Category Archives: Spanish drinking toast

Unique December Facts


“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The good news is December has been declared Bingo Celebration

Month! I used to love it when my family would play this, with

guests. Sometimes my cousins, sometimes neighbors, we would

be out on the picnic table with our chips and our Dad would be

the one to spin the wire caged wheel and pull out the wooden

balls with the letters, “B,I,N,G” or “O.”

Did you know this is an ‘ancient’ game? It has been around since

the 1500’s.

I used to love being the “Caller” for Bingo at the Arbors Nursing Home,

while my residents were always happy to call out, “Bingo!” The young

volunteers would run over and give them their quarter. When the whole

card got filled, we would start all over again. The reward for a filled card

was one dollar bill. This was a big exciting reward to the folks who lived



On a much more solemn note, December 16, 1944 was the day the big

“Battle of the Bulge” was carried out.


The Official End of WWII was on December 31, 1946.

Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.


Did you know every day of the month has a food item?


DECEMBER DAYS OF FOOD (Beverage or Other):

Dec. 1- National Pie Day.

Eat A Red Apple Day.


Dec. 2- National Apple Pie Day.


Dec. 4- National Cookie Day.

(Every day is this one for me! smiles)


Dec. 5- Repeal Day ~ Prohibition Day (U.S.).

National Sacher Torte Day.

(In Vienna, Austria a man named Franz Sacher created this

delicious chocolate, light cake or torte, in 1832.)


Dec. 6- National Gazpacho Day.

(Associated with Andalusia, part of Spain, but its roots go back

into Arab and other ancient times. Cold, savory soup, made of

raw vegetables.)

Also, National Microwave Oven Day.

(I do appreciate this electronic invention.)


Dec. 7- National Cotton Candy Day.

(Why is this in our winter? Is this for places who have fairs and

festivals in December?)


Dec. 8- National Chocolate Brownie Day.

Dec. 9- National Pastry Day.

Dec. 10- National Lager Day.


Dec. 11- National Noodle Ring Day.

(This is hard to find its roots, but mainly described as

a circle of noodles with a cheese incorporated into it,

attributed to Germany.)


Dec. 12- National Cocoa Day.


Dec. 13- National Ice Cream Day.

(Why, again, are we eating ice cream in the cold weather?

This must be made up by people in warmer climates.

Also, National Violins Day.


Dec. 14- National Bouillabaisse Day.

(I enjoy this savory, warm soup. It originated from fishing

villages in France. Marseilles may have been its first place

of origin, with three kinds of fish and Provencal seasonings.)


Dec. 15- National Cupcake Day.


**Dec. 16- National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!!**

Woo hoo!


Dec. 17- National Maple Syrup Day.

(This would be the perfect day or excuse to make pancakes

or waffles!)


Dec. 18- National Suckling Pig Day.

(This comes from mainly Chinese cuisine, but there are some

references going back to Roman times. This is a very young

pig, which has a lot of collagen in its skin, hard to ‘crisp up,’

while it is considered a delicacy.)


Dec. 19- National Hard Candy.

(What is your favorite hard candy?

My Dad’s was either horehound or cinnamon drops.

Mom’s was butterscotch drops. My favorite flavor is found in

either the caramel flavored Nips or Werther’s candies.)


Dec. 20- National Fried Shrimp Day.

(This makes me think of Louisiana cooking with crawdads or

prawns. This would be prepared as Shrimp Creole. I enjoy

the butter sauce with garlic infusion:  Shrimp Scampi.)


Also on the 20th- National Sangria Day.


(You probably already know this is my Mom’s favorite wine

to sip on at bedtime, using a small juice glass. I have a

Spanish toast on another post…)


Dec. 21- National Hamburger Day.

Going from the red meat to fruit…

National Kiwi Fruit Day.


Dec. 22- National Date Nut Bread.


Dec. 23- National Pfeffernuesse Day.

(This traditional German spice cookie covered with powdered

confectioner’s sugar is one that takes me back to my Grandma’s

kitchen. It reminds me of the flavors of gingerbread cookies.)


Dec. 24- National Feast of the Seven Fishes.

