February 23rd annually recognizes a well-known food holiday, National Banana Bread Day.
A moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread, banana bread is made with fully ripe, mashed bananas. Some recipes call for yeast, and then the finished banana bread is sliced, toasted and spread with butter.
With the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks. It appeared in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook, too. Banana bread later gained further acceptance with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.
Despite the banana’s arrival in the United States in the 1870s, it took a while before they appeared as an ingredient in desserts.
Early Banana Bread
One early recipe came from The Vienna Model Bakery. It advertised banana bread as something new in the April 21, 1893, edition of St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A new restaurant/bakery chain owned by Gaff, Fleischmann & Company, The Viena Model Bakery was known for its baked goods and was likely one of the first to produce banana bread in the United States. The recipe was made with banana flour, which is made by drying strips of the fruit, then grinding it to a powder. This process had long been used in the West Indies.
In Hawaii during World War I, a surplus of bananas resulted from very few ships available to export the fruit. To prevent waste, alternative uses for bananas were developed. For example, bakeries started incorporating the fruit into their bread.
This recipe was printed in The Maui News on April 12, 1918, for banana bread:
Yeast, coconut milk or water
There was also rationing of staple food items such as flour. Banana flour was a suggested substitute. It was touted as a health food and recommended for a vegetarian diet.
This, of course, is not the quick bread we know today. A recipe submitted by Mrs. Dean in the February 18, 1918, issue of The Garden Island paper for a banana muffin might more closely resemble the quick bread we think of today.
1 cup cornmeal
3-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 sifted banana
3/4 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon Crisco
Mix dry ingredients, add banana, milk and egg and Crisco.
Quick Bread and Muffin
The difference between a quick bread and a muffin in baking has a lot to do with the type of fat and how it is mixed creating a different crumb or texture to the bread.
In 1927, Unifruit (a wholesale produce company) offered a free cookbook called From the Tropics to Your Table. The book offered recipes full of bananas as ingredients including banana muffins and breads. This little cookbook would have been handy during the Great Depression which was just around the corner. At the time, families utilized every scrap of food, including overripe bananas. They cooked overripe bananas, as well as other fruits and vegetables, into breads, stews and other dishes when flavor and texture were not as appealing raw.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBananaBreadDay
Bake your favorite version of banana bread to celebrate. With so many varieties to try – banana nut, chocolate banana and more – you can make more than one! Invite someone to join you or give a loaf or two away. The celebration is just too good not to share! We like ours warm from the oven with butter!
Use #NationalBananaBreadDay to post on social media.
In the United States, National Croissant Day, recognizes a wonderful flaky pastry enjoyed at every meal. Croissants are buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough, also used in puff pastry, is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.
Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCroissantDay
Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant. Be sure to give your baker a shout out, too! Of course, you can always try baking your own. This Recipe is from Allrecipes.com
Use #NationalCroissantDay to post on social media.
On January 7th you can remember the warm, cuddle ups from yesterday. Today you can add even more of those warm memories. January is National Soup Month, National Slow Cooker Month, and National Sunday Supper Month.
You can enjoy soups, stews and many other great dishes by doing some meal prep and slow cooker days. Nothing is better at the end of a long day in the cold than coming home to comfort foods like Beef Stew, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Everyday Beef Stew, Beef Pepper steak, Minestrone, White Chicken Chili, and even regular Chili. Did I mention lots of these are good for game days as well.
Best of all you can do the prep ahead of time and put it in your Crockpot. Imagine a warm hearty comfort food hot and ready to eat after a long day.
Freezer meals and a crockpot should be among some of your best friends. Any of these family-friendly meals will definitely make National Sunday Supper something to look forward to. These are some of the favorites at our house….
On December 30th each year, bacon lovers celebrate one of nature’s favored gifts on Bacon Day!
Everything is better with bacon. Someone said that once. And our research shows very little to dispute this assertion.
In the United States and Canada, bacon is made from the pork belly. Elsewhere in the world, the side and back cuts of pork are used. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or in a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled, or smoked.
Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. You can find many items also flavored or scented with bacon, including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. While these uses are options, we suggest cooking with bacon.
It’s not just for breakfast anymore, either. Bacon improves everything from beverages to dessert. Some cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar add bacon to the olives, pickles, and other assorted ingredients. Bacon improves the flavor of many appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. Incorporate bacon into salads as a topping or mix it into the dressing. When it comes to dessert, bacon pairs well with maple frosting or maple ice cream. Thanks to the salty, smoky flavor of bacon, it compliments sweet quite well. The possibilities are endless.
Bacon is both Keto and blood sugar friendly. Turkey bacon is also a good alternative. My favorite is leaf lettuce used as a wrap. Add Miracle Whip, tomatoes, and two strips of extra cripy bacon for a great tasting BLT without the carbs from bread. Two of these tucked into your lunch box with some cheese sticks and some blueberries makes for a great lunch that will give you plenty of energy till dinner without the 3:00 sleepies.
HOW TO OBSERVE #BaconDay
According to the founders of Bacon Day, we are encouraged to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies, or movies with bacon in the title. Since Bacon Day was created before the Discovery Channel show How It’s Made debuted, it’s safe to say, we can eat our bacon and watch those, too. Giving and receiving gifts of bacon is also recommended. Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well. Use #BaconDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BACON DAY HISTORY
Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.
On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors one appliance that changed the way we use the kitchen.
