Mmmm . . . Tuesday . . . Two Delicious Food Celebrations Today!

Jul 29th

Well, it is Tuesday and I am hoping and praying that this posts successfully.  I cannot explain how annoying yesterday morning was.  For anyone who has spent time doing any sort of writing, losing it at the last moment is really a source of frustration! The individual research for each of the celebrations takes time, then finding images takes MORE time . . . so losing it nearly brought me to tears. Not quite, but I think at the time it happened I was just to tired to actually give in and cry.  Besides, it’s not like anyone was hurt – words were lost that I could recreate . . . just not at that moment.  Now that I’m a couple of days behind, I’m picking up with today’s celebrations and going forward.

Rain Day – This is a pretty interesting and entertaining story. I shared it last year, but 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, again.  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 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. We just celebrated this one on Sunday – without even realizing that it was today!  I admit that I didn’t eat as much as I was hungry for . . . my Granddaughter was fussy, and since Grandma time is limited, I left my half eaten dinner and walked the floor with her while my son and his wife ate.  Somehow I never made it back to the table!  Sure wish I had that plate now!  I read about a place in New York – 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  I’m going to check out that Pesto Lasagna Cupcake recipe – sounds intriguing!

National Chicken Wing Day – I don’t typically eat chicken wings.  It’s not that I don’t like the flavor – some I have had are actually quite delicious.  No, I just have trouble with the fact that they have so little meat to fat/skin, and it seems like I’m eating more calories than it is worth.  With that said though, I admit that our local grocery store – the AMAZING store I’ve mentioned many times before – Central Market – has some of the BIGGEST smoked chicken wings I have ever seen.  They actually have meat on them!  I’ll eat those over any others I have ever had.   People eat wings hot and spicy, sticky sweet, or just plain.  Some eat them with sauce, some without.  They are truly a versatile food, and fairly inexpensive to buy and prepare.  Have you ever watched a chicken wing eating competition on TV?  It’s one of those things – actually ALL eating competitions are – that you watch with morbid fascination, even while feeling sick to your stomach at what you are seeing.  Last year 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 ate 179 Hooter’s wings, beating Miki Sudo of Las Vegas, who took 2nd place with 155 wings.   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!  Americans have downed so many chicken wings that it really defies imagination!  In 2013 they ate more than 27 billion, with 1.23 billion wings eaten during Super Bowl weekend alone!  That’s over 100-million pounds of wings! I saw something that said to give you an idea of how many that is, that if you lay those wings out, tip to tip, they’d circle the perimeter of the Earth twice!  This is an easy one to celebrate today, so have fun with it!

After about three weeks of eating junk food, as our family rolled with lots of changes – the birth of a beautiful new baby girl, the loss of a father, the trek to visit a grandmother, a house guest for a few days – though to be perfectly fair she would have eaten whatever I put in front of her – healthy or not – and a birthday celebration . . . today was day one of getting back to eating a strict and healthy diet.  Wouldn’t you know that suddenly I’m hungry for chicken wings when they aren’t even something I typically think about?  For goodness sake!  It always amazes me how suggestible the human mind is when it comes to food. No! I won’t do it! I am saying NO to chicken wings OR Lasagna! 

Well, it’s time to go to work, since I won’t be celebrating either of the food holidays, and it’s truly doubtful that we’ll get any rain today.  *sigh*   God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!





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