August 19th National Potato Day

One of the world’s largest crops and is the potato. It is believed that the potato was first harvested in Peru between 5,000 and 7,000 BC. There were drawings on cave walls finding the use of the potato, perhaps the first appearance of Mr. Potato Head (ok…no, not really). The potato can be served raw, baked, mashed, chipped, hash-browned, french fried, boiled, as soup, and maybe…just maybe… even in a dessert somewhere. It has saved many from starving to death and caused starvation when not available. It’s hard to imagine a day without potatoes.

How to celebrate – Fix some kind of potato with you meals today. Plant some potatoes in your garden. Buy a bag of potato chips.

June 27th National Onion Day

NOA, the National Onion Association, was formed on June 27th, 1913. Why one felt there needed to be a National Onion Association still is a bit confusing but then, why not instantly follows. The onion belongs to the Allium family which includes garlic, shallots, leeks and chives as well as onions. As with most vegetables it is healthy and tasty, though there are a lot of people who are allergic to them. When one is allergic to one member of the Allium family they are generally allergic to all of the family though perhaps to a lesser degree.

How to celebrate – Have some onion today. You may want to buy some breath mints if you do have onions. Grow onions in your garden.

June 11th National Corn on the Cob Day

It’s summer and that means cook outs and corn on the cob! Generally corn on the cob comes from sweet corn which was first discovered, or created, in Mexico around 9,000 BC. Corn on the Cob is good for you, fun to eat and easy to make. It can be boiled, steamed or grilled and lathered in butter with salt (Both making it less healthy) is hard to beat for a summer treat. I grew up on a farm and we grew corn. Summer was always marked when we served up corn on the cob. Naturally we had to husk in and clean it but no one seemed to mind knowing we would soon be eating it and enjoying every bite.

How to celebrate – Have some corn on the cob. Go pick your own corn from a field. Try roasting corn over an open fire.

June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

June 6th National Gardening Exercise Day

Gardening is fun. It is also therapeutic, builds muscles, and helps burn calories. There are number of different gardens you can tend to… vegetable, flower, herb… and even rocks. You will need to plant your garden, weed it, water it, and enjoy it. It may help to talk or sing to your garden as well, although I am not sure it does a rock garden much good. You will need to determine what type of garden you want, and where you will want to place it. Besides plants, you will also need tools, clothing, hats, and water pails or hoses.

How to celebrate – Choose where you want your garden to go. Choose what type of garden you want. Plant your garden.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Well, it seems like we tend to celebrate a lot of days that really aren’t all tat important. I don’t think i would put Chocolate Covered Raisins at the top of my list unless I were planning on playing Bridge today. Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate covered raisins, I do like them but I do not know that I would go as far as to actually celebrate them. On the other hand, they should, or could, be named a health food. After all, chocolate comes from the cocoa bean which is a vegetable and raisins are a fruit, so when we eat chocolate covered raisins we are eating our fruits and veggies! I just think the sugar involved here may sort of take it out of the range of most health foods. Still, it is a way to have something sweet and make the world think you are just being patriotic by eating them, after all it is national. Though I don’t think the government actually sees them that way.

How to celebrate – Have some chocolate covered raisins. Eat your fruit and vegetables. Play Bridge.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

If you grew up like I did, watching your parents play bridge with their friends, sneaking out and stealing some of the bridge mix which was made up of chocolate covered nuts and raisins. I know I always welcomed bridge night.

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What I didn’t realize is that I was eating healthy! You see, the cocoa plant, which chocolate comes from, is considered a vegetable. Of course, the original vegetable (Chocolate) is bitter and was served as a drink, not candy. Once it reached Europe sugar was added and it suddenly became candy. Of course, it became unhealthy as well.

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And then the raisins come from grapes and are fruit. never mind that they are dried up and shriveled. They add a sweetness to that bitter chocolate, which isn’t bitter anymore but that doesn’t matter. Double sweetness is twice as nice.

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So the next time someone tells you to eat your fruits and vegetables, show them your bag of Raisinettes! You might have to remind them that you are eating fruit and vegetables, and they may not even think you are being truthful, but you are. Just remind them of the source of your treat.

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Ho to celebrate – Have some chocolate covered raisins. Start a bridge club. Go to the movies.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

I remember sitting at the table as my Grandmother played bridge with her friend and munching on the chocolate covered raisins she sat out for her guests to munch on. I always thought I was doing them a favor from getting all that chocolate on their cards. I loved bridge day.

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Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean discovered by Christopher Columbus when he came to the Americas. (Of course the Native American knew about it long before Columbus got there.) Believe it or not the cocoa bean is considered a vegetable. So if you want to really stretch it, you can tell people you are eating your vegetables while chomping down on that chocolate. (I suggest you don’t really believe that you are though.)

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And then there’s the raisin. It is a fruit, it is a grape. I can only imagine that there was a time when someone found some grapes they had left out for say, a couple of years, and decided to eat it any way. By itself, the raisin does not have that visual appeal of something you want to put in your mouth but it does taste good and is at least sort of good for you.

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Remember going to the movies and chopping down on chocolate covered raisins while being entertained? Today, no one can afford those tiny morsels anymore but there was a time when they were cheap, fun and  easy to eat. (Add to that you are eating fruits and vegetables it so rewarding.)

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And if you want to try something truly an overload, fix yourself a chocolate covered raisin cake!

How to celebrate – Find some Raisinets and enjoy the memories. Discover your own way to use chocolate covered raisins. Include some chocolate covered raisins in your kids lunch today and create a smile.