Gingerbread House Day

Gingerbread House Day is observed annually on December 12. Gingerbread is claimed to have been brought to Europe in 992 CE by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (also called Gregory Makar and Grégoire de Nicopolis). He left Nicopolis (in modern-day western Greece) to live in Bondaroy (north-central France), near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there for seven years and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. He died in 999. Gingerbread was often used in religious ceremonies and was baked to be sturdy as it was often molded into images of saints. In the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. In 15th-century Germany, a gingerbread guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show that the Swedish nuns baked gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.

The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies, and town square farmers’ markets. In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties One hundred years later, the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, England became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign, stating that it is the “home of gingerbread”, twinned with Pézenas and Arlon. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates to 1793, although it was probably made earlier, as ginger had been stocked in high street businesses since the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.

Gingerbread came to the Americas with settlers from Europe. Molasses, which was less expensive than sugar, soon became a common ingredient and produced a softer cake. The first American cookbook, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons published in 1796, contained seven different recipes for gingerbread

There are many varieties of Gingerbread. In England, gingerbread may refer to a cake, or type of cookie or biscuit made with ginger. In the biscuit form, it commonly takes the form of a gingerbread man. Gingerbread men were first attributed to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who served the figurines to foreign dignitaries. Today, however, they are generally served around Christmas. Gingerbread was a traditional confectionery sold at popular fairs , often given as a treat or token of affection to children and lovers “sweethearts” and known as a “fairing” of gingerbread – the name retained now only by Cornish fairings. This crisp brittle type of gingerbread is now represented by the very popular commercial version called the ginger nut biscuit.

Parkin is a form of soft gingerbread cake made with oatmeal and treacle which is popular in northern England. In the United States, this form of gingerbread is sometimes called “gingerbread cake” or “ginger cake” to distinguish it from the harder forms. French pain d’épices is somewhat similar, though generally slightly drier, and involves honey rather than treacle. Originally French pain d’épices did not contain ginger. In the Netherlands and Belgium, a soft and crumbly gingerbread called peperkoek, kruidkoek or ontbijtkoek is popularly served at breakfast time or during the day, thickly sliced and often topped with butter.

In Germany gingerbread is made in two forms: a soft form called Lebkuchen and a harder form, particularly associated with carnivals and street markets such as the Christmas markets that occur in many German towns. The hard gingerbread is made in decorative shapes, which are then further decorated with sweets and icing. The tradition of cutting gingerbread into shapes takes many other forms, and exists in many countries, a well-known example being the gingerbread man. Traditionally, these were dunked in port wine. The Brothers’ Grimm also mention a gingerbread house in their tale of Hansel and Gretel. In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, the honey cake eaten at Rosh Hashanah (New Year) closely resembles the Dutch peperkoek or the German Lebkuchen, though it has wide regional variations.

In the Nordic countries, the most popular form of ginger confection is the pepperkaker (Norwegian), pepparkakor (Swedish), brunkager (Danish), piparkökur (Icelandic), piparkakut (Finnish) and piparkūkas (Latvian) or piparkoogid (Estonian). They are thin, brittle biscuits that are particularly associated with the extended Christmas period. In Norway and Sweden, pepperkaker/pepparkakor are also used as window decorations (the pepperkaker/pepparkakor are a little thicker than usual and are decorated with glaze and candy). Many families bake pepperkaker/pepparkakor/brunkager as a tradition.

In Switzerland, a gingerbread confection known as “biber” is typically a two-centimeter (approximately ¾ of an inch) thick rectangular gingerbread cake with a marzipan filling. The cantons of Appenzell and St. Gallen are famous for biber, and are artfully adorned with images of the Appenzell bear or the St. Gallen cathedral respectively by engraving or icing.

In Russia, a gingerbread maker was first mentioned in Kazan cadastres in 1568. Gingerbread confections are called pryaniki (sg. pryanik), derived from the old Russian word for ‘pepper’. Historically three main centers of gingerbread production have developed in the cities of Vyazma, Gorodets, and Tula. Gingerbreads from Tver, Saint Petersburg and Moscow were also well known in the Russian Empire. A classic Russian gingerbread is made with rye flour, honey, sugar, butter, eggs and various spices; it has an embossed ornament and/or text on the front side with royal icing. A Russian gingerbread can also be shaped in various forms and stuffed with varenje and other sweet fillings.

