Food holidays in July - day by day
Celebrate each yummy day
I have to admit - I was delighted when I found out about the American Food Holidays. What a great idea! Every single day turned into a festival, with a yummy undernote? I'm in! Plus, whoever it was that established those holidays, he or she certainly didn't lack in imagination department. Instead of a boring list of provisions, you get this gathering of funky ideas, on which you can build both your menu and your party. What do we celebrate in July, day by day? Read on to find out.
Photos come from this source, unless specifically marked otherwise
Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day
The very first day under my scrutiny and I already like it.
Ice cream is basically frozen custard with any flavoring you want, right? You can go wild. Sky is the limit. The world is your oyster. Or shrimp, as Terry Pratchett would say. You can make your ice cream taste of whatever you want. What is your favourite flavor, the one you love best in the whole world? Chili chocolate? Bitter lemon? Sugar-coated cashew nuts? Turn in into ice cream and enjoy!
National Gingersnap Day
Funny to see this Yuletide treat being celebrated in the middle of July, but here it is. Remember, dear children (grown ups, too): you don't need Christmas to gorge on gingersnaps!
Oh, by the way, did you know what's the difference between gingerbread and gingersnaps? According to my research (correct me if I'm wrong), it all boils down to gingerbread being a cake and gingersnaps being cookies. Taste is similar, only texture changes with the cookies having this crunchy, well, snap.
Which one is better:
National Anisette Day
OK, but what IS anisette? Hey, don't laugh, not everybody has to know, I didn't know before I started researching for this article! If you don't live in the US, you may not be familiar with the name 'anisette' , but it's likely that you know pastis, ouzo or sambucca (and, above all, the infamous absinthe). All those drinks are rather similar - they vary in alcohol content and recipe details, but they all taste alike. How? I'll give you a hint - black liquorice.
If you pour cold water into your anisette - tah dah! - magic happens. Your transparent drink will turn milky white.
Some say that anisette is absinthe relabelled (especially those who are trying to sell it, using the magic word 'absinthe' as customer bait). Although the two drinks do have their similarities, you will most certainly NOT see a green fairy after your anisette. It contains not a trace of wormwood, which was the hallucinogenic ingredient in absinthe proper. Sorry.
Twinkle, twinkle little anise star
National Chocolate Wafer Day
I was born in Poland, and in Poland chocolate wafers are BIG. Big in quality and popularity, not necessarily in size (just if you were wondering). I am an absolute specialist on Polish chocolate wafer brands. You name it, I bet I've tried them all. Probably more than once :). Further on I'm recommending a few particular products that are available for online shopping, and they are definitely worth a try, but my favourite ever is, of course not there. If you ever, anywhere, come across a chocolate wafer called 'Grzeski', buy it at once. It will be the absolute best chocolate wafer you will ever have tried (if not, there's something seriously wrong with this world).
Chocolate wafer torte
Ok, this is classic. As elegant as you can get in chocolate wafer department.
It is a little known fact, but when it comes to chocolate, Belgian can go and hide when Polish arrives on stage. I appreciated this fact only after I moved abroad. Until then, I thought - well, it's just chocolate, right? Standard thing? Well, no. I needed to emigrate and be confronted with bland Cadburys etc. to realize how lucky I have been to grow up in a country where SUCH chocolate is a standard.
Wedel is well known for their quality, being on the market for something like a hundred years, it's one of my personal favourite brands, too. If you decide to try it, don't forget to let me know what you think :)
As mentioned before, Grzeski is my all time favourite chocolate wafer brand. Unfortunately Amazon doesn't know they exist, so I have to settle on introducing you to the second position on my list - Prince Polo.
Prince Polo wafers have tasted exactly the same as long as I can remember. Dark, bittersweet chocolate on the outside and multilayered wafer inside. Not bad at all.
Nothing innovative, really, just classic quality that doesn't change with time.
Ah, now I feel like a wafer and my diet goes hang :)
Easy! Quick to make, too, only you have to wait for hours before they set properly. This is the hardest part. When I was a child, my dad used to make them from time to time and he had to lock them up for the setting time because if I could get my hands on them, there would be no wafers to set. I was fuming, of course, but once the wafers emerged from their hiding place, I forgave it all - those few hours are really necessary to transform cream-splattered wafer sheets into a culinary masterpiece.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 8-12 hours
- 1 packet of plain wafer sheets
- 1 cup of powdered milk
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 125 g butter
- vanilla essence
- 1. Melt the butter, add liquid milk, warm through.
