The trouble with a weekly paper is keeping up with breaking news. I am sorry to be late informing you it was National Cinnamon Day last week.
By now — Oct. 10 — it’s National Angel Food Cake Day. I was writing this on National Mulled Cider Day.
These aren’t holidays, of course. National you-name-it days are simply declarations by commodity groups or food makers wanting to sell stuff. Food day, week, and month declarations are an American tradition, of sorts, going back to early last century.
There’s at least 175 designated days. They start January 1 with National Buffet Day, followed quickly by National Cream Puff Day, National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day, and on it goes. In spring there’s a National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day on April 24 and a National Chinese Almond Cookie Day on May 9; in summer there’s a National Fried Chicken Day (July 6), a National Tapioca Pudding Day (July 15), National Lollipop Day (July 20) and so forth.
No week or month has been left undeclared either. October isn’t just a string of days devoted to cinnamon buns, chocolate cupcakes and bologna; this is also Apple Month since 1904. More recently, it became National Pickled Peppers, Pasta, Popcorn Poppin’, Pizza, Pork, and Pretzel Month too.
Too bad these weren’t paid holidays; we’d all be off work eating and drinking most of the year, but that would make us more like France.
I say ‘we’ and ‘us’ but this is mostly an American thing. The traditional holiday we do share, of course, comes Monday, Thanksgiving, which is October 14 in Canada, and November 28 in the U.S. Interestingly, Americans also recently declared November 28 National French Toast Day.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Apples
I love this recipe for its ease and simplicity and its use of apples and squash which so many of us have in abundance this time of year. Fiona Odlum created this recipe, which won first-place winner at Manitoba Turkey Producers and Granny’s Poultry’s Turkey Chili Throwdown held at the BBQ and Blues Festival in Winnipeg in 2012. It’s featured in the Great Taste Healthy Living issue found online here.
- 1 lb. Granny’s ground turkey
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. onion, diced
- 1/2 c. carrots, diced
- 1/4 c. celery, diced
- 2 c. apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 c. your favourite winter squash, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp. garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp. mild paprika
- 4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (10-oz./284-ml can) chicken broth (undiluted)
- 1 (14-oz./400-ml can) light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 c. canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Sauté ground turkey in half the olive oil. Transfer turkey to slow cooker and saute onions, carrots and celery in remaining oil. Add sautéed vegetables, apples and all remainin ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low heat for six to eight hours. Stir well, garnish with fresh cilantro (optional) and serve.
Chocolate Cinnamon Bread Pudding
Frieda Martens knows the appeal of cinnamon. A photo of cinnamon buns appears on the cover of Precious Grains Cookbook, a lovely cookbook she published earlier this year with contributions from Crossroads readers. This is one of many recipes in Frieda’s book which also contains recipes for buns, pastries, quick breads and much more.
- 4 c. (or 5 slices) soft white bread cubes
- 1/2 c. chopped nuts
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 2-3/4 c. water
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine melted
- Cinnamon cream sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place bread cubes and nuts in buttered nine-inch square baking pan. In large bowl, beat eggs, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add milk, water and butter; mix well. Pour evenly over bread, moistening completely. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool slightly. Serve with cinnamon cream sauce.
Cinnamon Cream Sauce
- 1 c. whipping cream
- 2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and boil rapidly six to eight minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.
Source: Precious Grains Cookbook
Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Love Buns
Fill your kitchen with an irresistible combined scent of cinnamon and baked bread. It’s never too late to celebrate National Cinnamon Day (Oct. 4)! Here’s a recipe sent to me from Manitoba Canola Growers sure to make someone happy.
- 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp. wheat germ
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 c. warm milk
- 1/2 c. additional all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. canola oil margarine
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- Caramel Layer:
- 1/2 c. canola oil margarine
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. dark corn syrup
- 1 c. pecans, chopped
In large mixing bowl of stand mixer, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, instant yeast, sugar, salt, canola oil, egg and milk, except last 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Mix ingredients on slow speed using the dough hook, incorporating more flour, if needed, to form a soft dough.
Continue to mix ingredients for about six minutes. Alternatively, ingredients can be mixed by hand and then kneaded into a soft dough. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out dough on a floured board to form a 9×12-inch rectangle. Spread three tablespoons canola margarine over dough, followed by the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Roll dough up tightly, starting at the 12-inch side. Pinch edge of dough to seal the roll.
Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup canola margarine in a two-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add one cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup dark corn syrup. Cook and stir until sugar has melted. Pour into ungreased 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cut dough roll crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Place dough pieces slightly apart on top of caramel nut mixture. Let rise in a warm place for 40 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake rolls at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately turn upside down onto serving plate. Caramel will drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.
Source: Manitoba Canola Growers