In Poland, gingerbreads are known as pierniki (singular: piernik). Some cities have traditional regional styles. Toruń gingerbread (piernik toruński) is a traditional Polish gingerbread that has been produced since the Middle Ages in the city of Toruń. It was a favorite delicacy of Chopin when he visited his godfather, Fryderyk Florian Skarbek, in Toruń during a school vacation. Kraków gingerbread is the traditional style from the former Polish capital.

In the Czech Republic gingerbread is called pardubický perník while In Romania, gingerbread is called turtă dulce and usually has sugar glazing. A variety of gingerbread in Bulgaria is known as меденка (“made of honey”). Traditionally the cookie is as big as the palm of a hand, round and flat, and with a thin layer of chocolate. Other common ingredients include honey, cinnamon, ginger and dried clove. Gingerbread is also popular in England, and is available in supermarkets. As in other countries, Gingerbread biscuits are often decorated with royal icing. In Panama, a confection named yiyinbre is a gingerbread cake made with ginger and molasses; it is typical of the region of Chiriquí. Another popular confection is quequi or queque, a chewy biscuit made with ginger, molasses and coconut.

National Ambrosia Day

National Ambrosia Day takes place annually on 12 December. Ambrosia is A variation of the traditional fruit salad. according to Greek mythology, Ambrosia is the nectar of the gods, endowing strength and immortality to those who eat it. Ambrosia is very closely related to the gods’ other form of sustenance, nectar. The two terms may not have originally been distinguished; though in Homer’s poems nectar is usually the drink and ambrosia the food of the gods; it was with ambrosia Hera “cleansed all defilement from her lovely flesh”, and with ambrosia Athena prepared Penelope in her sleep, so that when she appeared for the final time before her suitors, the effects of years had been stripped away, and they were inflamed with passion at the sight of her. On the other hand, in Alcman, nectar is the food, and in Sappho and Anaxandrides, ambrosia is the drink. A character in Aristophanes’ Knights says, “I dreamed the goddess poured ambrosia over your head—out of a ladle.” Both descriptions could be correct, as ambrosia could be a liquid considered a food (such as honey).

The consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Upon his assumption into immortality on Olympus, Heracles is given ambrosia by Athena, while the hero Tydeus is denied the same thing when the goddess discovers him eating human brains. In one version of the myth of Tantalus, part of Tantalus’ crime is that after tasting ambrosia himself, he attempts to steal some away to give to other mortals. Those who consume ambrosia typically had not blood in their veins, but ichor the blood of immortals.

Both nectar and ambrosia are fragrant, and may be used as perfume: in the Odyssey Menelaus and his men are disguised as seals in untanned seal skins, “and the deadly smell of the seal skins vexed us sore; but the goddess saved us; she brought ambrosia and put it under our nostrils.” Homer speaks of ambrosial raiment, ambrosial locks of hair, even the gods’ ambrosial sandals.

Ambrosia also appears in many other Greek myths. In one version of the story of the birth of Achilles, Thetis anoints the infant with ambrosia and passes the child through the fire to make him immortal but Peleus, appalled, stops her, leaving only his heel unimmortalised (Argonautica 4.869-879). In the Iliad xvi, Apollo washes the black blood from the corpse of Sarpedon and anoints it with ambrosia, readying it for its dreamlike return to Sarpedon’s native Lycia. Similarly, Thetis anoints the corpse of Patroclus in order to preserve it. Additionally, both ambrosia and nectar are depicted as unguents (xiv. 170; xix. 38). In the Odyssey, Calypso is described as having “spread a table with ambrosia and set it by Hermes, and mixed the rosy-red nectar.” It is ambiguous whether he means the ambrosia itself is rosy-red, or if he is describing a rosy-red nectar Hermes drinks along with the ambrosia.

Later, Circe mentions to Odysseus that a flock of doves are the bringers of ambrosia to Olympus. The cyclops Polyphemus also likens the wine given to him by Odysseus to ambrosia and nectar. One of the impieties of Tantalus, according to Pindar, was that he offered to his guests the ambrosia of the Deathless Ones, a theft akin to that of Prometheus. In the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess uses “ambrosial bridal oil that she had ready perfumed.” In the story of Cupid and Psyche as told by Apuleius, Psyche is given ambrosia upon her completion of the quests set by Venus and her acceptance on Olympus. After she partakes, she and Cupid are wed as gods. Some ancient Egyptian statues of Anubis read,”…I am death…I eat ambrosia and drink blood…” which hints that ambrosia is a food of some sort. In the Aeneid, Aeneas encounters his mother in an alternate, or illusory form. When she became her godly form “Her hair’s ambrosia breathed a holy fragrance.”

