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Mother Linda’s Update                                  See also, www.cicadatourism.com

© Mother Linda's  

June 2004

Cicada Craze

The 17-year Brood X cicada has emerged on the Eastern seaboard. To celebrate its return, the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC, is welcoming its guests with a “cicada cocktail.”  It is fashionably presented in a cocktail glass with a red-eyed bottom that eerily looks like the eye of a cicada. I love those glasses!

But, alas, the cocktail contains no cicadas. Although it is very common practice to eat insects in many cultures, Americans are very squeamish about that. So, even though the sky and trees are swarming with cicadas, the high-end hotel chain requires all ingredients served in its restaurants to be obtained from certified purveyors—and not scooped off the ground or plucked out to the sky.

The hotel also serves its guests a cicada chocolate (imprinted with the shape of a cicada, not one dipped in chocolate) and a “cicada appetizer,” made with crawfish, is served in the bar. When asked, “Why crawfish?” the hotel’s public relations coordinator told me it’s because crawfish are related to cicadas. Okay, maybe distantly. Cicadas and crawfish are both arthropods and have exoskeletons and jointed appendages, but one is a crustacean, i.e., crawfish, and the other an insect, i.e., cicada. Both are crunchy, I guess? 

The Ritz Carlton’s Cicada Cocktail

2 oz. Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka

1 ½ oz pineapple juice

Shake in a Martini shaker, strain and pour into a Martini glass. Float Blue Curacao to the bottom and serve with a cicada concerto.

You’ve Seen the Film, Now Visit the Set

In February 2003, President Bush signed the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Act into law. This appropriations bill included a section that authorized the Secretary of Commerce to finance an international advertising and promotional campaign to encourage individuals to travel to the United States. It authorized and appropriated $50M for this campaign. With such an opportunity, the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) in the Department of Commerce planned to spend the money on promoting travel to America from five strategic countries—Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and England.

Unfortunately, the $50M budget was radically downsized to $6M, so OTTI decided to focus the whole $6M on one country—England. Since Brits are very keen on American films, Edelman, the Chicago-based PR firm hired by the US government for this project, created a proposal entitled, “You’ve Seen the Film, Now Visit the Set, ” which they presented in April to the United States Travel and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board. Edelman showed the prototype of a very upscale commercial to be shown in the UK—dramatic movie clips from diverse locations such as the Southwest with buffalos, Indians and cowboys to New York taxicabs and neighborhoods featuring well-known movie stars were strung together to create a very moving experience.

Board chair, James A. Rasulo, President, Walt Disney Park & Resorts, Burbank, California did have a major criticism of the plan as proposed. He pointed out that one of America’s best assets is the people of the United States. “Celebrities are not the average American they will be interacting with,” said Rasulo. He cogently pointed out that it is very unlikely that visitors will be rubbing elbows with movie stars, so he wanted to see the heart and spirit of the American people folded into the promo. “It’s all about the people,” said Rasulo. Hey, how about, “You’ve Seen the Film, Now Meet the Extras?”

Unresolved intellectual property rights prevent me from sharing an image from the campaign with you, but since Edelman also represents the Motion Picture Industry of America, the firm remains confident that rights will be worked out in time to get the campaign off the ground this year.

Strawberries and Maple Chantilly Crème

I always buy organic strawberries. Read “Strawberry Patches Forever” to find out why.  And I love to serve them with maple sugar sweetened cream for a real summer treat. Enjoy!

Maple Crème Chantilly


Crème chantilly is French for sweetened whipped cream. Once you taste whipped cream sweetened with maple powder, you won’t want it any other way.

2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2-4 tablespoons maple powder


Start to whip the cream; add the vanilla all at once and the maple powder tablespoon by tablespoon until you reach the desired sweetness.



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