- 2. Add sugar, cocoa, powdered milk and vanilla. Stir well. Don't worry about a lump here and there, it doesn't really matter.
- 3. Crush 2 wafer sheets to little pieces, add to your mixture.
- 4. If you want, you can add some raisins, candied orange peel, chopped nuts, coconut - whatever takes your fancy.
- 5. Spread the mixture on a wafer sheet, cover with another one, spread, cover, spread, cover, until you run out of sheets. Or the mixture :)
- 6. Put aside with something heavy on top - encyclopaedia works well (just make sure it doesn't get smeared with chocolate!).
- 7. Lock the room up so that children can't get in. Give the key to your neighbour for a few hours so that you can't get in :)
- 8. Once nicely set, cut in any sizes you want.
- I suppose 2-3 hours would be ok for setting time, although the longer, the better. Overnight works best.
Plain wafer sheets
Plain wafer sheets are probably not a product available in every corner shop. Here's a little help if you're struggling to find them
Eat Beans Day
No vegetarian or vegan needs to be told this - if you're on off-meat diet, beans are essential for you. But what about the rest of us?
I'm not going to start digging all the nutrition data because honestly - it bores me to tears. Will you believe me if I simply tell you that beans are good for you?
And there's so many you can choose from! Dried beans in almost all colours of the rainbow. Broad beans (fava beans in America, I believe?) are my recent personal favourite - I think I could live on them. Green beans (or string beans or French beans) with some golden-fried breadcrumbs are piece of art. Oooh, I could go on.
So eat your beans, ok? Especially today.
What is your favourite bean?
If you were to pick only one...
Ooh, there's plenty to celebrate on July 4. Apart from the Independence Day, I've found 9 other holidays happening on this very date. It makes the decision - what to celebrate? - rather tricky.
I love the fact that today is Alice in Wonderland Day, but since you can't eat Alice, I'm going to focus on two other celebrations.
First, the National Barbecued Spareribs Day
Mmm, can you hear them sizzle?
Ceasar Salad Day
Ceasar Salad is reputed to have been invented in Tijuana by Caesar Cardini. In the classic recipe, romaine lettuce is mixed with the special dressing (olive oil, grated parmesan, raw or coddled egg, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce) and topped with croutons and parmesan. I find this version very basic (to say it nicely) and I'm very glad most places try to 'cheer it up' a little bit, by adding some tomatoes, grated carrots, peppers or other fresh salad vegetables. Oh, and chicken, don't forget the grilled chicken!
Can I tell you a secret?
I don't particularly like Ceasar salad. Lettuce is not my thing, unless it's covered with enough other veggies to make it hardly noticeable. I don't particularly like McDonald's either. One recent event from my life made me rethink both these rules.
I spent some time in Portugal not so long ago. I was on a very tight budget, so hostels and dinners at McDonald's were a norm. On the n-th day, tired of endless cheeseburgers, I ordered Ceasar Salad. I did try it before, in UK I think, and it was totally not impressive. Yet here! This was like a revelation. I ate and ate, and next day came back, spent my last pennies and ate Ceasar salad again.
Now I think it must have been the veggies. See, I live in Ireland and Irish vegetables simply don't get any sun. This is reflected in their taste. If you are a vegetarian, don't come to Ireland, full stop. Suddenly my vitamin-starved organism was exposed to Portuguese veggies and Portuguese veggies simply burst with sun. The taste is so vivid, that you can almost see it (or so it seemed to veg-starved me). No wonder I went totally wild.
Moral of the story? If you ever happen to be in Portugal, Ceasar salad is THE thing to order. Even McDonald's can't get it wrong :)
Apple Turnover Day
For those who happen not to know - a turnover is a filled and usually triangular pastry with sealed edges, kind of a pastry dumpling. It can be baked or fried, and stuffed with either sweet or savoury filling.
Classic recipe calls for apples and caramel syrup, but I imagine that apple pie filling with lots of raisins, cinnamon and other goodies (which is the best thing you can get when it comes to apples) would work just as well.
