Happy Chicken Wing and Lasagna Day – Not Together Of Course

Jul 29th

Happy Monday!  Stop grumbling at me, of course it’s a happy day – Monday or no Monday!  It’s summer, it’s beautiful out, we just finished a weekend doing whatever we wanted to do (I hope you did anyway) and those of us who are blessed to have jobs are busily doing them!  In this economy anyone who is employed is lucky indeed and should be nearly skipping to work.  So many of the people in our country aren’t that fortunate right now.  For anyone reading who is in the group of folks who are currently unemployed, or underemployed, I hope and pray for you that things turn around and something comes up soon.  In the meantime, there are some fun celebrations today – so let’s enjoy them!

Rain Day – This is a pretty interesting and entertaining story.  Because it’s a little long and I don’t want to lose anything in the translation, I’m going to copy and paste the link from the Rain Day Festival website, from their history page.  It’s a pretty great story!

Story by John Owen, Chairman Special Events Commission, (1979-2005)

Rain Day got its beginning in the Daly & Spraggs Drug Store, located in the center of Waynesburg. Legend has it that one day a farmer was in the drugstore and mentioned to Byron Daly that it would rain the next day, July 29. Mr. Daly asked him how he knew and he replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th. Mr. Daly thought this was too sure a thing to let pass, so he started betting salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win.

In later years, Byron Daly’s son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He liked the idea of keeping it as a local phenomenon.

John Daly was the Rain Day Prophet, who kept the tradition alive that was started by his father Byron, when he bet a hat that it would rain on Rain Day. In keeping up the night vigil (usually in a yellow slicker, hat & umbrella) sitting on the courthouse wall waiting for the first drop of rain to fall. He was almost always rewarded for his efforts and would give a gentle smile, put up his umbrella and head for home after the first drips fell.

John Daly had won hats from such notables as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Cassius Clay and Arnold Palmer just to name a few. He also would bet local TV personalities from the Pittsburgh Area. In 1967, he bet Del Miller, who owned the Meadows Race Track in Washington, PA. That year, not only did Mr. Miller give John Daly a hat, he gave him a complete set of racing silks.

John Daly kept a box under his bed of the hats he had collected over the years. Many years ago, a non-profit talked Mr. Daly into donating his hat collection for a fund- raising auction. The hats were sold to the highest bidders! Special Events Commission has tried several times to determine the purchasers of the memorabilia unfortunately, to no avail, and none of the hats have never been recovered.

In more recent years, the Special Events Commission has won hats from people like Jay Leno, Fran Drescher, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Troy Aikman, Mr. Rogers and Mr. McFeely, The Dixie Chicks and Chubby Checker. Harry Anderson, star of TV’s Night Court, was the unsuspecting bettor in 1988; that year it didn’t rain, so the commission sent Harry a hat. The hat appeared on the bookshelves behind his desk on the set for several episodes next to his armadillo. ”

How fun is that?



This Day In History

1928 – Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” premieres.

Food Celebrations of the Day

National Chicken Wing Day – Have you ever watched eating competitions on TV?  I get a stomach ache just watching them.  It’s absolutely beyond me how anyone can eat THAT much.  Well, this past week, in anticipation of National Chicken Wing Day today, competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut defeated 15 other competitors from around the world to win back to back Hooter’s World Wing-Eating Champion titles in Clearwater, Florida.  He down 179 Hooters wing!  He beat Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, who took 2nd place with 155 wings.  Adrian “The Rabbit” Morgan of Baton Rouge, LA took third, with 149 wings.  Michelle Lesco of Tuscon, AZ took fourth with 131 wings, and Sonya” The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, VA placed fifth with 128 wings eaten.  Now I don’t know how big the Hooter’s wings are, never having eaten at a Hooter’s in my life, but I don’t care if they are Cornish Game Hen wings, that’s a LOT of food! Now, as if all of that competing to eat all of those wings wasn’t enough, Hooters has posed a challenge to Americans.  They want Americans to consume one million chicken wings today.  Well, I know they can’t track how many wings are actually eaten, but they are doing their part by offering at all of their locations across the country a $12.99 all-you-can-eat wing deal.  They are hoping that their wing fans will come out and reach the one million wing goal. 

National Lasagna Day  – Yum!  Lasagna!  I love lasagna.  There is something so satisfying about a plate of hot, cheesy, meaty goodness with a big piece of garlic bread on the side.  When I make it I never just make one tray.  It’s enough work that since the kitchen is already messed up, I make three or four trays so I have plenty to freeze.  If you do them up in disposable foil loaf pans you can get 6-8 pans of it, and it’s the perfect amount for dinner for two people, with possibly enough leftover for lunch the next day.  As it is cooking the wonderful aroma wafts through the house, and by the time you sit down to eat your tummy is grumbling in anticipation.  I read about a place in New York today – Del Posto restaurant – that has a lasagna with 100 layers – 50 coatings of sauce between 50 sheets of  handmade pasta.  It would be amazing to see, but I’m struggling to figure out how one would eat such a tower of pasta! Here are some lovely lasagna dishes from www.food.com.  I’m going to check out that Pesto Lasagna Cupcake recipe – sounds intriguing!

Well, I am hungry now.  I wasn’t before, but I sure am now!  I hope this encourages you to enjoy some delicious food celebrations yourself today!  I’m sure there’s something I can do to appreciate these today.  God Bless You today and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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