Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26: National Spinach Day and National Nougat Day

National Spinach Day

When I was younger, my mom had me convinced that if I ate spinach like Popeye, I'd be as strong as Popeye.  Obviously, that didn't come to pass, but I ended up liking spinach as an adult.  In undergrad, I would wrap a spinach leave around a baby carrot then dip it in dressing before eating.  It was tasty.

It's been a while since I've done that.  This month, I've already used spinach for Iranian food and in a very green dip.  When I eat spinach raw these days, I'm usually using it in place or in addition to lettuce in a salad or on a sandwich.  I also love cooked spinach and decided that today I would celebrate in a simple way.

I simply cooked spinach until it wilted and became soft, drizzled a little soy sauce on it, and then sprinkled it with dried bonito flakes.  This is something I do quite often with green vegetables.  Cooked spinach has a stronger flavor than raw spinach, so I like my cooked spinach as a side dish or on top of rice, in Tri Color Bento.

I'll have to try growing spinach.  I just worry that the spinach plants wouldn't be able to keep up with my harvesting.

National Nougat Day

Nougat has always been, to me, the unidentifiable white stuff found in some chocolate bars.  It never really appealed to me (I'm more of a caramel fan) but it never offended me, either.  So I never really thought about it.

Until today.  What exactly is nougat?  Chow comes to the rescue with an answer.  Like most candies, it is sugar cooked to a certain temperature and then has a couple of flavorings added.  I may just have to try this Food Network recipe for nougat someday.  Candies always better when you make your own, so maybe I'll find I actually really like nougat. 

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