Among later writers, ambrosia has been so often used with generic meanings of “delightful liquid” that such late writers as Athenaeus, Paulus and Dioscurides employ it as a technical terms in contexts of cookery, medicine, and botany. Pliny used the term in connection with different plants, as did early herbalists. some modern ethnomycologists, such as Danny Staples, identify ambrosia with the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria: “it was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and nectar was the pressed sap of its juices”. Some thought that both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing powers of honey, which is in fact anti-septic, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world; on some Minoan seals, goddesses were represented with bee faces (compare Merope and Melissa).

Ambrosia Salad was also created in the late 1800. A simple ambrosia salad , was made with citrus fruit, coconut and sugar. A genuine ambrosia salad should be served the same day it is prepared, though more modern recipes suggest overnight refrigeration of the dish. Other ingredients often added to the salad are pineapple, nuts, cherries, apples, bananas, whipped cream or yogurt.

National Poinsettia Day

National Poinsettia day takes place annually on 12 December. The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) (also known as Christmas Star) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.

Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2–13 ft). The plant bears dark green dentate leaves that measure 7–16 centimetres (2.8–6.3 in) in length. The colored bracts—which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or marbled—are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are actually leaves. The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change color. At the same time, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color.

The flowers of the poinsettia are unassuming and do not attract pollinators. They are grouped within small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, and are called cyathia. The poinsettia is native to Mexico. It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. It is also found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. Reports of E. pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists.

The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic medication. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuitlaxochitl, meaning “flower that grows in residues or soil” Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes. n Hungarian, it is called Santa Claus’ Flower, and is widely used as a Christmas decoration.

The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus. Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere across North America. They are available in large numbers from grocery, drug, and hardware stores. In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.

Albert Ecke is credited with creating the American poinsettia industry. He emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area. He became intrigued by the plant and sold them from street stands. His son, Paul Ecke, developed the grafting technique, but it was the third generation of Eckes, Paul Ecke Jr., who was responsible for advancing the association between the plant and Christmas. Besides changing the market from mature plants shipped by rail to cuttings sent by air, he sent free plants to television stations for them to display on air from Thanksgiving to Christmas. He also appeared on television programs like The Tonight Show and Bob Hope’s Christmas specials to promote the plant. Until the 1990s, the Ecke family, who had moved their operation to Encinitas, California, in 1923, had a virtual monopoly on poinsettias owing to a technique that made their plants much more attractive They produced a fuller, more compact plant by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. A poinsettia left to grow on its own will naturally take an open, somewhat weedy look. The Eckes’ technique made it possible to get every seedling to branch, resulting in a bushier plant.

More Events and holidays happening on December 12

Festival of Unmentionable Thoughts
Gingerbread House Day
National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day
National Ding-a-Ling DaY

International Civil Aviation Day

International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated annually on 7 December. The day has been celebrated by the International Civil Aviation Organization since 7 December 1994, the 50th anniversary of the signing the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The purpose of the day is to recognize the importance of aviation, especially international air travel, to the social and economic development of the world.

Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices for civil aviation through that agency Civil aviation includes two major categories:

Scheduled air transport, including all passenger and cargo flights operating on regularly scheduled routes; and General aviation (GA), including all other civil flights, private or commercial Although scheduled air transport is the larger operation in terms of passenger numbers, GA is larger in the number of flights (and flight hours, in the U.S. In the U.S., GA carries 166 million passengers each year, more than any individual airline, though less than all the airlines combined. Since 2004, the US Airlines combined have carried over 600 million passengers each year, and in 2014, they carried a combined 662,819,232 passengers.

Some countries also make a regulatory distinction based on whether aircraft are flown for hire such as Commercial aviation and flying done for hire, particularly scheduled service on airlines; and Private aviation includes pilots flying for their own purposes (recreation, business meetings, etc.) without receiving any kind of remuneration. All scheduled air transport is commercial, but general aviation can be either commercial or private. Normally, the pilot, aircraft, and operator must all be authorized to perform commercial operations through separate commercial licensing, registration, and operation certificates.

