Thursday, August 29, 2013

Holidays for August 29th 2013

National Chop Suey Day

Get your chop sticks ready!  National Chop Suey Day is celebrated each year on August 29.

Chop suey, which literally means, “assorted pieces” is a dish in American Chinese cuisine, consisting of meat (chicken, fish, beef, prawns or pork) and eggs that are cooked quickly with vegetables (usually bean sprouts, cabbage and celery) and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. Rice normally accompanies this delicious dish.

“A prime example of culinary mythology” and typical with popular foods, there is a long list of colorful and conflicting stories of the origin of chop suey, according to food historian Alan Davidson.

It is believed, by some, that chop suey was invented in America by Chinese Americans however, anthropologist E.N. Anderson concludes that it is based on tsap seui (“miscellaneous leftovers“) which is common in Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province.  Taishan is the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the United States.

Another account claims that chop suey was invented by Chinese American cooks that were working on the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century.

A tale is told of chop suey’s creation steaming from the Qing Dynasty premier Li Hongzhang’s visit to the United States in 1896 by his chef who wanted to created a meal that was suitable for both the Chinese and the American palates.  It has also been told that Li wandered to a local Chinese restaurant after the hotel kitchen closed, where the chef, embarrassed that he had nothing ready to offer, came up with the new “chop suey” dish using scraps of leftovers.

Another myth tells of an 1860′s Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco that was forced to serve something to the drunken miners after hours.  To avoid a beating, having no fresh food, he threw leftovers in a wok and served the miners.  The miners loved the dish, asking him what it was called to which he replied, Chopped Sui. 

Traveling to the United States in 1903, Liang Oichao, a Guangdong native, wrote that there existed a food item called chop suey which was popularly served by Chinese restaurateurs, but which local Chinese people did not eat.

Have A Wonderful, National Chop Suey Day!

Happy Housewives Holiday

Who's a happy housewife? Maybe the moniker is outdated, but August 29th honors the homemaker, the domestic goddess and the most contented nester. No desperate housewives are needed on Happy Housewives Holiday.

On this traditional occasion, family members celebrate those who keep the home fires burning without setting their homes ablaze. If you know a homemaker who excels with enthusiasm at her daily endeavors, August 29th is the day to show your appreciation.

This homey holiday has its roots in Catholic history. St. Sabina's Day is celebrated on August 29th. (St. Sabina was the patron saint of housewives.)

National Lemon Juice Day

August 29 is National Lemon Juice Day. Acknowledging Lemon juice and its uses.

The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade.

Almost all foods taste even better with a little lemon juice squeezed on top of it. Such foods include fish, chicken, and gravy. Of course, almost everyone knows lemon juice is good in iced tea. It is even good in just plain water.

Unlike salt, butter, or other seasonings that can make good foods bad for you, lemon juice won't do you any harm. In fact, it might even help you lose weight.

A lot of people have lemon juice in a hot cup of water as soon as they get out of bed in the morning. The benefits of the lemon juice last throughout the day.

National More Herbs Less Salt Day

Today's a great day for all of us intending to live a healthier lifestyle. We can start by celebrating "More Herbs, Less Salt Day" and swapping out our salt shakers for herbs like thyme, basil and oregano. The consumption of salt has been linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, and as little as two teaspoons a day may increase a person's risk of stroke.

You can make your own herbal blend to use as a salt substitute by combining specific herbs and seasonings that you prefer. Some that work well are cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sage, thyme, oregano, basil, onion powder and black pepper. Experiment with different combinations in varying amounts until you find one that works well for you. Keep in mind that many herbs are also believed to be helpful in fighting cancer.

Mary Poppins' Anniversary

On Aug. 29, 1964, Walt Disney released the timeless classic "Mary Poppins." Starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, it still remains a favorite of parents and children the world over. Here are some interesting mistakes and anachronisms from the movie:

* When Mary is trying out for Mr. Bank's nanny job, her gloves are white. When they move in to show the tears in her newspaper clipping, her gloves are black.

