National Cherry Pie Day

Did you know February 20th is National Cherry Pie Day? How do you celebrate? Eat some cherry pie, of course.

  • Family Night: Cherry pie for dessert is a great way to celebrate your weekly family night.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Eat a delicious piece of cherry pie while binge-watching your favorite new series.
  • Homemade Cherry Pie: Pull out your favorite recipe and bake a homemade cherry pie.
  • Local Bakery: If you are not a baker, stop at your local bakery and buy a cherry pie. Not only will you get a tasty cherry pie to share with your family (if you want), you are supporting a local business.
  • Give One Away: Whether you bake or buy, consider dropping a second cherry pie off to your neighbor, friend, or family member.

Why celebrate National Cherry Pie Day? Why not? The weather, social distancing, and simple daily routines have a way of making life dull. Celebrate silly holidays with your family, significant other, roommates, or your cat.

 

 

 

 

National Pepper Pot Day

Honestly, I have never heard of the story or legend of the Pepper Pot, which I find difficult to believe since I am such a history buff.    The story goes on that on this day (December 29) in 1777, a soup which was spicy and warm was served to the Continental Army on the orders of George Washington.

The era was the time of the Revolutionary War; the Continental Army had set up camp Valley Forge during the winter.  The legend states that George Washington himself had asked the cook to serve up something special since the men had been enduring such harsh wintery conditions.  George Washington wanted a special meal that would not only keep the Army warm but would also help boost their morale.

Having experienced ice storms and frigid temperatures in the past in the mid-Michigan area, I can just imagine how cold these soldiers must have been as they camped out at Valley Forge.  Since the food and other supplies were limited in the area at the time, the Army’s chef used the resources that were on hand, which included pieces of tripe, small pieces of meat, and peppercorn.  The chef added these ingredients with others into a big pot; hence the Pepper Pot was born.  The Pepper Pot soup is also known as the Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup.  The spicy soup was an instant hit among the Army men.  Some even deemed the Pepper Pot, “the soup that won the war.”

I haven’t tried to make this soup yet.  I just don’t have all these ingredients on hand.  So, I will have to let you know in the future how the soup turned out. After researching, I found a recipe for Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup on About.com, here’s the recipe which was submitted by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone:

Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds beef honeycomb tripe

3 teaspoons salt

Water with 1 Tablespoon salt

3 Tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 whole onion, studded with 3 cloves

1 rib celery, sliced thin

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thin

1 leek (about 1 cup), washed, sliced, including tender green part

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 small meaty veal knuckle

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle Chile powder or cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf, broken in half

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups 1/2-inch-diced potatoes

1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons water

1/3 cup butter for garnish

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Rinse tripe under cold water. Drain and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt and rub into the tripe to clean the crevices. Rinse again to remove the salt.

Place tripe in a 3-quart saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches, with the tablespoon of salt stirred in. Slowly bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Drain tripe and let cool. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.

Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, chopped onions, whole onion, celery, carrots, leeks, and bell pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables, cover, and reduce heat, simmer, occasionally stirring, until onions are softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.

Add broth and water to the pot, along with the veal knuckle, tripe, garlic, Chile powder, bay leaf, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

Remove the veal knuckle and pick off the meat, cutting any large pieces down to bite-size. Discard the whole onion. Return the veal meat to the pot, along with potatoes, evaporated milk, and parsley. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened.

Swirl butter into the hot soup until melted and immediately ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Yield: 6 servings

Reference:

Filippone, P. (2013). Philadelphia pepper pot soup recipe. Retrieved

from: http://homecooking.about.com/od/soups/r/blss112.htm

Photo Credit: Pixgood.com

Celebrate! Love Your Pet Day

Did you know, today, February 20th is Love Your Pet Day? Whether you have a dog, cat or other furry little critter, pets bring companionship, joy, and fun to your home. Dedicated pet owners always show love to their furry or feathered friends. Today just focuses on the love you have for your pet. Life should be about small celebrations.

How to Celebrate Love Your Pet Day?

Being a responsible pet owner, you already know the activities your dog (or cat) enjoys the most. Set some time aside to engage in your pet’s favorite pastime. If you are looking for new activity, consider the following ideas to celebrate Love Your Pet Day:

Time

Work, family, school, or other commitments keep you busy. Being home alone may leave your pet feeling lonely. Spending some extra quality time with your faithful companion is the perfect way to celebrate Love Your Pet Day.

  • Go to the local dog park or find a new one to explore
  • Go hiking on a new trail
  • Go for a car ride together to find a special treat
  • Snuggle on the sofa

New Toy

Pick up a new toy for your beloved pet. A new squeaky toy for your dog or cat nipped filled mouse for your feline friend will brighten your pet’s day.

Homemade Treats

Head over to Pinterest to search for homemade animal treats. Baking homemade dog or cat treats shows extra love for your pet on this special day. Most recipes require basic ingredients that you may already have on hand. The wide range of recipes available ensures the perfect fit for your pet.

Spa Treatment

Many dogs love pampering (cats not so much). Send your pooch to the local doggy spa for a fresh bath, nail trimming, and more.

Photo of the Occasion

A photo of the occasion is the best way to mark Love Your Pet Day.

  • Take a selfie
  • Set up your own photo shoot
  • Get a professional portrait

Need a Pet? Adopt

Bringing home a pet from a local rescue or animal shelter immediately shows love. Celebrating Love Your Pet Day with a new furry companion goes beyond recognizing the day, the action may actually save a life.

National Indian Pudding Day

Today, November 13, 2017,* is National Indian Pudding Day. Is your reaction the same as mine? What exactly is Indian Pudding? Or perhaps, you have heard of the old fashion recipe.  For myself, when I first read this, I had no clue what to expect from the recipe or even how to create the dessert.

So, like most things, I had to start with some research. The recipe is actually well known in the New England area. The history of the tasty dish goes back to the early 17th century. The dessert was mainly served during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Prior to making the new dessert, I searched for different recipes. For the people who know me well, they are fully aware I am not the best baker. I basically do not have the patience to bake. For the most part, I do know how to bake and cook. But my skills are not top notch in the kitchen department. We all weaknesses. Admittedly, I do enjoy canning and making homemade jam.

After reading the recipe, I knew I was in over my head. I never even heard of the term “temper the egg” before reading the instructions. So, I did what I normally do when I cannot understand a recipe: I called my mother. Of course, she came over to help me. (By the way tempering an egg means slowly adding the hot liquid to the egg mixture to bring the two different temperatures together).

Most of the recipes called for cornmeal, molasses, sugar, milk, and spices. So, my mom and I picked the one, we thought would be the simplest to try for the first time. The recipe was an older one, but the sugar amount was reduced. I did not want or need a lot of sugar in my dish.

The main ingredients for Indian Pudding plus flour and sugar.

The ingredients start by cooking on the stove top.

The mixture coming together.

The next step requires baking. As the Indian Pudding begins to bake, the wonderful smell filled the house.

Baking in the oven.

The final product was finished. I will admit the look of the pudding was not what I had expected.

The finished product straight out of the oven.

 

The wonderful smell matched the deliciousness of the Indian Pudding. The recipe suggests topping with vanilla ice cream or heavy whipped cream. Well, I used the store bought-brand but the final product was still “yummy” good. I am glad I was able to try something new. As an extra bonus, my mom was able to help share this blogging experience.

*Note: This blog was originally written on November 13, 2015, for my other site.

 

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