February 19th National Chocolate Mint Day

So some holidays are a little difficult to find something to write about. For me, this is one of those days. We are celebrating chocolate, a good thing, and mint, a good thing as well, and the mixture of them combines. The mint does make chocolate more refreshing, kind of cleansing the palate while eating something that covers up the taste of nearly everything else.

So, anything that can include, be made of, or calls for chocolate can have mint added to it. Ice creams comes to mind first, then hot chocolate. Andes Mints are all about the mint and chocolate of course.

Thus, adding mint to chocolate seems to be a natural progression or extension of something most of us think is pretty good anyway. Don;t question it, try to figure it out or even think too much on the subject… just accept it.

How to celebrate – Add some mint to your chocolate. Add some chocolate to your mint. Why isn’t peppermint made out of pepper?

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February 14th Valentines Day

Today is the day for lovers! It is actually the Roman holiday called the Feast of Lupercalia, the god of fertility created centuries ago probably to help populate the Roman empire. We have changed it a bit over the years to become a day where we show our affection to those we do love and those we would like to. (Let’s not go crazy here!)

Not long ago people believed this was also the first day of bird mating season. I’m not sure how that translate to our current belief in Valentine’s Day but I suppose what ever cracks your tractor. We do, however, often take those we love and cherish for granted far more than we should. Today is the day the world has chosen to show that love in chocolate, flowers, diamonds and more.

It is also the time to express your love for someone who may not know you love them. Take care here though and make sure your advances will be welcomed. Maybe giving someone an apple would be a better choice. If they don’t get your point then you can always claim you just thought they were hungry.

How to celebrate – Let someone know you love them. Find a different gift to express your love from the common place. make sure the one you love wants to be loved by you.

December 17th National Maple Syrup Day

Here’s another sweet day for you, it’s National Maple Syrup Day! Just like yesterdays chocolate, maple syrup was first used by the Native Americans and became a part of their diet. I am not sure who, or why, somebody started licking a tree but I am glad they did… I love maple syrup!

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Of course the process is a little more involved than just licking a tree but I wonder, did they lick a Elm tree, Oak tree or Ash tree before stopping at the maple tree and going, “This is the one. This is the tree to lick!”

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Even more interesting, that we should celebrate this day in December when the typical harvesting of maple syrup comes in February and March. Guess we just couldn’t wait! I think that may be expressed even more in the fact that we can find nearly everything we eat of drink can be flavored with maple syrup.

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What started out as pan cake syrup now flavors our bacon, coffee, ice tea and… well, nearly everything we eat. Since yesterday was National Chocolate Covered Anything Day I wonder if we can cover maple syrup in chocolate. Maybe that’s a bit over sweet!

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And now we have maple flavored martinis. Wow, that ought to be tasty! Naturally we have made it less and less healthy over the years, adding sugar and who knows else to make it even sweeter than it is naturally. And we wonder why we are an over-weight society. Go figure.

How to celebrate – Have some maple syrup today! Try natural maple syrup over processed maple syrup. Try blending maple syrup into something new and different.

October 31st Halloween

Another year has passed and it’s that day of the year again where we all go out and get candy from our neighbors. Well, maybe not all of us… and maybe not all neighbors. In fact, the chance of getting visited by little monsters at your front door is getting to be less and less of a tradition anymore. Now we meet at malls and in parking lots.

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The idea of Halloween in the past was to ward off evil. When I was a kid Halloween was one of the most fun events on the calender, the chance to get candy, dress up in silly outfits and walk the streets of a safe neighborhood where friendly neighbors were thrilled to greet you.

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Many people celebrate the Fall Harvest instead. Those are the places where you eat pumpkins rather than pumpkins eat you!

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I miss the old Halloween. The one where it was fun to get a little scared and do a little scaring. Where candy wasn’t laced with something and front doors were always opened in good will and caring. And nobody gave out toothbrushes as a treat.

