Saturday, July 25, 2015

Holidays and Observances for July 25 2015

Culinarians Day

Culinarians Day is celebrated on July 25th of each year. We were unable to discover the origin of Culinarians Day. Though we believe it was established as a reminder to appreciate all the individuals who prepare your meals on a daily basis; whether it be the chef at the restaurant you visit or someone in your very own kitchen. If that someone happens to be you, then take a moment to reflect on why you love culinary arts.

Culinary arts is the art of preparing and cooking foods. The word “culinary” is defined as something related to, or connected with, cooking. A culinarion is a person working in the culinary arts. A culinarian working in restaurants is commonly known as a cook or a chef. Culinary artists are responsible for skilfully preparing meals that are as pleasing to the palate as to the eye. They are required to have a knowledge of the science of food and an understanding of diet and nutrition. They work primarily in restaurants, delicatessens, hospitals and other institutions. Kitchen conditions vary depending on the type of business, restaurant, nursing home, etc.

Go out to eat today and make sure to say thank you to the chefs that cook your food. They make delicious food every day for people and simple appreciation goes a long way. Even those people that are not professional chefs appreciate gratitude. For those people that cook meals in their homes are technically chefs as well because they prepare food for families every day as well. Whether it is a parent, a nanny, an older sibling, or even a grandparent, they should be told that they are appreciated when they cook.

Those of you that do like to cook, make a special meal today either for yourself or the ones you love. Put special attention on each course to show that you love your family and friends! And for those of you that don’t like to cook or are just not very good at it (mostly like me!! Haha) treat yourself to a night out at a tasty restaurant where the ‘good’ cooks can make your food so you’ll enjoy it thoroughly.

National Carousel Day

I’m sure that most of us have fond memories of choosing our horses and riding round and round in the Carousel listening to the lively music, and looking for that brass ring.  National Carousel Day is set aside to honor the invention of that fabulous carnival ride.

The first US patent for a carousel was granted to the inventor of the modern carousel, Willhelm Schneider in 1871.  From the early 1880′s to the 1930′s, more than 2,000 uniquely hand carved carousels were produced in the United States.  Unfortunately, today there are less than 150 of those fabulous carousels still in operation.

Did you know? The oldest operating platform carousel in the United States is currently located in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.  This carousel is named “The Flying Horses”, and dates from 1876. There are less than ten carousels with operating brass ring machines left in the U.S.

Did you know? Carvers of the original carousels often inscribed their initials in the wooden figures.  Carving was a delicate process and each piece was hand carved and original.  Currently, one of the few carousel figure carving schools left in the US is located in Chattanooga, TN.

Did you know? Menagerie figures are carousel animals other than horses.  They are enjoying a current increase in popularity due to the recent creation of a carousel consisting entirely of endangered species created by The Carousel Works in Mansfield, OH.

Carousels from the golden age often contained two seated chariots to accommodate ladies and small children.  You see, women were not able to sit astride a horse due to their skirts and this allowed them a ride on the carousel without sacrificing their dignity.

The King Arthur Carousel located at Disneyland in California is a genuine antique- older than Disneyland itself.  These beautiful hand carved horses are probably the most well-maintained antiques in the world.  Disneyland employs a staff of workers whose sole responsibility is maintaining and preserving this amazing carousel.

A Disneyland Resort cast member, Rick Temple, tells us how King Arthur Carousel is more than just an attraction- it’s a piece of history that he’s happy to preserve.

Celebrate the history of carousels today!  And maybe even check out the local amusement part.  Bet there is one there to enjoy!

National Dance Day

Celebrated each year on the last Saturday in July, it is National Dance Day.

Created as a day to raise awareness about and encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.

National Dance Day achieved national recognition when in 2010, long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, American congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, introduced a National Dance Day resolution to promote dance education and physical fitness.

Launched in 2010 by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, National Dance Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the last Saturday in July. This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity. NDD achieved national recognition when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, announced at a press conference on July 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., that she was introducing a congressional resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country’s official National Dance Day.

Dance is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical. Others disciplines of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, figure skating, synchronized swimming and many other forms of athletics.

National Day of the Cowboy

National Day of the Cowboy was started as a way to contribute to the preservation of America's rich cowboy heritage.

