Saturday, August 2, 2014

Holidays and Observances for August 2 2014

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day


National Ice Cream Sandwich Day is an unofficial food holiday celebrated on August 2 each year. The food holiday is known as a time to enjoy an ice cream treat which dates back to the 1800s. A traditional ice cream sandwich is a slice of ice cream sandwiched between two layers of cake like rectangles. The sandwich has evolved over time and may be served on a regular cookie, or made into a mini sized treat on a bite sized cookie piece. The flavors for an ice cream sandwich can vary according to the taste preferences of the individuals. Ice cream manufacturers now make a variety of flavors matching cookie type to different ice creams.

While history of the day honoring the ice cream sandwich is not known, the history of the treat itself dates back to the late 1800s. FoodTimeline.org cites the Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani Lebhar Friedman: New York as an early reference to the existence of the sandwich. The sandwich was initiated in New York by street vendors who served their ice cream in slices between cake like cookies. In San Francisco, a similar treat was made using an oatmeal cookie.

When the Hydrox cookie was marketed in 1908, making an ice cream sandwich similar to what is thought of as the ice cream cookie sandwich was made possible. The first commercially sold ice cream sandwiches were sold by ice cream trucks. 

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day celebrations could involve a trip to the grocery store for choices of a variety of sandwiches available from ice cream manufacturers. A selection of sandwiches could be offered as an office treat to celebrate the day. As an alternative and as a learning project for the children, a family event might include making ice cream sandwiches at home. This could include making cookies from scratch, using premade cookie dough, or using a favorite store bought cookie, combined with favorite ice cream flavors.

National Mustard Day


Today is National Mustard Day! Are you a mustard lover? Do you find an excuse to put mustard on everything you eat? Today we honor this delicious yellow condiment and all the flavor it brings to our lives.

Mustard grows wild; food historians believe it was first cultivated in India around 3,000 B.C.E. Mustard seed is mentioned in the Bible: The Hebrews used mustard for cooking, and Abraham is said to have served cow tongue with mustard—a delicious combination that can be found today at a good delicatessen.

The Greeks used mustard as both a condiment and a medicine: The mathematician and scientist Pythagoras (570-ca. 490 B.C.E.) prescribed it for scorpion stings and the pioneering physician Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.E.) used it as a medicine and for poultices, a use that continued until recent times as mustard plasters. According to Colman’s Mustard, an early reference to the potent nature of the mustard seed was in exchange between King Darius of Persia and the young Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.). Darius gave Alexander a sack of sesame seeds to represent the number of men in his army, and Alexander responded with a sack of mustard seeds to represent both the number and the fiery nature of his army.

The Romans followed the Greeks. While recipes for mustard paste appear as early as 42 C.E.—Pliny the Elder (23-79 C.E.) made mention of its strong flavor and developed a recipe that involved crushing the seeds in vinegar—mustard was not an everyday condiment in ancient Greece or Rome—they preferred a fermented fish sauce called garum (similar to today’s Asian fish sauces, like nam pla, made of anchovies). When it was used, mustard was often prepared freshly: Diners crushed the seed on their plates as we would freshly crack pepper, and mixed it with wine or water to taste. (Try it at home!)

By the 9th century, French monasteries were generating considerable income from mustard sales. By the 13th century, Parisian merchants included mustard among their daily sauces for sale. Pope John XXII of Avignon (1249-1334) loved mustard so much that he created the post of “Grand Moutardier du Pape” (Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope), Grey Poupon Mustardand gave the job to an idle nephew who lived near Dijon. Dijon soon became the mustard center of the world. Mustard-making was so important that in 1634, a law was passed to grant the men of the town the exclusive right to make mustard.

In 1777, the modern history of mustard began when two townsmen, Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon, founded a company using Grey’s recipe and Poupon’s money (answering the question, for those of you who have been wondering all these years, of what a poupon is, much less a grey one). Their original store still stands in downtown Dijon. The House of Maille was founded in 1747, in Paris. Benjamin Franklin, ambassador to France, may have brought mustard to the U.S. upon his return in 1758. (Was it Maille? Was it Grey Poupon? Perhaps the answer will be discovered in a diary someday.)