Following World War Ⅱ, commercial aviation grew rapidly, using mostly ex-military aircraft to transport people and cargo. This growth was accelerated by the glut of heavy and super-heavy bomber airframes like the B-29 and Lancaster that could be converted into commercial aircraft. The DC-3 were also made for easier and longer commercial flights. The first commercial jet airliner to fly was the British de Havilland Comet. By 1952, the British state airline BOAC had introduced the Comet into scheduled service. While a technical achievement, the plane suffered a series of highly public failures, as the shape of the windows led to cracks due to metal fatigue. The fatigue was caused by cycles of pressurization and depressurization of the cabin, and eventually led to catastrophic failure of the plane’s fuselage. By the time the problems were overcome, other jet airliner designs had already taken to the skies.

Special Kids Day

Special Kids Day is celebrated annually on 7 December. It Was Started in 1990. It began as a holiday event that provided an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to visit Santa Claus without having to face some of the obstacles that they might encounter when trying to experience a visit with Santa in a mall.

Over the years, through a combined effort among local businesses and community organizations, the Department of Education at Elmhurst College and dedicated individuals, Special Kids Day has grown to serve hundreds of families in the western suburbs. Today, Special Kids Day has evolved into a not-for-profit, organization dedicated to providing celebratory events for children with disabilities and their families in environments designed to accommodate their special needs.

National Cotton Candy /Candy floss Day

National Cotton candy Day (Candy Floss day) occurrs annually on 7 December. Cotton candy is a form of spun sugar. The confection is mostly sugar, with small amounts of either flavoring or food coloring often being added. Cotton candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar and spinning it out through minute holes. It resolidifies in minutely thin strands of “sugar glass”. The final cotton candy contains mostly air, with a typical serving weighing around 1 ounce or 28 grams. It is often served at fairs, circuses, carnivals, and Japanese festivals, and sold on a stick or in a plastic bag.

Similar light halva confections include the Indian sohan papdi and pootharekulu, the Persian pashmak, and the Turkish pişmaniye, although the latter is made with flour and water in addition to sugar. Tatar cuisine has similar flour-honey sweet sawdust talqysh-kalava. Similar sweets include Chinese dragon’s-beard candy and Korean honey skein kkul-tarae.

The creation of Cotton Candy/ Candy Floss dates all the way back to the 1400’s when it was first called spun sugar. Several places claim the origin of cotton candy, with some sources tracing it to a form of spun sugar found in Europe in the 19th century. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person.Others suggest versions of spun sugar originated in Italy as early as the 15th century.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ per box (equivalent to $6 per box today). Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away, although it retains this name in Australia. In the 1970s, an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it. This made it easier to produce and available to sell at carnivals, fairs, and stores in the 1970s and on. Tootsie Roll of Canada Ltd., the world’s largest cotton-candy manufacturer, makes a bagged, fruit-flavored version called Fluffy Stuff.

Since then cotton candy has been a favorite treat for young and old alike at carnivals, fairs and the circus. Each year on December 7th, cotton candy lovers look forward to celebrating the day as they pull puffs of cotton candy from a stick or out of a bag and reminisce about their childhood days.

Microwave oven Day

Microwave Oven day takes place annually on 6 December. Microwave oven day commemorates the occasion when, Quite by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered in 1945 a way to heat food safely with microwaves whilst working with an active radar for the company Raytheon when he noticed that a candy bar in his pocket had begun melting whilst he was near the radar. Spencer then began experimenting and deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves and then he tried an egg. Unfortunately The egg exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! Spencer, then started experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

A microwave oven heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range This induces polar molecules in the food to rotate and produce thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm (1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item; food is more evenly heated throughout than generally occurs in other cooking techniques.

The development of the cavity magnetron in the UK made possible the production of electromagnetic waves of a small enough wavelength (microwaves). American engineer Percy Spencer is generally credited with inventing the modern microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed during the war. Named the “Radarange”, it was first sold in 1946. Raytheon later licensed its patents for a home-use microwave oven that was first introduced by Tappan in 1955, but these units were still too large and expensive for general home use. Sharp Corporation introduced the first microwave oven with a turntable between 1964 and 1966. The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. After Sharp introduced low-cost microwave ovens affordable for residential use in the late 1970s, their use spread into commercial and residential kitchens around the world. In addition to their use in cooking food, types of microwave ovens are used for heating in many industrial processes.

