February 27th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL STRAWBERRY DAY – I am going to go out on a limb and say that strawberries are one of the most popular fruits … especially on fruit platters at parties.  They are so versatile and can be sliced, mushed, juiced, blended, dried and dipped in chocolate.  They can be turned into mini Santa hats and swan garnishes …. trust me, google “strawberry art”.

I am sure you either have a pint of fresh strawberries in your refrigerator or a bag of frozen strawberries in your freezer.  Enjoy them today!

NATIONAL KAHLUA DAY – Kahlua is yummy.  I have actually made my own … it’s basically coffee and rum.  Versatile as well, kahlua can be enjoyed on its own, in desserts, over ice cream and of course in any number of sweet cocktails.  My personal favourite kahlua cocktail is a Black Russian; Kahlua, Vodka, ice. Mmmmm!

NATIONAL POLAR BEAR DAY – Polar Bears are amazing and are threatened with extinction.  Watch an episode of Planet Earth and your heart will break for these majestic creatures.

Polar Bears can stand at 9 ft tall with a weight of up to 1400 lbs. Having webbed feet helps them swim in frigid waters.  Their thick layer of fat under their skin keeps them warm in their cold climates.

Celebrate the Polar Bear today.  Below is a cute video to watch of a mother polar bear and her cubs  … don’t forget to grab your strawberries and Kahlua for snacks and drinks!

 

 

February 26th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY – Once upon a time there was a woman named Margarete von Waldeck who was the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck.  Her beauty was legendary in her hometown of Waldeck Germany.  The area was known for mining and, because many of the mine tunnels were very tight, only small men or children could be used in the mines.  Margarete’s father remarried when she was 17 years old.  She did not get along with her stepmother and left to live in Brussels.  She fell in love with a prince but did not live to marry him.  It is said that she was poisoned at the age of 21.

Sound familiar?  Snow White and the Seven Dwarf is said to be based on Margarete von Waldeck’s life.

As with all stories, they change every time they are told but when Disney got ahold of a story, he made them happily ever after.

Celebrate Fairy Tales today and even look up some of the less than happy Grimm tales today.

NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY – known as the happy nut in China and the smiling nut in India, the pistachio is a very popular nut.  Bet you just can’t eat one!

The shell will will split when the nut is ripe and they are said to be dyed red or green when the nuts are considered inferior.  I am not sure what that means but when faced with a bowl of pistachios, coloured or otherwise, I find them all irresistible.

The nuts themselves are full of vitamins and minerals but I want to talk about the  shells.  There are many uses for these little hard vessels.  They can be placed at the bottom of plant containers for drainage, around the base of hostas to deter slugs, in crafts for texture and as fire starters.

Many reasons to eat pistachios! Don’t forget to save those shells!

February 25th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED NUT DAY – given the choice between chocolate covered peanuts and chocolate covered raisins, I would probably choose the raisins.  However, if you put box of chocolate covered almonds in front of me, I will polish them off with glee!

The first marketed chocolate covered nuts were called Goobers in 1925.  Goober was slang for peanut and they became very popular.  The market has since grown to epic proportions with every type of nut being covered in every type of chocolate.

These snacks are healthy too (in moderation, of course)!  Nuts contain many essential vitamins, minerals, oils and acids.  Chocolate, especially dark, contains antioxidants.  Celebrate the chocolate covered nut today!

NATIONAL CLAM CHOWDER DAY – There’s a debate on the burner as to where the word “chowder” originated.  The French claim it is from their word “chauldiere” which means cauldron.  The English refer to a fish peddler as a “jowter”.  Whichever way you look at it, chowder is a mainstay.

Enjoy a bowl of this rich soup today in celebration of Clam Chowder.  Eastern Canada and New England are famous for their fish chowders and include potatoes, onions, celery,  and even occasionally tomatoes in their recipes.

Dinner is planned for you … Clam chowder in a bread bowl, followed by a dessert of chocolate covered nuts.  You’re welcome.

 

 

 

February 24th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL SKIP THE STRAW DAY – I was intrigued when I read this one.  There is a registrar for National Days and most applicants are either companies or organizations.  For example, yesterday’s exciting celebration of National Tile Day was established by Coverings, an international tile and stone show.  But the newly designated Skip The Straw Day was founded by children.  The Coral Keepers from Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI want to spread the word about the dangers of plastic drinking straw to the ecology of the earth.  Drinking straws were originally paper and have evolved to plastic, with an estimated 500 million drinking straws used and trashed each day!    Follow The Coral Keepers on twitter at @WMSCoralKeepers.

I am imaging the earth one day completely covered in plastic water bottles and drinking straws.  I have given up plastic water bottles and will now skip the straw.

NATIONAL TORTILLA CHIP DAY – Tortilla chips were first massed produced in Los Angeles in the 1940s.  They were originally produced as a way to use rejected tortillas in a tortilla factory.  What a happy accident!

We enjoy tortilla chips in so many ways now … nachos, dipped in salsa, guacamole, or chili con queso.  They come in many colours depending on the corn used to make them.

Enjoy tortilla chips today!!

 

February 23rd

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL TILE DAY – tile has been used in Architecture for centuries.  It’s affordability, however, has changed greatly over the years.  When tiles were only hand crafted by artisans, only the wealthy could afford them.  Today, the variety and cost options have placed tile in most people’s homes.

I have tile in my foyer and my bathrooms but my favourite tile is on my kitchen backsplash.  It is multi-colored glass time and I celebrate it daily by splashing water and spaghetti sauce on it!

