Friday, June 29, 2012

Prelude to a Picnic

Hi Everyone! Are you ready? I mean indubitably ready? Good, because, We're going on a picnic! That's right, mark your calendar. July is National Picnic Month and since June 18, 2012, International Picnic Day, visitors of Months of Edible Celebrations have been creating all kinds of goodies to celebrate the event by "playing" the Picnic Game. What? You've never heard of the Picnic Game? Well, you best high tail yourself right back here on July 1st to find out what all the excitement is about!

In the mean time, let's see if I can get you in a Picnic kinda mood with a picnic book I've chosen to share today. Authored by Robin Vitetta-Miller and entitled, what else but Picnics, Easy Recipes for the Best Alfresco Foods, this little gem is filled with all kinds of quick picnicky recipes including dollops of hints and tips.

No mini picnic for us, we're going to have a smorgasbord of delights from all parts of the world mixing happily together on our picnic menu. Oh, I know, you're just dying to know what picnic delicacies we'll be nibbling on. Sorry, no previews:) It's all part of the Picnic Game as you will see if you drop on by on Sunday. And for those of you who are "playing" the Picnic Game, you know who you are, be sure and do some blanket hopping and forage out all the goodies there are to share!

Well, that pretty much sums it up, the basket is packed, we've found the perfect ant free place in our neck of the woods to celebrate, all that's left to do is kick back and enjoy our carefree virtual dining experience on Sunday. How cool is that! I had better leave you a morsel of finger food to nibble on while you're waiting for the festivities to begin. "See" Ya Sunday!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Look What I Found!

Friday was my birthday and while I was gallivanting around from yard sale to yard sale, Marion baked me a Birthday Cake!!!

Don't you just love when yard sales are on Fridays? And how terrific is it when that Friday also happens to be your birthday? Pretty cool huh? What's even more exciting, to me that is, is that in Pennsylvania, unlike Long Island, you can hit a whole town of yard sales all on the same day!!! Yep town-wide yard sales may just be the best!!! Besides the World's Longest Yard Sale, which I mentioned here. Now you know I'll be sharing these 2 for a dollar beauties!!!

Although I 'd love to share all the other "neat" stuff I bought while "yard-sailing," I'd much rather share a piece of cake with you and tell you about the very best ever present I bought for myself!!!

Can you see it?

May I present, drum roll..., My Fountain of Youth!

I know I should have waited until it was completed, but I just couldn't. Can you tell how excited I am? I have high hopes for this fountain just you wait and see!!! And you will see!!! And as much as I was thrilled to think of the possibilities of repurposing my Habitat for Humanity tub into a work of art, lol...

Now I can take my time and think it though thoroughly. Sounds a bit like something a procrastinator would say:)) The lady that I bought the fountain from "made me an offer I couldn't refuse:)" (It also helped that her very kind husband delivered it too:) We won't talk about how many "farmers" it took to get that baby on the back of my truck though. And how utterly difficult it was to set up. Or that it has to come down again to get fitted for its pump. Or that I will be mixing more cement to do a minor repair. You see that white bucket? That is going to be replaced somehow!!! And look how big my Pineapple has gotten!!!

Did you see the turtle by the fountain? Actually, how could you miss him. I just had to go to the nearest garden supply and buy the biggest turtle I could find. Although, I did hesitate when I first saw him thinking I could hold out until my next yard-sailing adventure. But hey, it's my Birthday, I'll splurge!

Speaking of reptiles, look what I found nesting in my garden work area. An an Amphibian!

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't frogs have tadpoles in...Water? A frog!!! I haven't had time to investigate yet but if she keeps hanging around, I will surely be googling.

Oh and before I forget, I've meaning to tell you. Although the mother Robin seemed to do a disappearing act with her "kiddies" unbeknownst to both Marion and I, she did return with at least one of her offspring. They now live happily in the pines by the garden.

And as for that yummy cake, it was delicious!!! Would you believe Marion apologized for using a mix? Oh that woman:) I should be so virile at the age of 92! Or is it 93 I keep forgetting, lol...As you may have guessed, I had an outstanding birthday, the cake was scrumptious and Marion, well Marion I thanked her profusely and then we ate our cake:)

Yes, I have big dreams for this everlasting fountain of youth however, although stunning, this isn't one of them!

