berth where we slept and the seagulls mournful cry. The puppies would stir and I would slide out of bed and get the coffee going in that little pot.
Ah, the smell. The brine, the fresh cooling air and that hot burnt rich dark smell of the percolating coffee, if I could bottle that it would be a favorite scent.
But, yesterday we were not on a boat, but in our little yard on our tiny terrace and a fire seemed right. Hubby lit his pipe as I hopped into make the doughnuts. doughnutsoutside Here is the color version of our little treat. You can see how the flames lapped  up the side of my little coffee pot, turning it ashen brown (it will scrub off easy enough) and the doughnuts.upclosedoughnuts I gave a doughnut recipe to you previously, but yesterday I had a thought. In my 50s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, it has a ‘quick doughnut’ recipe. This simply has you buy the pre-made biscuits (newly available) and simply cut the hole out and fry those. Now, I have a wonderful biscuit recipe, so I figured I would simply make the biscuit dough, knead it a bit more and try that for a very easy quick doughnut recipe. We were not disappointed!
Oh my they were lovely. They rose even higher and lighter than my other doughnut recipe and were so fresh and good, I hate to admit it, but the three of us gobbled up the whole plate! So, I can’t report how good they are the next day, which I had wanted to find out, but the cool air, the crackle of the fire, the hot coffee and the melt of the sugared doughnuts were too much for us. So, they were gone in a flash.
The biscuit recipe I used is from my 4 May 1956 Post. If you don’t want to revisit that post, here is the recipe anyway:
biscuits4 Yummy Biscuits.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup cream
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in thebutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in cream until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
Of course, don’t heat the oven, but rather heat oil in a skillet. (lard or vegetable oil is what I use. I don’t use shortening, but it certainly would work fine) and then I just kneaded it a bit more and squished it out about an half an inch thick. Then I cut the doughnuts out and as they oil was heating this allowed the doughnuts to rise a bit. Very easy. I don’t use a thermometer for my oil, though I should, I just go by sight. I usually take one of the doughnut holes as a tester. You want it to brown not too quickly on one side and then flip it so that it is not overcooked outside and raw inside. I usually find no longer than a minute or two per side is perfect otherwise it might get too greasy.
This is also one of the times that I use paper towel. Removing them from the hot grease and transferring them to a paper towel to drain and then while still hot, into the cinnamon and sugar mix. Mmmmm, so delicious and perfect for a crisp fall day. Serve these with warm cider or pumpkin ale for an outdoor fall gathering and you will be sure to get praise for very little work.
And, just for fun, Burl Ives’ “The Donut Song”
And let’s take the advice of this song:
When you walk the streets you'll have no cares
If you walk the lines and not the squares
As you go through life make this your goal
Watch the donut, not the hole.
Until tomorrow, then, Happy Homemaking.
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