NATIONAL CHILI DAY – Chili, a popular winter dish, began as a convenient dish for frontier settlers on trail drives.  Dried beef, suet, chilies and spices were combined and pounded into bricks for easy transport.  It would then be boiled when needed.  Chili was the early space food!  Chili, along with ribs, has become a most popular cook-off food.  Feel free to share your favourite recipe with me!

NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY – when I think of Banana Bread, I think of a moist, sweet snack, less bread … more cake, preferably with chocolate chips.  Pillsbury and Chiquita produced recipe books that made banana bread a household name.  But my favourite story is that a variation of banana bread likely began in the West Indies.  Banana skins would be dried and then pounded into flour for baking.  Anyone willing to give this a try and report back to me?

NATIONAL TOAST DAY – Toast is both a noun and a verb.  We can make toast.  We can toast bread.  We can toast with toast. Toast is versatile and most people have their favourite toppings for it whether be in peanut butter, jam, marmalade or my friend’s husband’s favourite …. marmite (blecch!!).

NATIONAL DOG BISCUIT DAY – just when I had your mouth watering with yummy food, I had to throw in the dog biscuit.  But man’s best friend deserves to celebrate so throw them a bone-shaped cookie today!

Happy Day!

 

 

February 22nd

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY – tequila, triple sec, lemon or lime and lots of crushed ice!  What could be better?  According to Jimmy Buffet, looking for my lost shaker of salt and wastin away are great ways of enjoying the Margarita.

The Magarita has become the most popular tequila cocktail and has also become the focus of many happy hours.  It also has fruit iin it so it is healthy too!

NATIONAL COOK A SWEET POTATO DAY – sweet potato fries, mashed on Sheppard’s Pie, and sweet potato casserole.  Yum!  Not to mention vitamin B-12, vitamin C and magnesium.

 

 

February 21st

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL STICKY BUN DAY – this delicious concoction, originally known as “schnecken”, can be enjoyed as breakfast or dessert … how awesome is that?

Sticky buns consist of a leavened dough that contain brown sugar and cinnamon.  The dough is rolled and placed on top of a mixture of maple syrup, honey, butter, sugar, and nuts.  The sticky buns are baked and then turned upside down afterward, ready for some serious snacking!

THere are many variations of sticky buns and there is even business devoted to making their most famous cousin, the cinnamon roll.

My favourite cinnamon rolls are found in Port Perry, in a bakery call Hanks.  Yum!

Do you have a favourite recipe?

 

 

 

February 20th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL CHERRY PIE DAY –  My grandfather used to have a piece of pie everyday … I have often wondered if he actually had one with every meal.   I would not blame him if they were all cherry pie, my favourite.

A little history lesson of the pie:  English settlers brought the pie to America with them, cooking them in long narrow pastry pans  called “coffyns”. A coffyn was made of flour, suet and boiling water.  These early pie crusts were not originally eaten but used as a vessel to hold the filling during baking.  I think I am going to enjoy calling my pie crust a coffyn!  Cherry pies are best baked in a deep dish with oodles of cherries!

NATIONAL LOVE YOUR PET DAY – Have you met my daughters?  And our cats?  Talk about loving their pets EVERY day.  I swear they come home specifically to see the felines but I take no offence.  Snapchat seems to mostly about the cats.  You get the idea …. post about the pets who you love today!

 

February 19th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MINT DAY – Chocolate was originally used by the Aztecs but the bitter flavour did not make it very popular.  Eventually, it was brought to the Europeans who began to add mint, cinnamon  and other spices to enhance the flavour of chocolate, served mostly as a hot beverage.  It was not until sugar was added that the desire for chocolate soared.  It is nearly unmatched today in dessert circles.

Thin mint cookies were introduced by the Girl Guides in 1953 and are still their most popular cookie (although I prefer the vanilla wafer cookie).

Chocolate mint flavoured foods are plentiful and should be eaten as much as possible today. It’s required!

MATIONAL LASH DAY – Eyelashes, true or false are to be celebrated today.  Ask anyone who has ever lost their eyelashes knows of the important roll that they play:  help keep moisture in the eye but also help keep water and other substances from entering our eyes.  Eyelashes make eyes pop and can be enhanced with dyes, mascara or extensions.  Flutter them today!!

 

February 18th

TODAY IS:

NATIONAL DRINK WINE DAY – well, it’s Saturday, our big fundraising gig is today and we are supposed to drink wine. Ok, I am in! Wine is a universal ready-made cocktail of yumminess. Over the years, my favourite has shifted from Chardonnay to Shiraz to Pinot Grigio with a little of everything in between. Wine, in moderation, has many health benefits and can be paired beautifully with all types of food! One of my favourite gatherings are wine and cheese parties because the different palates and offerings are so interesting! Cheers 🍷


NATIONAL BATTERY DAY – FUN FACT:  the alkaline battery and the lithium battery were invented by a Canadian dude! His name was Lewis Urry and he lived in Pontypool Ontario. He improved upon primitive designs to develop the small pack of energy that runs our lives and now … cars! Celebrate by counting everything that you use in a day powered by batteries and raise a glass of wine to Lewis Urry! Cheers 🍷

NATIONAL CRAB STUFFED FLOUNDER DAY – a dish of crab stuffing wrapped in a whole flounder and baked. This dish is most popular on the East and Gulf Coasts and can be paired with a nice Riesling or Chardonnay (notice how I slipped the wine drinking in again?). Cheers 🍷