Quick Picnic Game Update

Update June, 28, 2912
There are NO letters left to choose from for the Picnic Game. Isn't that just wonderful! Bring large blankets and even larger appetites. It's going to be Dee...Li...Cious!
Now don't worry, I'm not panicking but rather than wait until the last minute, I may as well mention it now. I know the letters that are left may seem recipe difficult, you might want try to think of them as a way to get creative.

For instance, last year when we were in dire need for a dish beginning with the letter X, Veronica came up with a rather inventive dish, Xerem.

Quite a few of you have said you will start delivering your dishes by Monday or Tuesday and that's just wonderful. The Picnic Basket is going to be brimming with so many tasty dishes. By the time you read this post, you should have received the "dishes" I've gotten so far. I won't be in contact with any of you today (Sunday) as I am off on a quick business trip to Scranton. I should be back late Sunday night or early Monday morning raring to fill our basket!

Thanks to everyone for joining in. If you know anyone who might want to join in on the festivities, be sure to let them know!!! Have a wonderful Sunday, Louise

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picnic Game News and a Celebrity Recipe

Since the "theme" for this year's Picnic Game was somehow "staged" the other day, I thought it only fitting to include an actor's or in this case an actress's recipe for today's Picnic Game Update. Which would you like first? Nicole Kidman's Crispy Orecchiette With Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Garlic recipe or, A Picnic Game Picnic Letter Update??? Don't try to say either of those 3x:)

Let's go with the recipe first. Do you remember this book? I posted a few recipes from it and a few other "celebrity" cookbook recipes a while back as a Tribute to the Oscars.

When I noticed today's date, I realized it was Nicole Kidman's birthday, Ice Cream Soda Day, Plain Yogurt Day and also the day that Roy Allen opened his first Hamburger and Root Beer stand in 1919. That Root Beer stand would one day grow to be A&W®!!! Although I would love to celebrate all of those goodies, knowing me, any one of them would probably run a bit too long:) And since the Picnic Game is moving along rather quickly this year, a Picnic Game Update and a little bite are probably a better idea:)

So, here we have Nicole Kidman's recipe as found in Newman's Own Cookbook by Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner ©1998 p.143.

Nicole Kidman's Crispy Orecchiette With Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Garlic
1-1/2 boxes (16 ounces each) Orechiette (little ears:)
3/ cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. slivered garlic
5 cups small broccoli florets
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
6 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a stockpot, cook the Orechiette in plenty of salted boiling water until tender but firm. Drain, run under cold water, and drain again.
2. Have ready 2 medium sauté pans. Heat 1/4 cup oil in each until smoking. Ass the cooked orechiette carefully to the hot oil (really carefully:) dividing it equally. Spread the pasta out in even layers and cook for about 3 minutes, or until medium brown on the underside. Turn the pasta over and cook, without stirring, until browned on the other side. Transfer the pasta and oil to a large bowl and keep warm.
3. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in one pan until hot. Add the garlic and broccoli, and sauté, tossing, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a large (13x9 inch) flameproof dish.
4. Add the browned orechiette, balsamic vinegar, butter, and pine nuts to the baking dish and toss over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to combine.
5. Serve the pasta in 6 heated bowls or plates, with a generous grinding of fresh black pepper on top and the remaining cheese on the side. Serves 6

Nicole Kidman's Crispy Orecchiette With Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Garlic

Before we get to the update, I must mention, I happened upon the same recipe attributed to Nicole Kidman on this website. As I read it, I noticed there were a few changes. (which is the reason I included the scanned recipe also:) If it is to your liking, be my guest:)

Picnic Game News

Quick recap. Just in case you missed the International Picnic Day post where I announced the Picnic Game for this year, let me quickly explain what's up! We're going on a virtual online picnic where each "guest" brings a picnic or a potluck dish that begins with a letter of the alphabet. Then, as in the children's game some of us might remember from our youth, we prepare a post and recite, I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... If you go to Monday's post, there's a video where you can get a pretty good idea of how the game is played. Of course, you can visit last year's Round-Up to see all the glorious picnic goodies we enjoyed!!!