Oh, using ready made puff pastry will let you enjoy your turnovers in minutes rather than hours.
Shortscrust pastry should work ok, too.
Ready to celebrate?
National Fried Chicken Day
I wonder by how much KFC's profit jumps up today?
Personally I think KFC style fried chicken is rather boring. I'm not sure how traditional do you need to be to celebrate this day? Will the orthodox fried chicken lovers crucify me if I say than I much prefer chichen fried in some lovely, piquant batter, rather than breadcrumbed version? And that I shallow fry it, with me considering deep fry a criminal waste of oil and useless piling of calories?
Hope not :). Anyway, you don't know where I live (ha!).
My proposition for Fried Chicken Day
It's quick. It's economic. And it's probably slightly lower in calories than the deep-fried version. Feel free to give it a try if you wish.
- 2 chicken breasts
- plain flour
- 1 egg
- smoked red paprika powder
- chili flakes (optional)
- 1. Cut chicken breasts into 3-4 slices widthways.
- 2. Beat each slice until thin.
- 3. Mix the egg, flour and seasoning until you get nice, thick batter. Add water if it's too thick, add flour if it's too runny. Don't forget salt and pepper!
- 4. Coat your chicken chunks in the batter, shallow fry on both sides until golden.
- You can pick your own seasoning. I like smoked paprika, because it gives my batter nice orangey colour, and some chili gives it a kick, but a herby or even curry version is perfectly acceptable.
- Photo source
National Strawberry Sundae Day
There are three ingredients without which strawberry sundae is not a sundae:
- strawberries (what a surprise!)
- ice cream (preferably vanilla, white and red look good, but really - could be any other flavor)
- whipped cream
- strawberry puree is strongly recommended.
After this, you can go wild. You can add sprinkles. Raisins. Biscuits. Booze. Paper umbrella on a stick :)
By the way, the longest sundae ever measured 39.77 meters (I'm not sure if it was strawberry) so you do see the potential, right?
National Milk Chocolate With Almonds Day
Now, this is mastery of precision! Today you're allowed to eat only milk chocolate with almonds, because Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day falls on November 7. I propose dividing it even further, into Big Square Milk Chocolate With Almonds Day and Small Square Milk Chocolate With Almonds Day and so on.
If you try hard enough, you will have a legitimate excuse to eat chocolate with almonds every day.
The Best Almond Chocolate in the World
I was introduced to Green and Black's chocolate with whole almonds by my sister and I haven't bought a different almond bar since. If you try it, you'll fall in love with it, full stop. The almonds are whole, roasted until chunky, chocolate is great quality and if it wasn't enough, the whole thing is organic.
I'm lucky it's milk chocolate, otherwise I would have to wait until November to recommend it :)
National Sugar Cookie Day
It did take me a while to decipher which particular cookies are called 'sugar cookies' in the US. Guess what? I was pretty surprised to find out these are the ordinary cookie-cutter sweets although now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't be.
Do you like sugar cookies? I have to admit that I'm not a fan. I might be scarred by last Christmas, when I got this stupid idea of baking about 5 different types - you know, some with lemon, some with orange, spices, blah blah. I spend a week in the kitchen, and baked thousands - why, I have no idea, because eventually we had to throw the excess out. Maybe there is a disease called cookie madness and I am the first case.
So no, don't give me any sugar cookies, even today.
Although they are fun to cut.
Do you eat sugar cookies?
National Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Omelette Day
Really, Omelette Day would do just fine.
I haven't made a single omelette in my life (why, if scrambled eggs are so delicious?), but on this day I may break and give it a try. Omelletes do look fantastic on some pictures, do they taste just as well? Omelette fans, hands up!
Link below points to my favourite recipe collection on the web. Oh, they have plenty of omelettes there.
Omelette. Or omlete, if you prefer
Ha, the occasion simply calls for a little skirmish! Which side are you on?
What is better?
National Pina Colada Day
Aaah, another boozy celebration.
Pina colada is three things mixed together: coconut, rum and pineapple. You need it to be liquid, so either blend your pineapple or use pineapple juice. Coconut accent is added by coconut milk or liqueur. Rum... well, rum is rum. Light, preferably.
Doesn't sound like a big deal.
Apparently, tradition dictates to drink it from coconut shells. There was some mention of tropical islands, too. You may be lucky and get away with drinking pina colada out of an ordinary glass.
