We are in the throes of Mardi Gras season, which started officially on Jan. 6, the birthday of St. Joan of Arc, France’s patron saint. The date also celebrates the Feast of The Three Kings, the Epiphany. New Orleans kick starts its Carnival on this date each year with a parade, its first of the season. Merrymaking continues and culminates with the festivities this year on Feb. 17 - Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, aka Shrove Tuesday, the final day of Carnival.
I live in a house with guys who appreciate good, homemade pies, especially at Thanksgiving time. And I appreciate their appreciation. Instant gratification, for a cook, is an empty pie plate. It’s thankfulness come full circle.
If you happened to be listening to Red Barber’s radio commentary one night back in 1943, you’d know that the term “rhubarb” is baseball slang for a heated argument on the ball field. It seems that Barber, the announcer for what were then the Brooklyn Dodgers, learned of the term from two sports reporters who had been speaking with a Brooklyn bartender. The bartender had described a barroom argument over baseball where a Brooklyn fan shot a Giants fan as a “rhubarb.” From the baseball field to the farmer’s field, rhubarb is one of Mother Nature’s first gifts of the growing season. You can also grow rhubarb in your garden, but it takes a few years to become established before you can pick it.
Ask any boss who doesn’t have one. I bet he will tell you that a good administrative professional nowadays is hard to find. But so is a good muffin. Today is Administrative Professionals Day, a day set aside especially to remember your hardworking assistant. Bake something special!
Although Dunkin’ Donuts probably supplied the vast majority of morning nourishment at many of the polling places around Philadelphia yesterday, way back in the day, it was the local women who baked for the festivities that transpired on Election Day. Since 1771, the Election Day Cake was baked to give strength to the people who had traveled into the polling town to cast their votes and to socialize. With no computers to quickly tabulate results, there was a lot of snacking done through the night as the votes were counted.