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Pepper Pot Day

It’s Pepper Pot Day, a celebration of a thick, spicy soup called pepper pot!

According to legend, pepper pot was first concocted during the Revolutionary War – December 29, 1777, to be exact. It was a cold, harsh winter for the Continental Army in Valley Forge. Food was scarce – farmers in the area sold their food to the British Army for pounds over the Continental Army’s weak currency. Thus, the troops created a soup that included all they could find.

And apparently all they could find were scraps of tripe (aka animal stomach), beef stock,  peppercorn and a few vegetables, as these are the main ingredients of pepper pot.

Though pepper pot may not sound like much to celebrate, the soup got the soldiers through the harsh winter, earning it the title “the soup that won the war.”

Celebrate Pepper Pot Day by making yourself a pot of pepper pot soup (recipe), but don’t eat it yet. Fill your bowl and head out into the cold outdoors to get the full effect of the soup’s warming powers.

By the way, we’ll totally understand if you substitute the tripe with chicken or beef. And if not, we’ll understand that, too.

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
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National Eggnog Day

EggnogNot only is today Christmas Eve but it’s also National Eggnog Day! Makes sense, since making a batch or two of eggnog is a common Christmas Eve tradition.

Eggnog is a popular holiday drink in the U.S. and Canada and is made with milk and/or cream, sugar, raw eggs (beaten), spices (particularly nutmeg) and (optionally) liquor, such as brandy or rum. It’s also very tasty…and very high in fat and sugar. Seriously. You might want to pass it up this year if you’re cutting back the calories. However, you can still enjoy eggnog without the high amount of fat and cholesterol by making or purchasing  eggnog with skimmed, low fat, soy or rice milk.

Celebrate National Eggnog Day by making eggnog for your family! (But we won’t be disappointed if you go with commercial eggnog.)

Eggnog drink recipes:

Eggnog

Eggnog Drinks from Allrecipes.com

Alcoholic/Non-alcoholic/Easy/Healthier Eggnog Recipes

If you want to go all out on National Eggnog Day, whip up one of these eggnog-based desserts:

Golden Eggnog Cupcakes

Easy Holiday Eggnog Muffins

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

Eggnog Drink and Dessert Recipes

 

Note: Commercial eggnog does not contain raw eggs. However, when making homemade eggnog (which includes raw eggs), use pasteurized eggs. Some recipes may also instruct you on how to cook the eggs for additional safety.

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Konstantin Ryabitsev, CC-BY-SA-2.O, via Wikimedia Commons
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First Airplane Flies

On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, made the first successful flight of a gas-powered, self-propelled airplane. Although the plane only stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew only 120 feet, it was still considered a successful first flight.

However, on the last of the three flight tests made that day, the plane flew 852 feet in 59 seconds. This historic flight in airplane history was even captured on film. Check it out!

If you happen to be traveling by plane today, take a moment to appreciate how quickly that plane gets you from point A to point B and to thank the Wright Brothers for making it happen.

 

Sources: History.com, Wikipedia, About.com

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Boston Tea Party Day

Boston Tea Party-1973 issue-3cHappy Boston Tea Party Day!

On December 16, 1773, colonists in Massachusetts protested against the East India Company’s monopolization on American tea importation, as granted by Parliament, by boarding three British tea ships in Boston Harbor and dumping 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

Click here to find out why!

Did You Know…that the Boston Tea Party was one of several tension-building events that lead to the American Revolutionary War between the North American colonies  and Great Britain? The Boston Tea Party was the turning point in which colonists started to consider forming a united resistance against British rule.

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, osmh.org, wikipedia.org, history.com
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Bill of Rights Day

On December 15, 1791, the United States adopted the Bill of Rights, enshrining in our Constitution the protection of our inalienable freedoms, from the right to speak our minds and worship as we please to the guarantee of equal justice under the law.”

- President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, Bill of Rights Day 2011

On this day in 1791, the United States adopted the Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments of the U.S. constitution.

Written and introduced to the first U.S. Congress by James Madison, who later became the 4th U.S. President, the Bill of Rights protect the individual rights of U.S. citizens by limiting the federal government’s power and granting some power to the states and the public.

Bill of Rights Day was created not only to commemorate the establishment of this significant symbol of freedom but to remind us of that freedom, which we sometimes take for granted.

Celebrate Bill of Rights Day by reading, understanding, and appreciating the Bill of Rights. If you’ve got a little more time, read the U.S. constitution while you’re at it.

Having trouble understanding the Bill of Rights or looking for fun yet effective ways to teach kids about the Bill of Rights? You’ll find plenty of educational resources at the Bill of Rights Institute.

 

Sources: Holiday Insights, Wikipedia, Bill of Rights Institute

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National Bouillabaisse Day

Flickr - cyclonebill - Bouillabaisse med rouilleHappy National Bouillabaisse Day!

Celebrating Bouillabaisse Day, Part I: Learn about bouillabaisse

1. Bouillabaisse = fish stew/seafood soup/fish soup.

2.  Bouillabaisse contains various types of cooked fish and shellfish (at least five kinds) and vegetables, such as leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. It’s flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, such as garlic, orange peel, basil, bay leaf, fennel and saffron.

3. Bouillabaisse originated in Marseilles, France around 600 B.C. but was referred to as “kakavia,” which is Greek because the people living in Marseilles at the time were Phoceans (aka Ancient Greek people), not French people. The Phoceans founded Marseilles in 600 B.C.

4. Bouillabaisse is rarely made for less than 10 people. More people = more fish = yummier bouillabaisse.

Celebrating National Bouillabaisse Day, Part II: Now that you know a little more about bouillabaisse, make enough bouillabaisse for at least 10 people…

Summer Tomato Bouillabaisse with Basil Rouille (by Bon Appetit)
Bouillabaisse (by Food & Wine)
Bouillabaisse (by Simply Recipes)

Celebrating National Bouillabaisse Day, Part III: Find 10 people to eat it…

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: cyclonebill, CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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National Cotton Candy Day

Rosa Zuckerwatte pink Cotton candyHappy National Cotton Candy Day!

National Cotton Candy Day celebrates the sweet, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth treat you’ll always find at amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, circuses and sports venues.

Although machine-spun cotton candy was invented in1897 by William Morrison and John C. Warton, the two men did not introduce the treat to a wide audience until 1904 at St. Louis World’s Fair, where it was introduced as “fairy floss.” The inventors sold their “fairy floss” for 25 cents per box, selling 68,000 boxes during the fair’s six-month run.

In the 1920s, “fairy floss” was renamed as cotton candy.

Read more about the history of cotton candy by clicking here.

Celebrate National Cotton Candy Day by making your own cotton candy!

 

Sources: holidayinsights, punchbowl.comfoodservicewarehouse.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source:  By Usien (Own work),  CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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National Fritters Day

Maruya (Banana Fritters)Happy National Fritters Day!

Fritters are fried cakes or dough containing a primary ingredient of meat, fruit or veggies, such as crab, apples, potatoes or zucchini. This versatile dish can be served as a snack, side dish, dessert or main course. Learn more about fritters and different cultures’ take on the fritter here.

Celebrate National Fritters Day by trying one of the recipes below!

Zucchini Fritters

Apple Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Gourmet Pumpkin Fritters

Banana Fritters

Crab Fritters

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Shubert Ciencia from Nueva Ecija, Philippines, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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When is Thanksgiving in 2013?

November 28, 2013

Learn more about Thanksgiving.

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When does Hanukkah begin in 2013?

November 28, 2013

Learn more about Hanukkah.

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