The Letters! What a smorgasbord of goodies we are going to have this year!!! The letter A is all set to go and I'll be sending it along tomorrow. No, no, no, I'm not telling what it is. I will tell you that the Picnic basket is filling up quickly with all kinds of tasty tidbits but, we still need a few more munchies to nibble on. As of this moment, here are the letters that are still available:

U, X,

Want to play the Picnic Game? Yes? Well then, trot on over to that Picnic Game link up there, read the "rules" and join us for our annual online Picnic Game!!! Boy oh boy, we all hope to "see" YOU there!!! Louise

1. Chronology of A & W Root Beer (USA)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time To Stage a Picnic Game! It's International Picnic Day!

Can you believe it's that time of year again? Not only is it International Picnic Day, it's also time to play The Picnic Game!
Before we review the Picnic Game "rules", I want to tell you about a fabulous picnic related Give-Away Mary is having. You see this Vintage Style Metal Picnic Basket pictured below?

Would you like a chance to win it? It's brimming with goodies too! Well then, just take a quick sail on over to Home Is Where the Boat Is and leave a comment. But hurry, a winner will be chosen on June 25, 2012.
Okay, now that you're back, let's talk picnics. It's "Potluck and a Talent Show" as Kathryn McGowan puts it in her enjoyable article A Brief History of the Picnic. When you think about it, a picnic is the outside stage of gatherings.
"When the tradition of picnicking began in the early 1900s in England, the Picnic Society of London would gather for theatrical events and each guest would bring a dish to an elaborate indoor buffet. (Potluck anyone?)...Breaking Bread and sharing food are age old symbols of friendship. Bread, the most basic of foods enriches any meal and lies at the heart of every picnic. One imagines a crusty loaf of French bread with a good cheese and a nice red wine."~The Picnic Gourmet by Joan Hemingway and Connie Marich. (© 1976)

Setting the stage for great food and great fun is as easy or elaborate as you make it. Whether it be an impromptu lakeside picnic such as Mary's,

Or at Monet's [sumptuous] Table,

Foraging along nature's paths is a picnic work of art.

...The Cavaliere returned with zealous speed, accompanied by one of the servants of the inn, who bore a basket containing the materials of a rustic luncheon. The porter of the villa was easily induced to furnish a table and half a dozen chairs, and the repast when set forth was pronounced a perfect success; not so good as to fail of an amusing disorder, nor yet so bad as to defeat the proper function of repasts...
I found that tasty tidbit above in the book The Novels and Tales of Henry James by Henry James in an interesting article I was reading titled Elizabeth David on Picnics. Intrigued, I spent a bit of time reading a few pages of Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David and to my delight, she had a charming way of putting the picnic repertoire in prospective.
"Picnic addicts seem to be roughly divided between those who frankly make elaborate preparations and leave nothing to chance, and those others whose organization is no less complicated but who are more deceitful and pretend that everything will be obtained on the spot and cooked over a woodcutter's fire, conveniently to hand; there are even those, according to Richard Jefferies, who wisely take the precaution of visiting the site of their intended picnic some days beforehand and then buying the champagne."

A Tisket A Tasket

Of course, our picnic is an online Picnic Game. A bit whimsical, a lot Ratatouille with Chicken Shangri La tossed in! Dishes from various cultures mix happily on our picnic menu. It begins like this, I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...I've got a better idea, since many of you have played the Picnic Game before, how about I just show this video I found on how to play the traditional Picnic Game:
Easy peasy, right? Let's sum it up. Basically, it's very simple. You choose a letter of the alphabet which matches the title of the dish you would like to bring to the picnic and post it on your blog.
The traditional memory game starts when one player recites: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___."  (a delicious dish) that starts with the letter A; for instance Apple Pie)
The second player says, "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing an Apple Pie. (the same "A" word(s) the first player used, in this case an Apple Pie) and ___." Here's where you add the B word like, Blueberry Muffins.
Each player recites on their blog what the person before is bringing and adds what they're bringing until we reach the end of the alphabet. Take a quick look at last year's Round-up and you'll get the general idea. Of course, if you have any questions, just leave a comment or email me acalenda [at] gmail [dot] com. I should mention, I've started a Pinterest Picnic Game board so if you would rather your links aren't included on it, please let me know:)

1. Since this is a virtual picnic game, Anyone, Anywhere can play. I do request that recipes be posted in English or have easy access to translation.