(This comes from Italy, which celebrates the Wait or Vigil for

the Baby Jesus, by serving fish from the Mediterranean Sea.)


Also, National Egg Nog Day.

(I like this use of nutmeg, heavy cream and Irish whiskey or

other alcohol. Mom likes the non-alcoholic milky drink from

United Dairy Farmers.)


Dec. 25- National Pumpkin Pie Day.

(Just in case you didn’t get enough of this holiday pie at



Dec. 26- National Candy Cane Day.

Dec. 27- National Fruit Cake Day.


Dec. 28- National Chocolate Candy Day.

(Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter also celebrate

this national holiday- just being ‘facetious.’)


Dec. 29- National Pepper Pot Soup Day.

(There are recipes for this Jamaican cuisine along

with one from Philadelphia.)


Dec. 30- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day,

(Thank you for this Baking Soda Day. I like to use this

special rising ingredient in many baked goods, but can

taste it the most in homemade biscuits.)


Dec. 31- National Champagne Day.

(Say a toast to “Auld Lang Syne”  and Happy New Year, 2015!)


The research on some of these food items is not complete, but I did

look up the ones I did not know where the foods originated in. If

you would like to share a favorite family traditional food item in the

comments section, we would enjoy hearing about them. Thank you!




Hot off my comments section. . . more hard cider ‘news!’


I heard from two partners and cider makers from the Mad Moon Craft Cidery.

Their names are Joshua and Peter. They were very kind to ask me to come on

down to participate in their Inaugural Batch bottling days! I wanted to share

with you, their newest flavors:


** Caramel Apple**

(Doesn’t that sound yummy?)



What a great creative combination of

ale (HOP) and cider:


*!* *!*  cHOPwired hopped cider  *!**!*


Of course, plenty of you enjoyed reading my post called, “Raise Your Glass to

Hard Cider!” but you may have not realized there is an open invitation to check

out this great destination place.

I am sure you may look up the Mad Moon Craft Cidery, to find out their hours,

along with contacting them to clear the way for a group visit. Meanwhile, I got

very excited to hear of the invitation but mentioned how busy I will be for the

next few weeks.


Here’s my Busy Schedule for which becomes my ‘excuse’ for lack of partying at

the Hard Cidery.

1. I will be working for two more weeks.


2. I will be heading North to see my Mom, from October 24th – November 2nd.

We have follow up appointments from my last visit’s three doctors, in July, ’14.


3. October 31st will be having fun at my Mom’s Senior Living apts. at their annual

Halloween Party, with apple cider, cinnamon and apple spice donuts and cupcakes.

We will wear some kind of combination of hats and bright attire. (Last year, I wore

my pumpkins shirt, Mom’s peach straw hat with silk flowers on it, she wore a black

velvet hat and a black and white striped shirt, which to her made her a “Zebra!”


4. November 1st, Mom will turn 86!



It is almost the weekend, I hope you have lots of wonderful plans and enjoy your

time. If you are in the mid-west, hope it isn’t too rainy and you can find some crisp

apples, crunchy leaves and imbide in a glass of hard cider!

Let me know if you are heading over to Mad Moon Craft Cidery, maybe I will clear

some time to join you!

A Spanish Toast


My mother still drinks either sangria or lambrusco in little juice

glasses every evening.  We have always said when we toast and clink

the glasses together,

“Salud, pesetas y amor, y tiempo a gustarlos.”

(To your health, money and love and time to enjoy them!)

I may have already mentioned this before in stories about my visits with

Mom! When talking at my lunch table, almost each coworker’s family

had a similar toast.

My mother had taught Spanish, World Lit and English so I was interested

in that language the most. I took 6 actual years of it in school and have

been watching Diego and Dora, along with Sesame Street through several

years.These shows keep me a little updated!

I met a woman at work who is named “Isabelle” and I told her I was

not too keen on Roberta (pardon me, if that is your name!) which would have

been my Spanish version of my name.

When asked by the teacher, “What is your middle name?” and I answered

“Elizabeth.” I found out “Isabel” is the Spanish equivalent. I love the name

Isabel! It comes out like this: “ees- uh-bail” but the last syllable is lightly

said, with a long A sound.

