Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Food Celebrations 23rd-29th

I'm feeling a bit cranky tonight. Now, that's not something you will often "hear" me say. Sure, I do get a rare case of the mubblefubbles every now and again but cranky; not usually. Not on this blog anyway. The thing is, I'm not sure why I am so perturbed. (another word I like when seeking a grumpy word with "texture") I have managed to narrow it down to three things. Ironically, each one of them involves my online experiences. In no particular order:

1. National Fruit Loop Day-As I write this, I can understand why you may have a devilish grin on your face. There are so many complications in the world, what reason is there to get discombobulated about National Fruit Loop Day? Well first, I'm not really sure if May 21st is indeed Fruit Loop Day as mentioned by some on twitter OR, if Fruit Loop Day is on July 22nd as mentioned on a few other obscure blogs and websites. Fact is, I don't even like Fruit Loops! However, the real bee in this bonnet's nest stems from an email I received yesterday. In summary, the sender wanted to know why I didn't mention National Fruit Loop Day in my listings for last week. Actually, they were rather rude in their inquiry. I'm sure none of my regular visitors are going to give two loops as to why it was omitted from my listing for last week. I'm sure they already know and understand that I do my best to verify any "foodie" days I include. 36 hits on a google search via twitter does not merit a mention. You also know, I am not biased when it comes to any food celebration whether I like the ingredient or not! Enough said...

2. Round and round I go; Uh Oh Spaghetti-O's-Okay, so I'm not too fond of Spaghetti-O's either but, that's not the point. Like many of my visitors, I have come to rely on wikipedia. I sometimes use it as a spring board. Will the real inventor of Spaghetti-O's please raise their hand? Oh, they can't. They have passed on to that "great" cafeteria in the sky.

You see, here's my beef. According to wikipedia , a "German-American chef" by the name of Kurt Eberling, Sr. invented SpaghettiOs. (just in case you're not familar with SpaghettiOs, they are, to paraphrase, the neat spaghetti you can eat with a spoon, originally marketed by Franco-American. However, that seems to be another story for now. Let's continue:

Kurt Eberling, Sr. (17 June 1930 – 6 March 2008) was a German-American chef and the inventor of SpaghettiOs.
Born in Aachen, Germany, Eberling served with the army in Germany and Austria during the Korean War, and met his wife during this time. After the war Eberling went to work in the kitchens of the research and development department at Campbell Soup Company, where he developed products for the US and international markets. Eberling created the idea of canned "spaghetti and meatballs" when he saw a strand of spaghetti curled up in the sink. He took the idea to his supervisor and Ralph Miller, and shortly after SpaghettiOs were created.

Well, that's just wrong! According to almost every obituary I read, including the New York Times and USA Today, Donald Goerke is the man who dreamed up SpaghettiO's back in the 1960s. Not only does there seems to be a stir involving the inventor, there also seems to be a bit of confusion as to when the Spaghetti-O made its debut. Was it May 16, 1965 or May 23, 1965. Does it matter? I guess not, only to me I suppose but, my point is, wiki is sometimes not as accurate as perhaps, it should be. Although, you knew there had to be an although:) wikipedia does also include a SpaghettiOs link which gives credit to Goerke with a link to a short bio. (be careful:)

Published: May 22, 1995 (New Jersey) New York Times:
Fettuccine Alfredo has come and gone as a trendy dish, yet some pastas are more durable: Spaghetti-O's, for instance. Thirty years ago tomorrow, the Camden-based Campbell Soup Company first released the circular-shaped pasta, and to this day the company still sells tens of millions of cans of it annually. When Spaghetti-O's were developed, Campbell was trying to boost its sagging pasta sales, and thought that small children might prefer the easily spoonable pasta to tough-to-fork spaghetti. What followed were some memorable advertising campaigns -- like "Uh-oh, Spaghetti-O's" -- and millions of mouths that bore the post-meal Spaghetti-O's imprint. Campbell, which is based in Camden, says that Spaghetti-O's remain its most popular pasta dish.

BTW, if you're so inclined to lift the lid on this Spaghetti-O roustabout, feast your eyes on this story from the onion. We baby boomers have names for articles like this...I can only tell you it involves a rather "frank" rumor about Spaghetti-Os, Lyndon Johnson and Charles de Gaulle, "Far-Out."

