Ah, another Saturday. Did anyone else’s week go REALLY fast? Of course, I had a lovely extra long weekend that started yesterday. My wonderful mother-in-law is here visiting (and yes, I mean it! She’s awesome! I hear that not that many people can actually say that, but I can) and we headed out for most of yesterday to a couple of lavender fields in Sequim. Oh, they were GORGEOUS! If you’ve never stood at the edge of a lavender field, smelling the lovely aroma of the lavender wafting in the warm summer air, hearing the hundreds of bees buzzing as they go about their work, and just absorb the peace of the entire scene. I could have propped my feet up and just looked at them for hours, if we’d had the time. We even had a chance to eat some delicious, fresh Lemon Lavender Custard Ice Cream. Oh my goodness, it was SO good! Well, enough about my YESTERDAY, this is about today’s celebrations. Enjoy!
Barbershop Music Appreciation Day – Not to be confused with Barbershop Quartet Day in April, this is a day to just relax and enjoy any Barbershop Music you can! Perhaps the sweet voices of the Sweet Adelines or a Barbershop Quartet. On July 13, 1945 Edna Mae Anderson of Tulsa, OK invited some women over to her home to sing. Their husbands were all members of the (OK, this is a LONG name here) Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQA). (honestly by the time you get that name out you’ve forgotten what you were talking about!) The ladies wanted to have fun singing too, so that night the “Sweet Adelines” were born. Their group later became the Sweet Adelines International and has hundreds of groups and thousands of members. Today, listen to barbershop music and have some fun!
Embrace Your Geekness Day – What is a geek? Well, for those who aren’t aware of the meaning behind the label, a geek is an individual who is highly intelligent (brainy) and technically oriented. Usually we associate them with computer systems. A geek is often formal, studious and very into his technical world – this often includes excludes everything else. A geek is closely related to a nerd, but a nerd may – or may not- have the same technical expertise of a geek. Some people think the term Geek is negative – but not sure why they would, unless they are jealous of the knowledge and skills that geeks have. So today, if you are a geek, be proud! It’s great to be so gifted and brilliant!
Fool’s Paradise Day is today. I have heard that phrase before but never really thought about what it meant, so I looked it up. The literal definition is: “state of delusory happiness: a state of happiness that is temporary and insubstantial because it is based on illusions or unrealistic hopes”. Well that’s a little glum isn’t it? Seems a bit of an oxymoron. How can a fool reach, or experience, Paradise? And how could any place actually BE paradise if it’s inhabited by a bunch of fools? Those are perhaps important questions, but I don’t have any answers for them. Just as I have no idea who set up this little holiday, or why. Perhaps they’d been living in their own little Fool’s Paradise and just realized it and set up this day. Whatever it really means, or however it resonates with you, celebrate it as you will . . .
Gruntled Workers Day – The folks at Wellcat.com came up with this one – and it makes sense. We hear all about people who are unhappy in their jobs – disgruntled workers – all the time. Today though it’s nice to focus on the people who enjoy what they do, and what is the opposite of DISgruntled? Well, Gruntled of course! Celebrate today by telling someone what a good job they are doing . . . it can be the server at lunch, the clerk at the store, anyone you feel just needs a boost for doing well at their job.
Wayne Chicken Day – The Wayne County, Nebraska, Chamber of Commerce was looking for a fun event to hold every year that would be easy, fun, and bring in tourism. Well, chickens came to mind for the theme of their first show in 1981 because well, they had great potential for art materials, most people know chickens or at least have a bit of familiarity with them, and chickens can be considered with humor. It worked! The Wayne County Chicken Show received the 1996 Nebraska Outstanding Tourism Award and was selected, along with four other community events, to be featured in the Library of Congress. The Wayne Chicken Show and Henoween (hahahaha) involve nearly 1,000 volunteers throughout the community who donate their time, talent and financial support, helping to make this festival fun and “cheep” (oh wow, cheesy) for everyone who attends!
Food Celebration of the Day –
- While the Belgians may or may not have invented the French fry, today, they do consume the most French fries per capita of any country in Europe.
- In most of the English speaking world, thin cut and thick cut fries are called two different things, fries and chips, respectively. In North America, it is typical to simply call them all French fries and, when they are distinguished, it is usually just by adding an adjective, rather than using a completely different word: i.e. steak fries (chips), French fries, curly fries, etc.
- In 1802, Thomas Jefferson had the White House chef, Frenchman Honoré Julien, prepare “potatoes served in the French manner” for a dinner party. He described these as “Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings”. This is one of the earliest references to fried potato strips being referred to as “French”.
- Steak fries, or chips, actually tend to have lower fat content than normal French fries, due to the lower surface to volume ratio.
- Popular condiments to dip French fries in varies quite a bit from country to country. In America, ketchup is typically the dip of choice for French fries. In certain parts of Europe, mayonnaise is king. The British tend to favor malt vinegar for dipping their fries. The French themselves tend to just eat the fries straight as often as not.
- Belgians, occasionally will serve French fries with egg as a topping. The raw egg is cracked over the French fries immediately after the fries have been pulled from the fryer. This tends to mostly cook the egg, but leaves the yoke somewhat runny for dipping the fries in.
- According to many of the “Belgian origin” supporters, French fries are called French fries because, during WWI, American soldiers were introduced to fries by the Belgians. At the time, the Belgian Army spoke French. The fries were called “Les frites” (which is French) by the Belgians and so the American soldiers took to calling them “French fries”. This theory is incorrect, for a couple of reasons. First, as mentioned, in the 1800s, Thomas Jefferson referred to fried potato strips as “frying potatoes in the French manor”. In addition to this, there is an American cookbook from the 1850s that specifically uses the term “French Fried Potatoes” to describe French fries; there are also numerous other references to “French Fried Potatoes” from the 1850s on, in the United States; these all obviously pre-date WWI.
- Between the 1850s and 1930s, French fries were known more illustratively as “French fried potatoes” in America. Around the 1930s, everybody dropped the “potatoes” on the end and just called them French fries.
No matter the history and details (and I’m sorry, the Belgian French fry/raw egg concoction sounds NASTY), I love French fries. I love them crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and with tartar sauce. Even better though, mix the salty with the sweet and dip them in a chocolate milkshake! Hey! Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it! Yum!
- Homemade French Fries
- Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked French Fries With Chile Peppers & Cilantro
- Texas Fries
- Belgian Frites
I hope you have found a way to incorporate one of these celebrations into your day. If not, that’s OK. Maybe there’s one you will enjoy better tomorrow. Have a wonderful Saturday! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!