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Holidays in December 2017

December is full of holidays.  December 1 is National Fried Pie Day.  Everyone loves fried apple pie.  Who knew frying a fruit and a bread would be so yummy.

December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day.  Aahh….the Latte, who can resist that pretty heart shaped, espresso and steamed milk goodness in a cup.  Its’ definition, the Italian café latte or ‘milk coffee’ is the beverage of all beverages for most folks.

December 4th is National Cookie Day.  Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter, the list is endless.  Our favorite snack dates back to its beginning in the 7th century.

December 5th is National Comfort Food Day.  Comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, or simple preparation.  What is your nostalgic or sentimental food or foods?  I have two favorites.  My first is my mom’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cake.  This is my birthday cake my mother has made for me as long as I can remember.  It’s great, no its Heaven on a plate!! How can anyone not like chocolate cake, and homemade chocolate icing with cherries and walnuts in-between each layer, yes and yes?  I’m sure there are at least 500 calories in a slice.  My second favorites is her homemade biscuits.  Have mercy!!  Another favorite was my grandmother Hood’s dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my Grandmother Robbins’ homemade vegetable soup.  No one can match them.

Comfort foods are prepared as gifts, are prepared when people are sad, happy or just because.  Comfort foods were introduced to us in 1966.  The comfort food evolved due to emotions running high.  Individuals would turn to the food or foods they enjoyed most.  It is said that comfort foods almost are like a medicinal or therapeutic cure for stress.

So what are the chosen comfort above all foods?  In a survey the top five comfort foods are chicken Pot Pie, Chili, Chicken and Dumplings, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Mac& Cheese. It would be hard to list all of America’s favorite comfort.  Other countries have comfort foods too.  Canadians choose milk shakes, egg sandwiches, pea soup and waffles.  In Australia and New Zealand enjoy mutton and sausage and mash, while India likes porridge.  Comfort foods are everywhere.  What is your favorite comfort food?

December 6th is National Microwave Oven day.  The microwave discovered by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. The year was 1945.  I remember using the microwave oven for the first time.  I prepared a baked potato and didn’t wait for the potato to cool.  I really think it cooked my insides it was so hot.

December 7th is National Cotton Candy Day.  Cotton Candy!! That sugary mound of fluff!  Also known as fairy floss, cotton candy dates back to the 1400’s.  Dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton are credited for the invention of machine-spun cotton candy in 1897.

December 8th is National Brownie Day.  Brownies, a cross between a cake and a cookie, were introduced to the United States in late 19th century.  So how did the brownie become a brownie?  Well there are several thought or myths about this.    Three myths that have gained popularity over the years, regarding the creation of the brownie. Myth number one is a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.  Myth number two is a cook forgot to add flour to the batter. And three, a housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat.  The story tells that she was baking for guests and decided she would serve them these flattened cakes.  (nationaldaycalendar.com)  Either way myth or mistake it’s a yummy one.

December 9th is National Pastry Day.  Pastries are doughs rolled thinly to make delicious pies, tarts and quiches.  Pastries can be traced back as far as the ancient Mediterranean.  We know this pastry dough as Phyllo dough.  French and Italian introduced cream puffs, and eclairs, Napoleon’s favorite.  There are many pastries to choose from.  They are; short crust pastry – simplest and most common.  The Sweet crust pastry – similar to the short crust but sweeter.  The Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.  The Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.  The Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.  And the Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.

December 14th is National Biscuit and Gravy day.  If a person can learn to make biscuits and gravy, a simple meal, he or she will not ever be hungry.  Biscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the South. It consists of a doughy biscuit covered in sausage or sawmill gravy, made for the drippings of cooked pork sausage and flavored with black pepper.  The meal was introduced during the American Revolutionary War when food rations were very low.  The doughy biscuit meals was also popular in the south.  Plantation workers prepared the meal frequently due to cost and its abundance.

December 16th is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.  Anything is good covered with chocolate.

December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day.  Let’s make waffles and pancakes for breakfast, or dinner.

December 19th is National Hard Candy Day and National Oatmeal Muffin Day.  My favorite candy is cinnamon.  My favorite muffin is chocolate chip.  What’s yours?

December 20th is National Sangria Day, December 21st is National French Fried Shrimp Day, December 22nd is National Date Nut Bread Day, and December 23 is National Bake Day.

December 24th is National Egg Nog Day.  Egg Nog is “The armored infantry was Santa Claus, the battle was our Christmas. What else for the elves to do on Christmas Eve but to let their hair down and drink a little eggnog.” ―Hiroshi Sakurazaka. We all know that famous holiday drink, the one sold in stores only during the length of November through December. It’s eggnog!(daysofhteyear.com)

December 25th is National Pumpkin Pie Day, December 26th is National Candy Cane Day, December 27th is National National Fruitcake Day, December 28th is National Box of Chocolates Day, December 29th is National Get on the Scales Day, now who really wants to do that?  December 30th is National Bacon Day, and December 31 is National Vinegar Day.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!