Since then Microwave ovens have become common kitchen appliance and are popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking a variety of foods. They are also useful for rapid heating of otherwise slowly prepared foodstuffs, which can easily burn or turn lumpy when cooked in conventional pans, such as hot butter, fats, chocolate or porridge. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens usually do not directly brown or caramelize food, since they rarely attain the necessary temperatures to produce Maillard reactions. Exceptions occur in rare cases where the oven is used to heat frying-oil and other very oily items (such as bacon), which attain far higher temperatures than that of boiling water. However Microwave ovens have limited roles in professional cooking, because the boiling-range temperatures of a microwave will not produce the flavorful chemical reactions that frying, browning, or baking at a higher temperature will. However, additional heat sources can be added to microwave ovens.

Microwave cooking is thought to be less healthy than normal cooking although All forms of cooking Have an effect on food and nutrients, Any form of cooking will destroy some nutrients in food, but the key variables are how much water is used in the cooking, how long the food is cooked, and at what temperature. Nutrients are primarily lost by leaching into cooking water, which tends to make microwave cooking healthier, given the shorter cooking times it requires. Like other heating methods, microwaving converts vitamin B12 from an active to inactive form; the amount of conversion depends on the temperature reached, as well as the cooking time. Boiled food reaches a maximum of 100 °C (212 °F) (the boiling point of water), whereas microwaved food can get locally hotter than this, leading to faster breakdown of vitamin B12. The higher rate of loss is partially offset by the shorter cooking times required.

Spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave; in comparison, it loses about 77% when boiled, leaching out nutrients. Bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon. Steamed vegetables tend to maintain more nutrients when microwaved than when cooked on a stovetop. Microwave blanching is 3–4 times more effective than boiled water blanching in the retaining of the water-soluble vitamins folic acid, thiamin and riboflavin, with the exception of ascorbic acid, of which 28.8% is lost (vs. 16% with boiled water blanching). Microwaving human milk at high temperatures is not recommended as it causes a marked decrease in activity of anti-infective factors.

A safety benefit of using microwave oven is that Microwave ovens heat food without getting hot themselves. Taking a pot off a stove, unless it is an induction cooktop, leaves a potentially dangerous heating element or trivet that will stay hot for some time. Likewise, when taking a casserole out of a conventional oven, one’s arms are exposed to the very hot walls of the oven. A microwave oven does not pose this problem.

Food and cookware taken out of a microwave oven are rarely much hotter than 100 °C (212 °F). Cookware used in a microwave oven is often much cooler than the food because the cookware is transparent to microwaves; the microwaves heat the food directly and the cookware is indirectly heated by the food. Food and cookware from a conventional oven, on the other hand, are the same temperature as the rest of the oven; a typical cooking temperature is 180 °C (356 °F). That means that conventional stoves and ovens can cause more serious burns.

The lower temperature of cooking (the boiling point of water) is a significant safety benefit compared to baking in the oven or frying, because it eliminates the formation of tars and char, which are carcinogenic.[49] Microwave radiation also penetrates deeper than direct heat, so that the food is heated by its own internal water content. In contrast, direct heat can burn the surface while the inside is still cold. Pre-heating the food in a microwave oven before putting it into the grill or pan reduces the time needed to heat up the food and reduces the formation of carcinogenic char. Unlike frying and baking, microwaving does not produce acrylamide in potatoes, however unlike deep-frying, it is of only limited effectiveness in reducing glycoalkaloid (i.e. solanine) levels. Acrylamide has been found in other microwaved products like popcorn.

There are also hazards to using a Microwave oven these include the superheating of Water and other homogeneous liquids when heated in a microwave oven in a container with a smooth surface when the liquid reaches a temperature slightly above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid. The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed, such as when the user takes hold of the container to remove it from the oven or while adding solid ingredients such as powdered creamer or sugar. This can result in spontaneous boiling (nucleation) which may be violent enough to eject the boiling liquid from the container and cause severe scalding.

Closed containers, such as eggs, can explode when heated in a microwave oven due to the increased pressure from steam. Intact fresh egg yolks outside the shell will also explode, as a result of superheating. Insulating plastic foams of all types generally contain closed air pockets, and are generally not recommended for use in a microwave, as the air pockets explode and the foam (which can be toxic if consumed) may melt. Not all plastics are microwave-safe, and some plastics absorb microwaves to the point that they may become dangerously hot. Products that are heated for too long can catch fire. Though this is inherent to any form of cooking, the rapid cooking and unattended nature of the use of microwave ovens results in additional hazard.

