September 13th Uncle Sam Day

I think we are all pretty familiar with Uncle Sam… but did you know where he came from and how he got to be the symbol of our country? Well, apparently there was a merchant that sold meat to the soldiers during the War of 1812. His name was Sam Wilson and he grew so popular with the soldier, among others, that they took to calling him Uncle Sam.

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He operated out of Troy, New York and I guess you can see some resemblance in his photo to our Uncle Sam today. Well it so happens that his birthday falls on September 13th, which happens to be Uncle Sam Day! Now that didn’t really begin until 1961 when Congress voted on a drawing to be used for Uncle Sam. But they still did not vote in a day of celebration just yet.

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There were two other characters in the running for become a national symbol. The first was Brother Jonathan. He was a lot more popular in the newspapers and the south than he was with the general public. Although, if you examine his character he did wear the same sort of hat and striped pants. However as this was the fashion of the day he did not really stand out all that much.

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And then there was Uncle Sam’s girlfriend, Columbia. Now having a pretty woman to look at was inspiring and though provoking but did not exactly inspire men to fight. In fact, it rather made them want to take a nap and dream… maybe of Columbia herself!

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It took until 1989 for Congress to actually officially recognize Uncle Sam Day. And now, it’s been so long, apparently anyone with white hair can be an Uncle Sam! “We want you… to celebrate Uncle Sam Day!”

How to celebrate – Dress up as Uncle Sam yourself and parade about the town. Start a write in campaign to see if Columbia can at least be the symbol for our Congress! Try and create your own national symbol like Uncle Sam!

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December 30th Bacon Day

If you love meat, you love bacon! Of course it is really bad for you but who can resist it, provided you are not a vegetarian. It comes on sandwiches, ice cream, candy and just about anything you can think of. What was once a breakfast meat has become an any time treat!

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Bacon was known to be in use during the days of the Roman Empire. It was called ‘Petaso’ but was probably only available to the wealthy. For years, no one in the world would eat pork because they thought it was unhealthy. Well it was, but not for the reasons they thought. No one knew how to prepare it and botulism ran amuck. By the Middle Ages though, bacon had become a normal part of the meal, still probably more for the wealthy than the peasant but it’s use began to grow. The English called it “Bacoun”.

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In France they call it “Bako”, Germany “Bakko” and in old Teutonic it was known as “Backe”. Whatever they call it you will know by the scent that it’s cooking. I even know a lot of people who love the smell even though they are vegan.

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It has become such a part of our everyday now that we expect it to be available for anything, any time we choose. Breakfast, lunch, dinner even as a snack. We put bacon on pizza, spaghetti and even apples.

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And why not. It goes with just about anything!

How to celebrate – Make bacon for every meal today. Invent your own bacon dish. Try bacon on something you’ve never tried it with before.

April 17th National Cheeseball Day

When I started doing these blogs I thought how interesting these holidays might be.  Little did I know I would be writing one about cheese balls.  I do like cheese balls, but there’s not much to say about them.  They are made out of cheese and in a ball shape.  Depending on what you add to them they can be either healthy or not, crunchy or silky, served with meat or without.

You can use practically any kind of cheese, make it spicy or mild and serve it with vegetables, crackers, pretzels, fruit, bread, well… just about anything you can imagine.  No one knows when the first cheese ball was made, or where, but my best guess is that as soon as cavemen realized how to make cheese, the cheese ball came into being.  It’s meant to be dipped into, peeled away but never cut.  To cut the cheese would be rude.  There are many recipes for cheeseballs.  Depending on your taste of cheese some will be wonderful, others… maybe not.  So what really separates one cheese ball from the next?  Aside from the flavors, it is what they look like.  Below are a few samples I found that at least amused me.

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Obviously the cheese ball can be used to celebrate any holiday, even the weird and bizarre.   In fact, you really don’t even need for there to be a holiday to enjoy a cheese ball.  Again, Congress did not declare the day and no president ran on a cheese ball platform to get elected. (They have their own kind of cheese anyway.)

So how do you celebrate?  Well, make one of the recipes supplied above.  Create your own recipe remembering you really can use anything to make your cheese ball.  Or find a party to go to and take them a cheese ball, even if it’s just because you want one yourself.