Elizabeth was John the Baptist’s mother in the Bible and sometimes it is

nice to think of her. I am glad that she was also visited by an Angel like

Mary was. If Jesus had not known John then there may not have been

the baptism that Christians value so much. But then again, maybe it would

have been something else symbolic but not so divisive. Have you met people

who ask “Are you BAPTIZED?” and then want to know how it was done.


I would like to say that the poem, “La Higuera” about a fig tree stands out

in my mind as very beautiful when spoken in Spanish. The Spanish author’s

name was (I believe) Pablo Neruda. Nope, Wikipedia says the poet is named

Juan de Ibarbourou. Each of my high school years, I would enter in a Spanish

declamation contest held on the campus of Kent State University. Each year,

I would choose a poem in Spanish, reading it in English to understand its

power and meaning. One year, I distinctly remember this poem about the

fig tree. I enjoyed looking at the photographs of fig trees in Encyclopedias

and now, this means so much more to me. I enjoyed learning to memorize

those haunting words. The bird poem, “Pajaro,” was one that had double

meaning, since birds can fly away to a better world, hoping for a better life.


I also am going to ramble one more direction and then close this little post.

I have two fellow workers at the Advance Auto Distribution Center who are

filipino. They tell me to call them that. I always was taught to say I know

some people who come from the Philipines. They have invited me to parties

and I enjoy their food immensely. I wish there were restaurants that served

their food, the closest I can tell is Asian restaurants but they do talk very

similarly to Spanish. I can tell them some of what they have chattered about

at the lunch table. They are sometimes surprised and sometimes a little

concerned. They want to “practice” their home language but they don’t want

to offend people. They have had people come up to them in public and say

rudely, “Speak English! You are in America!” They say their country is also

part of America. It makes me think of the song where the gangs/rivals are

arguing in “West Side Story.”

That must close my thoughts, since I am getting ready to go to a friend’s

house and we both agreed “No technology!!” That is so fun and it will be

a nice day and a half break from phones, television and the Internet!”

Have a wonderful and safe weekend! Let me know if you know any unusual

toasts please!

Fishing around for answers, visit with Mom, too


Trips to Lake Erie are always ones I look forward to.

It was cold, rainy and the house my mother and father chose to retire and live in was a mess. We took our time sweeping,

I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. He went to the local all purpose “box” store and bought air freshener, candles, logs

and some snacks. There was no way we would be pitching a tent in this weather!

Up early, catching little fish, throwing them back in. I caught a white bass and a bottom feeder. He caught a 4-5 lber., a

catfish, several small bass and a small walleye. We were after a nice catch to eat. All got sent back to their home to swim


We went to see Mom at her senior living apartment. She was given forewarnings by cell phone and a letter a week in

advance. She is herself, a special woman who has become focused on her little dog and her daily adventure of dinner

time with her 5 friends. She was cordial and gracious. Offered cookies she bags up in baggies from the dining room

and puts in the fridge. She made herself instant coffee and I made myself a cup also. I was not going to be embarrassed

by her habits. I liked her freshly washed hair pulled tightly into bobby pins in the hopes it would look nice for Sunday

dinner with the “girls.” She apparently didn’t worry about her impression on my fisherman/friend/guest. She was able

to discuss a few topics, with my trying to discourage history, family pitfalls and also, politics. She gave me a great

poster that someone had dropped off for me, “Women for Obama.” She had one on her door, also. My apartment

neighbors may or may not look fondly on mine but her friends said they liked hers.

There were no fly-swatting episodes, Sofia Vergara confusions or crazy times to report. No juice glasses of Sangria

tapped together with words about  “Salud, amor, pesetas, y tiempo a gustarlos.” (To your health, love, money and time

to spend/enjoy them). Too early to celebrate with wine, but she did reminisce of her good old teaching days of Spanish.

Many hugs and a wistful goodbye later, we were on our way south to Columbus, Ohio. Not nearly as fun nor as exciting

as “Cleveland Rocks!”