Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day! It's A Month of Celebrations!

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.
~Sara Coleridge~
Pretty Lessons in Verse for Small Children (1834)

Hi everyone!!! Happy Independence Day!!! Wasn't the picnic a blast!!! Thank you so much for playing. You all did GREAT! As much fun as the picnic game was however, National Picnic Month is not the only food celebration happening during National Grilling Month!

Monthly Food Celebrations in July

First, July is National Ice Cream Month. National Ice Cream Month was proclaimed in 1984 by the late President, Ronald Reagan. He also proclaimed the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day! (July 18, 2010) There are scoops of ice cream days in July. It is written, that on July 8th in 1881, druggist Edward Berner, of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, concocted the first ice cream sundae. I'm yet to confirm that scoop. "Several cities lay claims to first creating the original ice cream sundae." Look here! There's a debate about this lick of trivia too. According to some, the ice cream cone was invented by Charles E. Minches of St. Louis, Missouri on July 23, 1904 at the World's Fair in St. Louis. Ice cream mogul, Tom Carvel was born in July. Had enough Ice cream. Never! Did you know, President Reagan also proclaimed July as National Peach Month? Perhaps, that's why we celebrate National Peach Ice Cream Day on July 17th! Although, who needs an excuse? Not me:) However, there are just some things about the modern flavors of ice cream, I just don't understand?

Most people know that July is *National Baked Bean Month and National Hot Dog Month but did you know, Nathan Handwerker, founder of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, was born on July 14th? Rumor has it, he started a contest on July 4, 1916, as a way to drum up publicity for his hot dog stand. According to wikipedia, "on July 4, 1916 four immigrants had a hot dog eating contest at Nathan's Famous stand in Coney Island to settle an argument about who was the most patriotic." Whatever the story, I posted a few historic notes from the Nathan's Hot Dog Cookbook last year titled, *Nathan, Nathan, Why you Waitin! Lookin' to celebrate National Hog dog Month, Texas style, check out some Traditional Texas Fare. Okay, one more bite:) Did you know, it was on July 18, 1936 that The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was invented by Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer. It says so right here @ Food Reference.com. While I'm at it, now may be the time to mention that July is also National Horseradish Month. I'm hoping to do a post for Horseradish Month before the month is over. Wish me luck!!! Where's the beer? July was once National Beer Month but, it appears, the American Craft Beer Association has now brewed two celebrations together into American Craft Beer Week which is now celebrated in May. I'll have a cold one anyway!

I missed Eat Beans Day, July 3rd this year, but I do have a rather interesting bean recipe stashed away for National Baked Bean Month. It's from Cooking For Two (1909) by Janet Mckenzie Hill. It's called Cold Baked-Bean Sandwiches, Club Style. This recipe was the "go to" recipe when one wanted a dish that didn't require meat. If I would have thought about it, I would have sent this recipe over to Chaya for her Meatless Mondays round-up.

Cold Baked-Bean Sandwiches, Club Style
Butter two slices of Boston Brown Bread; on one of these dispose a heart leaf of lettuce holding one teaspoon of salad dressing; above the dressing set a generous tablespoon of cold, baked beans, then another lettuce leaf and dressing; finish with a second slice of bread, a tablespoonful of beans, a floweret of cauliflower, and a teaspoonful of dressing over the cauliflower.

July is National Blueberry Month too! Yes, it is! July was proclaimed National Blueberry Month by the United States Department of Agriculture on May 8th, 1999. The blueberry harvest season runs from mid-April through October but July is the peak of the season. The Blueberry Council has a list of blueberry festivals and amazing blueberry recipes. Below is a recipe for Blueberry Pudding Cake which I included in a post I did a while back titled *Blueberry Heights. I chose this recipe because it was one of the few I found which does not include eggs.

