Hiking, Electronic Greeting Cards, Butter, Homemade Bread, and Baklava

November 17, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning bipedal travelers. Today is Wednesday, November 17, 2021. November 17th is the 321st day of the year, and 44 days remain.

National Take a Hike Day 

National Take a Hike Day is celebrated each year on November 17th. You don’t need to be a nature freak, or a freak of nature to determine that this holiday seeks to raise awareness of the many health benefits of hiking. Dictionary.com defines a hike as a walk or a march of a great distance, especially through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Hiking is an excellent way to get exercise and get into shape. Hikes are usually taken in the woods, hills, mountains, or somewhere else in a natural setting. Hikes not only give you exercise, they also provide scenic sites and vistas, which are also good for relaxation of the mind and soul.
Hiking can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower the risk of some forms of cancer, decrease cholesterol levels, reduce depression and stress. Hiking have also been shown to help prevent diabetes, alleviate arthritis and improve bone health, and, in general, tone up one’s body. And, the best part is that hiking is free of charge for the most part, and almost anyone can do it.
So, if someone tells you to “take a hike” today, don’t get angry at them, just thank them for their suggestion. Then, celebrate National Take a Hike Day, by simply taking the first step, followed by another, then another, then another…

Electronic Greeting Card Day 

Electronic Greeting Card Day is celebrated annually on November 17th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates electronic greeting cards – greeting cards that are sent via email, instant messages, or other means via the internet. Although no documentation exists, I am almost certain that this holiday was created one or more of the Electronic Greeting Card websites.
Christmas Card season is nigh upon us and it is time for us to decide to whom we are going to send a card this year. Did ___ send me a card last year? Do I really know ___ well enough to send them a card? How do you decide who gets a personal greeting card, and who doesn’t warrant the time and effort it takes to select a personalized card?
Like it or not, Electronic Greeting Cards are a fact of life today. Little effort is required to send an E-card. All you need to do is visit one of the myriad E-card websites, select an appropriate card, choose a recipient, write your message, click “send”, and within milliseconds, the card arrives in their e-mail inbox – and, as a bonus, many e-cards are free.
I’m on the fence about e-cards myself. While electronic greeting cards are convenient for the sender, they lack that “personal touch” that you get with a physical paper card. There is something special about receiving a card in the mail that someone has taken the time to select specifically for you, often with a hand-written a personal message to you inscribed on the inside. So, to sum up, using electronic greeting cards is a matter of personal choice. If you want to celebrate Electronic Greeting Card Day, send some to a few of your friends today. If they are just a casual acquaintance, then perhaps an electronic greeting card is appropriate and they won’t be offended. However, in my opinion, if you really care about the person, you will take the time to select the perfect and most appropriate paper card and mail it to them.

National Butter Day 

National Butter Day is celebrated each year on November 17th. You needn’t be clairvoyant to conclude that this holiday celebrates butter – a world-renowned churned dairy product with myriad uses. This holiday is brand new to the holiday calendar, being celebrated for the first time in 2021. It was created by Dinner Bell Creamery® to celebrate butter – its many uses, and its long history.
Few ingredients add more flavor and texture to a dish [or meal] than butter. Butter has existed for thousands of years. According to legend, butter was discovered by accident some 9,000 years ago when a Persian goatherder transported milk in animal-skin pouches along a bumpy road. As the milk sloshed back and forth in the pouches it was churned into butter. And the rest, as they say, is history.
As recently as the first half of the last century, butter was made at home, and the butter churn was an essential tool in most kitchens. Today, however, butter is produced commercially, and the United States makes some of the best butter in the world – much of it produced by big dairies in the Midwest.  Butter can be purchased almost anywhere food is sold.
Butter can be used in simple and complex ways – spread a pat of butter on warm toast for an instant hit of flavor and texture or use it to create the light, flaky layers in a croissant. It also keeps meats tender while roasting. Butter is the crucial ingredient in mouthwatering sauces, rich cookies, creamy mashed potatoes, hearty casseroles, and so many more dishes.
The average American eats 6.3 pounds, or about 25 sticks, of butter every year, but American’s aren’t the only ones who enjoy butter. Butter is used worldwide in every culture and cuisine to enhance and enrich their recipes.
To celebrate National Butter Day, simply enjoy some butter today. Bake a batch of buttery cookies, or, mix some herbs together with some butter to make a ‘compound butter’ to put on your steak or chops – or better yet, simply slather some butter on some warm homemade bread [see next segment of this post] and celebrate two holidays in one.

Homemade Bread Day 

Homemade Bread Day is celebrated annually on November 17th. As you can readily infer from its name, this holiday celebrates homemade bread – a worldwide favorite baked accompaniment to any meal.
Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through your home. For millennia, baking fresh bread was a part of the daily routine for most families. Estimates date it’s origin back to between 5000 and 10,000 B.C.
Modern day lifestyles have relegated homemade bread to the world of specialty baking and holiday baking. People just don’t seem to have time [or the inclination] to bake homemade bread anymore. We turn to a quick trip to bakeries and grocery stores, for our bread needs.
Today, homemade bread making has been simplified by the invention of the bread making machine.  This appliance was first released in Japan in 1986. Since then, its popularity has spread worldwide.
Although it’s time-consuming, you still have time to bake a loaf of bread for dinner tonight in celebration of Homemade Bread Day. Find a recipe for your favorite type of bread and try your hand at some old-fashioned homemade bread baking. To steal a phrase from a Pillsbury commercial a few decades ago, “Nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven” – and, what better “somethin’ from the oven” than a loaf or two of freshly baked homemade bread? Don’t forget to slather it with plenty of butter [see the segment above].

National Baklava Day 

National Baklava Day is celebrated each year on November 17th. You don’t need to be a pâtissier to ascertain that this holiday celebrates one of the world’s favorite Greek pastries – baklava.
Baklava is a rich sweet dessert of layered pastry dough, butter, citrus, honey and chopped nuts. It originated around 800 B.C. in northern Mesopotamia when the Assyrians layered very thin pieces of dough with nuts and honey and baked them in wood-burning ovens. Phyllo dough, the leaf-thin layers of dough used to make baklava today; was created by Athenian artisan bakers around 300 B.C. Baklava spread quickly throughout the Middle East, and sailors helped spread it around the rest of the world, with each country adapting the recipe to suit its taste. German “strudel” was adapted from baklava.
To celebrate National Baklava Day, simply have some baklava today. Remember it’s a rich dessert, so a little goes a long way.
Author’s Note:
Please don’t confuse baklava with a balaclava. A balaclava is a full head mask originally designed to protect the wearer from the cold – but now often worn by ne’er-do-wells to hide their identity during a heist, or other nefarious activity. Although suitable for its intended purpose, [a balaclava is a type of ski mask], a balaclava is not nearly as tasty as baklava – and this is, after all, a food-related holiday. I guess though, that if you’re strapped for cash, you could use your balaclava to hide your identity while rob a bakery to obtain some baklava for your celebration — Or not. 

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

 

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