Potions, Fad Diets, Tin Cans, Quark, and Popcorn

January 19, 2021 at 11:44 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning Shamans. Today is Tuesday, January 19, 2021. It is the 19th day of the year, and 346 days remain.

Brew A Potion Day 

Brew A Potion Day is celebrated annually on January 19th. As you can discern from its name, it urges us to brew some sort of potion today. My research did not find the creator or the origin of this day, or for that matter, the reason for this holiday, or why it is celebrated in January, and specifically on the 19th. But, it was listed in some of my sources today.
Wikipedia tells us that; “A potion (from the Latin potionis, meaning beverage, potion, poison) is a consumable medicine or poison, usually thought to possess magical properties.” In mythology, a potion is a” concoction used to heal, bewitch or poison people, made by a magician, sorcerer or witch.”
During the 19th Century, it was common in several countries to see wandering charlatans offering potions to heal every disease, ache, or pain known to mankind. These “snake-oil salesmen” over time gained rightly fell into disrepute and modern medicine has essentially put an end to these quacks. But, from time to time on the internet, you can still find “miracle cures” for a number of ailments, most of which are bogus.
If you intend to celebrate Brew A Potion Day, I suggest that the only potion that you brew today be your morning cup of coffee or tea. To many, coffee or tea fits the definition of a potion – in that, it is consumable and possesses magical properties. 

Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day 

Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day is celebrated annually on the third Tuesday in January. This holiday was created to warn people about the many far-fetched and ill-advised methods of losing weight. The Task Force on Weight Loss Abuse for the National Council Against Health Fraud maintains an extensive collection of questionable products and bizarre gadgets that Americans have used in their “battle of the bulge.”
Have you ever heard of “The Cotton Ball Diet”? How about “The Tongue Patch Diet”? Both of these actually existed at one time or another, and both were as ridiculous as they sound. The first one suggested that one soak cotton balls in juice and ingests them. The objective was to feel full without actually consuming real food. However, the risks, such as a blockage in the digestive system…which could necessitate surgery, far outweighed the benefit. The second was a gimmick apparatus that was constructed of plastic and attached to the tongue making it difficult, and painful to chew; which meant that the only possible means of sustenance for the user would have to be in liquid form.
Fad diets refer to unconventional methods of weight loss and usually promote short-term results, and usually have no concern for long-term weight control. They become popular very quickly and disappear just as fast. In general, fad diets disregard or try to refute what has been proven by the medical community to be effective, or by disregarding the basic association between dietary patterns and human health. Extreme fad diets may even be unhealthy because they don’t provide the necessary protein, vitamins, and minerals essential in a balanced diet.
Listed below are some ways to spot a “fad diet.”
Does it:

  1. Recommend a quick fix solution.
  2. Sound too good to be true.
  3. Make recommendations based on a single study.
  4. Draw simple conclusions from a complex study.
  5. Make recommendations that ignore the differences between people.
  6. Require you to buy a specific product only available from them.
  7. Eliminate one or more of the food groups.
  8. Claim dramatic results that are questioned by established scientific communities.

If any of the above is true, then it’s probably a fad or gimmick diet. Let’s face it, the only sure way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume each day. So, if you need to lose a little weight, celebrate Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day by consulting with your doctor about legitimate means of weight loss.

Tin Can Day

Tin Can Day is celebrated annually on January 19th. It commemorates the date in 1810 that English Peter Durand received a patent for the tin can. This holiday also celebrates the contribution of the tin can to the storage and preservation of perishable food.
Mr. Durand never actually produced any food cans himself but sold his patent to fellow Englishmen, Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who set up a commercial canning factory, By 1813 they were producing their first canned goods for the British Army.
Tin cans are not actually made of tin, but rather tin-coated steel or tinplate. These days, aluminum and other metals may also be used to make cans. Cans can be used to hold a wide variety of items – but the overwhelming majority hold preserved food products and liquids.
To celebrate Tin Can Day, look around your home and see how many different ways cans are used. How many are actually made from tin or tinplate?
Author’s Note
The can opener wasn’t invented until nearly 60 years after the tin can. In fact, the manufacturer’s of the earliest tin cans recommended a hammer and chisel as the recommended means of opening their products.