Quite by accident, self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket was melting. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves. Next, he tried cooking an egg. The egg test was less successful than the popcorn. It exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one.
This is the closest my husband gets to cooking. If you can’t do it in the microwave, he needs extensive instruction and supervision. Try a mug treat from Betty Crocker too. They make a late more brownie only a few buttons away….
Spencer, employed by Raytheon, continued experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.
- Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8, 1945.
- In 1947, Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called the “Radarange.”
- An estimated 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MicrowaveOvenDay
The microwave oven is more than an elaborate popcorn popper. Use this celebration to explore the many uses of the microwave oven. We’ve provided a few suggestions to get you started, but we also encourage you to share your favorites, too!
- make crispy bacon (and you won’t get burned either)
- melt chocolate for all that holiday dipping
- heat rice or bean-filled hot pads for achy muscles
- steam vegetables
- soften brown sugar
- dry herbs
- loosen labels from jars
While testing these ideas out, take some time to clean your microwave, too. Steam a wet cloth for a minute on high and let stand for another minute. The steam softens any build-up. Then, wipe your microwave down with a little hot soapy water to remove any greasy splatter.
Use #MicrowaveOvenDay to post on social media.
National Deviled Egg Day features a favorite hors-d’oeuvre or side dish for parties, holidays, family reunions and potluck dinners. Deviled eggs are the star of the show each year on November 2.
Information on this and many other holidays by https://nationaldaycalendar.com/
This well-loved food wows guests at the holidays. Designers have even created specially designed carrying dishes and plates. The deli section of the grocery store prepares packaged deviled eggs, and they can be found in some convenience stores, too.
Other names for this devilish dish include eggs mimosa, stuffed egg, salad eggs or dressed egg. To make them, hard-boiled eggs are shelled, cut in half and filled with the hard-boiled egg’s yolk. The yolk is mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard.
Eggs are quite versatile when it comes to making simple dishes elegant. The deviled egg is another example of taking the humble egg and transforming it with one or two simple ingredients. The final result is centerpiece-worthy. Colorful relishes, spicy peppers, pimentos or savory herbs, elevate deviled eggs. Additionally, the variety offers entirely new flavor profiles demonstrating just how delicious this family favorite can be.
Other approaches make them a little more creamy with sour cream. Or, a bit more tart with added vinegar. It’s possible to please just about every palate can be satisfied. From the traditional paprika garnish to crunchy bacon, or a little caviar, anchovy or herring, there is some devilish experimenting any cook can do.
As these are a favorite I must admit to liking my homemade recipe the best. This recipe can be elevated with cucumber garnish or a grape tomato. Bacon is also really good. I have yet to try the avocado mix in though I’ve seen plenty of recipes for it. However, I have tried them with pickle relish and/or dill. These do not make my try again list but hey if you like it go for it. I also think chives make a good garnish while adding to the flavor. This is a great way to use those hard boiled Easter eggs. It almost always makes my list for entertaining. Including game days. They are easy to make and store well for a day or two in the fridge.
The first known print reference referring to the term “deviled” about food, appeared in 1786. It was in the 19th century that it came to be used when referring to spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DeviledEggDay
Make up your favorite recipe or try something new. Try a fancy recipe. Serve them for guests or just for you.
Get my classic recipe that mom always made here.
For more great recipes try some more of our family favorites.
Most of us start our mornings with a good hot cup of coffee. Most of us go back for more. Hot, Iced, Latte, Breve, Cappuccino, or Frappe, chances are you’ve had some today. With it’s popular tastes and an extra boost to help us through our long days, is it any wonder how it has become such staple. Every year on October 1st, the world comes together to celebrate coffee and recognise the millions of people across the globe – from farmers, to roasters, baristas, coffee shop owners and more – who work hard to create and serve the beverage we all love.
With 3 billion cups consumed a day it’s easy to see that it’s quite popular. As that number continues to rise it’s can be said it’s one of the worlds most loved beverages.
Whilst this is a time for celebration, leading up to and during ICD each year, we also focus on how to continue to improve coffee’s future. At present, in spite of growing demand, coffee faces a dramatic issue, as the prices that producers receive today are more than 30% below the average of the last ten years, threatening the livelihoods of coffee farmers and their families.
This year we’re on a collectivemission to help coffee farmers around the world receive a fair, living income.
So grab your regular or learn a new language from ordering at Starbucks. Maybe it’s a good enough reason to have an extra cup, just the way you like it, to celebrate. After all it’s International Coffee Day!
Balloons Around the World Day
Balloons Around The World is a made-up holiday that aims to spread cheer around the world. It is celebrated annually on October 1.
The unofficial holiday was created by Jeff Brown in 2000. The holiday encourages people to use balloons and the art of balloon twisting and decorating to bring smiles to the faces of those around them.
Balloons are bags, usually colorful and made of rubber or latex that can be filled with air or gases like Helium. Early balloons were made of animal bladders. While balloons are frequently used for decorative purposes, they can also be used for transportation, to gather atmospheric information, and by doctors to open up clogged arteries.
How to Celebrate?
- Have a party and use balloons for decoration.
- Learn how to make balloon animals and objects.
- If you already know how to make balloon objects, make some and give out to random people on the street and see them smile.
- What about taking that special one on a hot air balloon ride?
Did You Know…
…that rubber balloons were invented by scientist Michael Faraday in 1824?