Tag Archives: Cookies

Obscure Food Holidays – October

October is largely defined by a food holiday on the very last day of the month. I don’t even need to name the date for you to start seeing pumpkins, ghouls, and witches, alongside mountains upon mountains of candy in various forms. Still, you might want to brace for the sugar crash at the end of the month with thirty other days of quality eating.

October 1

World Vegetarian Day is made rather easy, sharing the beginning of Pudding Season, and Homemade Cookies Day. It may not be healthy vegetarian living, but stocking up on pudding and cookies should easily not include meat.

October 2

Obviously, National Fried Scallops Day is crafted by the scallop cartel in an attempt to fight the forces of Aquaman. It couldn’t just be a day where you take sea scallops, something you may or may not eat with regularity (based purely on your locale), and pan fry them up. American’s don’t like to fry everything, not at all, and taking vaguely healthy seafood and frying it in butter isn’t something we’re regular promoters of.

October 3

You may ask yourself, “how do I work this?”. You may ask yourself, “where is that large automobile?” You may tell yourself, “this is not my beautiful house.” You may tell yourself, “this is not my beautiful wife.” You may tell yourself, “this is National Caramel Custard Day“. You may ask yourself, “What is a caramel custard?”. I may tell you, “It’s basically flan, and stop with the Talking Heads schtick.”

October 4

This might be the best day in the month, outside of Halloween, combining National Taco Day and Vodka Day. Nobody can complain about a good taco, and while tequila might be a better, if not more appropriate, combination with tacos, the combination of tacos and vodka will lead to wildly fun night. October 4th is a Thursday this year, so don’t get too loaded up on tacos that you’ll miss work on Friday.

October 5

The Reagan’s loved Apple Brown Betty in the white house. In 2003, an jazz album came out named Apple Brown Betty. On Fringe, a specific strain of marijuana, “Brown Betty”, lead to a musical episode. We’ll just suggest eating a nice Apple Brown Betty on National Apple Betty Day and not encourage anything else.

October 6

Pasta, ramen, even s’mores: if you can find the food in noodle form, make sure to slurp, spin, and suck it down. Watch Lady and the Tramp if you want. National Noodle Day is designed for such actions.

October 7

What, in fact, is a Frappe? It’s a milkshake to New Englanders, the Italian name for “angel wings”, and with an accent, it’s a type of coffee or shaved iced. Add a -uccino to the end, and you’ve got something Starbucks promotes for National Frappe Day.

October 8

This day is double disastrous for your waistline, as it’s both National Fluffernutter Day and National Pierogi Day. What’s a Fluffernutter? It’s a sandwich with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Pierogi? They’re basically Polish wontons, gyoza, or even Pizza Bites; small bites of dough with various fillings; in this case, mashed potatoes, fried onions, cheese, cabbage, and the like, instead of crab, pizza or chicken.

October 9

You might be hard-pressed to find a Subway that has blue cheese, but if you can, make sure to put that on your $5 Footlong. Moldy Cheese Day and Submarine/Hoagie/Hero/Grinder/Whatever Your Region Calls It Day combine into a pretty tasty pair; I’d suggest roast beef to go with the meat.

October 10

This is a simple, if bland, day. National Angel Food Cake Day is October 10th. A very simple cake, it’s a little better if you add a bit of some fruit or whipped topping. If you’re feeling particularly demonic, go for it’s opposite, the yin to it’s yang; Devil’s Food Cake.

October 11

While pepperoni tends to be the default, you’re encouraged to stretch out of your comfort zone on National Sausage Pizza Day. Sure, it’s still an Italian meat, and it’s common enough that you’ve likely had it before, but just take this time to remember that there are other pizzas out there.

October 12

Gumbo is delicious, but doesn’t include eggs. You could theoretically combine the two (for National Gumbo Day and World Egg Day), but that might not be a good idea. Unless… you could do some form of a breakfast gumbo, swapping in hash browns instead of rice, breakfast sausage instead of andouille sausage… That might actually work.

October 14

October 14th is National Chocolate Covered Insects Day. Do with that what you will. If you skip it, nobody will complain, outside of Andrew Zimmern.

October 15

We’re going fancy in the middle of the month. National Chicken Cacciatore Day and Roast Pheasant Day might be an overload of our feathered friends in one day, so you might just want to choose one day to celebrate over the other.

