Sunday, May 30, 2010

May Food Celebrations: 30th-June 2nd

I do hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. Hip Hip Hooray! However, we mustn't forget, in all our glee, that Memorial Day "is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service."

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. (Memorial Day History)

May 30th

Adelaida Cuellar, founder of the tamale stand that grew into the El Chico restaurant chain, was born on May 30, 1871. I have an El Chico cookbook around here somewhere but I'll be darned if I know where it is. (I so dislike when that happens!)
National Mint Julep Day @ The Nibble

May 31st

There are lots of you who have celebrated National Macaroon Day. Lidian has Sure-Bet/Sherbet Macaroons. Anna in her Cookie Madness has tried a couple of recipes from Cooking Light & Ina Garten AND, Janet @ Dying for Chocolate shares a recipe for Chocolate French Macarons. Quite frankly, I never knew much about Macarons until I read The Macaron Chronicles @ Veronica's Test Kitchen. As Veronica says, Macarons can inspire an obsession that cannot be easily shaken off. I'm beginning to understand:)

Worcestershire Sauce began to be produced commercially on May 31, 1892. You can visit The Old Foodie for more history of Worcestershire Sauce. Or, I did a post titled *Fishpickle! That Lea & Perrins a while back. However, Janet's post is brief and to the point. Here's how I began my post.

It all began in a pharmacy...On January 1, 1823, John Wheeley Lea & William Henry Perrins two chemists from Worcestershire, England decided to go into partnership. Neither John Lea or William Perrins actually decided to invent Lea & Perrins Sauce. They didn't invent it at all. What they did do was, produce it, when no one else was. As legends go, Lord Marcus Sandys, the former governor of the province of Bengal in the British colony of India, who had returned from a trip to the Orient, requested a compound for a fish-based Indian sauce which he wanted duplicated. The recipe was a secret blend of spices and seasonings that lent to food a "new savor and delight." From this recipe, Lea & Perrins created the fish sauce, bought the rights to the recipe from Lord Sandys, and thus was born the sauce that later became Lea and Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce; the brew from the recipe of a nobleman of the county.

You may not be interested in the history of Worcestshire Sauce, that book above has lots of info which I shared in my previous post. However, how do you feel about this recipe for Fritters a la Lea & Perrins which is also from the book?

Fritters a la Lea & Perrins
Cut slices of cold boiled ham or tongue about an eighth of an inch thick and trim all to the same size and shape. Lay in marinade for a few minutes, then take out, dry thoroughly and dip into fritter batter below. Fry in deep fat heated to 350-370 degrees. Drain on absorbent paper. Lay a slice of the fried meat on a heated plate, place a crisp lettuce leaf on top and cover with another slice of the meat. Pour hot tomato sauce or any preferred sauce, around sandwich and serve immediately. This makes a good meat item for a "blue plate" dinner.
1-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. Lea & Perrins Sauce
Sift dry ingredients, add egg, well beaten, then milk and Lea & Perrins Sauce. The batter should be just thick enough to coat the article intended to cover. If it is too thin, add flour; if too thick, and milk or water.
Marinade: Shake together in a covered jar, 3 tbs. oil, 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, 2 tsp Lea & perrins Sauce

June is a very busy food month. Oh, I know I say that every month but June Really has lots of days and monthly celebrations that I still need to sort out. So, what I'm going to do is, leave you with a taste of the monthly celebrations for June and, a few morsels to hold you over until I can get back here on Thursday with the rest. And, BTW, start digging out those picnic recipes. June 18th is *International Picnic Day. Remember last year when we "played" the Picnic Game? Well, we'll be playing again this year!!! What do you have in your Alphabet Picnic Game basket to share?

Monthly Food Celebrations

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days...
Whether we look or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten...
James Russell Lowell

June is...
National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fruit & Vegetable Month
Not only is June National Papaya Month, It's Mango Month too! Irish Cream Mango Smoothie, anyone? 
National Soul Food Month (I'm thinking of celebrating Soul Food Month on Juneteenth. We'll see...)
National Iced Tea Month @ Slash Food
National Turkey Lovers' Month

Daily Celebrations

June 1st

On June 1st 1495, the first written record of Scotch Whiskey appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. (PDF file courtesy of historymole.com ) Timeline:Food & Drink)

The Ice Cream Cone was patented today in 1920. Want to know by who and where? You can find a brief history of the Ice Cream Cone right here!

Andy Griffith was born on June 1, 1926. Last year I celebrated with a few recipes from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook. I called the post a *Mayberry Holiday because I had just returned from visiting the kids in Idaho:) (A bit like Mayberry to me:) Do you remember this recipe for Andy's favorite cake?
Andy's Chocolate-filled Angel Food Cake
6 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pints whipping cream
1 large angel food cake
1 cup blanched almonds, slivered & toasted
Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and cream. Chill for 1 hour. Whipp the chilled mixture. Cut a 1-inch layer from the top of the angel food cake. Cut out the middle of the cake, leaving walls and bottom about 1-inch thick. Fill the cavity with one-third of the cream mixture and one-third of the almonds. Replace the top of the cake. Frost with the remaining cream mixture and sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and sides. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serves 6. (contributed by John Faulkner, Greenboro, NC)

June 2nd

National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day Check out Janet's Rocky Road Bread Pudding! So cooool...

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born today in 1731. I did a rather in depth post on First Lady Washington in 2008. I also shared recipes from a small book titled Leaves From The Table of George and Martha Washington. it's a long post but full of info.

Chef Louis Szathmáry was born June 2, 1919, in Budapest, Hungary. An avid cookbook collector, Chef Louis' cookbooks are shared at the Szathmary Culinary Arts Collection at The University of Iowa.

To my delight, I discovered the cutest video over at Tina's. If you like animals, especially doggies and elephants, you must see this video. It is precious!!! Thanks for sharing Tina and BTW, Love your new look!!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone. See ya on Thursday with lots more goodies!!!


  1. Idaho is a lot like Mayberry to a NYC girl who's moved to the wilds of Pennsylvania! This cake surely looks divine! And if I weren't making sloppy Joes tonight, I'd be making burgers with Worcestershire sauce! Go, L&P!

  2. I love visiting. I learn so much and simply enjoy reading about all the special days, including those new to me.

    You put a lot into t his and you should know, you are appreciated.

  3. It's doing my heart good to see so many remembering that Memorial Day is so much more than the start of "summer."

    Dairy month? Sissy will be delighted. She's had her milk and shared with Gretchen, and now, they're napping.

  4. National candy month? That doesn't bode well for my diet! :)

    But iced tea? That's a favorite. I drink a pitcher full every day!

    Loved the ice cream cone history and the elephants/dogs video is adorable. I always have such fun when I visit your blog!

    Happy Memorial Day, Louise!

  5. Lea and Perrins! Now there's a topic I'd never thought about - surprising, and very nice! Love the stuff . . . :)

  6. Perfect that it's mango month too! I'm making lots of things with mango these days.

  7. Thanks for the history background...very interesting...and I have no problems trying the Lengua Fritters a la Lea & Perrins recipe

  8. I got to break out my mac and cheese and fried chicken for soul food month...

  9. Mango and papaya month? Love the idea that every day is a day to celebrate :-)

  10. The cake sounds heavenly! And it's Rocky Road day. Yay! I know what's for dessert tonight. What a terrific list of burgers you have up for National Hamburger Day - I can't decide which one I want to make! Their all seriously delicious sounding.

  11. I knew there was some good cooking going on in Mayberry. Thanks for the recipe.
    That's a cookbook tie-in I don't have.


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

Thanks for dropping in...Louise