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How to celebrate – Decorate your yard for Halloween. Find the perfect costume for your personality. Go to a haunted house.

April 22nd National Jelly Bean Day

Who doesn’t enjoy a good jelly bean!?! I mean, can you pass by a bowl of jelly beans without taking a handful? Not me! No one knows exactly when the jelly bean came into existence but they were advertised as far back as the Civil War as the ideal treat to send to the Union soldiers in the field.

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Somehow they also became an Easter favorite. I remember being told they were rabbit droppings… as a kid, I thought that was cool but as an adult it’s a little disgusting. I still eat them though so I guess I got over the idea pretty quick!

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And naturally, the jelly bean has progressed over the years, the flavors have grown and even, in some cases, the shapes. I am still trying to deal with jelly beans that taste like popcorn or cheese steak.. not my favorite but some really like them. And then there are those that no one likes that taste awful… dish soap, axle grease or toenails. What really bothers me is that someone had create those tastes by actually knowing what the substance taste like!

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There are fine works of art created out of jelly beans. Here again, I don’t know if I can appreciate the art but I guess that all depends on your taste. (Get it! Taste!) So when asking what your art form is does the artist respond, ” jelly bean”?

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I don’t think I have ever met anyone who does not like a jelly bean, I mean, they may have other favorites and the jelly bean may not be on the top of the list but if offered, they general take at least one.. or two… or twenty.

How to celebrate – Have some jelly beans today, after all if you have children you probably have some left over from Easter.  Try and create your ow new flavor of jelly bean. Make certain that what you believe is a jelly bean is indeed a jelly bean before eating.

April 12th National Licorice Day

Licorice has been a favorite candy for people since before the King Tut era. In fact, there was licorice found in King Tut’s tomb. It is a flavor not soon forgotten and people seem to either love it, or hate it with very little wiggle room.

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It is probably best known for it’s use in candy. The Vines, Good and Plenty and gum drops all feature licorice as a flavoring. It can be mixed with other flavorings but still stand out very distinctly.

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But what you might not know is that licorice is actually a herb. Though it is considered sweet, sugar is obviously added to the candy made with licorice. The day was created by Licorice International in 2004 to advertise their candy but licorice is also healthy.

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It is a natural laxative, helps with cramps of all kinds, aids with menopause, helps ulcers, stimulates a healthy Adrenal Gland and helps fight breast and prostate cancer. Who knew!?! While being a tasty treat it is also helpful. Sort of like the prune! Of course the sugar added doesn’t help.

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So enjoy some licorice as candy, tea or as a supplement! It’s good for you and for the Licorice International Association.

How to celebrate – Have a piece of licorice! Study what medicines have licorice in them. Grow your own licorice.

February 14th Valentine’s Day

Today is the day to show the one you love just how much you actually love them… or at least try to. The original Valentine’s Day appears to have been celebrated in the Roman Empire as a Feast of Lupercagia, the Roman God of Fertility.

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If you are lucky, your love will like perfume, jewelry, flowers or chocolate. If not, then you have your work cut out for you. Today being Ash Wednesday as well complicates the matter even more.

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On February 14th, 2009, 39,897 people all kissed for 10 seconds in Mexico City setting a world record. The thing I find a bit alarming about that is that it’s an uneven number! So, who was the odd person out kissing?

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Another interesting Valentine’s Day event was the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. It’s about a bunch of gangsters dressed up as police cutting down another group of gangsters in a hail of gunfire. I guess you could call it the kiss of death, but not very romantic.

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Well, at least the chocolate companies get rich today. 75% of all chocolate sold in a year is sold today. And the flower companies don’t do bad either. They too sell more roses today than during the rest of the year, also set at 75% of the yearly sales. That’s about 110 million roses sold for one day.

How to celebrate – I hope you find someway to tell your loved one that you love them. Fix your loved one a romantic dinner. Find time to spend with your loved one.