Did you know there is a Cowboys' Code of Conduct? The lack of any real written law in the Wild West made it very important for cowboys to create their own guidelines on how to live. These rules became known as the "Code of the West" – rules that were not written as statutes, but were always respected on the range.

In honor of National Day of the Cowboy, try to live up to these 10 codes of conduct:

  • Live each day with honesty and courage.
  • Take pride in your work. Always do your best.
  • Stay curious. Study hard and learn all you can.
  • Do what has to be done and finish what you start.
  • Be tough, but fair.
  • When you make a promise, keep it.
  • Be clean in thought, word, deed, and dress.
  • Practice tolerance and understanding of others.
  • Be willing to stand up for what is right.
  • Be an excellent steward of the land and its animals.

Sponsored in the U.S. Senate in 2005, 2006, and 2007, by Wyoming’s late U.S. Senator, Craig Thomas, the National Day of the Cowboy is a day set aside to celebrate the contribution of the Cowboy and Cowgirl to America’s culture and heritage. In 2008, the National Day of the Cowboy resolution was sponsored simultaneously in the U.S. House of Representatives (for the first time) by Arizona’s U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Enzi, WY. It passed in the Senate and the House concurrently, naming Saturday, July 26, 2008, as the 4th Annual National Day of the Cowboy.

On Friday, June 20, 2008, the National Day of the Cowboy resolution also passed in the Arizona State Legislature, making Arizona the first state to pass the resolution. We asked Arizona Representative, Jennifer Burns, to sponsor the resolution, which she readily agreed to do. In thinking it over though, Ms. Burns felt it would be more meaningful if it was sponsored by Senators Jake Flake and Jack Brown, the two remaining Cowboys in the Arizona legislature. Senators Flake and Brown both accepted that honor, but sadly, Jake Flake passed away before he was able to introduce the resolution. However, it was subsequently introduced in his honor, by Jack Brown, and passed easily and concurrently in both the Arizona House and the Senate. In 2009, the resolution passed in New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona. It was also proclaimed by a number of governors, mayors and town councils.

In the words of the former President Bush, “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.”

Early in November, 2004, I (Bethany Braley) began working for Bill Bales, at the magazine he owned at the time. Soon after starting there, Bales asked me if I could make his “Vote for a Cowboy Day” project “happen.” At that time, I took charge of the project and with the guidance of several of my friends and former colleagues in Washington D.C., changed it to the National Day of the Cowboy project and enlisted Senator Thomas as a sponsor for a resolution. I worked with Thomas’s staff and helped craft the resolution itself. I put together a radio campaign to promote The Day and pursuaded the Bales to create a Hatch poster for the project.

Senator Thomas subsequently introduced the resolution in March 2005, but while it was in mark-up, the text defining the Cowboy Day was changed from the “Fourth Saturday in July” (permanent) to simply July 23, 2005 (once only) at which time Bill Bales informed me and Editor Paige Mckenzie, he was finished with the project and someone else needed to carry the ball while they went back to selling advertising. I resigned from the magazine in June 2005, expressing in my resignation letter my intention to form an organization to work to make the Day of the Cowboy permanent. Later, Bales sold the magazine to its current owner, media conglomerate Active Interest Media, Inc. and its operations were moved from Wyoming to Boulder, Colorado.

Cynthia Reed, Senator Thomas’s Legislative Aide, my contact as manager of this project for Bales, notified me in an email in May 2005 that the resolution would not actually be signed by the President. She also explained to me in a phone conversation that the highest acknowledgment the resolution could receive from a President was a Letter of Support.
To celebrate you can dress like a cowboy, host a hoedown, attend a rodeo, go horseback riding, or curl up on the couch to watch your favorite Westerns.

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Every year on the 25th day of July, children and adults alike have the perfect excuse to indulge in a decadent frozen dessert, for on this day National Hot Fudge Sundae Day is celebrated all across the United States. Given some of the more obscure food holidays that are granted their own dates (such as National Jump for Jelly Beans Day and Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day, for example), it is more than fitting that this classic American favorite gets a holiday all to itself. So break out the spoons and start heating up some fudge, for there is some sundae eating to be done!

