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November Weird Holidays

There are so many odd/weird/funky/whacky/cool holidays that are celebrated every month and this month I choose these four to share with my TELUS team and now with you.

Being Italian I was given a big bowl of zuppa con latte e caffé (soup of milk with a dab of espresso) at a very young age. I would put bread or cookies in the soup and have that for breakfast. As an adult, I make it for myself when I need comfort food but every day I get my coffee fix by having at least two cappuccinos per day. So had to research this holiday…

A huge difference from cappuccinos in North America and Italy is the temperature of the drinks. In Italy when you get a cappuccino there are not grande or vente. They are one size, in a ceramic cup and saucer and at a temperature where you take a five minute breather and enjoy your cup of heaven. Actually, authentic coffee shops hate giving coffee to go. So you may get a cold shoulder when you ask. LOL

In the 18 century, Kapuziner drinks began to pop up in coffee houses in Vienna. These were made of coffee, cream, sugar and different spices. The name of these drinks came from the brown colour as they matched the colour of the robes worn by Capuchin (Kapuzin) friars in Vienna. In Italy the name cappuccio means “hood” and it was an illusion to the hooded robes the friars wore.

The cappuccino however wasn’t invented in Vienna but instead in Italy. The drink was invented in the 20th century when the espresso machine was invented and patented in 1901 by Luigi Bezzera. The name of this drink was taken from the Viennese drinks and turned into Cappuccino. It became a popular drink in the 1920’s but the first written record is found in the 1930’s. Some facts about cappuccinos:

  • In Italy, cappuccinos are enjoyed with breakfast

  • After World War II, cappuccino machines improved greatly which resulted in a cappuccino boom

  • US soldiers brought their love of cappuccino back to the US from Italy after the war

  • Steamed foam on top of the coffee helps keep the coffee retain heat

  • The traditional cappuccino consists of a single shot of espresso, on which the barista pours hot foamed milk, resulting in a ¾ inch thick milk foam on top

  • Skilled baristas can top the cappuccino with artistic shapes called latte art

  • The largest cappuccino contained 4,250 liters and was prepared at Fiera Milano Fairground in October 2013 by 33 baristas

With our worldwide pandemic I’m sure we all noticed kindness in places we wouldn’t have seen before. So when I saw this holiday for November 13th, I had to find out more about World Kindness Day.

The World Kindness Movement recognized as a peak global body for kindness is a non-profit organization that was registered in September 1997. Its mission is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness by connecting nations to create a kinder world and has members from 28 nations including Canada. The movements started World Kindness Day in 1998.

The objective of World Kindness Day is to focus on good deeds in the community, using positive power and the common thread of kindness for good which binds us. Kindness is a fundamental part of human nature which bridges all of us together.

Things we can do on November 13th to promote kindness:

  • Do something kind for a stranger

  • Show appreciation for those in your life

  • Donate time or money to your favourite charity

  • Ask a neighbour if they need some help

  • Help a peer with a task

  • Smile when you walk by others

  • Write positive post it notes and leave them for loved ones to find them

  • Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while

  • Surprise someone with flowers

  • Plant a tree

  • Practice gratitude

Some love them and others hate them. So let’s find out a little about National Pickle Day.

The term pickle comes from the Dutch work pekel, meaning brine. In North America pickle typically refers to pickled cucumber, however any fruit or vegetable can be pickled. Pickling can be traced back 4000 years ago when ancient Mesopotamians began soaking cucumbers in acidic brine, as a way to preserve them. Now a days cucumbers are pickled in brine, vinegar, or other solutions and left to ferment for a period of time.

There are 15 types of pickles with the most popular being dill pickles, Kosher pickles, sour pickles, gherkins and bread and butter pickles.

Cleopatra was supposedly a pickle devote that ate pickles every day because she believed they kept her gorgeous. While Julius Caesar ate the crispy preserves because he thought they provided strength.

Whether you like to eat pickles straight out of the jar or sliced in your burger, this tasty, tangy, sweet treat accounts for Americans consuming about 9 pounds of pickles per person per year.

Pickles are preserved in jars, therefore researching this next holiday National Mason Jar Day is appropriate timing

  • This day commemorates an ingenious invention that’s been bringing families together for generations. Simply by opening a jar of fruit preserves or salsa, we enjoy the flavours of summer any time of year.

  • For those that love to pickle, the mason jar rescues the fruit and veggies from the garden and transforms them to delicious, quick to eat, food.

  • Facts about mason jars:

  • New Jersey tinsmith John Landis Mason invented and patented the screw threaded glass jar or bottle in 1858

  • John Mason didn’t make any money from his invention because the patent expired in 1879 and competitors didn’t start making them by then

  • Mason jars come in hundreds of variations in shape and cap design

  • This is what the first mason jars looked like

  • Jarden Home Brands started manufacturing Ball Canning jars in 1884 and have become the most popular brand. Want to know the history of Ball, watch this video.

  • The numbers on the bottom of the mason jars, represent the mold number

  • The Van Vliet Improved jar is the rarest of all mason jars and sold for $23,500 USD. It has a wire that attaches the lid to the bottom of the jar, which allowed to hold a seal. The jars are rare because they were only produced for four years before the factory burned down in 1885, taking with it all the parts.

I have different sizes of mason jars and have used them for pickling eggplant, made mummy Halloween crafts, have them store many pantry items and use small jars for individual desserts.

Have a great weekend and Live Life Well!

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