Microwaving metal objects is also dangerous as any metal or conductive object placed into the microwave will act as an antenna to some degree, resulting in an electric current. This causes the object to act as a heating element. This effect varies with the object’s shape and composition, and is sometimes utilized for cooking.

Any object containing pointed metal can create an electric arc (sparks) when microwaved. This includes cutlery, crumpled aluminium foil (though some foil used in microwaves are safe, see below), twist-ties containing metal wire, the metal wire carry-handles in paper Chinese take-out food containers, or almost any metal formed into a poorly conductive foil or thin wire; or into a pointed shape. Forks are a good example: the tines of the fork respond to the electric field by producing high concentrations of electric charge at the tips. This has the effect of exceeding the dielectric breakdown of air, about 3 megavolts per meter (3×106 V/m). The air forms a conductive plasma, which is visible as a spark. The plasma and the tines may then form a conductive loop, which may be a more effective antenna, resulting in a longer lived spark. When dielectric breakdown occurs in air, some ozone and nitrogen oxides are formed, both of which are unhealthy in large quantities.

Direct microwave exposure is also dangerous but is not generally possible, as microwaves emitted by the source in a microwave oven are confined in the oven by the material out of which the oven is constructed ovens are equipped with redundant safety interlocks, which remove power from the magnetron if the door is opened. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, a U.S. Federal Standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 5 cm (2 in) from the surface of the oven. This is far below the exposure level currently considered to be harmful to human health.

Other events occurring on 6 December

Mitten Tree Day
National Miners Day
National Gazpacho Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
Put On Your Own Shoes Day
St. Nicholas Day

Sacher Torte Day

Sacher Torte Day is observed annually on December 5. Sacher Torte is a unique, decadent and incredibly rich type of chocolate cake (or torte) which is created by putting apricot jam between layers of rich, chocolate sponge cake and topping the mix with a layer of chocolate icing. The original recipe is a secret protected today and served exclusively by the Sacher Hotels in Vienna and Salzburg.

Sacher Torte was invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 and is one of Vienna’s most famous culinary specialties. Franz Sacher was an apprentice who was forced to improvise when the head chef was ill and came up with the idea of the Sacher Torte after Prince Wenzel Von Metternich ordered a special dessert from the kitchen for his guests. With the chef ill, Sacher stepped in for his superior and created what is known worldwide as the Sacher Torte. His son, Eduard, went on to perfect this decadent dessert.
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BATHTUB PARTY DAY

Bathtub Party Day is also observed annually on December 5. Bathtub Party Day was created as a way to skip the ordinary, everyday shower and to luxuriate in the pure pleasure of a good soak in the tub.
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More Events and holidays happening on December 5

  • National Communicate with Your Kids Day
  • National Commute with Your Baby Day
  • National Day of Solidarity
  • Repeal Day

Gary Rhodes OBE

Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes OBE has tragically died after suddenly falling ill in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 26 November 2019; he was aged 59.
Gary Rhodes, was born in South London, in 22 April 1960. He moved with his family to Gillingham, Kent, where he went to The Howard School in Rainham. He then went on to catering college in Thanet where he met his wife Jennie. His first job was at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. He was hit by a transit van in Amsterdam leaving him with serious injuries. He then toured Europe in various jobs before becoming sous chef at the Reform Club, Pall Mall and then on to the Michelin-starred Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge where he worked under Brian Turner. Rhodes became the head chef at the Castle Hotel, Taunton in Somerset. He retained the hotel’s Michelin star at the age of 26.

In 1990 Rhodes returned to London with his family to become Head Chef at the Greenhouse Restaurant in Mayfair. The menu became known for reviving British classics, including faggots, fish cakes, braised oxtails and bread and butter pudding. He was awarded a Michelin star for the Greenhouse in January 1996. In 1997 he opened his first restaurant, City Rhodes, and in 1997 Rhodes in the Square – both with global contract catering company Sodexo. This partnership expanded into the brasseries of Rhodes and Co in Manchester, Edinburgh and Crawley. He then opened Rhodes Twenty Four in one of London’s tallest buildings, Tower 42. Rhodes described his hopes for the restaurant on launch: “If we never get a Michelin star here, I will be very disappointed, but what I really want is customers.” It won a Michelin star in 2005, which it retained until it closed as one of two Michelin starred restaurants for Rhodes in London. Rhodes also owned Arcadian Rhodes on the P&O superliner Arcadia, Cumberland Rhodes, and Rhodes Calabash, in Grenada. He was also a contributor to the BBC Good Food magazine.

