Thursday, July 23, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 23 2015

Gorgeous Grandma Day


To my delight, today is July 23rd and it is dedicated to Gorgeous Grandmothers. Gorgeous Grandma Day was created by a woman name Alice Solomon, who was an author, speak and radio host, who wanted to celebrate women fifty and over that were getting old gracefully and still enjoying life. Being a grandma myself, I thought that was an awesome idea!

Gorgeous Grandma Day is a time of the year in which we can celebrate the grannies in our lives. Everybody thinks that their grandma is gorgeous – so what could be better than an entire day devoted to acknowledging that fact? Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are well known, so Gorgeous Grandma Day is a natural progression.

Now that you know the day exists, hopefully you are already making plans to spend it with your own gran. No matter what your grandmother prefers to do with her time, this is the day in which you can be sure she will have plenty of time to do it – and plenty of people willing to support her.

Hot Enough For Ya Day


Its hot! Its sticky! And its still hot! Its so hot you can even fry an egg on the street!

Here's the day when the tired old greeting actually gains acceptance. Go ahead, say it, if you don't have anything else to add.

In most parts of the U.S., "Hot Enough for Ya Day" is well appreciated and understood. Temperatures in many parts of the country will reach well beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and citizens will be seeking out new and innovative ways to stay cool. On July 23, 2011, 14 all-time temperature records were broken and seven were tied. Cameron, Pa., reached 106 degrees, beating the previous record by a whopping four degrees!


National Hot Dog Day



Today is National Hot Dog Day! Hot dogs are one of the most iconic American foods. No cookout or baseball game would be complete without a delicious hot dog served on a bun and covered in ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, or chili.

Hot dogs (which are also known as frankfurters, franks, wieners, dogs, and red hots) have been around since the late 1800s.

 The hot dog is the quintessential summer food: cheap, tasty, great for grills and forgiving of even the most inexperienced backyard cooks. But who made the first hot dog? Historians believe that its origins can be traced all the way back to era of the notorious Roman emperor Nero, whose cook, Gaius, may have linked the first sausages. In Roman times, it was customary to starve pigs for one week before the slaughter. Gaius was watching over his kitchen when he realized that one pig had been brought out fully roasted, but somehow not cleaned. He stuck a knife into the belly to see if the roast was edible, and out popped the intestines: empty because of the starvation diet, and puffed from the heat. According to legend, Gaius exclaimed, “I have discovered something of great importance!” He stuffed the intestines with ground game meats mixed with spices and wheat, and the sausage was created.

After that, the sausage traveled across Europe, making its way eventually to present-day Germany. The Germans took to the sausage as their own, creating scores of different versions to be enjoyed with beer and kraut. In fact, two German towns vie to be the original birthplace of the modern hot dog. Frankfurt claims the frankfurter was invented there over 500 years ago, in 1484: eight years before Columbus set sail for America. But the people of Vienna (Wien, in German) say they are the true originators of the “wienerwurst.” No matter which town might have originated this particular sausage, it’s generally agreed that German immigrants to New York were the first to sell wieners, from a pushcart, in the 1860s.

The man most responsible for popularizing the hot dog in the United States was, however, neither German nor Austrian. His name was Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. In 1915 Handwerker worked at a hot dog stand at Coney Island, where he made a whopping $11 a week slicing buns. The hardworking Handwerker lived entirely on hot dogs and slept on the kitchen floor for a year until he’d saved $300, enough to start a competing stand. He was a savvy businessman: knowing his former boss charged 10 cents apiece for dogs, Handwerker charged only 5 cents. Customers flocked to him, his competitor went out of business, and Nathan’s Famous was born.

By the Depression, Nathan’s hot dogs were known throughout the United States. In fact, they were so beloved as delicious, all-American eats that they were even served to royalty. When President Franklin Roosevelt hosted King George VI of England and his queen at a picnic in Hyde Park in 1939, first lady Eleanor decided to make grilled hot dogs part of the menu, a choice that received much press coverage at the time. A whole month before the picnic, Mrs. Roosevelt mentioned the hubbub in her syndicated newspaper column. “So many people are worried that the dignity of our county will be imperiled by inviting royalty to a picnic, particularly a hot dog picnic!” But the hot dogs proved to be a great hit: the king enjoyed them so much he asked for seconds.

Today, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council estimates that Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year!

To celebrate National Hot Dog Day, cook up some hot dogs for dinner tonight. Invite some friends over for an impromptu cookout and celebrate this yummy all-American favorite.

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day



Ice is back with a brand new ... food holiday: July 23 is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day!

Vanilla has historically been the favorite ice cream flavor of Americans. Here are some ice cream facts from the International Dairy Foods Association:

Approximately 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the U.S. in 2011.

The U.S. ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion in 2010, with take-home ice cream sales representing the largest section of the market, generating revenues of $6.8 billion or 67.7 percent of the market's overall value.

The central region of the U.S. led production of ice cream and related frozen products, producing 726 million gallons in 2011.

Frozen dairy production follows a clear seasonal pattern. Summer is the unchallenged season for eating ice cream and other related products. Production kicks up in March and April to fill retail and food service pipelines in the late spring and early summer. June is the highest production month of the year, but production remains strong through August to satisfy summer demand.

Vanilla was first used among the Aztec people. By the 1500’s, Spanish conquistadors, exploring present-day Mexico, had come across Mesoamerican people who consumed vanilla in their drinks and foods. The vanilla bean was brought back to Spain with the conquistadors. In Spain, "vanilla was used to flavor a chocolate drink that combined cacao beans, vanilla, corn, water, and honey". The drink eventually spread to France, England, and then all of Europe by the early 1600s. In 1602, Hugh Morgan, the apothecary of Queen Elizabeth I, recommended that vanilla should be used separately from cocoa.

Ice cream can be traced back to the Yuan period of the fourteenth century. There is evidence that ice cream was served in the Mogul Court. The idea of using a mixture of ice and salt for its refrigerating effects, which is a part of the process of creating ice cream, originated in Asia. The method spread from the East to Europe when theArabs and the Moors traveled to Spain, between 711 and 1492. Once the refrigerating method of mixing ice and salt had spread to Europe, the Italians became involved in making ice cream. By the early eighteenth century, recipes for ice cream had appeared in France. According to Frozen Desserts: The Definitive Guide to Making Ice Creams, Ices, Sorbets, Gelati, and Other Frozen Delights, the French transformed ice cream into a smoother and richer food with the addition of eggs or egg yolks in the recipe. The first ice cream recipes recorded by the French in the early eighteenth century did not include egg yolks. However, by the middle of the eighteenth century, French recipes for ice cream started to include egg yolks.

When the use of vanilla in foods and drinks became independent of cacao, the French started to use it more in recipes. The French used vanilla to flavor French vanilla ice cream. Vanilla ice cream was introduced to the United States when Thomas Jefferson discovered the flavor in France and brought the recipe to the United States. During the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson wrote his own recipe for vanilla ice cream. The recipe is housed at the Library of Congress.

The best part about vanilla ice cream, though, is that it lends itself extremely well to toppings. What's your favorite way to spruce up the old favorite?