Category Archives: holidays

Pi Day 2019!

It’s my personal holiday again today – Pi Day. Everyone at work knows that I’m off today to bake pies – even a couple of my long-term clients know.  I am allowed to use my “floating holiday” for Pi Day – my boss had it approved by management about 6 years ago.  I even have personalized napkins this year, given to me by a friend after last year’s celebration.

This year’s menu: Dutch Apple, Banofee, Root Beer Float Whoopies, Raspberry Tangerine, Pecan, Bob Andy, Blueberry, Almond Joy, Caramel Pear with Crème Fraiche, Key Lime Meringue and the addictive Crack Pie.

Hope to see those of you in the Twin Cities tonight!

What day would you like to be your floating holiday?

What Day Is It?

In December I picked up (on sale) the 2019 National Day Calendar: The Official, Authoritative Source for Fun, Unusual & Unique National Days. Thought it would be good for possible blog posts, but I’d kind of forgotten about it till now. I notice that March is full of them –  we’ve already missed:

– Read Across America Day – March 1, also called Dr. Seuss Day, and

– Fat Tuesday – March  5 – which was also Multiple Personality Day. (I wonder how you celebrate that?!)

However, we haven’t missed:

– International Women’s Day – March 8, of which you may be aware. And we know

– Pi Day – March 14 – is coming up next week, thanks to VS’ parties.

Here are more holiday highlights from the rest of March that you can still celebrate. I’ve found online explanations of how some of these “holidays” came to be. (I’m not taking time for details on all of these gems, so feel free to give us details on the ones I’ve neglected.)

 – Worship of Tools Day – March 11 ..“a day to go out into the garage, the tool shed, the storage closet or where ever it is you keep your tools. You can clean them, reorganize them, make something new with them or maybe go to the store and buy a new one.”

– Plant a Flower Day – March 12

– Good Samaritan Day – March 13

– Corned Beef & Cabbage Day – March 17   (not surprisingly)

– Awkward Moments Day – March 18

– Common Courtesy Day – March 21   (also French Bread Day)

– Near Miss Day – March 23 ..“an annual reminder of the day in 1989 when an asteroid nearly collided with the Earth.”

– Tolkien Reading Day – March 25 ..“organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages.

– Joe Day – March 27  “Enjoy a cup of ‘joe’ with all of your friends named Joe, Jo, Josette, Joey, Joseph, Josephine, Johanna, Joann, Jodie or any variant of the name Joe every year”

– Take a Walk in the Park Day – March 30

What holiday do you wish we could celebrate? When on the calendar would you put it?

Birthday Raclette

YA loves cheese more than almost anyone I know. When we came home from China, I was prepared for the possibility that she would be lactose-intolerant; Asians have a higher percentage of lactose-intolerance than Caucasians.  I never needed to worry about it; as soon as YA began to eat solid foods, cheese was one of her favorites.

Cheese sandwiches, cheese fondue (her godmother makes a wicked fondue), cheese sticks, lasagna, curds, nachos.. if it has cheese, count her in. After I experienced raclette (melted cheese poured on top of food) in Switzerland, I got a raclette machine for us.  Pretty soon YA had an opinion on the difference between Swiss raclette cheese and French raclette cheese (she prefer the Swiss as it has more “bite”).

Every year for our Family Day celebration, she chooses a fondue lunch at the Melting Pot in downtown Minneapolis. She likes the original Swiss fondue recipe followed by a dessert fondue.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she requested a raclette lunch for her birthday celebration – despite the fact that we almost never eat any meals together these days due to our conflicting schedules.

We had a nice salad of greens, pomegranate seeds, pears, walnuts and vinaigrette then the raclette! We like our melty cheese poured over cauliflower, little potatoes, baguette and also sweet gherkin pickles.  It was a wonderful lunch and I was happy to stay inside rather than go outside in the freezing temps.

Do you/did you have a favorite birthday meal request?

Holiday Highlights

Well, the holidays are just about over, and we are still in the thick of celebration. Our holidays started over Thanksgiving when we spent the week with our son and daughter in law.  Daughter arrived on the 26th. My best friend is due today, and we will have  feast on New Year’s Eve with her and daughter’s best friend. Then everyone heads back to Minneapolis, and we are left with the remains of the feast. I think I will be ready to face the new year.

What have been the highlights of your holidays? What have been some of the most memorable of your holidays?

Christmas Treasures

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

I happened to come upon an article online this week titled “This is What It Means When You See a Bird’s Nest Ornament on a Christmas Tree.” According the German company Inge Glas in a 2005 ornament description: “The [bird’s nests] represent the love, commitment, and effort it takes to build a happy home. Bird nests are also good-luck symbols. Legend has it that prosperity will come to any home that finds a bird’s nest nestled among the branches of the family Christmas tree.” My nesting bird is not on a tree – it’s on the upper shelf of my buffet – but I still remember how I was attracted to it in the shop where I bought it.

Other ornaments that have meaning for me are a few remaining spherical glass balls made by Shiny Brite – the striped ones especially, thought there are lots of different vintage designs pictured here:  

I can remember, at maybe four years of age, standing on tip-toe to see my reflection in them. They’ve apparently become so popular they’re back in production.

Do you have a meaningful Christmas ornament or decoration in possession, or in memory?

What are you doing this week to celebrate the holidays?

The Ministry of Silly Warnings

I opened a bag of flour yesterday as I was finishing some batches of Lebkuchen and Ginger Spekulatius,  when I saw the silliest warning on the bag.

I never imagined that some people would sit down to a nice bowl of flour, unaware that you only eat it if it is cooked in something else.

I am a firm believer in natural consequences.  You eat raw flour, you don’t feel so good. What ever happened to the dignity of risk?  Why do we need all these warnings?

What silly warnings have you encountered lately?

Cookie Mathematics

Wednesday night I made a second attempt at Schwarzweiss, German checkerboard cookies.  The ones from my first attempt  tasted good but I just didn’t get the process by which they miraculously look like checkerboards. They looked like mutated chocolate and vanilla strips.  I found another recipe with better instructions, and they actually turned out.

I never liked math very much. I really disliked geometry. The process to make checkerboard cookies is mathematical and geometrical, requiring the ability to visualize the process (which I could sort of see) and the patience to carry it out (which I really lack). I had to stack the two different colored layers, cut the stacks in half lengthwise, cut them again in half lengthwise, stack them again,  cut the stacks  in four slices lengthwise, stack them again, then slice the stacks into cookies.

It was intriguing to see a recipe that used three different colored doughs, as that seemed to make the process easier with fewer cuts and stacks. I am sure there is a mathematical explanation for that, but it makes my brain hurt to try to figure it out.

What are your feelings toward and experiences with mathematics? What makes for a good mathematics teacher? Is algebra or geometry easier for you?