Blueberry Pudding Cake
2 cups blueberries
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tbs. shortening, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbs. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
Put 2 cups blueberries in the bottom of an 8x8 cake tin. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, shortening, 3/4 cup sugar and milk together and spread over berries. Now mix the 1 cup sugar and cornstarch together and sprinkle over batter in pan. Pour the cup of boiling water over this. Bake at about 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Other fruits such as rhubarb, raspberries, or sliced apples can be deliciously substituted for blueberries. The Maine Jubilee Cookbook (1970) Submitted by Mrs. James McGrath, East Waterboro, Maine

Most of you know July is National Picnic Month. If you're looking for picnic recipes, boy oh boy, do we have some recipes for you!
Picnic Game Recipe's Round-Up 2009
Picnic Game Recipe's Round-Up 2010

What would all these food celebrations be, without the many professional cooks and chefs who have contributed to the dining excellence we experience in our daily lives. So this month, let's remember them by celebrating National Culinary Arts Month.

The U.S. Congress established July as National Watermelon Month in 2007. I'm working on a surprise for National Watermelon Month this year. Hopefully, all will go well. In the mean time, remember those Quick Link recipes for Watermelon Month last year? Hint, hint, my future post was inspired from one of them. I just heard, the Watermelon Guy is holding a Watermelon Carving Contest in celebration of Watermelon Month this year. Any one up to it? I know there are some crafty carvers out there. Entries must be submitted by August 31st!

A few more quick links:
July is National Bison Month. Another post I'd love to tackle:)

July is National Horseradish Month and National Pickle Month!

Happy Birthday USA!

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin~

This post is getting away from me. I have people to visit and thank you letters to send off. I didn't even make all my picnic visits yet and visits to my other blogging friends who couldn't make the picnic. Perhaps, it's best I post the rest of this week's foodie days some time Monday just in time for Cracker Jack Day! I'm sure by now, everyone is in party mode and the 4th of July is really only on our minds. I was delighted to find a post of mine among the many featured on the Patriotic Foods Round-up posted by Rachel of Coconut and Lime. Thanks Rachel!

Other Foodie Days Today

Hiram Walker, the man behind Canadian Club Whisky, was born on the 4th of July in 1815

National Caesar Salad Day!

According to Susan Fuller Slack in her book Fondues & Hot Pots (sample @ google books

A savvy marketing ploy to promote swiss products in the United States was the impetus for creating chocolate fondue. It was first served on July 4, 1964 by Chef Konrad Egli at New York's defunct Chalet Swiss restaurant.

For the past two weeks, I have been patiently waiting for my Carnation plant to bloom. Why oh why, National Carnation Day is celebrated in January, I don't know. Perhaps it is because they are one of the few flowers that last in a bouquet one might gift in the winter months. When I did that post for Carnation Day, I shared a very special flower book in my collection, titled Life Among the Flowers published in 1855. If you love Carnations as much as I, or you missed it, you may want to visit. It includes among others, a recipe for Gilly-flower Wine:) On that note, I would like to leave you with just one more recipe.

To make Syrup of Clove Gillyflowers
Clip your gillyflowers, sprinkle them with fair water, put them into an earthen pot, stop them very close, set them in a kettle of boiling water, and let them boil for two hours; then strain out the juice, put a pound and a half of fine sugar to a pint of juice, put it into a preserving-pan, set it on the fire, keeping it stirring till the sugar is all melted, but do not let it boil; then set it by to cool, and bottle it. The Complete Confectioner by Hannah Glasse

A Happy & Safe 4th to you!!!
see ya Monday:)

I'm having a pretty quiet 4th this year so I'll be catching up on your blogs and comments through-out the day. Oh, and one more thing, mark your calendars for next June 18th if you want to join us playing the Picnic Game. I've been receiving many emails asking to reserve letters for next year. We won't be doing that:)
*Who Invented the Ice Cream Scoop? (as is the case with all red *, they denote a previous post)


  1. So much to celebrate this month! We're using Hebrew Nationals exclusively right now for hot dogs here in the Woods. The Knight also likes some crazy red skinny brand, but I can't recall the name...

    Happy 4th!

  2. Yay for Ice Cream Month and Blueberries! The pudding cake sure sounds scrumptious! Happy 4th Louise!

  3. Happy Independence Day, Louise! That blueberry pudding cake looks like a winner, and we have ALWAYS been fans of Tom Carvel!

  4. Ice cream month?? I better start making some! :)
    I always love reading your posts, Louise. And your research is amazing.


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

Thanks for dropping in...Louise