October 16

World Food Day has been established to highlight and spread awareness of the importance food has to the world for socilogical means, usually encouraging people to ensure no lack of food shortages in the world, and to guarantee continued food production for the future. National Liqueur Day has been established to highlight and spread awareness of the importance liqueur has to the world for sociological means, usually encouraging people to ensure no lack of liqueur shortages in the world, and to guarantee continued happiness for the future.

October 17

Prunes will load you up on fiber, and certain pastas can do the same. I wouldn’t suggest topping what you’ll make for National Pasta Day with Four Prunes Day (why the day is numerically at four, the world will never know). Still, combine these two days, and never stray too far from the facilities, as it were.

October 18

You were vaguely healthy the day before. Reward yourself with National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

October 22

Nuts, nuts, the musical legume, the more you eat, the more you… bloom? Okay, no, that’s not the infamous jingle. Not all nuts are legumes; many are fruits. In either situation, load up on a good handfull of peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and more. Usually, they’re good for you. National Nut Day is a day to celebrate the batches by the handful.

October 24

The only real way to eat bologna (or “wide hot dogs”, as they effectively are) is to cut a slit radius and pan-fry it up. Toss it on some bread with mustard and a piece of yellow American cheese, and you have the only way to eat a bologna sandwich for National Bologna Day. A side of Good and Plenties (for Good and Plenty Day) makes it a meal that children of a forgotten era would enjoy.

October 25

Slide as much food down your gullet as you can, as it’s National Greasy Food Day. The geraiser, the easier it is to slide down. If a bag is see-through from the amount of grease in it, you’ve reached critical mass for the day.

October 26

You may not want to eat a lot of food after National Greasy Day, but October 26th is full of holidays. Pumpkin Day should be easy; hollow out a pumpkin for Halloween, and use the flesh in a dish, such as pumpkin pie. Pretzel Day just means simply opening a bag of pretzels, but it’s always nice to go to the mall for one of the eighteen pretzel stands in the consumer mecca. Mince Meat Pie Day celebrates something largely unheard of in America, but basically think of a savory chicken pot pie with meat instead of chicken.

October 27

Here’s a good combo; National Potato Day and American Beer Day. Potatoes are great at absorbing alcohol, and beer is great at, well… being alcohol to absorb. Make a big loaded potato, french fries, tater tots, and more. Pair it with a home brew India Pale Ale, stout, or even a store-bought Bud Light. My favorite combination? Yuengling (the oldest brewing company still around in America) throughout the night, and Waffle House hashbrowns (scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked, naturally) to prevent any sort of hangover. It’s scientifically proven!

October 29

You’re probably going to have a horrible diet the next few days. Prepare for the incoming storm, and be nutritious to your body on National Oatmeal Day. According to reports, oatmeal’s fiber has cancer-fighting properties, can reduce LDL cholesterol, and consumers of oatmeal are less likely to have heart disease. For people of a certain generation, though, the best oatmeal was the one with the fruit “gel” (that’s all it really could be described as) that you wrote or drew on your bowl of oatmeal with. Unhealthy, but delicious.

October 31

It’s one of the biggest food-focused holidays of the year. While Halloween might be all about the candy (especially for children), don’t forget to try to snag a candy apple (for National Candy Apple Day), and if you want to help the world, Trick or Treat For UNICEF Day can always use help.

Should Schools Ban Homemade Treats?

Should schools ban homeade treats for the classroomIt’s a traditional part of growing up in the public school system. In elementary school, your parent will either buy or make a bunch of treats for the class on your birthday. I personally remember having blue Jell-o with crumbled up animal crackers and Swedish Fish in a cup (to replicate a beach, or to clear out the fridge). Other parents may bake huge batches of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and the like. In a pinch, a trip to the donut store or bakery section will work out.

Effectively, if it’s your birthday, you were treating the class. If you were really lucky, your teacher would throw on a movie, or extend your playground time, or otherwise celebrate (and it was always nice when mom and dad came to class, before the days in which you’d be horrified if they did).

Schools in Easton, Massachusetts, wish to ban parents from bringing in these (admittedly unhealthy) treats, and restrict them to a list of healthier alternatives, such as fruit, veggies, and the like. It follows the goal of fighting childhood obesity and starting healthy eating habits early in life. If an average class has 25 students, and they all happen to have birthdays during the school year on a weekday (and every parent brought in food), that’s (at least) 25 more cupcakes, cookies, slices of cake, and more that children are having per year. Over a year, that’s not an insane amount of sugar, carbs, and the like.