2. Choose your letter but don't take too long. The "easy" letters seem to go pretty quickly. Leave a comment on this post with the letter you have chosen. For instance, if you want to bring a dish to the picnic, that begins with the letter "A," your comment must be left before another person chooses that letter. We can only have one letter of the alphabet for each dish.  Note: If you would like to choose a backup letter just in case your chosen letter is taken, that would be GREAT too.

3. I will let you know if you can bring your dish to the picnic by leaving a You're Invited! comment on your blog. "You're Invited" will be your signal to grab a copy of the Picnic Game logo above and prepare a post for the Picnic Game Round-Up. Now, here's the difficult part. Since the Picnic Game is listed in alphabetical order, you may feel a bit like a contortionist trying to get your post up while still leaving room for the letters and delicious looking images that will be preceding yours. Just make a mental note and it should all work out fine. I'm always here for any questions and once we get going, I'll have many samples to show you I'm sure:)


1. Select a recipe that begins with your chosen letter and write a post about it on your blog. You must list what the people before you are bringing. That's why it's called the Picnic Game! I will email you with those links and images, as soon as they are emailed to me.
2. Include the Picnic Day Logo in your post with a link back to this post.
3. Email me at acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com (it would be really nice of you to include Picnic Game in the subject line) In the email please include the following.

a. Your name
b. Your blog's name
c. Your post URL
d. The name of your recipe
e. An image of your dish and also let me know if you give me permission to pass the image along to other picnickers and whether you mind if it is included on Pinterest.

4. If you would like to bring more than one dish to the picnic, you are more than welcome. Just note it in the email and include items C-E for each additional dish.
5. Please email me as soon as you know what you are bringing. No later than Friday, June 29, 2012, midnight EST. The sooner the better so I can forward your link to the other picnickers.
6. I will be posting the entire list of Picnic Game recipes by midnight July 1st just in time for National Picnic Month! If for some reason, there are not enough entries by that time, I'll do my best to fill in the blanks.
7. If you would like to host the Picnic Day Game on your blog, and get your visitors involved, be my guest. The more the merrier. Just let me know. (this would require another set of picnic letters from A-Z and a bit of enjoyable work on the part of the hostess:) We would just, shall I say, "link our picnic "blankets" together:)
8. I'll be doing blog updates with available letters and such during the course of "playing."

FYI: I don't know about you, but sometimes I get discombobulated when I visit someone's blog and when I try to view an image, Blogger's Lightbox devours my screen. If you too find it annoying, it's really very simple to remedy. Check out How to Disable Blogger's Lightbox.
So, are you ready to play the Picnic Game? Choose a letter, leave a comment and let the toting begin!!!

If you  the Picnic Game, please use this hash tag #picnicgame. I forgot to do it myself:) 

Update June 26th: The letters are all taken! Our basket is brimming with goodies! Just you wait and see:)

1. Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David (@New York Book Reviews)
2. Moonlight Picnic
3. A Pretty Picnic To Celebrate Spring...
4. Archery Hunting in the Middle Ages
5. Piquer Nique

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Celebrating Roses! It's National Rose Month and Herb & Spice Day!

Good evening visitors, Not only is it a glorious June day here in central, PA, it happens to be National Rose Month and, National Herb and Spice Day. Have I got an herb for you; the Rose!

No, I haven't gone bonkers. According to the folks at the International Herb Society, not only is The Rose an herb, it is their chosen Herb of the Year for 2012!

What defines the meaning of an Herb you may ask?

According to legend, the Anglo-Latin scholar Alcuin (ca. 732-804) posed this question to his pupil Charlemagne. The King replied, "the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks."

