[FHCx366] National Champagne Day

THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE END!

IT’S NATIONAL CHAMPAGNE DAY!

366 days straight of food holiday challenges. No retrospective in this post. No “here’s our favorites.” Nah, we’ll save that for another time. We have to get to the NYE partying!

And in true SPAK spirit, we want to avoid the actual alcohol (and fizziness for AK specifically) and circumvent the process. Not only that, but we’d probably have people arguing over what’s “real” champagne anyway. So we got these two things from Sugarfina – thanks looking out, SPom!

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Champagne gummi bears and Champagne Marshmallows! The gummi bears tasted like gummi bears.

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The marshmallows had actual gold on them which made them kind of expensive. They were also super squishy and delicate. Not your Stay Puft kind of mallow.

Well that’s it! A full trip around the food holiday calendar. Tomorrow is National Bloody Mary Day, but you probably already knew that!

Happy New Year, and thanks for all the support in our Food Holiday Challenge! Stay tuned in 2017 for further blog posts.

-SPAK

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[FHCx365] National Bacon Day/National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

If this weren’t a leap year we’d be done tonight…

IT’S BACON DAY AND NATIONAL BICARBONATE OF SODA DAY!

Truly fitting that in our last moments of the Food Holiday Challenge that we revisit some classic food holiday shenaniganry: having two holidays for the same food. That’s right, bacon’s been done before. So it wasn’t too hard to just get some bacon and make it. It went perfectly with the latkes AK made for brunch.

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Nueske’s is the business.

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Latkes being prepared.

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AK was kind of scared of the bacon in the hot pan.

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Latkes are best served with applesauce and sour cream, btw.

Bicarbonate of Soda. Sodium Bicarbonate has many uses in food as a leavening agent, like we used in our date nut bread not long ago (and ate today as part of Baking Soda day). It also has a number of non-food uses, including: pest control, disinfectants, fire extinguishers, personal hygiene, and running jokes from Groucho Marx. So thanks, science! You made food and the world better.

Tomorrow… is National Champagne Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx364] National Pepper Pot Day

two… days…

IT’S NATIONAL PEPPER POT DAY!

As we drag ourselves towards the finish line of December 31st, we had one more major investment of a food holiday to go before easy street kicked in. This doozy of a day is actually dual in meaning, and we took it in a direction that others probably would not.

You see, pepper pot sounds harmless enough. However, a quick search on wikipedia reveals that there are TWO completely different foods both called pepper pot! There’s the Philadelphia Pepper Pot, invented during the American Revolutionary War to keep troops fed on hearty food through winter, and there’s Guyanese Pepperpot, a stewed meat dish traditionally served around Christmas that uses some very peculiar ingredients. Being adventurous, or rather having a SPad who likes challenges, we opted for the latter.

This meant first acquiring some casareep, a very appetizing-looking black sauce made from cassava root. Allow us to read this important passage, *ahem*: “Cassareep is made from the juice of the bitter cassava root, which is poisonous (it contains acetone cyanohydrin, a compound which decomposes to the highly toxic hydrogen cyanide on contact with water).” Glad we had this talk.

Another main component of Guyanese Pepperpot is the wiri wiri pepper. So many things that are basically unique to this one dish.

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Since SPad made the rest of this, we can’t speak much to the preparation. Just know that it required many pounds of meat including oxtail for its marrow. The final product was beautiful. It is best to make it a couple days ahead of time and let it sit for a while. But then this happens:

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Layer of congealed fat. YESSSSSSS.

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Ok so now that’s cleared up a bit…

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Beautiful beef and peppers with some couscous.

A well-met endeavor. Thanks, SPad!

Tomorrow is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (Baking Soda) and National Bacon Day (the International version being one we already celebrated).

-SPAK

[FHCx363] National Chocolate Candy Day

THREE left.

TODAY IS NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CANDY!

Take your pick of chocolate candy. We picked these two for some seriously good reasons. First up, Kit Kat.

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There’s a special ring of hell for people who eat Kit Kats like this.

Not that there’s one right way to eat a Kit Kat, but come on people. Be civilized. Kit Kat is definitely one of SP‘s kryptonite foods. Not that it’s objectively amazing, but there’s something beautiful in the simplicity of chocolate wafer layers. We got ours in KING SIZE today.

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We also had a Snickers today. When it comes down to advertising candies, Snickers really did a great job. They’re pretty ingenious at the digital manipulation of pre-existing scenes. Our favorite of the “you’re being a butt; have a snickers” ads is Danny Trejo/Steve Buscemi:

King size wasn’t sufficient for the Snickers today. You call that king size? HOW ABOUT DIS.

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ONE POUND.

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Look at that beautiful cross section.

Chocolate candy really is the best candy.

Tomorrow is National Pepper Pot Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx362] National Fruitcake Day

Gonna make it to Saturday night!

IT’S NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY!

There are a lot of jokes made at the expense of fruitcakes. Let’s just roll through a few:

Rhonda lands a lucrative government contact when it's discovered that her holiday fruitcakes are bullet-proof.fruitcakebc2bfruitcake

Where did this running joke even come from? Why don’t people like fruitcake? There’s this amazing article from the Washington Post that talks about fruitcake’s image in the US. The most memorable joke about fruitcake is likely the original: Johnny Carson joked that there really is only one fruitcake and it just keeps getting passed around.

Since then, the fruitcake industry has just been in ruins. Really! It’s fruit in cake! What bad about it?

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A present from SPom

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Cute little fruitcake!

It’s moist and dense and cherry-y and mmmm. Could eat this all day, people!

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Candy Day.

-SPAK

 

[FHCx361] National Candy Cane Day

CANDY CANE DAY IS TODAY AND NOT YESTERDAY FOR SOME REASON!

Before ironically becoming the go-to pseudonym inspiration for porn actresses everywhere, candy canes were meant as a call back to the good shepherds who hung out with Baby Jesus back in the day. Allegedly, they started in Germany like 400 years ago when a choirmaster needed some sort of sugary distraction to get noisy church kids to shut up. Who knew?

This probably isn’t how they did it in 17th-century Cologne, but check out this neat video on how candy canes are made:

 

The candy cane we acquired for today’s celebration broke immediately, as candy canes do. Then AK found a tiny one at work, plus we thought to use this as an excuse to eat a minty Hershey bar. Yay!

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Tomorrow is National Fruit Cake Day.

– SPAK

[FHCx360] National Pumpkin Pie Day

6 days to go.

IT’S NATIONAL PUMPKIN PIE DAY!

SP made a pumpkin pie with SPom’s help. We had fun.

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Festal pumpkin cans have this recipe… So we just had to follow it.

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We accidentally put in the whole 12 oz can of evaporated milk instead of just 8 oz. Made it really liquidy. We used some flour to thicken it back up. AK suggested we use non-evaporated milk to cancel it out.

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A very liquidy pie goes into the oven. Had to watch out for sloshing.

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This rose and fell quite poetically.

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Then we got to have it for breakfast today!

Tomorrow is National Candy Cane Day.

-SPAK