Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

h1

What am I celebrating today?

April 6, 2017

Today is National Tartan Day, which makes note of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.  This document declared Scotland to be an independent and sovereign country – my, how things have changed.

h1

What am I celebrating on tattoo Tuesday?

March 28, 2017

March 28 is Something on a Stick Day

When I was a Girl Scout and we went camping, sometimes we took twigs, took off the bark, wrapped the end in biscuit dough and baked them over a campfire.  When they were done, we pulled them off the twigs and stuffed them with jam.  I remember them being one of the best things I had ever tasted.

I am not sure I would have the same response now.

These look good, though.

And then there are corn dogs.

h1

What am I noting on March 15?

March 15, 2017

Thinking about Julius Caesar?  Think again.  This is the day the buzzards traditionally return to Hinkley, Ohio.

More here at CMNH

h1

What am I baking today?

March 1, 2017

st-david

March 1st is St. David’s Day.

St. David is the patron saint of Wales. He was a preacher and church founder, born sometime in the 6th century.  According to Wikipedia, “His best-known miracle is said to have taken place when he was preaching in the middle of a large crowd at the Synod of Brefi: the village of Llanddewi Brefi stands on the spot where the ground on which he stood is reputed to have risen up to form a small hill. A white dove, which became his emblem, was seen settling on his shoulder.” Leeks and daffodils are also associated with St. David and are symbols of Wales.

welsh-cakes

I propose baking Welsh Cakes to commemorate the day . . .

“These soft, tender cakes are a cross between a pancake and a baking powder biscuit, with elements of cookies and muffins thrown in for good measure. Sturdy enough to be eaten out of hand, they can be served plain; sprinkled with sugar (or cinnamon-sugar, our favorite); or spread with butter, and gilded with sugar or jam. In addition, they’re excellent the next day, warmed in the toaster as you’d warm toaster cakes.

Native to Wales, as their name suggests, Welsh Cakes are the perfect breakfast on the feast day of their native country’s patron saint, St. David — celebrated each year on March 1.”

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon salt**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cold butter**, cut into pats or diced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup currants
  • 2 large eggs beaten with enough milk to yield 3/4 cup liquid
  • **Use 1/4 teaspoon salt if you use salted butter; 3/4 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter.

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. Work in the butter until the mixture is fairly evenly crumbly; a few larger pieces of butter can remain.
  3. Mix in the currants.
  4. Add the milk/egg mixture, mixing until the everything is moistened.
  5. Turn the sticky dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a thick, 4″ to 5″ disc. Cover one of the discs with plastic, and refrigerate. Leave the other on the floured work surface.
  6. Roll the soft dough into a 9 1/2″ circle; it should be about 1/4″ thick. Be sure to lift up the dough and flour underneath it as you roll, so it doesn’t stick.
  7. Using a 2 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ biscuit or other round cutter, cut the dough into circles. Gather and re-roll the scraps, cutting until you’ve used all the dough.
  8. Heat an ungreased skillet over low-medium heat; an electric frying pan or skillet, set at 325°F, works well here.
  9. Fry the cakes for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side, until they’re golden brown and cooked all the way through. It’s best to fry one sample cake first, to see if your pan is the right temperature.
  10. Transfer the fried cakes to a rack to cool.
  11. Repeat with the refrigerated dough. Cut the circles, then let them warm at room temperature for about 10 minutes before frying.
  12. Dust the finished cakes with cinnamon-sugar or superfine (castor) sugar; or split them, butter, and spread with jam. A pot of tea is the perfect accompaniment.
  13. Yield: about 2 dozen 2 3/4″ cakes

This recipe is from King Arthur Flour

h1

What am I celebrating?

February 28, 2017

Happy Pancake Day – I mean Fat Tuesday- I mean Carnivale or Karneval – I mean Shrove Tuesday – I mean Lupercalia (where did that come from?)

mardi-gras-face

Today is Mardi Gras

This celebration has its roots in a number of different traditions, both religious and pagan.

king-cake

So eat your King Cake, pancakes, paczkis, jambalaya, fastlagsbulle, and celebrate.

BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE Fresh paczki are a Polish seasonal pastry served until Lent. The pastries resemble doughnuts but have slightly different dough and a lot more filling.

BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
Fresh paczki are a Polish seasonal pastry served until Lent. The pastries resemble doughnuts but have slightly different dough and a lot more filling.

h1

What do I wish for Valentine’s Day?

February 14, 2017

image1

According to Nestle research, “KITKAT is widely known for being a ‘Good Luck Charm for Students Taking Entrance Exams’.  KITKAT naturally became a booster for students taking entrance exams in Kyushu since the name sounds like ‘Kitto katsu to!’, (Win for sure!) in the Kyushu dialect. Around 2002, the practice spread by word-of-mouth among students across the country.”

When it comes to integrating candy and culture, KITKAT Japan is brilliant.  Some of the flavors and packaging available only in Japan include:

image-tokyo

Rum Raisin

image-okinawa1

Purple Sweet Potato

image-shinshu1

Apple

image-shizuoka

White Chocolate Wasabi

image-hiroshima1

Red Bean and White Chocolate with a Maple Leaf design

image-kanto

Strawberry Cheesecake packaged in a replica of Mt. Fuji

Probably my favorite, however, are these limited edition creations crafted from fruit flavored KITKAT and crispy rice in the form of sushi.  These are available at the new KITKAT Chocolatory on the Ginza. Using ingredients like raspberry for maguro (tuna), melon mascarpone cheese for uni (sea urchin) and pumpkin for tamago (egg), the company has created 3 series of replica sushi treats that replaces the rice with a rice crispy treat-like base.

valentines-japan-2017-6

 

Ref: Spoon & Tamago and the KITKAT Japan sites

h1

What am I celebrating?

January 31, 2017

nauru-peopleJanuary 31 is celebrated as Nauru Independence Day. Nauru is the smallest state in the South Pacific and third smallest state by area in the world, with 10,084 residents in a 21-square-kilometre (8.1 sq mi) area, it is behind only Vatican City and Monaco in size.

nauru_map

Settled by native peoples from Micronesia and Polynesia, Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, who were bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. After the war ended, the country entered into UN trusteeship. Nauru gained its independence in 1968.

SONY DSC

Photo credit: Hadi Zaher

Nauru enjoyed a thriving economy through the 1970s due to the abundance of phosphate on the island which was easily accessed by strip-mining.  Unfortunately, depletion of the phosphate reserves has led to a down turn in the Nauru’s economy.

map-of-nauru-world

Text from Wikipedia