Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome March!!!

This is the month of winds that whirl
That stream and twist and turn and curl...
This is the month, the month of wind,
That piles the clouds or drives them thinned
In reluctant herds, some low, some high,
Relentlessly across the sky.
~Enola Chamberlain~

I don't know about you but I'm one happy girl. It's March!!! I don't know when I've been happier to see March rolling in. Whether it be by Lion or Lamb, this year, I just don't care just get here!

I made a new friend here in PA. Her name is Katie. Katie lives on an Amish dairy farm not far from where I live. We became friends at the end of last year's growing season when I went to her greenhouse to get "nourishment" for my new flower garden. Throughout the winter we have kept in touch and when weather allowed, we even took a few outings. Katie and her husband, Samuel, have recently joined forces with a group of dairy farmers to protect their livelihood. (I don't feel comfortable getting into the politics of it all)

Anyway, did I tell you Katie also operates a small gardening business? She has three green houses. The entire family put up the third one just a few weeks ago. And yes, it was freezing cold. And no, I didn't take pictures. (we'll talk about that in the future:) Well, back to why I'm so happy that it's finally March. The seeds will be here the first week of March. Yes, I'm jumping up and down for joy!!!

Since Katie and Samuel have more than usual going on at the farm, I asked Katie if there was anything I could do to help. (her youngest daughter Kathy delivered a new born heffer just yesterday. Seriously, how cool is that?) She kindly invited me to help with the first planting as soon as the first seeds of the season arrive. That, dear readers, is this week!!! You'll be hearing much more about Katie, I guarantee it!!! (I'm even giving Katie her own category:)

Monthly Food Celebrations

1. March is National Peanut Month
2. National Nutrition Month®
3. Frozen Food Month
4. Maple Sugar Month in Massachusetts. That's right, March is Time for Maple Syrup and I celebrated last year with some Vermont Maple Syrup recipes.
5. March is National Sauce Month.
6. National Flour Month
7. March is National Women’s History Month.
8. National Noodle Month @ Gluten Free Living
9. March is National Celery Month. In case you're confused, April is National Fresh Celery Month. Don't ask me, I just post it as I "see" it:)

March 1st

National Pig Day; Ellen Stanley, a Texas art teacher, and Mary Lynne Rave of North Carolina created National Pig Day in 1972. They wanted people to recognize and appreciate a pigs intelligent and best qualities as domestic animals.

Peanut Butter Lover's Day

National Fruit Compote Day

I was really looking forward to sharing some recipes from a few of the Dinah Shore Cookbooks I have but, alas, I just never got to it. Dinah Shore was born on March 1, in 1917. Just in case you don't know who Dinah Shore was, I was barely a child myself when she had her own television show. I do know she was a wonderful singer and loved to cook. She once prepared a meal on her show with Frank Sinatra. What was it? Frank Sinatra's Sausage and Peppers!

St. David is the Patron Saint of Wales. In times past, and in some regions today, men wear a leek in their hat in tribute to St. David and women wear daffodils the national flower of Wales. I hope to be sharing some recipes from a Welsh recipe book on St. David's Day one day. In the mean time, here is a recipe for Welsh Rabbit Stew and more information about St. David's Day. You may prefer a recipe for Welsh Cakes from the same site.

March 2nd

Today is Read Across America in honor of the beloved children's writer and illustrator Theodore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss. Would you believe, his first children's book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was turned down by 27 publishing houses before being published by Vanguard Press.

National Banana Cream Pie Day is also on March 2nd. Did you see my daughter's recipe for Prize Winning Banana Pudding Pie?

March 3rd

George Mortimer Pullman was born on March 3 1831. He is best known for inventing the Pullman Sleeping Car which revolutionized train travel and eating on the move. This lead to the development of the first dining car. Did you know it was an Pullman Porter who invented the first biscuit cutter. His name was Rufus Estes.

It's Time for a Party! Once again, the Peach Blossom Festival welcomes spring with the Japanese Doll Festival. When the Doll Festival or Hina-Matsuri arrives, family and friends are invited for tea, and the dolls are the hosts and hostesses for friends who visit the girls in each family. I posted recipes from a charming Swan's Down Cake flour booklet with all the trimmings. Follow the link to the party:)

National Mulled Wine Day

March 4th

The Washburn-Crosby Company’s (later General Mills) radio station, "WCCO," went on the air March 4, 1925. Betty Crocker, made her debut as the voice of the "Gold Medal" station promoting Gold Medal Flour, (remember March is also Flour Month:) helpful hints and recipes on her program the "Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air." Here's the link.

Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles, was born on March 5, 1910 in Taiwan.

National Pound Cake Day

Ephraim Wales Bull the inventor of the Concord Grape was born on March 4, in 1806. In 1853, Bull's grape won first place at the Boston Horticultural Society Exhibition. However, it wasn't until Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch developed the first 'Concord' grape juice in 1869 that Welch's was on its way to becoming a household name.
Grape doughnuts anyone?

Grape Doughnuts
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1/4 cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp. allspice
3-3*1/4 cups unsifted flour
Welch's Concord Grape Jelly
Confectioners' sugar (optional)
In a saucepan, scald milk; stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Pour water into large, warm mixing bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, allspice and half of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. turn dough onto well floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place ball of dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Allow to rise until double in bulk (approx. 1 hour.) Punch dough down and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with 2-3/4 inch round cutter. Place on greased baking sheet; cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.
In a skillet, fry in about 1 inch hot fat until brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper. When cool, puncture small hole in side of each and, using pastry tube, fill with grape jelly. Roll in confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Yield: about 16. The Wonderful World of Welch's

revised Feb. 2014