One argument against the sweets, as discussed in the above CNN clip, is that it begins to associate celebration with sweets; “carrots should not be a punishment,” but many kids might view it as such if they’re not allowed sweet treats.

What’s your opinion on the ban? Do kids deserve something sugary in celebration, or should they begin equating good times with good food at an early age?

How To Make Taurus-Baked Cookies And Biscuits

tauras baked cookies

It has been a hot summer; one of the hottest in history, in fact, with Atlanta reaching 106, the highest that’s ever been recorded. This forces us to both stay cool and stay indoors. We would love some treats though, but we don’t exactly want to turn on a hot oven inside, helping bake us along with whatever dish we’re cooking.

So, naturally, we have to cook outside… where it’s hot, and we don’t want to be.

There had been stories out there of people baking cookies in their car; the relatively low heat compared to an oven is balanced out by the extended period of time they’re in there. It’s a natural heat, one that doesn’t rack up the gas bill, and since you leave the car outside, it doesn’t heat up the house.

It was decided that biscuits would be an interesting diversion from cookies as well, and with cookies being called “biscuits” in other countries, a fun pun. We wanted to try out a silicone baking mat; compare that to the regular baking surface and see if there’s any difference than just cooking straight on a perforated sheet pan. With a quick run to the store for Hershey’s Mini Kisses (12 Big Deluxe Cookies in a Special Edition, which is just surprising that food can have a “Special Edition”) and Grands! Jr. Golden Layers Butter Tastin’ (10 Flaky Biscuits), we were ready… a week ago. We wanted to make sure we had a thermometer on hand, and that it was a hot enough day.

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STEP 1: Dish out premade cookie dough and biscuit dough onto a pan.

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STEP 2: Set nature to 88 degrees.

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STEP 3: Open the door of your 1999 Ford Taurus, placing the baking rack on the the dashboard.

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STEP 4: Bake for six hours by closing the door and walking away.

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STEP 5: Enjoy.

Our records for the event (we kept a thermometer in a cookie)

  • 10:10 AM, 88°F in car (placing the cookies in the car)
  • 10:20 AM, 75°F in cookie
  • 11:05 AM, 130°F in cookie
  • 12:00 PM, 131°F in cookie
  • 12:30 PM, 145°F in cookie
  • 1:00 PM, 156°F in cookie
  • 2:00 PM, 126°F in cookie (overcast; at this point, clouds covered the sky)
  • 3:00 PM, 120°F in cookie (still overcast)
  • 4:00 PM, 101°F in cookie (still overcast)

At 4:00 PM, we brought the plates in, and placed them on a tray… or at least, we tried to. The items on the silicone mat came off quickly, but the items placed directly on the tray took a little more coercion; since it’s perforated, they had to be lifted out of the perforations. From having worked in bakeries, it’s a good idea to place SOME sort of protection between the tray (either paper or the aforementioned silicone mat), but for experiment’s sake, we wanted to compare the silicone mat versus direct metal.

The general response to the cookies and biscuits was that they’d be great… if nature didn’t change it’s mind. At the height of the day, 1PM, the cookies had hit 156 degrees; only a few degrees off from the minimum required internal temperature for food service. Around this point, the sky went overcast… and the temperature proceeded to drop drastically. By the end of the working day, the cooking sheet was pulled out; cookies were nice and soft, but easily fell apart. The biscuits were solid on the outside and easy to handle, but doughy in the center. Still, with a little bit of butter or jelly, they’d be no real problem… after another minute in a toaster.

While we can’t officially advocate eating raw dough, we’ve all eaten raw cookie dought at some point in our lives, and this day was no exception. I did make sure to make people verbally agree not to be angry if they got sick from them, though.

The silicon pad worked wonders! Nothing stuck to it… which includes gravity, as due to the slight incline of the dashboard and parking lot, the cookies began to streak down the top. The cookies that weren’t on the dash, but straight on the preferoated cookie sheet, decided to drip down… leaving residue on my dash.

If anything? my car smells AMAZING now.

Check out our images of the event, including the time-lapse of the cookies and biscuits cooking over the course of the day, in the gallery below.
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