It seems, I'm not the only one who is a bit surprised about this definition. I skimmed through many of my herb related books to dig up some information for you today and to my surprise, very few of them included herb information about "The Rose." And when actually mentioned in a few of the books, the harvesting was slim.

Rosa de Castilla rosa spp.
Primary Uses: The leaves and flowers are used as an eyewash. A tea of the flowers is taken to reduce high fevers and rubbed on the limbs for the same purpose. Used especially for children. The powdered flowers are applied to fever blisters and cold sores.
Secondary uses:Rosewater is applied to the face and neck to cool and tone the skin. The leaves and flowers are made into a strong tea and gargled to relieve sore throats and throat pain from heartburn, indigestion or vomiting. The aromatic flowers, steamed in water, make the air fragrant after cooking food or smoking tobacco
Los Remedios Traditional Herbal Remedies of the Southwest (p.73) by Michael Moore ©1990

A few years ago, I found a delightful surprise when I skimmed through the pages of a vintage Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I purchased at a yard sale. Inside I found a lovely "nosegay" of old garden roses illustrated by Steven Schindler.

I've been meaning to find a frame for the four of them but alas, another addition to my someday to do list:)

The Apothcary's Rose is a fragrant historic rose which is believed to be native to ancient Persia. It was brought to France in the thirteenth century and used extensively by apothecaries for medicinal purposes. Eventually, the Apothecary's Rose became a symbol for modern pharmacology. Botanically known as Rosa gallica var. officinalis, it was grown mainly in monasteries where monks prepared medicinal compounds from its petals. Preserves, jellies, oils and powders were produced, and because the dried petals also retain their perfume, it was popular for potpourri. In colonial times, the buds were dipped in sugar and eaten as candy.

Old garden roses, such as the Rosa Gallica pictured above, have a delicate beauty and wonderful perfume not often found in modern hybrids. When I lived on Long Island, I grew a rose garden of Heirloom Roses which brought me hours of delight. Not only did I enjoy their beauty, I often used them in potpourri and a few times, I even made Rosary Beads with them. But alas, that was long ago...I had no intentions of growing roses in the garden here in Pennsylvania however, Marion just couldn't resist the roses she eyed in the many, many gardening magazines and catalogs she receives in the mail. So, yes, dear readers we now have a few newly planted rose bushes that I'm sure I will be sharing with you when they bloom next year.

We did get a few blooms from last year's planting but, I must admit, I have not given the bush the care that it requires. I must remember to buy some bone meal!!! (I did however plant some garlic next to it, Rose Love Garlic you know. And thankfully, the aphids Do Not!

Small rose plants, tended during the long voyage from the Old World as carefully as children, were brought to this country from home gardens. Frequently they were the first root to be set down in new wild territory as pioneers headed west...The many weeks of ocean travel followed by stern winters precluded rose gardening for those first arrivals in New England until the early 1700s...Colonial ladies gathered bouquets of roses, wild or cultivated together with other flowers, fresh or dried, and placed them in their homes by the window so the breeze wafted their perfume into the house. Rose petals were gathered in abundance during June to be distilled and bottled for use as a skin refresher, to dry for potpourri. It was said roses in cookery "maketh a man merry merry and joyful."
A Heritage of Herbs; History, Early Gardening and Old Recipes by Bertha P. Reppert ©1976 P.99

Harison's Yellow Rose

Here we have a recipe for Scented Rose Beads provided by Jeanne Rose from her wonderful book, Herbs & Things. (my copy is quite tattered and dated 1976:)

Wild Rugosa

Rose Hip Recipes

It's Rose Hip Time! Although the Rosa rugosa (pictured above) is often grown as a domesticated rose, it is truly one of the most popular of the antique roses. The scent of its clove like perfume is second to none. The single and semi-double varieties produce the most rose hips that can sometimes last throughout the winter. It is sometimes called Wild Rose, Japanese Rose, and Turkestan Rose and it is extremely hardy.

