Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Food Celebrations 25th-May 1st

Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I'll miss you "guys" but I don't see why I won't be able to visit your blogs every now and again while I'm away. No, I won't be blogging. However, you didn't think I would go flying off to Idaho and not fill you in on this week's food celebrations, now did you?

April 25th

National Zucchini Bread Day @ Dying for Chocolate

Anzac Day. At All Things Nice, you can learn the history of Anzac Day and enjoy a recipe. Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits

The First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, was born April 25, 1918. I found a recipe for Old Fashioned Corn Pudding which I harvested from Harmony In The Kitchen; Favorite Recipes of Musical Celebrities compiled by Maida Glancy and Ettore Stratta; © 1979.
Old Fashioned Corn Pudding, a la Ella Fitzgerald
2-1 lb. cans cream style corn

3 eggs

1 lg can evaporated milk

1-1/2 c. sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cornstarch
Combine milk, eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl. Add cornstarch, vanilla, pinch of salt and mix well. Stir in creamed corn. Add the baking powder, mix well. Pour mixture into a pan that is at least 3 inches deep. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Bake pudding 45 minutes to an 1 hour, or until it is firm and golden brown. Serves 6-8.

St. Mark's Day-The traditional dish for the Feast-Day of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice, is Risi e bisi; rice and peas.

Adele shares her rather humorous trials and tribulations for finding the "perfect" peas for her Risi e bisi while trying to keep the serving size down to a minimum:)

April 26th

Where will you be getting your free pretzel for *National Pretzel Day? The Philly Pretzel Factory will be celebrating with its annual Free Pretzel promotion as will Pretzel Time. At Pretzel Time® you will need to sing for your pretzel:)

I just couldn't leave without hitting my favorite pretzel store before I left. However, I had to "share" my pretzel with these "guys."

April 27th

Why has our poetry eschewed
The rapture and response of food?
What hymns are sung, what praises said
For home made miracles of bread?

Louis Untermeyer
Food and Drink

Not in the mood for pretzels. Why not bake a fragrant loaf of St. Zita's Bread instead.

St. Zita's Feast day is April 27. The Little Cook, as she is fondly remembered as, is the Patroness of servants. As a domestic servant for a wealthy family, St. Zita was also responsible for the baking of the daily bread. There are a number of legends surrounding St. Zita. One morning while in church, she became so absorbed in prayer that her hour for bread baking had past. When she returned from church, loaves of bread were all laid out and ready to be baked. None of the other servants had prepared or shaped the loaves. When the breads were all baked a glorious fragrance filled the kitchen. St. Zita knew that angels had prepared the bread while she had been deep in prayer.
National Prime Rib Day. A wonderful day to refresh our memories on how to cook the perfect Prime Rib or Standing Rib Roast rather than using that old stand by method, the blowtorch:) If you live in the Chicago vicinity, you may want to check to see whether Gemini Bistro is celebrating.

Henry Marcus Quackenbush was born on April 27, 1847. Henry Quackenbush is credited with inventing the first American nutcracker and nutpick in 1878. You may also want to check out the history of Nutcrackers in Germany.

April 28th

"A Ravishing Cake" celebrates a birthday today. Read all about it @ The Old Foodie:)

Happy National Blueberry Pie Day!

Happy Birthday Alice Waters– Food Activist

Today is the birth date of one Marie Harel. Who? Wonder of wonders, I had no idea there was a place for Marie Harel in the history of Camembert Cheese. Did you?

April 29th

National Shrimp Scampi Day

April 30th

When American welfare worker *Lizzie Black Kander raised enough money from local Milwaukee businesses and produced the first edition of The Settlement Cookbook on April 30, 1901, little did she know she would go down in history as publishing the most successful American Jewish charity cookbook ever!

April 30 might be National Oatmeal Cookie Day. It seems oatmeal cookies are so popular, no one can settle on a one particular day to celebrate them. However, I'm pretty certain today is also National Raisin Day. Let's see, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies sounds like something we might nibble on to "balance" the celebration. While we're at it, let's not forget the *Sun-maid Raisin Girl. I celebrated her birthday back in December of 2008. Yes, she was indeed a real person!

Born today Alice B. Toklas. Have you ever heard of Alice and those cookies? I don't have time to talk about them now, perhaps, someday:)

In 1952 Alice B. Toklas signed a contract to write a collection of recipes and remembrances called The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. With the deadline approaching and her book only half complete, Toklas turned to her artistic friends to provide recipes. Artist Brion Gysin came up with a recipes for 'Hashish Fudge', which he described as 'an entertaining refreshment for a Lady's Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR.' One of the ingredients was "Canibus Sativa" - marijuana. (Alice B. Toklas' Hashish Fudge)

Happy Birthday Mr. Potato Head Day! Did you know that when Mr. Potato Head was introduced to the public on April 30th, 1952 he cost just one dollar?
...And for that dollar you got almost 30 parts, all a kid needed to transform any fruit or vegetable into all sorts of silly and bizarre faces. All those mothers that had urged their children not to play with their food were now facing a losing battle! Kids all over America embraced the little plastic pieces and poked holes in every piece of produce imaginable. Although the natural creative and imaginative appeal of the toy contributed to it’s popularity, Mr. Potato head could credit some of his early success to the emerging television industry. Most historians agree that Mr. Potato Head holds the distinction of being the first toy to be advertised on TV. It was obvious that the children of the 1950's were fascinated by this new gadget called TV, and everything they saw on it. Those early Potato Head commercials resulted in over $4 million in Mr. Potato Head sales in the first year! (cool source:)

Food Celebrations in May

The Museum of the American Cocktail, will be celebrating World Cocktail Week this year from May 6th–13th.
World Cocktail Week® was established to promote better understanding and appreciation of the art of the cocktail and its history, and responsible drinking. The date commemorates the first definition of the term Cocktail in print in the 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository.

