August 29th More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Finally a day Wellcat.com created that actually is a good idea! True, it isn’t a real holiday but maybe it should be. Eat More Herbs and Use Less Salt Day! It’s good for you and makes sense since this is the time of year we generally harvest our gardens before the cold starts to set it.

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We all know the more salt we eat the worse it is for us. However, a lot of foods are bland and need something to wake up the flavor or we simply won’t eat it. Salt was the first choice and it also preserved food for later consumption. But it makes us fat by retaining water and cause numerous other health issues.

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Now no one is saying not to use salt at all, just use less. There are all sorts of herbs we can add to flavor dishes. Most of them are actually good for us as well. And they are sort of fun to grow, generally not requiring as much attention as say, tomatoes. These herbs can also be preserved so that what we grow over the summer we can use all year long.

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You can taste them ahead of time to see what you like, and don’t like and how much of them to use in a dish. They are often stronger, requiring less, and some may not mix all that well so you will have to experiment a little. That’s part of the fun though and no one can tell you what is right or wrong since it is your taste that makes them work.

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They also brighten up your dish and make it look more tempting. So finally, a day from Wellcat that might actually have meaning and be useful. (And no doubt they stock in companies that sell the seeds to grow your own.)

How to celebrate – Grow your own herbs! (Not weeds of either kind) Test the flavors and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. No omit salt, just use less of it.

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June 10th National Ice Tea Day

June 10th is National Ice Tea Day, and as a bonus, June is National Iced Tea Month!  tea has been served as a beverage for almost as long as man has been drinking anything at all! Next to water, it is also probably the world’s first health drink. It helps one to avoid heart disease, various types of cancer and tumors, served with honey helps sooth soar throats and relieves cold symptoms, aids stomach ailments and is a soothing and relaxing drink.

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We all remember those old movies about the South during the Civil War and soldiers being offered a nice glass of ice tea on the plantations. Thing is, it’s probably not real. The first serving of ice tea probably came in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair when Richard Blechynden was trying to sell his hot tea but it was too hot outside to get many takers. he decided to pour his tea over ice and it became an instant hit!

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Often served in Mason Jar styled glasses (Mason Day is a day we created!) Ice Tea has become one of America’s. if not the world’s, favorite beverages. Served sweetened or natural,  it provides great taste and is almost always relaxing.

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Today ice tea is served with many added flavors. Mint, raspberry, lemon… you name it, you can probably added it to ice tea. And of course, there is the famous Long Island Ice Tea that you will never forget once you’ve had it! Or maybe again, you will forget because it is a bit strong.

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However you enjoy it, have a refreshing glass of ice tea and relax. It is known as being the drink to chill-out with and with summer coming on strong, we all will need it!

How to celebrate – Have a glass of Ice Tea. Try a Long Island Ice Tea. Watch the rapper Ice Tea on tv!

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.

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.