The word "Rose" is a simple anagram. From the rearrangement of the letters is derived the word "Eros"--the Greek God of Love...The rose, and its eastern equivalent, the lotus, like all beautiful flowers represent spiritual unfoldment and attainment. Thus many deities are shown sitting upon the rose or the lotus...A thorny bush, the plant embedded within the earth seems symbolic of divine nutriment.. In fact,, this plant's hip (the bud ripened after the flower petals have fallen off) taken raw or as a tea, are very high in Vitamin C...All varieties are fine to use but the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) with its deep pink or white flowers and Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina) with pale pink flowers are the most fragrant. The Sweetbriar Rose or Eglantine (Rose eglantaria) is seeingly beloved of the poets; possibly because the leaves are thickly covered underneath with sticky fragrant pores which give a marvelous scent about the bush. But, for all intended purposes the wild rose varieties are the preferred. The Herbal Dinner; A Renaissance of Cooking by Rob Menzies ©1977 p.51

Personally, given the choice, I would have liked to once again plan a garden around heirloom roses. Like many of us, Marion was swept away with the photogenic appeal of the many hybrid roses available in today's gardening magazines and catalogs. If you have a choice and would like to experiment with the roses of our ancestors, I do have a couple of recommendations.

1. Antique roses are fairly easy to care for. They may not make a glorious photographic statement like so many of the more modern day roses who actually stem from many of them but, they will reward you with beautiful perfumes that can only be described as intoxicating. Antique roses have recently been brought back to life by rose breeder David Austin. David Austin Roses are available to order in the US as well as many other parts of the world. "After fifty years of intensive breeding, David Austin's English Roses combine the forms and fragrances of old roses with the repeat-flowering of modern roses. They are very easy to grow, healthy and reliable."

Back in 1966, when Euell Gibbon's first published Stalking the Healthful Herbs, I was but a child most likely complaining about having to weed the family garden. Later in life, I was first awakened by Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring and later by Mr. Gibbons. (or visa versa who can remember way back then:) However, I do vaguely remember a recipe in one of the chapters in Mr. Gibbons book for Rose Petal Jam or was it Jelly, which was uncooked. This is important to know because by not cooking the roses, you manage to preserve some of the nutrients. I happened upon the recipe for How To Make Rose Petal Jelly which according to the author, came from the book and perhaps the chapter How To Eat a Rose:)

2. I have been absorbing articles written by Jim Long founder of Long Creek Herbs, ever since I picked up my very first issue of The Herb Companion Magazine many years ago. I was delighted to discover he has recently published a book titled How To Eat A Rose which I have added to my book wish list. This is just a delightful sample of what Jim's book has to offer. Of course, you, and I, will need to get a copy of the book for the recipe:) On Jim's website, it sells for a mere $5.95! (I'm putting this link here for me, so I remember:)

Not only does he have a blog that features The Herb of the Year, with a selection of Tasty Roses for Your Garden, he also has another blog Jim Long's Recipes where he shares herbal recipes such as Lavender Cookies and Ginger Beet Cake!

If you have access to Pinterest, I have a board devoted to The Rose: Herb of the Year. It's filled with snap shots of beautiful roses and rose recipe too:)

I do believe there was a time that my children actually believed that I had the powers of witchcraft. Seriously, I was forever brewing concoctions whether it be for their meals or for my organic garden which I had eons before it was the "in" thing to have. My beliefs were confirmed when I received this wonderfully plush purple velveteen book titled White Magic: Titania's Book of Favorite Spells for my birthday one year from my son John. I embraced it for it's remembrance and also for its contents:) If you are wondering what the definition of White Magic is, you might want to visit this site. In its most basic definition, White Magic is "good magic" as compared to...I have never actually prepared or conjured up anything from this book however, I thought today as we celebrate The Rose, I should include just a little bit of sweet love, don't you think???

For those of you who have been inquiring about the Picnic Game this year, the answer is an unequivocal YES! Since its inception in 2009, the online Picnic Game has been filling our Picnic baskets with all kinds of goodies. There are many new visitors to Months of Edible Celebrations who have never played the Picnic Game and for those people, I would like to direct you to the International Picnic Day Invite post I did back then explaining the "rules." The fun begins on International Picnic Day which is always celebrated on June 18th. The round-up is posted just in time for National Picnic Month which is celebrated in July. You can see last year's round-up here or many of the Picnic Game round-up recipes on my Picnic Game Online board on Pinterest.

