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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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October (2012) Fun Food Holidays

In my neck of the words, the leaves are turning, the first hints of frost are in the air, and everything is all Fall-ish. It's the time of year to start thinking about hot chocolate and hot cider and pumpkin pie – and pickled peppers?

Yep. October is National Pickled Peppers Month, so if you run into Peter Piper, get him to pick you a peck. October also celebrates a great number of my favorite foods. The thirty-one day period that was the eighth month until Julius Caesar downgraded it to tenth is also National Pasta Month, National Pizza Festival Month, National Popcorn Poppin' Month, National Apple Month, National Caramel Month, National Pretzel Month, National Cookie Month, National Dessert Month, National Seafood Month, National Chili Month, and, not to be forgotten, National Vegetarian Awareness Month.

It's also National Pork Month and Eat Country Ham Month. And I have discovered the best place in the world to help you celebrate those events. It's a little out-of-the-way stop in Madisonville, Tennessee called “Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams” and I promise you will never put anything better in your mouth. You can get there from here:

Week-wise, the month starts out by celebrating chili for the first week and beer for the second week. Pickled peppers are on point the third week of October.

The second Thursday and the second Friday – that would be the 11th and 12th this year – are National Dessert Day and World Egg Day, respectively.

As for the other days of the month, it's a good thing there are thirty-one of them or we might run out.

Right out of the box, we are encouraged to encourage our vegetarian friends on the 1st, World Vegetarian Day. Pudding season begins on October 1, and it's also Homemade Cookies Day, a day I heartily encourage.

Fried scallops are noted on the 2nd and the 3rd is reserved for caramel custard.

National Taco Day hits on the 4th along with National Vodka Day. Hmmm....tacos and vodka.

Apple Betty –sometimes known as Apple Brown Betty – gets a day on the 5th. Noodle around with noodles on the 6th. Enjoy frappe on the 7th and have a fluffernutter on National Fluffernutter Day, October 8. (What's a “fluffernutter,” you ask. Go look it up. I had to.) If you like pierogi, they share the day with the fluffernutters.

How'd you like to observe Moldy Cheese Day on the 9th? Yes, I'm serious. No, I don't know why. Fortunately, the 9th also celebrates a wonderful sandwich, the submarine sandwich – or sub or hoagie or gyro or hero or grinder – take your pick. Just leave the moldy cheese off mine.

How about some dessert? National Angel Food Cake Day is October 10.

We feted cheese pizza last month. Sausage pizza gets its day in October and its day is the 11th.

Gumbo fans, rejoice. Your day is the 12th and Yorkshire pudding eaters get bragging rights on the 13th.

A month that celebrates moldy cheese is an obvious choice for National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day, so go dip a grasshopper in Hershey's syrup and chow down on the 14th.

If you're still hungry on the 15th, you're in for a fowl day; both chicken cacciatore and roast pheasant are in vogue on that day.

On a slightly more serious note, October 16 is World Food Day, a day set aside to increase awareness of world hunger and year-around efforts to alleviate it. Learn more at

Do you know how many varieties of pasta there are? I don't either, but I'll do my best to discover as many as possible on National Pasta Day, October 17. Unfortunately, that means I won't have time to take part in Four Prunes Day, so somebody else can have my portion. (Why four prunes instead of six or eight or a dozen? I don't know – but I can speculate.)

You can't, however, have my chocolate cupcakes. I'll be sufficiently recovered by the 18th to take care of my own – and any of yours that you might have left over – on National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

Have a little seafood bisque on the 19th and some brandied fruit on the 20th.

The 21st is a double-dip day; pumpkin cheesecake and caramel apples are both foods of the day.

National Nut Day happens on the 22. I would imagine this relates to food rather than to mental health, but I'm prepared either way.

The luscious confection with a slight identity crisis, Boston Cream Pie, has its day on the 23. See, it's really not a pie at all, but a pudding and cake combo created at Boston's Parker House Hotel. (Yes, the same place that gave the world Parker House rolls.) I don't care if you call it a fluffernutter as long as you save me some.

If you've ever been told you're full of bologna, have I got a day for you! It's October 24, National Bologna Day. That day is also Good and Plenty Day. I'm a big fan of the candy-coated little chewy licorice treats, but I'd be leery of eating them with bologna.

October 25 is National Greasy Foods Day. You mean they have a day for that?

How about pumpkins, pretzels and mince-meat pie? All have their day on the 26th.

Potatoes and beer go together like –well, potatoes and beer, but you can consume both on their shared day, October 27. Hmmm....French fries are potatoes, right?

Women of the world, take note: October 28 is National Chocolate Day. Again, there's a day for that?

National Oatmeal day warms up October 29.

Just in time for Halloween, it's National Candy Corn Day on the 30th. That's also National Buy a Doughnut Day. As opposed to what, National Steal a Doughnut Day?

And of course it wouldn't feel like fall without candy apples, so enjoy one (or two) on National Candy Apple Day, October 31.

And you don't really need to be reminded what else happens on October 31, do you? I always felt ripped off when I got popcorn balls or homemade cookies on Halloween, didn't you?

Anyway, that should hold everybody until the big November feasts. Enjoy the month!

Mangiare, Bere, e Divertirsi!

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