* When Mary and Bert are in the chalk pavement picture, just after Bert hits himself over the head and kneels on the ground, you can see where the back scenery meets the floor.

* When Mary is doing her magic to clean up the kids' room, the little girl snaps her fingers and her hats float to the racks in the closet. Just a few seconds later in a new scene, they are on top of a shelf in the closet.

According to Hoyle Day

In the 1740′s Englishman Edmond Hoyle earned extra income by tutoring high society at the game of whist, a precursor to modern bridge. When he discovered that there was no published set of rules for the game, he authored A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. Hoyle’s book quickly became a best-seller and he went on to publish other works like A Short Treatise on the Game of Backgammon, An Artificial Memory for Whist, and Short Treatises on the games of Piquet (which included sections about Chess and Quadrille). Eventually, Hoyle’s work overcame the leading standard, The Compleat Gamester, and became the authority for play according to the rules. The phrase “according to Hoyle” became synonymous for the final authority on a subject, or any set of official rules. Even today, many modern card game rule books reference Hoyle in their title. August 29th, the anniversary of Hoyle’s Death in 1769, is observed as “According to Hoyle” Day, offering game-players everywhere a chance to remember Endmond Hoyle and have some fun playing according to the rules.

When I was a kid I used to love playing card games, and even chess, but I hated learning all of the seemingly endless rules. Once I learned a game I was a fair to decent player. But like so many things in life, since I didn’t play the games on a regular basis, I’ve long forgotten how. And when I consider the sad fact that I can’t remember the basics of Chess (or even Go Fish), it’s almost comical to think that my parents tried to teach me Bridge on several occasions! Sorry, Mom and Dad — I guess I’m not cut out for the kind of “fun” that requires so much concentration! A few uncomplicated rounds of Poker are about as far as I’ve gotten with a stack of cards over the past couple of years.

This evening Chris and I celebrated “According to Hoyle” Day by brushing up on our game skills. I installed an app on my iPhone named “Learn Chess” to re-familiarize myself with all the rules. I’d forgotten all the little caveats and, to be honest, it was a little overwhelming. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the patience needed to be any good, especially considering the fact that I dislike most strategy games that require players to think so many steps ahead. And, unfortunately, I’m not very good at the few think-ahead strategy games that I actually do like (like Scrabble an Monopoly). But that’s not going to stop me from trying — Chris and I both installed the app so we can practice our moves against each other. But first, I spent most of the evening playing against “the computer” and using the built-in hints to pick up on useful strategies. Still, I doubt I’ve done enough homework to beat Chris. I guess there’s no time like the present to find out.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on August 29. It was established on December 2, 2009 at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly by the resolution 64/35, which was adopted unanimously.

The resolution in particular calls for increasing awareness "about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world". The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan together with several sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.

Following the establishment of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, in May 2010 all state parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons committed themselves to "achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons".

National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day

Sarcoidosis, a disease that affects many of our fellow citizens and people around the world, remains shrouded in mystery. Skin-related symptoms of this chronic, multi-system disease were first recognized more than 100 years ago; however, the effects of sarcoidosis on other bodily organs were not observed until the first quarter of this century. Today researchers are still trying to learn more about the cause and the nature of this affliction.

Sarcoidosis can strike people of all races and of all ages, but, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is most common among black Americans who are between the ages of 20 and 40. While no cause has yet been identified, it is thought that heredity predisposes some individuals to the disease. Intensive research during the past decade has not only supported this belief but also enabled physicians to diagnose and to manage sarcoidosis more effectively.

Today researchers at both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are leading studies on the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of sarcoidosis. On this occasion, we recognize their work and that of other concerned physicians and scientists throughout the United States. We also salute the victims of sarcoidosis who demonstrate great courage and determination in their efforts to cope with the disease; and we pay tribute to their family members and to other concerned Americans who are engaged in grass-roots efforts to promote awareness of sarcoidosis, as well as improved treatment and support for its victims.

To focus national attention on sarcoidosis, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 309, has designated August 29, 1991, as "National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 29, 1991, as National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.