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June 29, 2021

National Waffle Iron Day!

 National Waffle Iron Day!

Not to be confused with National Waffle Day, which is August 24th

I want to start off by saying, this post subject is one that I really got into researching. I'm a geek for useless(and not-so) facts!
I love discovering history. 

Who was the first to...
How was X started.
Where was the first X
I have so many questions!

I found the history of the waffle iron quite fascinating.

Culinary historians believe what is now called waffles and the iron to make them can be dated back to ancient Greece
Chefs roasted flat cakes called obelios between metal plates attached to long wooden handles over a fire and they weren't as sweet as a modern waffle.

Around the 14th century, wafer irons were flat, sometimes circular, and usually made to imprint elaborate patterns, including coat of arms, landscapes, and religious symbols.
Over time, these wafers became thicker and were more of the modern waffle. Early waffle irons were hot, heavy, and dangerous.
Many people suffered serious burns due to lifting and trying to turn the hot irons.

In 1869, Cornelius Swarthout patented a new and improved stove-top waffle iron!
His invention looked nothing like modern electric models. Fashioned to sit on wood or gas stoves, the cast-iron plates were joined by a hinge that swiveled in a cast-iron collar.
Quote from his patent "
The nature of my invention consists in providing a handle, connected with and forming part of a waffle-iron, by means of which the same may be readily turned over without danger of slipping and without the possibility of burning the hand. It also consists in providing a device, by means of which the upper covering portion of a waffle-iron may be raised, so as to expose the interior, for filling, or for removing the waffle when done without danger of the cover slipping back, and without burning the hand."

The next big upgrade was in 1911 when General Electric developed a prototype of the first electric waffle iron. They didn't start production until 1918.
From then on, waffle irons have been upgraded and improved.

We've come a long way with the waffles.
In doing the research, I found a ton of antique waffle irons on both Ebay and Amazon.
I have to say, this little one is my favorite. Modern technology with a retro charm.
or even this one
I hope you've had as much fun as I have learning all about the history of the waffle iron.
How do you like your waffles?
1. Traditional, butter, syrup and/or powdered sugar
2. Freshened up with fruit and whipped topping
3. Trendy with the chicken and waffles crowd

June 22, 2021

National Onion Rings Day!

 It's National Onion Rings Day Y'all!

(I promise, not all the National Day posts will be about food. I hope!)

I gotta be honest with you all. Up until about seven or so years ago, I would've been all... "Uh, ew! Onion rings?!"
I have no idea why. It just wasn't my thing. I'd always choose fries. I mean seriously, who wouldn't if given the choice? ("Would you like french fries or onion rings?")
Fries, definitely, fries!
Okay, so now I may choose onion rings, but I'm still pretty picky about them.
It has to be the right texture, size, and flavor.
It's either a yes or a big Nope for me. I definitely prefer an actual onion ring versus the minced onion.
There are a few local places that can really persuade me with their recipes.
Jolly's is a local root beer drive-in joint that has some pretty good, golden crispy, just salty enough onion rings. 5/5 for them!
Mad Mike's burgers is another local place that has some pretty good ones. I'd have to go 4/5 for them. Only because they are one of those that have jumped on the "onion rings go on a burger" wagon, and I'm just not feeling that.
Red Robin is my big chain choice for onion rings.
I'm going to have to call out Sonic and Burger King as my No-Go onion rings.
I don't know if it's the whole pre-made, packaged bit or what, but I just can't do them.
Sorry, not sorry.

I've also found a wonderful, keto-friendly recipe for Air Fryer Onion Rings!
London has some great recipes. Make sure to check her page out.

If you don't own an air fryer yet, go grab this one!
Seriously, this is amazing. Easy to use, easy to clean, and it is a 6 in 1!
You can use it as an air fryer, broiler, roaster, dehydrator, baking, and also reheating foods.
Start out using it to celebrate National Onion Ring Day. Tomorrow, try something new!
Let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear feedback and share pics!
Do you have a favorite dipping sauce? I'm pretty basic with Ketchup. What should I try?

June 21, 2021

Dear America Book Series


Dear America Book Series

I know this isn't my usual spot for book reviews. You can view those here: A Novel Experience 

 I wanted to do a little showcase on these great books. I'm calling these a series, although they actually are stand-alone. I definitely recommend buying as many as you can!

I have 3 daughters, am a self-taught history buff, and an unapologetic book hoarder.
According to Goodreads, there are 43 books. We probably own 15 or so and have read more of them.

These historical fiction books are fascinating. They are full of wonderful information on some of America's biggest historical moments!
While the protagonist is usually a fictitious, young girl writing in her diary, the historical events are factual and many of the names are also real people.
I actually just finished reading another one of these books, which is mainly the reason for this post.
I wanted to hop on here and share this one.
The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen
Washington, D.C, 1917
written by: Kathryn Lasky
I honestly was just drawn into this book from the beginning. There is so much information that I learned.
A few of the things I am taking away from this book.
The suffragette movement was so much more than just women wanting to be legally allowed to vote.
Women were not allowed to sue anyone, have mortgages, and were often denied higher education. Women were also required to quit their jobs once they became married at one time in history.
Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first to hold a meeting for woman's rights in her home. The meeting, held in July 1848 held over 300 women and 40 men, including Frederick Douglas.

