July 9th National Sugar Cookie Day

Well, here ya go… another food day to celebrate! Which is pretty cool but keeps adding to our waste lines. However, sugar cookies aren’t too bad… well sort of anyway. They are pretty simple to make and always go over well no matter the time of year. When you do make them, make enough for friends and neighbors! And they generally last a fairly long time so make enough to keep around for a while.

How to celebrate – Make some sugar cookies. See what toppings you can add. Use food coloring to make them more festive.

May 4th National Candied Orange Peel Day

Well, I am sure we have all been waiting for this day for quite some time! Candied Orange Peel Day! There really isn’t a lot to say about it except it comes from an orange, boiled, cut into strips and candied by adding sugar to it. It can be used in a whole lot of different ways, in granola, tarts, pastries and even different meats dishes. So, hurrah… its National Candied Orange Peel Day and we can all celebrate by having something made with Candied Orange Peels!

How to celebrate – Cook some orange peels today. Sugar coat those same orange peels. Test the use of your orange peels in numerous dishes.

February 15th National Gum Drop Day

It is believed that gum drops have been around in the United States since somewhere around 1801. They have appeared in many different forms, starting out as a hard candy and now being most popular as Gummis. Some actually have fruit flavorings but most are really little more than sugar on top of… sugar. But we all have our favorite, mine is the red which sometimes taste like cherries. They are fun to eat, certainly sweet and although they contain some sort of fruit they are not all that good for us.

How to celebrate – Decide which color of gum drop is your favorite. Learn how to make your own gum drops. Invent a new type of candy.

December 22nd National Date Nut Bread Day

So if you were trying to figure out how to pass your morning, or your afternoon, or both… why not make some date bread. Most people like date bread, even if it doesn’t make it to the top of their list it is generally there somewhere. There seems to be a little doubt as to whether today should be celebrate on December 22nd or September 8th. Who cares!?! Make it both days! Interestingly, when I looked up simple recipes it said it contains nuts and sugar. Well duh, but I think it requires a bit more than that. There are a lot of recipes on line so it should be easy enough to find one you like.

How to celebrate – Make some date nut bread. Make several loaves so you have it handy for the holidays. Make up your own recipe and share it with the world.

December 19th Hard Candy Day

Hard Candy has been with us for years, though originally it was only available to the wealthy and privileged. It is simple enough to make, simply put it is 100% sugar boiled at 320 degrees F and then poured into molds allowing it to dry into what ever shape the mold is made of, and adding whatever flavors and colors you want to add.

The very first known hard candies to be made were lemon drops, and they are still popular today. Obviously the original recipe called for sugar and lemon juice, and that was about it. Over the years we have learned to add all sorts of flavoring to candy making it available in nearly any flavor you can imagine.

Peppermint came next and has been a favorite particularly around the holidays in shapes of candy canes and peppermint fluff balls. Until the late 17th century, the candies were too expensive for the everyday person. As sugar became less expensive the price of the candy dropped, making it affordable to nearly anyone. It actually probably made life better for the nearly 400 companies that opened producing candy, expanding the industry by leaps and bounds.

For years Werther’s Originals led the list of candies as the most popular, and also earning the highest paycheck. In 2015, Jolly Rancher took the crown away from Werther’s. Other popular hard candies include, Dum Dums, Life Savers, Tootsie Roll Pops, and Charms Blow Pops. In Japan it is now very popular to put insects inside the hard candy giving you something to look at while enjoying the tasty treat.

How to celebrate – Find your favorite hard candy and enjoy it. Buy, or make, some molds and try making your own candy (be careful though as the boiling sugar is very sticky and can burn really, really badly). Make sure you leave a candy bowl out during the holidays.

December 7th National Cotton Candy Day

Often called Fairy Floss (Floss being sugar) cotton candy has become an American favorite ever since William Morrison and John C. Wharton who invented the cotton candy machine in 1899. It took off at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and has been a part of every kind of American fair since then. The melt in your mouth, sticky candy on a cone remains one of America’s favorite treats even more than a hundred years later.

How to celebrate – Have some cotton candy. Get your own cotton candy machine. Go to a fair. (If you can find one)

July 9th National Sugar Cookie Day

Something so simple but so rewarding, so comforting, so enjoyable. Who doesn’t like a sugar cookie? Okay, well there are some of you who don’t but most of us do. That and a glass of milk make for the perfect treat. They work for nearly every holiday, can come in any color, shape or size and nearly always bring a smile to one’s face. There is also nothing like walking into a house where sugar cookies are being baked, the scent fills the air and can change a sour mood into a good mood almost instantly. Maybe what the world needs now is a huge sugar cookie that everyone can enjoy.

How to celebrate – Bake some sugar cookies. Throw a sugar cookie party. Share some sugar cookies with your neighbors (keeping in mind social distancing, of course 😁)

April 22nd National Jelly Bean Day

Who doesn’t like jelly beans!?! Nearly everyone can find a flavor they like, altough there are some jelly beans specifically made for nobody to like these days. No one knows exactly where jelly beans came from, they just seem to have started to appear during the American Civil War as Union soldiers began receiving them, which would make one think they came from someone’s home. That would have been in the 1860’s and perhaps they were around before that as well, but if they were, we have no proof of it. Jelly beans are sort of like potato chips, it’s hard to eat just one!

How to celebrate – Have some jelly beans. Invent your own new flavor of jelly bean. Learn how to make your own jelly beans.

July 9th National Sugar Cookie Day

Don’t you love the smell of cookies baking in your home? And it seems that the easiest cookie to make is the sugar cookie. The sugar cookie has been with us for a long long time. It may be one of the oldest cookies known to mankind. Since we learned how to cookie dough and add sugar to it we have had the sugar cookie. And sometimes, the less complicated the better. Now we all realize the joy of cookies in the oven at Christmas time but why not have them during the summer as well? After-all, we celebrate Christmas in July so why not cookies in July as well! I think Julius Caesar would approve and after all, July is named for him so who would have more say?

How to celebrate – Bake some cookies today. Buy some sugar cookies. Celebrate Christmas in July.

July 21st National Junk Food Day

So with all the new trend of trying to eat healthy, we all need that occasional “fix” of junk food. There are only so many salads and stalks of vegetables one can eat before they reach out for something that satisfies that taste for… junk!

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It’s hard to say when junk food began. People didn’t use to have access to tons of sugar and other items that weren’t good for them until fairly recently in mankind’s history. Naturally we made up for it fast though! We eat french fries and chips by the ton, knowing they aren’t good for us but still, we can’t resist them.

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The thing is, when junk food did become a part of our diet, we began craving it. Eat salt and your body wants more, eat sugar and your body wants more. But it’s primarily mental, not as much physical.

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So we eat whatever it is we crave and then we feel guilty about it. But  not today. Today we can eat junk food because it’s Junk Food Day! And it’s National!

How to celebrate – Eat your favorite junk food! Try some junk food you have never tried before. Enjoy a good sugar rush!