Summer is in full swing. It's time to slow down and to relax. During the Dog Days of summer (and all of the other summer days, too), there is no better place to slow down and relax, than on a hammock.
Hammock Day is appropriately celebrated right in the middle of the Dog Days of summer (July 3 through August 11th.
Hammock Day exists to enjoy summer as it should be enjoyed. People celebrate Hammock Day by spending as much time relaxing on it as possible. Getting out of your hammock to get a snack, or your favorite summer beverage is okay. But, it is not a day for work. Cutting the lawn is forbidden on this day.
The roots of Hammock Day and Hammock Day history is largely unknown. Maybe the originator was too busy napping on his or her hammock!?!
National Penuche Fudge Day
When it comes to the fudge family, most people are familiar with the chocolate and vanilla varieties. Today (July 22) on National Penuche Fudge Day, we give some much deserved attention to fudge’s lesser known cousin.
Penuche is categorized as a fudge because it’s prepared in a similar fashion, but it stands apart from its chocolate and vanilla relatives in that it uses (along with the standard ingredients of milk and butter) brown sugar instead of or in addition to white sugar. Penuche therefore typically has a creamy tan color and a caramel flavor.
This fudge-like candy often includes nuts, which can have a significant impact on the flavor. Pecans are the most popular choice if you want to enhance the naturally sweet taste of the candy, while nuts like walnuts lend a more bittersweet quality.
Penuche is considered more of a regional specialty, in contrast to the fairly ubiquitous chocolate and vanilla fudges. It enjoys its greatest popularity in Mexico, parts of the American South, and New England, where confectioners sometimes add maple syrup to the recipe. Penuche was also once a staple sweet in Hawaii, where it was called panocha or panuche.
We suggest celebrating National Penuche Day by savoring a sizable chunk of penuche fudge. If you can’t find it at your favorite candy shop, try out this simple recipe courtesy of www.pastrysampler.com:
2 c light brown sugar
2/3 c whole milk
1 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped nuts
Prep: Lightly butter a 9x5x3 inch pan.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and stirring constantly bring temperature to a soft-ball stage, 236°F. Remove from heat, add butter but do not stir. Set aside to cool to lukewarm, 110°F. Add in vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth, thick and creamy. Add in the nuts. Pour into prepared pan and cut into squares when cold.
National Ratcatcher's Day
Ratcatcher's Day commemorates the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the most infamous of Ratcatchers.
One of the most well known German folklores is the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The town of Hamelin, Germany was infested by rats. The mayor promised to handsomely pay the Pied Piper, if he rid the town of rats. The Pied Piper played his flute. Lured by the magical music, all of the rats left town, and followed him. He played his music all the way down to the river. He waded into the river. The rats followed him and drowned. The mayor refused to pay him. So, one night when the townspeople were asleep, the Pied Piper played his music again. This time, the children of the town followed him all the way into a cave. Some versions for the legend vary here. In one version, th e Pied Piper kept them there until he was paid by the town for his services. In most versions, the children were never to be seen again.
How many Rats were lured to the River? Estimates are upwards of a million!
If you see a Ratcatcher today, wish them Happy Ratcatcher's Day!
A spoonerism is a phrase in which some sounds have been mixed up, whether accidentally or intentionally. A few old examples include (click spoonerism link for lots more):
“Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” (customary to kiss)
“The Lord is a shoving leopard.” (a loving shepherd)
“A well-boiled icicle” (well-oiled bicycle)
Both the term and the holiday are named for the famous Oxford don, William Archibald Spooner. This absent-minded professor was born on July 22, 1844 and became known for his habit of mixing up sounds. Although many spoonerisms have been attributed to him, most scholars think they are apocryphal, created by other people and attributed to Spooner in order to create a good story.
To celebrate, witch your swords around as much as possible. If you need some more inspiration, check out “Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook” by Shel Silverstein.