The exact history of National Hot Fudge Sundae Day is unknown, as little information may be found from any authoritative sources on the Internet. However, July is a popular month for ice cream food holidays, as National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, National Vanilla Ice Cream Day and others all fall during this time.

Ice cream has been enjoyed in America since its founding days. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington indulged in this cool dessert and offered it to guests. Colonists were in fact the ones to term the dish "ice cream," and the very first ice cream parlor in the country opened its doors in 1776 in New York.

Celebrations for National Hot Fudge Sundae Day are likely to take place at ice cream parlors and restaurants that serve this dish. You may find local specials and versions created just for this occasion. You can celebrate at home by throwing a hot fudge sundae party, or by simply making one for yourself.

National Wine and Cheese Day

National Wine Day is May 25 and National Cheese Day is June 4 – appropriately close since wine and cheese are natural partners. So why not celebrate both days at once with perfect wine and cheese pairings? It’s National Wine and Cheese Day, an annual holiday created by freelance writer and wine-lover, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway.

Sometimes unlikely duos become great big hits. Like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and peanut butter, salt and vinegar chips, bacon and maple syrup and French fries covered in gravy (Poutine), wine and cheese are delightful combinations. When the right wine is paired with the perfect cheese, the taste and aromas of each are magnified and enhanced, awakening the senses. The possibilities for the perfect wine and cheese pairings are as endless as one's imagination.

According to Maxine Borcherding, Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator at Oregon Culinary Institute, a principle of cheese and wine pairing is that wine can either complement cheese flavors or go in the other direction and contrast aromas and flavors. Either way, when the right wine is paired with the right cheese, each deliciously enhances the experience of the other.

Here are a few of Chef Borcherding’s recommendations for specific pairings that will enable you to explore the wondrous world of wine and cheese.

  • Pairing #1: Cheddar & Full-Bodied Syrah or Zinfandel

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Company Flagship – This semi-hard cheddar style cow milk cheese from herds in Duval, Washington, is aged for 15 months,] and has a firm texture that crumbles on the tongue with a hint of the crystal texture commonly found in aging goudas. It is creamy on the palate with flavor that starts sharp and mellows to a nutty finish.

Pairing notes:

Cowhorn 2009 Reserve Syrah – The big, full-flavored Beecher’s Flagship pairs well with a big, fruity wine such as Reserve Syrah from southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley. This biodynamic producer has consistently gotten rave reviews from the national wine press (the Wine Spectator gave it a 91).  The Reserve Syrah has lots of juicy blackberry and plum fruit and the lovely earth, leather, and peppery spice aroma and flavor of the best New World Syrahs.

Seghesio Family Vineyards 2010 Sonoma County Zinfandel – An equally lovely pairing, expect flavors of big, beautiful fruit, dark berry, plenty of leather, tobacco, mocha, sage, and sweet spice. But beware; it goes down so easily, you can forget that this wine clocks in at 14.8 percent alcohol. It is also a wonderful value at about $14.

  • Pairing # 2: Blue Cheese & Port-Style Pinot or Tawny Port

Crater Lake Blue – A cow’s milk blue cheese from Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon is a perennial favorite for its delicious balance. It’s not too salty, moist without being runny, and the blue mold does not overwhelm the milk character of the cheese, which allows a delicious sweetness and complexity to show through on the palate.

Pairing notes:

Willamette Valley Vineyards Quinta Reserva Port-style Pinot Noir – Made from 100 percent Pinot Noir, this ruby port is fortified with brandy distilled from estate fruit. The pinot character shines in this delicious wine, with plenty of soft, juicy black cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas and flavors, sweet baking spices, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. The finish is rich, long, with hints of toasted almond and brandied cherries.

Ficklin Aged 10 years Tawny Port from Madera, California, this port is made from two traditional Portugese port wine varieties: Tinta Madeira, and Touriga National. The long barrel aging and subsequent exposure to oxygen changes the color of the wine from deep red to a deep copper, and imparts aromas and flavors of poached pear, honey, raisins, toasted nuts and caramel that are delicious with the cheese. It retails for around $28. The Crater Lake Blue is at home with a tawny style port.

