National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

As you probably already know, chocolate is not natural to Europe.  Christopher Columbus brought back the use of chocolate from his exploration of the Americas in 1502.  Mesoamerican’s had been using the plant to flavor and enhance their foods since 1750 BC.  Aztec and Inca populations were known to drink the substance and use it to coat various fruits and nuts to make them more enjoyable to eat.  So while Columbus did not discover the gold he hoped to find (Though others later did) he did bring back an economic boom to Europe that would surface a century later.

In Europe, they profess that the original Chocolate covered raisin was mentioned in the Germanic speaking regions where they were mentioned in a children’s folktale kleine Schokokugeln. In a Christmas prayer the treat is referred to as, “my little chocolate balls, oh, how nobly you glorify the fruit hanging down.  My vineyard weeps with good cheer at the gift from Heaven”.  Ah, maybe it losses a little in translation.  At least, let’s hope it was raisins they were coating in chocolate. I am a little worried about the term, “hanging fruit”.

While I have a little problem with the dateline, there is no doubt that one of the most popular treats in central Germany is the chocolate covered raisin.  Today it is hard to imagine any real holiday passing without a glass bowl of chocolate covered raisins set out on a table.  It’s hard to imagine a bridge game without chocolate covered raisins.

Today, we coat nearly everything in chocolate.  I’m pretty sure the Inca’s never thought about covering bugs that crawl on the ground with chocolate but it’s fairly common today.  Of course, who looked at a dried up grape and said to themselves, “Oh, I bet that would taste good!”  I don’t know about you but I like my raisins covered up with chocolate so I don’t have to look at them in the natural state.  Under normal circumstances, when I see something all wrinkled up, black or brown in color, and laying on the ground where it fell I’m not going to run over, pick it up and put it in my mouth!  However, I am glad someone did!

March 23rd National Chips & Dip Day

Break out those potato chips, tortilla chips, or the chip of your choice and start dipping! This is your day!  No one knows when it began, or why it began other than as an excuse to add a few extra pounds.  We do, however, have a little history on when the potato chip got its start.

The first reference to a thinly sliced chip made of potatoes comes from William Kitchiner’s “The Cook’s Oracle” published in England in 1822, they were called Crisps. At least a little more romantic, the story goes that American Chef George Crum in Saratoga NY, in 1853 got annoyed with one of his customers who kept sending back his potato saying it was under cooked.  Crum cut the potato into very thin slices and fried it until is was burnt to a crisp.  Amused with himself, Crum sent out his joke to his customer who in turn loved the potato adding to Crum’s frustration.  Soon, everybody was asking for Crum’s potatoes and an entire new industry was begun.  His customer may have been Cornelius Vanderbilt which would explain how it caught on so fast.

Now dip has no real history.  It also means many, many different things… chewing tobacco, an unsavory character, or something that enhances the flavor of a chip.  It probably first came from ancient days when breads were dunked in herbs and oils.  Since then, people have been trying all sorts of new items to include in their “dip”.

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So somewhere along the line somebody got the bright idea that our chips and dip were not healthy enough for us.  They decided to put things like fruits and vegetables along side the dip to get us all eating better.  Okay, so it’s a good idea and is better for us but this sort of anarchy just leads us to a total meltdown of what National Chips & Dip Day is all about!

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A little less objectionable to connoisseurs of the traditional Chips and Dips  is the dessert chip & dip.  While it does leave us craving salt it satisfies other taste buds in our palate.

So raise that chip, or carrot, or cookie high in the air and with a determined, yet graceful, motion bring it down and scoop up whatever flavor dip you desire to consume, taking care that you are not close to a spittoon where you might find another sort of dip less accommodating.

March 22nd National Goof Off Day

Today is National Goof Off Day.  It also happens to be International Goof Off Day.  This gives you twice the incentive to participate!  Birds do it, bees do it and even bears in trees do it… goof off that is.

Apparently it is even good for you to goof off every once in a while.  You know, just take a day to do what you want to do, not what you have to do.  No one claims to have created the day, which is appropriate since that would require working on a day you are supposed to be goofing off!    This also explains all those people on the highway you pass by who are pointing at you in your suit, or work clothes, and laughing.  They know how to enjoy a good goof off day.  So what, they may not have  job tomorrow but today they are celebrating by goofing off and doing anything except what they are supposed to be doing.

Think about it for a moment.  Today what if all the police goofed off?  No tickets for speeding!  If doctors goofed off no one could get sick!  If the government goofed off no one could… well the government always goofs off so things there might be pretty normal!

Anyway, take it from our friend the bear above, find a good hammock and take a nap.  Read a book that has no words.  Watch a tv show that has no plot (No problem there!)  Just be one with the universe… unless that happens to be your job.

 

March 21 Love Twitter Day

A little blue bird emerged 10 years ago with one audible noise, “Tweet”. Little did we know that 10 years later that little blue bird would say Tweet over 500 million times a day.

Twitter has been our source for good times, bad times, laughter, heartache, and love; it has brought the world together in the midst of these triumphs and tragedies.

It opened a window to another world and connected us as human beings, boxed in no longer by borders.

And what exactly was the “Tweet heard round the World” that started it all?

“Just setting up my twttr.” ~ Jack Dorsey (9:50pm PST March 21, 2006)

That little blue bird has certainly spread his wings and helped man soar in a way never previously imagined.

We will all forever be linked, no matter what our backgrounds, through our 140 character interactions.

Check out this cool video of the last 10 years on Twitter:

 

March 20 Snowman Burning Day

At Unboxing the Bizarre we cover every holiday but focus on the ones that truly don’t get the mainstream attention that is due them. We particularly like the ones that you just say – Really??? Today is one of those days – we bring you Snowman Burning Day!

Olaf and Frosty better not read on….

The tradition itself has good intentions, but honestly burning a cute snowman to bring in the spring just doesn’t have the same warm fuzzy effect like Punxatauny Phil does on Ground Hog Day.

But then again look at who started it – The Unicorn Hunters of LSSU during the time of peace, psychedelic visions, and “make love – not war” in 1971.

Well actually, the Unicorn Hunters made it popular in the US, but the Germans had already been celebrating a similar holiday for years called The Rose Sunday Festival. The Snowman however was a Strawman and similar to Santa Clause the Holiday centered around children being good for all of the events to happen.

LSSU to this day, still celebrates the Holiday every March 20th. For more info on their events and history of the day, as well as videos, click here to visit LSSU.

If you would like to save Olaf and Frosty’s Families here are some non-burning ways to celebrate the day :

Make a Florida Snowman (Out of Sand) to celebrate the warmer coming months

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Make a Snowman Martini to drink to cold away

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Read Frosty the Snowman with your Family, and have a singalong with some of the popular songs from the movie, and then just like Frosty – put the book away until next winter

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