One day, most likely while I was bored at the paycheck factory, I stumbled across a calendar of National Food Holidays and I was awestruck by the number of different foods that are celebrated not only on a daily basis but also on a weekly & monthly basis too. From oddities such as National Turkey Neck Soup Day ( March 30) & National Chocolate Covered Insect Day (October 14) to mainstream foods such as National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day (April 2) and National Watermelon Day (August 3) they were all listed there for me to ponder. I bring this up only because today is the first day of June and that means that there are not only 30 days to celebrate but there are also several reasons for us to celebrate the month of June as a whole for the culinary delight that it can be.
NATIONAL CANDY MONTH – It’s hard to believe that June has laid claim to this title as I can’t think of a single reason other than “WE JUST GOT OUT OF SCHOOL !” to celebrate in June with candy. You would think that October would have stepped up for this one or even February. You could even make a case for December based on the candy canes & other treats that come at the end of the year. That being said, my favorite candy would have to be either a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Peanut Butter M&M’s. Both of them have 2 of the 4 basic food groups (Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Caramel & Nougat) in them so they have to be good for you even if you are on the Diet from Hell like me. I think I may just have to celebrate this month long holiday on Father’s Day.
NATIONAL DAIRY MONTH – This is really one of those month’s that could be celebrated at any time of the year so why not June ? One important dairy product that I can think of that really fits well with June would be ice cream. The days are getting warmer and the trill of little bells playing a Pied Piper like ditty will soon be heard coming down your street. (You can tell I’m on a diet, can’t you ?) Of course you could just celebrate with a quart of buttermilk too.
NATIONAL FRESH FRUIT & VEGETABLE MONTH – What a great way to start the summer. I just got my garden planted about 2 weeks ago. I have regular tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes and a plethora of cherry tomatoes. I have sweet peppers, roasting peppers and hot peppers. I have zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash & butternut squash. I have beets, beans, spinach and 3 kinds of lettuce. I also have blueberries, black raspberries & red raspberries. Who knows what else will work it’s way into the corners over the summer as crops fail but it’s going to be fun. Three years ago I was overrun with habanero peppers, two years ago with was grape tomatoes and last year it was kung pao peppers. Can’t wait to see what happens this year. Oh and just about everything you can celebrate with this month is on my diet except for peas, pineapple & watermelon but I don’t think I heard myself type those last two.
NATIONAL ICED TEA MONTH – There was a time in my past, way in my past, where every month was celebrated with Iced Teas but I am much better now. I still love to drink Iced Tea, I just don’t pour booze into it anymore. (Iced Tea + Vodka + Ice Pick) I like regular iced tea with lemon. I love the sweet tea of the south. I can almost never say no to Sun Tea and even Green Iced Tea is acceptable. Flavored teas need to reined in somewhat if you ask me. Of course ever since Dr. Killjoy put me on my diet, I have had to cut out caffeine so iced tea has been replaced at lunch by iced water. Now that it is officially National Iced Tea Month, I am going to have to go find some good decaf tea and brew myself up a jug of sun tea or two.
NATIONAL PAPAYA MONTH – Are papayas even in season ? I love papayas myself. Just cut a slice and squeeze a little lime over it and that is just about as good as it gets. There are various juices with Papaya in them that aren’t too cloyingly sweet and somewhere in the depths of my hard drive I think I have a Papaya Muffin recipe hidden away. As a side note, dried crush papaya seeds do make an excellent meat tenderizer.
NATIONAL SEAFOOD MONTH – I love seafood and my diet loves seafood. In fact, I love just about every kind of seafood except for Mussels and no, don’t try to convert me. It won’t work. My favorite piece of seafood to toss on grill would have to be a Swordfish steak. Just a little butter & either lemon or lime and some sea salt & fresh ground pepper will make me very happy. I also like to put BBQ sauce on shark steaks and toss them on a summer grill. They just seem to make a nice combination in my mind & on my plate. The firmness of the shark really holds up well to a good basic bbq sauce. Seafood Kebabs always work for a cookout too.
And finally, it’s NATIONAL LOVER’S MONTH – Hello June ? November wants it’s month back. How did June ever get to be National Lover’s Month ? I guess with everyone being more health conscious that more turkey burgers will hit the grills this summer. At State Fairs, people will be able to start buying GIANT turkey legs to gnaw on but it still doesn’t make sense to me to RESPECT THE BIRD ! (more shameless self promotion – http://allrecipes.com/Cook/107227/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=205589< ) in June rather than November. I guess that the female turkey that I swerved to miss early this morning knew something that I didn’t. As it is, I am having turkey bacon every morning with my diet and it seems to be helping so while I may not “Love” turkey, I do “Like” it a lot.
So that’s what we have for the month of June. Which of these might you celebrate ? Which of these sound good to you ? Any recipe ideas that you can share ? We have all month to discuss it.
And don't forget that the first Friday of EVERY June is National Doughnut Day. I hope Dunkin' Donuts remembers because I can definitely see myself falling off the diet wagon for a few minutes this coming Friday.
So comeback next time when we discuss how lucky it was for both of us that I didn’t decide to do this in October when there are 15 different reasons to celebrate the month instead of the 7 reasons there are this month.