World Quark Day

World Quark Day is a relatively new addition to the holiday calendar having first been celebrated for the first time in 2019. It celebrated annually on January 19th. Inexplicably, it celebrates quark (more on that later).
Before I tell you what quark is, I will tell you what it is not. Quark is not the sound a pirate makes while doing an imitation of a duck [or vise versa].
Quark is a European superfood staking its claim on supermarket shelves around the world. Quark is a delicious, high-protein, low-fat dairy product used as an alternative to soft cheese, sour cream, and yogurt. It is made by warming sour milk until it curdles, and then straining it. Low in carbohydrates and sodium, but high in protein, quark is often flavored with herbs, spices, and fruit. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes — in baking, cooking, and blending. It can be used as a substitute for dairy in everything from cheesecake to cheesy pancakes, to a filling for pierogies.
Quark is more popular in Europe than anywhere else. There, it has even been used in beauty and therapeutic treatments. It is most prevalent in countries where German and Dutch are spoken, in Slavic countries, and in Scandinavia. Throughout most of Europe, quark is sold in plastic tubs with one of three levels of fat content – being labeled as skimmed quark, regular quark, or creamy quark.
I do not know if quark is readily available here in America (I’ve never heard of it before). Your best chance of finding it would probably be in a German, or other European, specialty market. But, if you can find some, celebrate World Quark Day by trying it today. You could do some research online for recipes that use quark.

National Popcorn Day 

National Popcorn Day is celebrated annually on January 19th. As you can easily surmise, it celebrates popcorn – one of America’s favorite snack foods.
Americans eat about 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year (about 51 quarts per person), making it one of the most popular snacks in the country. Popcorn is one of six main varieties of corn. (The other varieties are pod, sweet, flour, dent, and flint.)
Popcorn is also one of the oldest snacks. It has been around for thousands of years. Popcorn originated in Mexico but eventually made its way north. In 1948, archaeologists in the state of New Mexico discovered ancient popcorn ears that were at least 5,600 years old. The Native Americans (in both North and South America) popped their corn by throwing it on hot stones over a fire.
Popcorn is a delicious, inexpensive, and healthy snack – unless you buy it at a movie theater or you slather it with butter and salt. A simple food, popcorn is an international staple for movie-goers everywhere. Sweet, salted, buttery of drizzled with toffee, it can range from healthy to sickeningly sweet. Beyond food, popcorn is sometimes used as decoration, or even as cheap packaging material.
Listed below are a few other fun facts about popcorn:

  • Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. That’s 51 quarts per man, woman, and child. {Author’s note: Who the heck is eating all this popcorn? I might have it 5 or 6 times a year}.
  • Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.
  • Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
  • Popcorn is the only variety of corn that pops when exposed to heat.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also known as the hull).
  • Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
  • Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that it has a thicker pericarp/hull. The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.
  • Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri.
  • Many people believe the acres of corn they see in the Midwest during the growing season could be picked and eaten for dinner, or dried and popped. In fact, those acres are typically field corn, which is used largely for livestock feed and differs from both sweet corn and popcorn.
  • The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall.
  • Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it’s popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn’t crumble.
  • Popping popcorn is among one of the most frequently used ways people use their microwave ovens. Most microwave ovens have a “popcorn” control button.
  • “Popability” is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.
  • There is no such thing as “hull-less” popcorn. All popcorn needs a hull in order to pop. Some varieties of popcorn have been bred so the hull shatters upon popping, making it appear to be hull-less.
  • How high can popcorn kernels pop? Up to 3 feet in the air.
  • The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February 2009.  It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.
  • If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels.

Logically, the best way to celebrate National Popcorn Day is to simply pop some popcorn today. You are the arbiter of how healthy [or unhealthy] you want to make it.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

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