3. The straw that broke the camel's back; google. Tonight as I was preparing the May list for this week, to my chagrin, I discovered I have a "Social Circle through google. Do you use google? Do you have a google email address? Chances are you have one too. How did I uncover this "social circle" of mine? Well, off hand I can't remember the search I was doing. I do many searches while verifying. And, I know I've been out of the loop while visiting Idaho but, it seems, this social circle thing has been going on for a while. Once again, I'm not sure why I find this so disturbing but fact is, I do. According to my profile page on google:

This is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results. It is based on a combination of the following:

• Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts (11)
• Direct connections from links listed on your Google profile (97) such as Twitter and FriendFeed
• Secondary connections (5) that are publicly associated with your direct connections

In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.
This is a recent snapshot of your social circle. Changes you make to your connections will be reflected in the next snapshot. Learn more »
Direct connections from Google Chat and Contacts (11)
Here is the list of your Google contacts who have a Google profile and have content that can show up in your search results.
Add new people to your social circle by adding them to the "Friends", "Family", or "Coworkers" group in your Google contacts. You can also follow your friends in Google Reader or Buzz, which adds them to your social circle.
If you would like to see more content from your Google contacts, encourage them to create a Google profile and add links to their content there.

I am going to have to do a bit of inquiring about this. Frankly, I think the reason why I can't remember what I was verifying is because I was startled to unveil my social circle while googling and it plum left my mind. Okay, I was a bit more than perturbed, I was downright angry for a very red split second. (I'm known to have a bad temper when I feel like my privacy is being invaded. As I said, further investigation necessary...

May 23rd

Celebrate Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus with a little bit of chocolate today. It's the day he was born in 1707. Not only did he rename the cocoa tree, Theobroma Cacao, which means food of the gods, he did a whole lot more.

Carl Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné or Carolus Linnaeus, is often called the Father of Taxonomy. His system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms is still in wide use today (with many changes). His ideas on classification have influenced generations of biologists during and after his own lifetime, even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.

It's National Taffy Day today! It's not too late to host an Old-Fashioned Taffy Pull or try these Tempting Taffy Buns. It look like they are a heck of a lot easier on the muscles:)

May 24th

National Vegetarian Week begins today. National Vegetarian Week "is the annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle."

In 2010, Victoria Day falls on Monday, May 24. Victoria Day celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday. You could celebrate with a Victoria Sponge like Jasmine did or Cherries Jubilee! created by the great Escoffier in her honor. Actually, Queen Victoria had many dishes named or created in her honor. Her likeness even appeared on canned peaches and on peach crates. Some say, "during Queen Victoria's reign, all elegant dinners included a peach served in a jeweled box lined with cotton." Coronation Chicken Salad may be another dish fit for a Queen:)

May 24th is *National Asparagus Day. I celebrated way back in 2008. I'm not sure if I included this link for Asparagus-Lime Pie. Just in case, here's the link.

Lillian Moller Gilbreth, mother of 12, was born on May 24, 1878. Not only did she lead a most energizing life, she also "developed important inventions such as the foot-pedal trash can, shelves inside refrigerator doors, and an electric food mixer!"
Lillian Gilbreth was the mother of modern management. Together with her husband Frank, she pioneered industrial management techniques still in use today. She was one of the first "superwomen" to combine a career with her home life. She was a prolific author, the recipient of many honorary degrees, and the mother of 12. She is perhaps best remembered for motherhood. Her children wrote the popular books Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes about their experiences growing up with such a large and famous family. But Lillian Moller Gilbreth was not only a mother; she was an engineer and an industrial psychologist. source
At the nibble, I dug up National Escargot Day, which is also celebrated today.

In Michigan, May 24th was once declared Michigan Pasty Day.
The true Cornish way to eat a pasty is to hold it in the hand, and begin to bite it from the opposite end to the initial, so that should any of it
be uneaten it may be consumed later by its rightful owner.  And woe betide anyone who take's another person's "corner"!" 
(source )
Pasties, Plain and Simple
To many people in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the pasty is much more than merely food -- it is an identifying cultural mark that gives them their own identity. The same is true of the citizens of Cornwall, England.