His first TV appearance was at the age of 27, courtesy of Glynn Christian on Hot Chefs; this led to Rhodes Around Britain and Gary’s Perfect Christmas. Between 2000 and 2001, Rhodes hosted the original MasterChef USA on PBS. Rhodes ran a TV series New British Classics reintroducing classic British cuisine, and published a book of the same name. Rhodes starred in the television series Rhodes Across India, with apprentices Bushra Akram, Scott Davis and Kalwant Sahota, and Rhodes Across China, which explored Chinese cuisine, with sous chefs Melissa Syers and Teresa Tsang. Rhodes appeared in a commercial tie-in with Tate & Lyle in the late 1990s, and his recipes endorsed sugar and treacle products accordingly; his name was printed on every Tate & Lyle sugar sachet across the country. Rhodes was associated with a Cooking in Schools campaign with Flora UK and appeared in television adverts for Flora margarine, some of which featured him “driving a van topped with a giant styrofoam crumpet” which were banned.

In 2006 He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) And, also represented the South of England, in the BBC’s Great British Menu, but lost to Atul Kochhar. He appeared on the BBC Two spoof game show Shooting Stars, during which hosts Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer asked him to ‘represent fire through the medium of dance’. He also competed, with professional partner Karen Hardy, in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing which began on 20 September 2008, and finished in 14th place. Many fellow celebrity chefs paid tribute, including Marcus Wareing, Aldo Zilli, Ainsley Harriott, Gordon Ramsay, and Jamie Oliver, who said he was “a massive inspiration to me as a young chef”, adding that he “reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun.” Tom Kerridge described Rhodes as “one of the greatest British chefs who almost single handedly put British food on the world stage.

Sundae Day

National Sundae Day is observed each year on November 11. National Sundae Day celebrates Ice cream Sundaes. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure; however, it is generally accepted that the spelling “sundae” derives from the English word “Sunday.

The oldest known record of an ice cream sundae is an advertisement in the Ithica Daily Journal dated October 5, 1892, with the conventional day of the week spelling – Sunday. It has been hotly debated where the sundae originated. There has been a friendly rivalry between Ithica, New York, and Two Rivers, Wisconsin over which city is the true birthplace of the sundae. The Two Rivers’ claim is that in 1881, Druggist Edward Berners served the sweet concoction when customer George Hallauer ordered an ice cream soda. Because it was the Sabbath, ice cream sodas were prohibited at that time. As a compromise, Berners served the ice cream in a dish without soda and topped it with chocolate syrup. This story is disputed by some because Berners would have only been 18 at the time the story takes place. In Ithica on a Sunday after church in 1892, Chester Platt, proprietor of Platt & Colt Pharmacy, and the Reverend John M. Scott stopped at the pharmacy to enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Instead of just plain vanilla, Platt topped the scoops with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. The dessert looked and tasted so delightful it required its own name. It was named for the day it was created. Ithica also has some historical evidence supporting this, including the advertisement for a Cherry Sunday.

Sundae

Ice cream sundae soon became the weekend semi-official soda fountain confection in the beginning of the 1900s and quickly gained popularity. The Ice Cream Trade Journal for 1909 along with plain, or French sundae, listed such exotic varieties as Robin Hood sundae, Cocoa Caramel sundae, Black Hawk sundae, Angel Cake sundae, Cherry Dip sundae, Cinnamon Peak sundae, Opera sundae, Fleur D’Orange sundae, Knickerbocker sundae, Tally-Ho Sundae, Bismarck and George Washington sundaes, to name a few.

