April 22nd National Jelly Bean Day

Who doesn’t like jelly beans!?! Nearly everyone can find a flavor they like, altough there are some jelly beans specifically made for nobody to like these days. No one knows exactly where jelly beans came from, they just seem to have started to appear during the American Civil War as Union soldiers began receiving them, which would make one think they came from someone’s home. That would have been in the 1860’s and perhaps they were around before that as well, but if they were, we have no proof of it. Jelly beans are sort of like potato chips, it’s hard to eat just one!

How to celebrate – Have some jelly beans. Invent your own new flavor of jelly bean. Learn how to make your own jelly beans.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

I remember as a child sneaking into my grandmothers drawing room, while she and her friends played bridge, and sneaking a handful of the candy left on the corner of the table. It was always chocolate covered raisins and nuts. They even call it, Bridge Mix. Back then, since I only saw the chocolate covered raisins when they played cards I didn’t think it was available unless it was a card day. The sweet chocolate and sweet raisins was a perfect combination and of most candies, probably the best one for you.

How to celebrate – Learn how to play Bridge. Go to the movie theater and buy some chocolate covered raisins. (Might as well see a movie while you are there.) Make your chocolate covered raisins.

December 26th National Candy Cane Day

Dec. 26th National Candy Cane Day

The flavor of the candy cane has been with us for a long, long time… probably ever since candy was first invented. The candy cane, with the red stripe was first believed to appear in 1844 and is first referred to in literature in 1866. It became associated with Christmas in 1874 and was known to have been used to decorate trees since 1882. That’s more than we know about a lot of other candies but then again, ever since it became a symbol of Christmas, how could it’s popularity not have been increased. The original candy candies did not have the hook and it may have been added when the association with Christmas was added, resembling the Shepherd’s walking sticks. The world’s largest candy cane was made by Alain Roby in Geneva, coming in at a little over 51 feet.

How to celebrate – Get some candy canes for the holidays. Make your own candy canes. Decorate your Christmas tree with candy canes this year.

July 20th National Lollipop Day

July 20th National Lollipop Day

Candy has been around since, well… forever, but not so the lollipop! It was created by George Smith of the Bradley Smith Company in 1908. Apparently no one else had the idea of putting candy on a stick. Personally, I find that a little hard to believe since everything, early on, was served on a stick, but lets go with it anyway.  George named his new invention after his favorite race horse, “Lolly Pop”. I know when I think of candy I always think of race horses so it’s just a natural progression. And most horses I know like lollipops, they even eat the stick!

How to celebrate – Go get yourself a lollipop. Share your lollipop with your favorite horse. Make your own lollipops at home.

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?

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.