Tropical drink accessories
National Blueberry Muffin Day
Ah, blueberry muffins. Poems can be written about them. Unfortunately (or luckily?) I'm not a poet, so I won't even try.
Personal note: dried blueberry muffin is a crime. You are fully entitled to disagree.
Most muffin recipes call for mixing dry ingredients together, mixing wet ingredients together and then combining the two. I always thought it useless. I've baked a good few batches of muffins in my life and none was hurt by disregarding this rule.
National Pecan Pie Day
Again, if you wait another month, you can celebrate Chocolate Pecan Pie Day instead but I'd say that the wisest course of action is to celebrate both :)
Boo me as much as you want, but I've never tried pecan pie. Pecan pastry is the nearest I got. But hey, you need to have something to put on your foody bucket list, right?
Invite me over for a slice next time you're having some :).
How to make pecan pie
National French Fries Day
Yesss! Finally! I wait the whole year for this day. That is, I would, if I was on any sort of a diet.
One sad thing that cannot be denied - French fries are not slim-figure-friendly. But they are so bloody delicious, I'm often willing to risk a curve or two.
For the poor creatures that love fries but have to diet, here's my message: treat yourself. If only today.
Steak is not necessary
Ok, time for some serious confessions. What do you think of McDonald's fries? Some say they are the best in the world. Some wouldn't eat them for million dollars. Where are you on whis scale?
McDonald's fries are...
Now, for a foreigner this looks rather cryptic.
Short and sweet - this fancy named dish consists of baked beans cooked up with sliced hot dogs.
To my whimsical palate it sounds like the ultimate nightmare. But I guess they are quick and easy to make (bachelors and students must love them!) and well, sometimes this is enough.
My version of beans and franks
How about a little turn towards Polish cooking? This dish is based on a very similar idea, but I guess the devil really is in the details. Funny, although it's a classic Polish recipe, it's called Breton Beans.
- 200 g dried beans
- 200 g Polish sausage
- 100 g smoked bacon (optional
- but yummy)
- 3 tablespoons tomato concentrate
- 1. Soak beans overnight
- 2. Cook beans on low temperature until soft and mushy
- 3. If you're using bacon, dice it finely and shallow fry until golden
- 4. Slice the sausage
- 5. Add sausage, bacon and tomato concentrate to beans, boil through.
- 6. Season to taste.
- 7. Some cooks add a spoonful of sugar to the mixture.
- 8. If your sauce is too runny, sprinkle a spoonful of flour on the mixture and stir well.
- I'm afraid Polish sausage is rather essential for this recipe. You can buy it in Polish shops and sometimes on Ebay, although I have a feeling that it may actually be easier to make your own. For a guide to Polish sausage, follow the link below.
- Breton beans can be eaten with potatoes or bread.
- Photo by Tiggered
National Grand Marnier Day
Ooh, that's a posh festival. Considering that Grand Marnier can be $220 dollars a bottle... I'd guess you can pay even more.
This orange flavored liqueur has impressively long history. It was created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle (just if you were wondering where did the name come from). It can be taken neat or mixed into cocktails and it figures in quite a number of dessert recipes.
Crepes Suzette, anyone?
National Tapioca Pudding Day
As unimpressive as this dish can be, tapioca pearls do have this something. I don't eat it too often, and I'm not particularly in love with the taste, but fishing for those little globes is fun.
Note: the above sentence was written by my inner child, who loves food that you can play with and that looks funny. If you are a grown up, this may not convince you, but if you happen to have children...
Tapioca? Or snow?
National Corn Fritters Day
Wow, that's another dish I didn't even know existed (oh, ignorant me). Standard batter, mixed with sweetcorn kernels, deep fried? Sounds all right. And popular enough to get its own celebration day.
If you allow me a tiny bit of subterfuge here, I would exchange sweetcorn for sliced apples. Or canned peaches. THEN you would have a treat.
Note: of course I'm talking from the ignorant point of view. It is fairly possible that once I try corn fritters, I'll decide they rocked my world and apples can go hang. Only the time will tell.
How to make corn fritters
Corn fritters with a spicy twist. Presented by a weird/funny lady.
Do you eat corn fritters?