I would love to be here to post about the first cocktail party, allegedly held by a Mrs. Julius S. Walsh of St. Louis Missouri.

May is National Hamburger Month

May is National Barbecue Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May to commemorate the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. Congress later voted to expand it from a week long to a month long celebration. (source)

May is National Asparagus Month!

Here's an asparagus recipe from Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book (1981)

Asparagus Soldiers (Asperges A La Fontenelle)

An attractive way of economizing on asparagus comes from Belgium. Fontenelle is in Hainault, to the south of Charleroi, and close to the French border.

Serve everybody with a boiled egg and a small bundle of cold or barely warm asparagus. Put on the table a large pat of butter and a half loaf of brown bread, with salt and the pepper mill. Each person removes the top of his egg, seasons the nicely runny yolk with salt, pepper and a little knob of butter and dips the asparagus into it, nursery style. More bits of butter, more seasoning, may be added as the yolk goes down. Finish of the egg in the usual way with a spoon, eating it with bread and butter.
Note: If the asparagus is cold, it will be easier to manage; if it is tepid, it will taste even better. Provide napkins of cloth, not paper.

May is National Salad Month

May is National Strawberry Month

My contribution for Strawberry Month (and salad month) is the following recipe from Mrs. Ericsson Hammond's Salad Appetizer Cook Book © 1924. The title of the recipe in Mrs. Hammond's book is Brioche of Strawberry a la Hedgehog.

Brioche of Strawberry a la Hedgehog
3 eggs, separated

5 tbs. sugar

5 tbs. flour

4 tbs. butter, melted

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tbs. almond paste

1-1/2 c. strawberry juice

meringue for garnishing
Stir the egg yolks with the sugar to a souffle, add the almond paste and butter, beat the egg whites to a stiff meringue, add part of the egg whites. Fill it in a high timbale form that has been well buttered. Put in oven to bake and when baked turn out and pour strawberry juice (which has first been heated) over it, baste until all the juice is absorbed. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and "hedgehog" with almonds that have been cut in strips. If served hot, decorate it with meringues on top and around.

Note: This is also a very delicious dessert when cold, decorate it with whipped cream on top.

Second Week: American Craft Beer Week

May 1st

Happy May Day!!!
May Queen Cake
1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup sugar
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Cup sour cream
2 Cup pastry flour
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 c finely shaved citron
1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add 3 beaten egg whites.
3. Dissolve baking soda in a little water and add to sour cream.
4. Add sifted pastry flour, nutmeg, and citron. Last add the remainder of egg whites.
5. Bake at 350 degrees in a pretty shaped tin until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (around 30 minutes) and frost with any white icing.
Directions for Maypole: Use a striped candy (candy cane) to which narrow ribbons have been attached at top. Drape the ribbons into small Maybaskets arranged around the cake. Candy baskets would be more appropriate. Baskets of straw or paper, filled with fruit nuts or candy will give great pleasures to the May Queen and her maids.

Update: I prepared this post before I left for Idaho but I didn't get a chance to post it until I tonight:) Yes, indeed, I made it here safely and everyone is just fine. We have quite an itinerary planned so I doubt I will be be making any more posts until I return. Have a GREAT couple of weeks everyone. I know I will!!!


  1. glad you had a safe trip! incidentally, i could go for both some corn pudding and some ella fitzgerald in the background right now. :)

  2. A great month! Nice recipes. That corn pudding sounds good...



  3. Have a wonderful visit Louise. I LOVE the idea of the visiting garden. Take pics! May Day happens to be my birthday.. so you can be certain I'll be celebrating it whole heartedly :) Happy May Day!

  4. Thank you for all the wonderful info and recipes and have a terrific trip!

  5. So much to celebrate, and I probably won't have a chance to do any of those days any justic.

    Enjoy your trip!!

  6. I need to celebrate prime rib day - it's my very favorite meat!

  7. I'm glad you made it to Idaho safely. Now, I wonder how strange my guys would think me if I made a May Day cake?

  8. There's always so much of interest here, Louise. You are an awesome researcher :) National Pretzel Day -- how fun! Did you know pretzels make a great "dipper" for chocolate fondue? Never knew that until my son was home from college for spring break last month. They were delicious :) One more fun fact to add to your repertoire.

  9. Thanks for this great & lovely info & have a lovely trip as well!

    Many greets & hugs to you from sunny Brussels, Belgium!!

  10. We really must look into that first cocktail party when you get back! ;)
    Have a great time!

  11. We missed blueberry pie day, but I'll tell Ben so he can make it up! He'll be so thrilled!

  12. Have a wonderful time, and enjoy those grandkids We'll miss all the educational posts but your time is much better spent with family!

    So many amazing fun facts. Love the Maypole!

  13. I'm glad you are having fun! May has all kinds of delights. Thanks for posting Louise!

  14. Hope you're having a great time!

  15. I love corn pudding. This looks like it will be a success in out home.

    Hubby doesn't eat asparagus but strawberries and salads are winners. I have a recipe for a green salad with strawberries that I must make soon.

  16. Have a safe trip and great time.

  17. Hi Louise!
    I am sitting here typing with one hand holding my baby girl or as my 3year old son would say "Baby Girla" I love pretzels. I love those hard pretzels add a little cream cheese and the are pretty good. Anyways hope you are doing well!

  18. Oh wow, you actually planned all these! Btw, I have some awards for you, dear. Please feel free to pick them up. Have a great day!
    Cheers, Kristy


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise