Posts Tagged With: National Rum Day

National Rum Day

Good news: despite the lack of recent posts, I am happy to report we are still alive. Better news: today we are walking around say “yo ho ho” a lot. Not because Christmas is right around the corner – it isn’t, and that first H is a Y, thank you very much – but because August 16 is dedicated to probably the tastiest liquor around. It’s National Rum Day!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of yum is more like it.

The word rum is believed to be derived from the last syllable of the Latin word for sugar, saccharumOr it might come from the Romanian word rum, meaning “strong” or “potent.” Both explanations make sense to me. Interestingly enough, rum was originally a byproduct of sugar cane; it’s actually fermented molasses, which occurs during the sugar refining process. Nobody knew what to do with molasses initially, and viewed it as nothing more than industrial waste. Until some whip-smart plantation slaves in the Caribbean during the 17th century discovered the molasses could be fermented and turned into a tasty alcoholic beverage. Goodbye industrial waste, hello industrial wasted! It quickly gained popularity in Colonial North America, where the first rum distillery was opened in 1664 on Staten Island. In fact, rum became so highly prized, for a while it was accepted as currency – alongside gold – in Europe. Liquid gold, if we’re getting technical.

I’ve long been a fan of rum. Maybe not as big a fan as some people…

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But I have my moments.

To celebrate, I had a rum and Coke. And also a shot of the rum, straight up. Bottoms up!

National Rum Day

 

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Categories: Alcohol | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

228/365: National Bratwurst Day*

Today’s food challenge is one of the wurst yet. And I mean that in a good way. August 16 is National Bratwurst Day! But yo-ho-ho, that’s not all: it’s also National Rum Day. Unfortunately, we’re making an impromptu trip to Ely, Nevada due to a death in Tara’s family. It’s about a 12-hour drive, and obviously alcohol would be a bad idea. Eating bratwursts before hitting the road at 4 AM is tricky enough!

Bratwurst is one of the oldest sausages, dating back to the early 14th century. It is, not at all surprisingly, a German invention (they do love their sausages, don’t they?), derived from the words braten (to “fry”) and wurst (opposite of “best”) (or, in this case, “sausage”). Bratwurst is made of ground pork, beef, or veal, and a distinctive blend of seasons that includes nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper. The earliest evidence of this wiener on steroids dates to 1313 and the German town of Nuremberg, still a major sausage manufacturing region to this day. It is typically grilled or pan fried, and often served with sauerkraut or potato salad. German immigrants introduced it to the U.S., and it’s particularly popular in the state of Wisconsin, where (stereotype alert!) locals wearing giant foam cheese heads and speaking in funny accents often cook it in beer. Brats, as they are commonly referred (hey – just like kids!), are so popular in Wisconsin that Miller Park in Milwaukee is the only baseball stadium in the country that sells more bratwursts than hot dogs, and the city of Madison’s three-day Brat Fest over Memorial Day weekend is billed as the largest in the world. Take that, Germany!

We said at the beginning of this project that regardless of circumstances, we would stick with our food challenge, no matter how difficult. Certainly today is one of those days to test our limits, but with a little bit of preparation, we made do. This meant cooking bratwursts the night before and eating them early in the morning, long before the sun was up, with scrambled eggs…and relying on technology to make sure this post appears while we are somewhere in the middle of nowhere (a/k/a Idaho). Is that dedication, or what?

National Bratwurst Day

Categories: Meat | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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