The original sundae consists of vanilla ice cream topped with a flavored sauce or syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. Classic sundaes are typically named after flavored syrup employed in the recipe: cherry sundae, chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, raspberry sundae, etc. The classic sundae is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped, footed glass vase. Due to the long association between the shape of the glass and the dessert, this style of serving dish is generally now known as a sundae glass. The banana split is another type of Sundae, This dessert consists of two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. The classic banana split consists of strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with crushed pineapple, and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry syrup. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Amother type of Sundae is the Knickerbocker Glory, This ice cream sundae is served in a large tall glass, consisting of layers of ice cream, jelly, and cream, topped with syrup, nuts, whipped cream, and often a cherry; it is popular in the United Kingdom. Another popular Sundae is the Black and white (Tin Roof Sundae). This sundae features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with creamy white marshmallow sauce, topped with Spanish peanuts.[citation needed] The Tin Roof Sundae was created in 1916, at the Potter Drug Co., in Potter, Nebraska, owned by pharmacist James Earl Thayer. His son, Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, worked in the soda fountain as a teenager, and is credited for inventing the ice cream treat. According to Dr. J.E. Thayer of Sidney, there are two stories of how the sundae got its name. The first is that it was inspired by the tin ceiling in the business; the other is that the stable across the street had a tin roof and that he named it after that. The Tin Roof Sundae can still be enjoyed in Potter, Nebraska, where the Potter Drug Co. now called the Potter Sundry, is still in operation.

National Candy Day

National Candy Day is observed annually on November 4th in the United States. Candy, also called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. Candy encompasses any sweet confection, or sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied. Physically, candy is characterized by the use of a significant amount of sugar or sugar substitutes. Unlike a cake or loaf of bread that would be shared among many people, candies are usually made in smaller pieces. However, the definition of candy also depends upon how people treat the food. Unlike sweet pastries served for a dessert course at the end of a meal, candies are normally eaten casually, often with the fingers, as a snack between meals. Each culture has its own ideas of what constitutes candy rather than dessert. The same food may be a candy in one culture and a dessert in another.

Candy can trace its roots back to Between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, when the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the people in India and their “reeds that produce honey without bees”. They adopted and then spread sugar and sugarcane agriculture. Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, while the word sugar is derived from the Sanskrit word Sharkara. Pieces of sugar were produced by boiling sugarcane juice in ancient India and consumed as Khanda, dubbed as the original candy. Before sugar was readily available, candy was based on honey Honey was used in Ancient China, Middle East, Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy. Candy is still served in this form today, though now it is more typically seen as a type of garnish.

Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was often considered a form of medicine, either used to calm the digestive system or cool a sore throat. In the Middle Ages candy appeared on the tables of only the most wealthy at first. At that time, it began as a combination of spices and sugar that was used as an aid to digestive problems. Digestive problems were very common during this time due to the constant consumption of food that was neither fresh nor well balanced. Banquet hosts would typically serve these types of ‘candies’ at banquets for their guests. One of these candies, sometimes called chamber spice, was made with cloves, ginger, aniseed, juniper berries, almonds and pine kernels dipped in melted sugar. The Middle English word candy began to be used in the late 13th century.

The first candy came to America in the early 18th century from Britain and France. Only a few of the early colonists were proficient in sugar work and were able to provide the sugary treats for the very wealthy. Rock candy, made from crystallized sugar, was the simplest form of candy, but even this basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the rich.

During the Industrial Revolution the candy business underwent a drastic change in the 1830s when technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market. The new market was not only for the enjoyment of the rich but also for the pleasure of the working class. There was also an increasing market for children. While some fine confectioners remained, the candy store became a staple of the child of the American working class. Penny candies epitomized this transformation of candy. Penny candy became the first material good that children spent their own money on. For this reason, candy store-owners relied almost entirely on the business of children to keep them running. Even penny candies were directly descended from medicated lozenges that held bitter medicine in a hard sugar coating.

In 1847, the invention of the candy press (also known as a toy machine) made it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at once. In 1851, confectioners began to use a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar. This transformation meant that the candy maker was no longer required to continuously stir the boiling sugar. The heat from the surface of the pan was also much more evenly distributed and made it less likely the sugar would burn. These innovations made it possible for only one or two people to successfully run a candy business. However As the path from producer to market became increasingly complicated, many foods were affected by adulteration and the addition of additives which ranged from relatively harmless ingredients, such as cheap cornstarch and corn syrup, to poisonous ones. Some manufacturers produced bright colors in candy by the addition of hazardous substances for which there was no legal regulation: green (chromium oxide and copper acetate), red (lead oxide and mercury sulfide), yellow (lead chromate) and white (chalk, arsenic trioxide).

Other Events, Commemorations and Holidays for 4 November

Use Your Common Sense Day
King Tut Day
National Candy Day
National Chicken Lady Day
National Eating Healthy Day
National Skeptics Day
Waiting for the Barbarians Day