Black Cats, Potatoes, and American Beer

October 27, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning ebony feline aficionados. Today is Wednesday, October 27, 2021. October 27th is the 300th day of the year, and 65 days remain.

Black Cat Day

Black Cat Day is celebrated each year on October 27th. You don’t need to be an ailurophile to deduce that, for better or worse, this holiday celebrates the oft-maligned black cat.
If you are a regular reader of my posts, you already know that there are a number of feline-related holidays each year – including at least one more holiday related specifically to black cats. Halloween is nigh upon us, and black cats are still considered by some to be harbingers of bad luck or misfortune. In religion-centric cultures, people often fear anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and, along with many other superstitions, black cats somehow became associated witches and demons, and were thought to be the vessels they used to do their evil. Often, it was common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets and even kill the animals themselves. Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, black cats are still often seen as mischievous or unlucky.
Despite the information in the paragraph above, there are some cultures that actually revered black cats. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen an omen of good luck. Cats in ancient Egypt, regardless of color, were highly regarded, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in gold jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.
With all of that said, black cats still seem to be the last ones chosen for adoption in animal shelters and far too many are euthanized. That’s a shame, because speaking from personal experience, black cats make wonderful pets.
If you don’t want to celebrate Black Cat Day by adopting a black cat today, at least consider making a small donation to your local no-kill animal shelter. It can help countless felines, and put you in good graces with the cats of this world — You know, just in case they really are the spawn of Satan.

National Potato Day

National Potato Day is celebrated annually on October 27th. As you can easily infer from its name, this holiday celebrates potatoes. While there are a number of other potato-related holidays throughout the year, no matter, I like “spuds” of all types, prepared in a variety of ways, so I’m always up for one more “potato” holiday.
There are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes worldwide. They can be classified into three main groups: waxy, floury, and all-purpose.
Waxy varieties include fingerlings, red jacket, new and white round potatoes. They have more moisture and less starch. The lower starch level enables them to hold their shape well during cooking.  When boiled, steamed or roasted, waxy potatoes come out firm and moist—the ideal consistency for potato salad.
Floury varieties include the iconic Idaho, russet, and russet Burbank (there are many varieties of russet potato)—russets are a variation bred to be harvested in the warmer months; Idaho potatoes are harvested in the cooler months. They are lower in moisture (drier) and high in starch. Due to their low sugar content, they tend to fall apart when boiled. Floury potatoes do not hold their shape well after cooking—think of the crumbly texture of a baked potato. That’s why floury/starchy potatoes are easier to mash. Also use them for deep-frying  (French fries, potato pancakes).
All-purpose varieties include Katahdin (named after the highest mountain in Maine), Kennebec (a leading chipping potato), purple Peruvian, yellow Finn and Yukon gold. They combine the characteristics of both waxy and floury potatoes, so can be used for any purpose.
To celebrate National Potato Day, simply enjoy some potatoes today. Hash Browns for breakfast? French Fries for Lunch? Baked, mashed, or au gratin potatoes for dinner? Potato chips for a snack? The variety of potato and the style of cooking are your choice.

American Beer Day

American Beer Day is observed annually on October 27th. You don’t need to be a master brewer to ascertain this holiday celebrates American beer – the most popular alcoholic drink in the United States.
Over 2,500 breweries produce more than 6.5 billion gallons annually. American breweries range in size from large, well-known national brands, to regional beers, brewpubs, microbreweries, and increasingly popular craft breweries.
American beer is produced in a variety of styles, including pale lager, brown ale, IPA, porter, and stout.
There is but one way to celebrate American Beer Day. Simply enjoy one (or more)* of your preferred brand of domestic beer.
*Always drink responsibly.
Listed below are some other “American beer” factoids:

  • Americans drink more than 50 billion pints of beer each year — that’s 156 pints for every person (man, woman, and child) in America – enough to fill 1 out of every 25 residential in-ground pools in the United States.
  • Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
  • After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
  • In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
  • The majority of the new breweries in the United States are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
  • The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
  • Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980’s, produce a range of styles.
  • Beer styles originating in the United States include American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that deserve mention. 

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