Lucy Burns was arrested with many other women. In 1917, she led many of the women prisoners on a hunger strike that eventually led to their pardons and release from jail.
President Wilson did not support the Women's movement and often refused to listen or acknowledge the picketers and spokespeople.

Women picketers were called unwomanly, pathological, diseased, dangerous, among other things.
Women today still fight for equality.
As you can see, this book alone is full of wonderful history.

I would love for you to check out more of these books here.

Have you read any of them?
Which is your favorite?

June 16, 2021

National Fudge Day!

 It's National Fudge Day!

I know I missed a few days last week, but I'm trying to focus posts on either things I know about or things I'm interested in learning about. Or, just something that looks fun!
I do know about fudge!
I think of fudge as something nostalgic. It reminds me of Mamaw's kitchen, being at fairs or flea markets, going on vacation, and watching the confectioners churn chocolate those huge brass vats!

Fun Facts(Wiki):
Fudge originated here in the United States in the late 19th century.
Its popularity was partly due to the decreasing costs of refined white sugar, and partly because it was easily made at home without any special equipment.

 Mackinac Island Fudge, located on Mackinac Island, Michigan was the first candy shop established!
Founder, Rome Murdick was also the first to use a marble slab to make the fudge. This not only gave the fudge a unique flavor but also let customers watch it being made!

I think one of the things that attract people to fudge is its diversity.
You can start with any base(chocolate, peanut butter, or vanilla) and add in just about anything to jazz it up. Try adding crushed cookies, fruits, nuts, coconut, marshmallows, baking chips, candies, even liqueurs, and anything else that sounds yummy in a piece of fudge!

I went over and grabbed a couple recipes for you to check out.

For those that want quick and easy.

For the more adventurous.

If you're like me and love fudge but have no desire to actually make it...
Go here! 
Make sure to comment and let me know how you are celebrating National Fudge Day!

June 10, 2021

National Iced Tea and Herbs & Spices Day!

 Today is National Iced Tea and Herbs & Spices Day!

   That's right! Today you get two! Is it a coincidence these two share a day? Probably not. 
   The two go so well together.  I have to admit, I'm pretty stoked about sharing this one! 

We are admittedly a household of iced tea gurus. We have definitely tried a wide variety. We don't buy soda/pop for the house, so other than water or occasional juice, it's milk or tea for my kids(coffee for Momma). We are outside pretty much all Spring and Summer so, iced tea is a nice refresher. We also have the notorious debate...sweet or unsweet?
I choose the latter. I'm the unsweet kind of gal. I feel like the herbs, fruit, flavors, some even have syrups, that add plenty of sweetness for me.
I love trying new teas. All the flavor combos to choose from or even brewing some at home and adding your own herbs.
If you grow them fresh, even better!
The most common of the "tea herbs" are Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Mint, Chamomile, and Jasmine.
I haven't forgotten to add some spices to your tea adventure.
The most used spices for tea are Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Cardamom(I love a good Chai tea), and Clove.

What is your favorite or go-to tea?
Do you have a combo we should try?
Whether you've never really gotten into tea or you're feeling adventurous, here are some great ideas to look into. The choices could go on and on!
Let me know what you find!

Happy National Iced Tea and Herbs & Spices Day!

June 7, 2021

National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! Who knew?

 Did you know that there are some fun and whacky holidays?

I did a quick google search and found a ton of funny and some odd things that people celebrate.
There is everything from National Bourbon to Yo-yo Day.

I would love to name a National Day! What would you choose?
Here's my idea. Laugh if you will but hey...there is National Hike with a Geek Day, so...
I want a National Off-Grid Day!
Have you ever watched one of those Sci-Fi, disaster, post-apocalyptic movies where everyone has to survive without electricity? I want to do that! Minus the national disaster part of course. I think it would be a great learning experience. Just shut everything down for the day. Or even just 12 hours.
Can you imagine how much we could save and help the environment??
Anyway, that's my choice for a whacky holiday.

These holidays actually got started by Marlo Anderson 
Go check him out.

There really are some pretty cool things to celebrate. Most days do have more than one option to celebrate, so be sure to find one that fits you!
I will probably focus posts on just one for each date.

Today just happens to be National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!!
I know we all just needed a whole day to celebrate chocolate!
Here are a couple neat items you can grab to help make this day great!

For the ambitious ones:
For the adventurous ones:
For the traditional ones:

How will you celebrate National Chocolate Ice Cream Day?
What national whacky day are you excited about?
Here are a few more for the week.
June 8:
National Best Friend's Day
Name your Poison Day
Call Your Doctor Day
June 9:
National Donald Duck Day
National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
I hope you enjoy finding and learning more about fun and silly days as much as I do!
Keep checking back to see more!