I'll be posting the "official" 2012 Picnic Game "rules" bright and early June 18th. The game is open to everyone, everywhere and for those of you who have never played, I do hope you will join us. And can I say, those of you who have been "lurking" in the background, it's the perfect time to introduce us not only to you but to your blog or website too!!! Since I have had so many inquiries about the Picnic Game this year, I was thinking about asking one of you who have previously joined in to host a second Picnic Game on your blog. What do you think???

I'm off to visit the garden now since it looks like it's getting a bit cooler outside. I hope your day is all spiced up and herbally too! Thanks for visiting, Louise:) Don't forget June 11th is National German Chocolate Cake Day.

"There is a language "little known,"
Lovers claim it as their own.

It’s symbols smile upon the land
Wrought by Nature’s wondrous hand;

And in their silent beauty speak
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For Love Divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers."

J.S.H from The Language of Flowers,
London, 1875.

Spice Up Your Blog (did you notice the new color in my comment section?)
What is an Herb
How To Play The Picnic Game (video explains the theory behind our Picnic Game:)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mooving Right Along...June is Dairy Month!

Cows have an acute sense of smell. They can smell something up to 6 miles away!

Since I inadvertently missed National Cheese Day and National Frozen Yogurt Day yesterday, I figured it's high time I get my tale going for National Dairy Month, which has been gloriously celebrated in the month of June since 1937. Actually, in both 1937 and 1938 what we now call Dairy Month was referred to as National Milk Month. Why not sip on this Orange Cream Chiller while I fill you in on the history of Dairy Month compliments of the Midwest Dairy Association.

"June Dairy Month, an annual tradition developed to celebrate the dairy industry and its many contributions to our society, originated in 1937. During its first two years, 1937 and 1938, it was called National Milk Month and ran from June 10 to July 10. The 1937 event, sponsored by chain stores, was given the theme "Keep Youthful - Drink Milk." Originally supported by the National Dairy Council (NDC), June Dairy Month was established to help stabilize dairy demand during periods of peak production. To assist in that effort, NDC provided promotional materials to the 6,300 stores participating..."June Dairy Month" became the official title of the promotion in 1939 and focused on greater use of dairy products...In 1955 American Dairy Association (ADA) became the national leader for June Dairy Month campaigns..." (Midwest Dairy Association)

Truly a "city girl," living in the heart of Pennsylvania Dairy Land, I'm not real sure these two "gals" are dairy cows. However, I can tell you, I got "up close and personal" to get this picture!

Before modern milk delivery, when people traveled and wanted milk, they had to take their cows with them!
If people ate like cows, they would have to eat about 360 cheeseburgers and drink 400 to 800 glasses of water every day!
In 1856, Gail Borden invented the condensed milk process. This process removed some of the water from milk so it would take up less space.
What do you call the cow that produces the most milk?

The Dairy Queen!

That's one of those livestock laughs I found in my travels. In reality, The Pennsylvania Dairy Princesses are highly trained spokeswomen for the local dairy industry.

I just happen to have a copy of Royal Recipes "presented by the Pennsylvania County Dairy Princesses from 1987-1988." However, if you would prefer a few updated Royal Recipes, I suggest you visit the Princess' Royal Recipes from the 2011 -2012.

The following "winning" recipe from Royal Recipes for Oven Hot Cheese Sandwiches, is quite popular around here. I can honestly say I had never tried it before moving to Central Pennsylvania and now, if prepared the way my friend Katie makes it, it's one of my favorites. Katie uses freshly baked bread and a local cheese that she buys at the neighborhood Amish store. I've never made it myself but I can tell you, I've had it by Katie's...often:)

The switch is the tip of the cow's tail. It usually has a nice tuft of hair on it for chasing away flies and other pests!

Middle Atlantic Milk Marketing Association booklet (undated)

Enjoy Dairy Month everyone. I'll see you in a few days with that Picnic Game news I promised!