National Peach Ice Cream Day
Mmm, peach ice cream... Summer concentrated to a little scoop. Homemade or bought, they are almost guaranteed to be tasty, because it takes a lot of talent to spoil peach ice cream.
By the way, peach sherbet is the easiest thing in the world. Take a can of peaches, whizz and freeze.
How to turn these into ice cream?
Ice cream cook book
Not many people know about it, but I'm an avid reader of David Lebovitz's blog, 'Sweet life in Paris'. On most days I know his newest post only hours after he publishes it - THAT's how good it is. David's style is light and pleasant, with delighting touches of auto-irony from time to time. He also shares some of his recipes, and usually I'm swept off my feet by their originality. For a few recipes to try, check out his blog. For a whole bunch of recipes, check out this book, which focuses solely on ice creams.
Does it include peach ice cream recipe?
Haha, what do you think?
National Caviar Day
My real thoughts on caviar lovers are too impolite to be published, I'm afraid. Let me just say this - I strongly believe that the first caviar eater who called it delicious did it as a cruel joke to torment spineless people. Oh, how he must have laughed when he watched all those guys eating the fishy anti-delicacy and smiling, because that's what you're supposed to do when eating caviar!
My opinion is strongly subjective, of course, technically you're entitled to being crazy about caviar. But if you are, you're weird.
Caviar lovers vs caviar haters
What do you think of caviar?
Did you know...
... that caviar 'proper' can reach market price of $12,000 per kilo?
National Daiquiri Day
Is it just me, or July is getting a bit boozy (and wait to see what's to come!)?
Daiquiri classic equals rum, sugar and lime juice. I was particularly convinced by a vision of tall glass packed full with crushed ice, with sugar sprinkled, limes squeezed and rum poured on top. These days daiquiri is prepared in a far more fancy way, but if I ever make some, I will stick with the method delineated above, howgh.
Spin-offs are numerous and mostly fruity, with strawberry daiquiri being all the go this season.
Hemingway would probably turn in his grave if he ever heard about it.
National Lollipop Day
Yey, another holiday that I'm hopelessly in love with. That is, I'm hopelessly in love with lollipops.
Some powerful psychological effect must be in action, because as soon as I taste a lollipop, I feel like a child - careless, optimistic, playful. All the hard earned cynicism goes away. Ok, it only goes slightly further and comes back soon enough, but it's always a step in positive direction.
I fantasize about a world where serious executives, lawyers and accountants would be given a compulsory lollipop three times a day, to be eaten in public. Don't you think it would make them slightly more human? Someone really should take up this initiative.
Oh, a word of wisdom from a serious, experienced lollipop eater - the big, funky, colourful lollipops look fabulous, but taste like rubbish. Take a picture and buy yourself a chupa chups.
Probably the best lollipops in the world
Let me introduce you - Chupa Chups, probably the best lollipops in the world. I'm saying probably, because I assume there may exist a good lollipop that I haven't yet tried, but of those I know - Chupa Chups is absolutely the best. It's fruity (or milky, ice cream milky) and tastes of the fruit instead of concentrated sugar.
Oh, I don't care about such things, but if you do - here's a bit of information you may find useful: Chupa Chups are fortified with some extra vitamins and calcium (at least that's what the manufacturer says :)
National Ice Cream Soda Day
I fear I may be a bit too old to be discovering ice cream soda.
Discovering, you may ask with wonder? Yeah, well, ice cream soda is rather unheard of in Europe.
I did my homework and researched this drink (dessert? dish?), but to be honest, my first thought was - why on Earth would I want to throw my ice cream into my drink???
Now, proper ice cream shakes, that I understand, but ice cream soda?
Well, there's enough supporters of the stuff for it to be given its own special day so I guess... cheers.
Looking for the ice cream soda supporters
I think the concept of ice cream soda is rather weird. How about you?
What do you think of ice dream soda?
Fortune Cookie Day
Fortune cookies are cool. They are a bit like unopened Christmas presents - you get the same sort of thrill when unwrapping. If your fortune proves to be witty or wise or at least funny, the joy is perfect.