The pasty is a simple food, really. While it doesn't do justice to its taste, the pasty can be described as a pot pie without the pot; or a smaller, more portable meat pie. ( source includes history & recipes)

Although the pasty is no longer celebrated on May 24th, every June the residents of Calumet Michigan honor the venerable pasty with a celebration known as Pasty Fest. This year, the Pasty Fest is June 26 - 27.

Over the last 200 years the Copper Country has attracted people from the four corners of the Earth who settled here and established long standing communities. One of the notable “treasures of the north” that resulted from this mix of customs, ideas and traditions was a meat pie known as a pasty. A mainstay of Cornish miners and their families, the pasty was adopted by virtually all ethnic groups inhabiting the Keweenaw Peninsula in northern Michigan. Today the pasty stands as a local icon and is recognized as a traditional Copper Country dish.
On May 25th 1913, Brownie Mae Humphrey was born in Georgia. SHE WAS THE first woman ever to make the cover of BusinessWeek. Who was Brownie Wise? Well, if it weren't for Brownie Wise, Tupperware Parties may have gone by the wayside. She was, "a legendary saleswoman largely responsible for the success of Tupperware through her development of the "party plan" system of marketing."
If it weren't for her, the burping plastic bowl invented by Earl Silas Tupper right after World War II would never have become a cultural icon recognized by millions around the globe. Tupper was a reclusive inventor from Central Massachusetts and his products were gathering dust on department store shelves in the late 1940s. But that changed in the 1950s when Brownie Wise recruited an army of Tupperware Ladies to sell his plastic wares in living rooms across the country -- at Tupperware parties.source
Brownie Wise was a self-made woman with a genius for marketing products and an intuitive understanding of how to motivate others. She was a role model for thousands of other women, and a businesswoman ahead of her time.

As a young mother at home in Detroit, Michigan in the early Forties, Brownie Wise contributed regularly to the Detroit News' "Experience" column, where readers, mostly women, shared comments about their lives.

Using the pen name "Hibiscus," Wise reminisced about her childhood in a Natchez, Mississippi plantation home. She also wrote idealized accounts of her home and family. Some of her writings for the newspaper column are excerpted below. The special poignancy of Hibiscus' descriptions is that none of them were true: in reality, Wise's origins were working class, and her husband was a violent drunk. (source)

Today is National Wine Day and, the day Star Wars made its debut in 1977. I won't be back with any wine, but, I will be back (hopefully) with a few recipes from this very cool cookbook. (Who knows, I may bring some wine too:)

H. David Dalquist, the inventor of the Bundt cake pan, was born today in 1918. I celebrated *National Bundt Pan Day back in November of 2009. (warning, I did get a chance to update or check links but, there's Bundt Pan history and a recipe or two)

May 26th

May 26 is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day and National Cherry Dessert Day @ The Nibble.

May 27th

National Grape Popsicle Day

Jamie Oliver, was born today in 1975. Let us know if you celebrate with a post, will ya?

"To stand at the edge of the sea...is to have knowledge of things that are as eternal as any earthly life can be."
-Rachel Carson-
Born May 27th, 1907

May 28th

The 24th Annual Gullah Festival-"The Gullah Festival of South Carolina celebrates and recognizes the history, customs, cultures, language and accomplishments of the African Americans of the low-country. Festival activities will commence Friday, May 28th and will end on Sunday, May 30th. The festival is always held on the weekend leading up to Memorial Day."

*Elizabeth “Lizzie” Black [Kander], author of The Settlement Cookbook was born today.
Settlement cookbook

May 28th is National Hamburger Day! (May is also Hamburger Month)

Gaston Lenôtre, founder of the restaurant, catering, retail and cooking school empire Lenôtre, was born May 28, 1920, on a small farm in Normandy. Wiki says May 20 but The Guardian and the NYT say May 28 in their obituaries as does Encyclopædia Britannica

French pastry chef, restaurateur, and educator who rejuvenated the neglected art of French pátisserie by rejecting traditional heavy desserts in favour of lighter, more innovative pastries, mousses, and meringues. Lenôtre, whose parents were both Parisian chefs until his father’s ill health forced the family to move back to rural Normandy, opened his first bakery in Bernay, Normandy, in 1947. Ten years later he and his wife opened a pastry shop in Paris...Encyclopædia Britannica
National Brisket Day

May 29th

National Coq Au Vin Day
National Mint Julep Day