Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holidays and Observances for December 30 2014

Bacon Day

If you are a bacon lover, and who isn't, go grab your fork! Hip hip hooray, Dec. 30 is Bacon Day! It's the perfect day to go hog wild! The annual food holiday, created by Danya Goodman and Meff Leonard, celebrates bacon in all its tasty glory! Bacon is so popular, it is celebrated several times a year.

A day in which millions of people around the world will celebrate a gift from Above. The poor man’s caviar. The delicacy of the disadvantaged. Today is Bacon Day, an event that brings together men and women from all backgrounds, nationalities, creeds and colors, as only bacon can do —Bacon Day, started in 2004 by some students at the University of Colorado, is celebrated annually on the Saturday before Labor Day around the globe. Some countries recognize Bacon Day on December 30, while others do Bacon Day on the first Saturday in January after the New Year. No matter the date, Bacon Day is a time to pig out on pig. The creative use of bacon on this day truly boggles the mind – bacon beer mugs full of melted cheese, bacon roses, bacon turtles, you name it. Some enterprising people have even used bacon to make clothing.

Now go! Get out and celebrate, nay, sing the praises of, bacon! It’s your chance to show the world that if we all ate bacon every day, war, famine, disease and skinny people will be no more! Kiss a pig today in honor of Bacon Day. Hug a butcher. Take a pig to a butcher. We couldn't do it without either of them. Then go make yourself a BLT. I really like Bacon!

Whether you prefer yours chewy or crispy, this popular meat product can be smoked, fried, baked, boiled or grilled. In honor of Bacon Day, why not whip up one or two of the bacon-inspired dishes, drinks and cocktail recipes listed below? It's time to make some bacon!

Falling Needles Family Fest Day

If you have had a real “evergreen” tree slowly dying in your living room for almost a month, as I have, you may have noticed the soft sounds of needles falling onto your carpet and your tree skirt of fake snow. Perhaps the people who invented this wacky holiday intend celebrants to put away the ornaments and lights, carry out the dried carcass of the former tree, and vacuum.

Nothing says family festivities like un-decorating a Christmas tree, unless it's vacuuming!

Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

New Year's Day is just two days away. Do you have your resolutions ready? If not, then the Festival Of Enormous Changes At The Last Minute could be the perfect holiday. How many years have we made our New Year's resolutions on the spot during the heat of the New Year's Eve moment while under the spell of the bubbly? Or, the next morning while recovering from its spell? This is the holiday that encourages us to plan ahead. To review the past year(s) unrushed with a clear mind to think about the life changes we'd like to make with the clean start of the coming year.

It's curious that this holiday refers to itself as a festival. Does this imply that we should invite a few friends and family to help us in our brainstorming of the enormous changes that we should make? Might be a little too much honesty going on for that to work out well. Perhaps, the festival meaning is that many of us will be simultaneously performing this activity on our own. We think we'll go with the latter interpretation.

National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

It’s National Bicarbonate of Soda Day! Sodium bicarbonate (commonly known as baking soda) is used in baking, cooking, deodorizing, cleaning, polishing, and countless other applications.

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate, sodium bicarb, and soda ash, is a non-toxic substance with limitless potential for use around the home. Baking soda's chemical name is NaHCO3, and can be made by a reaction known as the Solvay process, which is the combination of calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, ammonia, and carbon dioxide in water.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to utilize the salty deposit they found in the bottom of dried river beds for making glassware and ornaments. Even still today, baking soda makes up roughly 15% of glass.

The Romans were responsible for first using baking soda in cooking, using it as a leavening agent in bread. Today, baking soda is still used widely in cooking and baking, as it releases carbon dioxide when heated, causing the dough or mixture to rise. In Africa it has been used over the ages as a vital ingredient for preserving food and improving the quality of meat.

The Solvay process (the second artificial process for producing baking soda) was developed by the chemist Ernest Solvay in the 1860's which was a more environmentally friendly process for creating baking soda, for which there was a considerable demand.

The second method for sourcing baking soda is to mine Trona ore, which is an accumulation of mineral deposits found on lake beds. This ore is treated by heating then cleaning, and finally it is sent through a carbon dioxide solution before it is ready to be packaged.

It is also interesting to know that baking soda is a chemical which is created by our bodies, and is used by our bodies to regulate acidity, for example it is produced in saliva to neutralise plaque on teeth. It also helps to neutralise excess stomach acids which can cause stomach ulcers, and it is important to transport carbon dioxide from body tissues back into the bloodstream where it can be expelled by the body.

Baking soda is so useful and versatile because of it's chemical properties. It has a flexible molecular structure which allows it to be used as a mild abrasive. It is also an attractant, which makes it most useful when cleaning as it picks up the dirt. Because baking soda is an alkali, is can be used to neutralise acidic substances, and deodorize. When mixed with vinegar, baking soda reacts and fizzes (entertaining for children!) which can be used when cleaning.

Because of baking soda's non-toxic biodegradable properties, it can be used safely in almost every room in the house as a pest control method, as a cleaner, cooking agent, and a first aid box component.

Baking soda is a white, odorless, crystalline solid that is completely soluble in water. It is very useful around the home, the kitchen, and for medical purposes. Did you know that baking soda can even be used as an antacid to treat indigestion and heartburn? Sodium bicarbonate certainly deserves a whole day of celebration!