~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
February 3, 2012
Post Updated: February 3, 2013
★~ Today’s Quote: We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anais Nin
★~ National Wear Red Day:
During American Heart Month in February, the American Heart Association will focus on educating women about cardiovascular disease. Put on your favorite red dress, red shirt, red tie, or scarf and show your support for healthy hearts. Learn what you can do to keep your heart healthy and heart others.
★~ Carrot Cake Day:
Carrot Cake has been around since the Middle Ages. At that time, sugar and other sweeteners were rare and very expensive, so people used sweet vegetables to flavor their puddings.
This technique became obsolete for several hundred years, but resurfaced in the 20th century. During World War II, the British government rationed many luxury foods and household staples including sugar. To appease the nation’s sweet tooth, the Ministry of Food promoted recipes for carrot puddings, carrot-filled pies, and carrot cakes.
A traditional carrot cake recipe calls for carrots, raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar. Enjoy a slice of carrot cake in honor of National Carrot Cake Day!
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1898 – E.J. “Stroller” White discovered ice worms.White described the ice worms as old-loving creatures, the extreme chill of the recent storm had apparently caused them to crawl out of their holes in a nearby glacier in order to “bask in the unusual frigidity in such numbers that their chirping was seriously interfering with the slumbers of Dawson’s inhabitants.” The worms soon became the talk of the town and sales of the Klondike Nugget soared as White continued to write about them. People went out on expeditions to find them, carefully listening for their characteristic chirping. And bartenders in town began serving a drink called ‘Ice Worm Cocktails.’ These were prepared by pulling a long skinny worm out of a piece of ice and dropping it into a customer’s drink. Every year the town of Cordova, Alaska celebrates the ice worm with a winter carnival that is held during the last week of January or the first week of February. The festival includes the election of an ice worm king and queen.
♥~ 1959 – The Day The Music Died – Rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
♥~ 1971- Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell landed on the lunar surface during the third successful manned mission to the moon.
♥~ 1973 – The No. 1 Billboard Hit was “Crocodile Rock,” by Elton John. The single was the singer’s first No. 1 song in the United States.
♥~ Charles Lewis Jensen – Daddy and grandaddy extrodinair.
♥~ 1874 – Gertrude Stein – When she was 30 years old, she moved to Paris and lived there for almost the rest of her life. She once said, “America is my country and Paris is my hometown.” She covered the walls of her house in Paris with paintings by Cézanne, Picasso, Renoir, Gauguin, and others. Her house became known as “The Salon,” and writers and artists came from all over to get advice and encouragement from her. Ernest Hemingway once said, “Gertrude was always right.”
♥~ 1950 – Morgan Fairchild (Patsy McClenny) actress: Dallas, Flamingo Road, North and South, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Writer’s Block
★~ Did You Know:
♥~ Carrots have the highest content of beta carotene (vitamin A) of all vegetables.
♥~ The Longest Carrot recorded in 1996 was 5.14 metres (16 feet 10 ½ inches)
♥~ The Heaviest Carrot recorded in the World 18.985 lb 1998 (single root mass) John V. R. Evans, USA
♥~ Carrots are not always orange and can also be found in purple, white, red or yellow.
♥~ Carrots were the first vegetable to be canned commercially.
♥~ Holtville, California dubs itself “The Carrot Capital of the World.” with an Annual Festival, now in its 60th year.
♥~ Researchers at the USDA found that study participants who consumed 2 carrots a day were able to lower their cholesterol levels about 20 percent due to a soluble fibre called calcium pectate.
♥~ Carrot is a symbolic of fecundity.
♥~ Amazon bookstore includes over 200 books with the title “carrot” in them.
♥~ The last meal on the Titanic included creamed carrots in the fifth course.
♥~ In the 1960s, Viola Schlicting, from Texas, created the first carrot cake from her German carrot-nut bread recipe.
I have told you all about Cole’s Waldorf school and the times I have been misled by a simple peanut butter or chocolate chip cookie . . . and then, of course, there was the year that my auction committee tried to poison me with little globes of organic chocolate — but I don’t think I have ever shared my carrot cake experience.
Many years ago, my odd family friend Rachel and I met, when our children were about 15 months old, in our first parent-child Waldorf class. We bonded over carrying our children in circle and wondering if we would still be carrying them in circle when they were in college. Over time I noticed that Rachel was very watchful of what Lily ate.
However, unlike most Waldorf parents, she never made a big deal out of it. She simply made sure that Lily always had a healthy snack, and unhealthy snacks artfully passed her by. To give you an idea of how good she was at making sure Lily experienced food without being singled out as different, she used to let her go trick or treating for her daddy’s office. It never occurred to Lily to ask to eat candy because she had never had candy.
Now, you are beginning to wonder what all this has to do with carrot cake. Well, hang on . . . I’m getting there. Fast forward a year or two. An invite arrives for Lily’s birthday party. I will admit it: Joe and I spent some time wondering about the cake. After all, cake is a pretty important part of a birthday party, and our early childhood Waldorf experience with birthday parties had lead us to more than our fair share of birthday cakes with that good for you taste.
The birthday party was held on a beautiful day in the park. I still have the bead bracelet that Cole made with his name. (Waldorf parents worry about sugar; they do not worry about little children choking on beads.) Soon it was birthday cake time, and a CARROT CAKE was presented. My first thought was, carrot cake for three year olds . . . REALLY? And then, when I saw organic on the cake box, I was certain we were about to have our worst birthday cake experience ever.
The birthday girl was sung to, the candles were blown out, and the cake was cut. We served the kids, and I was amazed to see them all digging right in — even my kid, who was weaned on refined sugar, was enjoying his piece of cake. When Rachel offered me a piece, I was ready to say that I was allergic to carrot cake, but before I could offer a “no, thank you,” she said it was Maude’s carrot cake. I had no idea who Maude was, but if it was her great aunt, I did not want to insult her; so I acceped the piece of carrot cake and took a tentative bite. And now I am going to surprise you by saying it was possibly the best piece of birthday cake I have ever eaten. It had a luscious cream cheese frosting and was moist all the way through. It didn’t have a “good for you” taste; it was a yummy-in-your-tummy birthday cake with the added benefit that it was good for you. Maude is a Chicago baker who is famous for her carrot cakes. If you live in Chicago, or visit Chicago, you really must try a piece of Maude’s carrot cake!
Naturally, the first question Joe asked me when he came in the door from work that night was, “Well, what kind of cake did they have.” When I answered, “Carrot cake,” it made his day.