Worse if your cookie fortune was inserted by some evil, selfish cookie master. Few years ago my local KFC was promoting their Chinese style meal, in which beside a standard something with fried chicken you got a spring roll and a fortune cookie. I was still living in Poland at the time and fortune cookies were a pretty new idea, so I ran to the restaurant just to try it. Oh, how bitter was my disappointment when I found a fortune saying sothing like "Hot wings will lead you to your dreams". Let me officially state: putting ads into fortune cookies is a really low trick.
I would explore fortunecookiness further, but another lensmaster has already done a great job on the subject so how about I'll give you the link instead?
National Junk Food Day
Ooh, that's big.
I'm not going to tell you that junk food is good for you. It's bad, straight and simple. If you don't live VERY actively and eat a lot of junk food, you'll get fat. Fat = unhealthy and unattractive (I'm sorry guys, I would love to gorge on chips without consequence or could honestly glorify an overweight body, but I can't. It's a 'political correctness vs the truth' case).
Plus, it's addictive. Everyone who eats junk food knows it and doesn't need persuading, but scientists actually confirmed this recently. It's scary. They compared junk food eating habit to drug use, but that's just words. A sight of a really obese person gorging on a burger in McDonald's or any other junk stop is much scarier, because it's real, right next to you. A craving inside your own head is the scariest of all.
Unfortunately, in 'money vs health' cases, health always loses.
I eat junk food from time to time. It's hard not to crave it. But I'm going to eat less. And I'm going to treat it seriously.
Let's turn a Junk Food Day into Junk Food Awareness Day.
Junk Food Debate
I am against. How about you?
Do you think junk food is dangerous?
Super size me
This is a worrying film. It shows how a healthy, reasonably fit body changes when subjected to a strictly fast food diet. You probably know it already, because it made quite a stir in its time.
This is an important film. I agree it may use hyped up rhetorics (which I hate!!) but it gets My Own Personal Movie Award for having courage to touch this subject.
Is this a life(style)-changing film? You tell me.
National Penuche Fudge Day
I have no idea if I've ever tried penuche fudge or not. If I have, I certainly didn't know it's penuche - a fudge is a fudge and that's all I care about. I have a sneaky feeling though, that I'm not alone there. We shall see.
Apparently, penuche is made with brown sugar and this is the only distinct difference vs other fudges that I've been able to track. Probably more can be said, but I don't like fudge enough to start a giant research. You can still like me, even so :).
Do you know what distinguishes penuche from other fudges?
National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
How to spot a good vanilla ice cream? Look for those tiny black dots in real vanilla in the mixture.
How to make vanilla ice cream less plain? Add some fruit or fruit puree.
To be honest, I find vanilla ice cream rather boring on their own. But in company - yes, please! Mmm, vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two soft cookies... or submerged in hot coffee... (I really need to finish this lens or I will seriously put on weight)
Did you know that vanilla is an orchid?
National Tequila Day
See? I told you July is boozy!
Tequila comes from Mexico and is distilled from blue agave. It is drunk straight or in cocktails, with the most famous cocktail being margarita and the preferred way of drinking it neat - in shots, with salt before and lime after.
If you want to enjoy the taste but save your liver, you can always add some tequila to your cooking. I am quite fascinated by a tequila muffins recipe I found (below) and hereby I solemnly promise to make them next time I can put my hands on a tequila bottle.
Oh, and remember - there is no worm. Ever.
The most famous tequila song
National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
Don't you find sun-DAE days rather repetitive?
But to the point. Here, hot fudge is actually warm chocolate sause rather than fudge proper. Nevermind, it's still delicious! Add some nuts, whipped cream, lots of ice cream and a bright cherry on top - your sundae is ready.
I'm thinking - chopped roasted almonds? Caramelised citrus peel? A drop of liqueur? Chunks of gingerbread?
Anything to make your sundae even more interesting.
National Coffee Milkshake Day
Mmm, coffee is good. Milkshakes are good too. Combine the two and achieve perfection.
There are a few options:
- use coffee flavored ice cream
- use very strong real coffee and vanilla ice cream
- pop a scoop or two of vanilla ice creams into your coffee and see what happens :)
I think I don't need to add that the last option is my favourite? I must have consumed tons of the stuff during my exam sessions in the past. It's a trick to ingest loads of caffeine without tormenting your stomach too much.
Don't be shy, share!
National Creme Brulee Day
Sorry for not bothering with the proper French accents.
