I don’t mean to be a pest, but this is one of the strangest food holidays of the year. July 29 is National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day. Umm…okay…
Even the name is a mouthful. What the heck does it mean?! Well, after a bit of research, it turns out that you are supposed to buy cheese today and “sacrifice” it by using it as bait on a mousetrap to rid your home of the pesky little rodents. There’s only one problem with that: we don’t have mice in the house. I could give credit to the cat for a vermin-free dwelling, but in all likelihood it’s probably got more to do with Tara’s extreme cleanliness. Fortunately, other people who have decided to celebrate this holiday have gotten creative with the rules, and I think they’ve got the right idea. (As an aside, even when I did have a mouse problem in my old house, cheese never worked – but peanut butter snared the suckers every time. Which means that National Peanut Butter Sacrifice Day can’t be too far off, right?).
Suggestions for celebrating this holiday include sacrificing some of your money to buy an expensive type of cheese you wouldn’t normally purchase, or sacrifice your taste buds by trying a new cheese you’ve previously never had. You could sacrifice a piece of cheese to the fondue pot, or melt it down and make nachos. Or you could sacrifice cheese by not eating it at all…but the holiday specifically mentions purchasing it, so do cheese lovers sacrifice their fondness for the product today by not buying it?
This is one confusing holiday!
Fortunately, it’s also National Lasagna Day. This helped to solve our dilemma, and allowed us to knock out two food holidays in one day.
Lasagna is one of my all-time favorites. Growing up, my mom always let my brother and I choose whatever we wanted for dinner on our birthdays. Scott usually opted for pizza, while I went with lasagna. (Incidentally, my kids both like spaghetti on their birthdays. None of us are even remotely Italian. Go figure).
Actually, even though lasagna is closely associated with Italy, its true origin can be traced back to ancient Greece. The Greeks were fond of laganon, a flat sheet of dough cut into strips. They also used a cooking pot known as a lasanum. When the Roman Empire conquered Greece, they “borrowed” (okay, stole) both ideas and turned them into lasagna, layering pasta, sauce, cheese, and savory ingredients into a casserole, and baking. European immigrants introduced the dish to the U.S., and the rest is multi-tiered history. If we didn’t have lasagna, we wouldn’t have Garfield, and the world would be a much darker place.
Tara has a great recipe for lasagna that isn’t baked, but rather, cooked in the crockpot. She takes uncooked noodles, layers them with sauce, meat, and cheese, and lets them cook all day. This turns out delicious every time! In fact, I once told her I liked the crockpot lasagna better than the regular version, and I don’t think she was too pleased to hear that after slaving over a “regular” pan. What can I say? It’s delicious!
So, we “sacrificed” shredded cheese to the crockpot gods, and ended up enjoying a hearty, delicious lasagna. Two for the price of one!