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The View from My Kitchen

Benvenuti! I hope you enjoy il panorama dalla mia cucina Italiana -- "the view from my Italian kitchen,"-- where I indulge my passion for Italian food and cooking. From here, I share some thoughts and ideas on food, as well as recipes and restaurant reviews, notes on travel, and a few garnishes from a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

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Grazie mille!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Fun Food Holidays

Halloween is gone and the big food holidays are upon us. Everybody knows about the glutton-fest that happens on the fourth Thursday of November, the 24th this year, but what about food happenings on the other days of the Gregorian calendar's penultimate month? Glad you asked.

If you love peanut butter, have I got a month for you; November is indeed National Peanut Butter Lover's Month. It's also a month for aficionados of Georgia pecans, raisin bread, pomegranates, and peppers. November is National Good Nutrition Month, and, oddly enough considering all the celebration of turkey, ham, and a variety of dishes made with eggs, milk, and other dairy products that will be occurring near the end of the month, November is also Vegan Month. Go figure.

The first week of November is National Fig Week. And some widely varied comestibles also occupy the inaugural week of the month. Fried clams and vinegar are both honored on November 1, although probably not together. Deviled eggs, sandwiches, candy, and doughnuts each claim national recognition on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively.

Nachos are in the spotlight on November 6 and bittersweet chocolate with almonds – make sure it's with almonds – takes the day on the 7th.

Start the next week with a cappuccino on Monday, November 8. Or you may prefer a Harvey Wallbanger. No, I'm not kidding. The cocktail that is basically a Screwdriver with a half-shot of the Italian liqueur Galliano shares a day with the popular Italian coffee creation, cappuccino.

I'd go for the Harvey Wallbanger because the following day, November 9, is National Scrapple Day. If you've never enjoyed pig fat, pig hearts, pig livers, pig skin, flour, cornmeal, and spices all mushed up together and compressed into a loaf, then you've never enjoyed scrapple. I know I've never enjoyed scrapple. I may opt to celebrate the day's companion occasion, National Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day. Although scrapple seems to fit the bill there, too. I may just sleep in that day.

I'll be awake, though, for National Vanilla Cupcake Day on November 10 and I'll stay up for National Sundae Day on the 11th.

National Pizza With Everything Except Anchovies Day – I'm serious – is November 12th.

If you're a fan of British-style puddings served in a traditional New England fashion, then you'll enjoy November 13, National Indian Pudding Day. No, it doesn't make sense to me either.

How about guacamole and pickles? Both are celebrated on November 14. Again, probably not together.

National Raisin Bran Cereal Day happens on November 15.

Now, help me understand this one: November 16 – right smack in the middle of National Good Nutrition Month – is National Fast Food Day. Things that make you go “hmmmmm.”

Homemade bread and baklava share the day on November 17.

Nothing warms a late autumn day like a bowl of cold potato and leek soup. I guess that's why National Vichyssoise Day is celebrated on November 18.

Here's an occasion I can get behind; November 19 is National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day. As a non-coffee drinker, I imbibe my caffeine cold every day, but it's nice to know that my habit has an actual holiday dedicated to it.

Peanut butter fudge and gingerbread get back-to-back days on the 20th and 21st.

Don't eschew the cashew on its holiday, November 22.

Cappuccino and Harvey Wallbangers got to share a day earlier in the month, so somebody apparently decided that espresso and cranberries were a good match. National Espresso Day and National Eat a Cranberry Day are both slated for November 23.

Now, we've already established that Thanksgiving is November 24, right? However, if you aren't into the whole turkey and mashed potatoes thing, you can still celebrate a food holiday; National Sardines Day is also November 24.

You might think that turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey casserole, etc. would be filling the remaining days of November, but no. The whole rest of the month is dedicated to desserts. Parfaits are preferred on the 25th, cake – no particular kind – takes the cake on the 26th. The 27th belongs to Bavarian Cream Pie. French toast is featured on the 28th. (Okay, so its not a dessert, but with a little cinnamon-sugar added, it could be.) Chocolates and lemon cream pie split the day on the 29th. And the month wraps up with a salute to foam in the form of National Mousse Day on November 30.

Ready for fruit cake and egg nog month? Just wait until December rolls around.

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