Everybody knows that creme brulee is simply custard (sometimes baked) with a caramel crunchy topping. This topping seems very fancy, but is actually extra simple. Sprinkle your custard with sugar and grill under a broiler until golden. Voila.
I'm always promising myself to buy ramekins (you know, those little glass pots in which creme brulee is served) to be able to make this and other individually served desserts. Somehow it hasn't happened yet. I tried to collect a set from those shop bought desserts that are actually sold in ramekins, but quality of those containers... Rubish bag, nothing more. Tip: if you can see your ramekin, it's ok, but if the dessert is boxed - it's probably because the manufacturer doesn't want you to see how horrible the pots really are until you get home.
Oh, so French!
Creme brulee ramekins
National Scotch Day
I hope you don't count on me recommending a good bottle, because when it comes to whisky, I'm a total anti-connaisseur. Whisky is whisky, right? I even distinguish between Scotch and Irish whisky solely by label, because taste tells me nothing *gasp*, even though I live in Ireland.
I even mix it with coca-cola. Routinely. This is considered a mortal sin by some people of snobbish persuasion (and thick wallet) but who cares?
Today drink Scotch as you like it.
If you happen to be able to distinguish between Scotch and Irish whisky, voice off!
Scotch or Irish?
National Milk Chocolate Day
There is milk chocolate and all other chocolate.
OFF COURSE you can disagree. The world, as we all know, in divided into milk chocolatters, dark chocolatters, white chocolatters and no chocolatters (who, on the whole, are a highly suspicious group :)
My personal statement: Milka is the best chocolate in the world. Howgh. Dare to disagree.
Have a bite
Which part of the world do you belong to?
Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day
At the first sight - what an utter rubbish!
But the idea behind this celebration is actually rather funny.
To celebrate properly, you are supposed to buy some cheese and bait mousetraps with it.
I'm sure it's a subterfuge invented by the mice to get more treats (of course the mice had learned to disarm traps long ago! Read Terry Pratchett's 'Maurice and his Educated Rodents' if you want second opinion).
Once upon a time I did have mice in my house. I'm not going to tell you what I did to them. Ever.
Just read this book and the meaning of Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day will be revealed to you. I cannot tell you more, I don't want to spoil the fun :)
Terry Pratchett is my favourite author ever (and I do know a thing or two about books) and I think one of the brightest people anywhere. Language is his puppy and does tricks for him. You are guaranteed to have a good laugh, whoever you are.
Welcome to Mouse Heaven
National Cheesecake Day
If you are me, every day is a cheesecake day. I'm hopelessly addicted.
If you are anyone else, well - GO AND GET YOUR CHEESECAKE RIGHT NOW!
It doesn't matter what flavor it is, or whether it's baked or chilled - cheesecake rules. I haven't yet met a cheesecake that I didn't like. Ok, I lied, I did, once. It was my own production and I didn't bother to check if my cream cheese is not salted... Not recommended.
Strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake
Photo by Tiggered
Jump for Jelly Beans Day
What a fantastic day for those who never grow up! Jelly beans are so much fun!
Possibly it's just me, hopelessly in love with bright colors, but the very thought of a big pack of rainbow jelly beans makes me smile. I don't even like the taste that much, but because of those colors - they got me.
Jelly Belly is the most famous brand, at least I haven't yet tried any jelly beans that could compete with them.
Here's the official flavor list to whet your appetite:
A&W Cream Soda, A&W Root Beer, Berry Blue, Blueberry, Bubblegum, Buttered Popcorn, Cantaloupe, Cappucino, Caramel Corn, Chili Mango, Chocolate Pudding, Cinnamon, Coconut, Cotton Candy, Crushed Pineapple, Dr. Pepper, French Vanilla, Green Apple, Island Punch, Juice Pear, Kiwi, Lemon Drop, Lemon Lime, Licorice, Mango, Margarita, Mixed Berry Smoothie, Orange Sherbet, Peach, Pina Colada, Plum, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Red Apple, Sizzling Cinnamon, Sour Cherry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Daiquiri, Strawberry Jam, Sunkist Lemon, Sunkist Lime, Sunkist Orange, Sunkist Pink Grapefruit, Sunkist Tangerine, Toasted Marshmallow, Top Banana, Tutti Frutti, Very Cherry, Watermelon, Wild Blackberry.