Maille MustardEngland’s Keen & Sons was founded in the same year as Maille; but the most notable English mustard-maker did not come along for another 50 years. Jeremiah Colman, a miller, initiated clever business practices that led to the establishment of Colman’s Mustard of England in 1814, and would make his name synonymous with mustard. He perfected the technique of grinding mustard seeds into a fine powder without creating heat, which evaporates the oil, and the pungent flavor along with it. In 1866, Colman was appointed mustard-maker to Queen Victoria; the proclamation and coat of arms are at the top of the can.

Colman's MustardDespite the wide acceptance of mustard and the regulations governing its production, its popularity declined by the early 18th century, partly because of the attraction of new spices available from the Far East. The mustard market was revived in 1856, however, when Jean Naigeon substituted verjus for the vinegar in prepared mustard. The result—a smooth, less acidic mustard. Dijon once more became the undisputed capital of the once-more-beloved condiment.

To celebrate this unique occasion, break out your favorite kind of mustard and use it to enhance your food at lunch and dinner today. You can also invite some friends and family over for a mustard tasting party! The truly dedicated can head to Horeb, Wisconsin to witness the annual National Mustard Day Parade, which is sponsored by the Mustard Museum. Enjoy!


International Hangover Day



Good mourning and wlcome to International Hangover day, the aftermath of International Beer Day!  I hoe your international Beer Day was as fun and eventful as mine!

Now as mayor of this fine holiday I would lik to address the accusation going around this year that Internatal hangOver da has sold out.  That is simply not tru!  Just because this year's holiday has been sponsered by PainGo! pain relief doesn't mean any thing has chnged here in Headache Land.  though I sure am glad I took mine this morning!  And how speedy the relief is!  I'm feeling bettr already!  In fact I've gone ahead nd taken all my Advil and Tylenol out of my medicine cabinet, marched it out the front door of my new beachside condo and thrown it straight into that hole in the gutter with that fish painting on it.

Just kidding!  I had my live-in maid do that fr me.  In fact I haven't even goten out of bed yet!  And not because I can barely move my eyes without feeling like I'm on a sailboat in a sea of turbulent vomit , but because I've simply never felt anything so delightfully smooth as my new silk sheets, imported all the way from Marrakesh!

Now don't worry, I won't bore you with the numerous merits of this hearty pain reliever, though it'd be a crime not to!  I mean I keep a dish full of them on my coffee table and hand them out to visitors like Werhter's Originals. And when the trick or treaters come by...Don't get me started!  Let's just say I've got quite the reputation on my block... Afterwards the kids always come back to toss me their old tomatoes and toilet paper, but with pain relief this good who needs a bloody mary and a roll of vomit rags to get the day started?!

PainGo! pain relief is great for all kinds of aches and pains, like:
  • headache
  • fever
  • homework
  • excessive nibbling
  • Unitarianism
  • that scene from Reservoir Dogs with the ear thing
  • I could go on.  In fact my contract states I have to.
PainGo! is also great for:
  • polo injuries
  • having to watch a game of polo
  • gouging your eyes out on account a' you're Oedipus
  • biting the inside of you're mouth
  • biting the inside of someone else's mouth
  • recovering from jaw surgery after Alex bet you couldn't fit a whol- oh wait, I just had to list ten things.
Moving on, I'd just like to reassure everyone that the spirit of International Hangover Day is still as strong as ever.  Almost as strong as the pain relief PainGo! disperses throughout my body every 1st Saturday of August.  In fact I'm ready for an ice cold one as soon as I pop two of these sexy capsules into the old word-dispensor!

Now I know what you're thinking: Isn't it dangerous to take PainGo! with alcohol and an empty stomach?

In conclusion:
(Mr. Araki had to run off to his tennis date with Serena Williams and Heidi Klum, but on behalf of him and myself (his personal secretary Hilga) we wish you Peppy PainGo! Hangover Day!)

Mead Day


Organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in 2002, Mead Day was created to increase mead awareness and foster camaraderie among meadmakers. Homebrewers and meadmakers around the world are encouraged to invite friends and family to celebrate Mead Day by making a delicious batch of mead together!

Perhaps the oldest known fermented beverage, mead is made by combining honey, water and yeast. Sometimes referred to as “honey wine,” mead can range from sweet to very dry, and can be flavored with flowers, fruits, herbs, spices, vegetables or virtually anything you can think of.

Making mead at home is simple, and if you have equipment to make beer, you should be ready to make a batch of delicious mead!

What better way to celebrate mead then by brewing a batch with your friends? The AHA has all the resources you need to make mead and teach others the secret of fermenting honey into wine.