  • Pairing #3: Soft Cow’s Milk Cheese & Pinot Noir or Viognier

Mount Townsend Creamery Seastack – This semisoft cow’s milk cheese is crafted from Brown Swiss and Holstein milk from the Maple View Farm in Port Townsend, WA. This is a mold-ripened cheese that has a layer of charcoal ash and salt just under the rind, which helps to dry the cheese. As it ages, the center remains crumbly while the layer between the center and the rind becomes runny. The flavors are citrusy and earthy, mushroom-y and nutty, with a nice briny tang. This cheese was born to pair with Pinot Noir.

Pairing notes:

Elk Cove Vineyards 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2010 was a great year for Oregon Pinots such as this one. Produced from Pommard and Dijon clones, it’s classic ripe red fruit and truffle on the nose, which beautifully picks up the earthy, mushroom-y aromas and flavors of the cheese. The wine is lively with good acidity, polished tannins, and a rich finish.

Stags Leap 2011 Viognier – A lovely wine to contrast with blooming rind and washed rind cheeses is Viognier, a varietal famous in the Northern Rhone Valley which has found a home in the New World up and down the west coast. This grape can easily become over-ripe, alcoholic and bitter, but when grown at the ideal site it is intensely fruity and aromatic, mouth filling, and elegant. On the nose expect peaches and orange blossom, citrus, stone fruit and on the palate expect bright acidity that cuts through the creaminess of the cheese, with a long lovely finish.

  • Pairing #4: Goat Cheese & Chardonnay or Sparkling Wine

Pholia Farm Elk Mountain- Hailing from Central Point Oregon, this cheese is produced from a herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a breed which produces a very high butterfat milk. The farm is fully sustainable, producing all of its own electricity. The goats pasture most of the year, supplemented with spent grain from the Wild River Brewery, which gives the cheese a hoppy, nutty aroma and flavor.  This cheese is a semi-soft mountain-style raw milk cheese made in the style of aged Tomme from the Pyrenees. The cheese is aged 6-8 months, during which the wheels are washed with Wild River Brewery Honey Wheat Ale that gives the rind a gold color. It is firm, dense, and slightly flaky.

Pairing notes:

Argyle 2008 Knudsen Vineyard Julia Lee’s Block Blanc de Blanc – 2008 was a wonderful year for Oregon chardonnay and sparkling wines from Oregon Chardonnay were equally delightful.  This full-bodied Blanc de Blanc has a fine bead and a delicious aroma of orange blossom, honey, brioche and pear. On the palate, expect crisp pear, melon, sweet citrus and white flower with a long lovely finish.

Non-Vintage Blanc de Noir – A great value in domestic sparkling wines can be found in New Mexico. In fact, New Mexico is the oldest wine-producing region in the United States, and Gruet makes some of the best and most affordable sparkling wines using the traditional method (the method used to produce Champagne) available anywhere.

The Gruet family came to New Mexico from France where they had already been making champagne for 30 years. Visiting the region, they met several European winemakers that were producing wine grapes with good success. Given the lack of opportunity to expand production in France, they decided to try planting a vineyard at altitude (more than 4000 feet in elevation) to take advantage of cool nighttime temperatures to maintain acidity in the grapes.

The experiment was a success, and Gruet has been producing sparkling wines in New Mexico ever since, most of which sell for under $25 per bottle. The wine is a blend of 25 percent Chardonnay and 75 percent Pinot Noir. It shows lovely raspberry fruit (from the Pinot Noir), along with a biscuit-yeasty note from two years of aging on its lees. Additionally, the creamy texture, lovely mousse and pale salmon color makes this a delicious sparkler that you can afford to drink every day for around $15.

Thread the Needle Day

Sewers, guide your thread through the eye of your needle and get ready to sew…It’s Threading the Needle Day!

July 25 is not just a day of celebration for sewers and sewing. Threading the Needle Day also celebrates the metaphorical meaning of the term “thread the needle,” or to walk a fine line between two issues or to find yourself in that awkward place between two friends in an argument. Hopefully you don’t find yourself there today, but if you do, navigate yourself out of the middle and, if you make it out without a scratch, celebrate with some sewing.

Did you know that “thread the needle” is also the name of a yoga pose? Thread the Needle is great for stretching the shoulders, arms, upper back, and neck. Try it out!