Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 20: National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day and Lima Bean Respect/Appreciation Day

Erk!  Missed another day this week!  At least I realized this before I went to bed, so it's kind of like I wrote it in on the 20th, right?  Right.....  Moving along.

National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day

I love pineapple upside down cake - even though I sometimes switch my words around and call it upside down pineapple cake day.  Not sure why I do that, but sometimes I do.  I think it has a fond place in my memory because it was the closest thing to cake from scratch my mom would make.  Cake was not something my mom made before coming to the US, so she didn't make it that often while I was growing up.  Even now, if she can, she makes me or my dad bake the cake and then she decorates it, as she's the only who has taken formal decorating classes.

So for the longest time, I thought to make pineapple upside down cake all you had to do was drust the bottom of a cake pan with brown sugar, line the bottom of a pan with pineapple rings, place maraschino cherries in the center of each pineapple ring (and outside if you had extras), then pour yellow cake batter prepped from a box on top.  I liked it.  (Then again, pineapple can be added to anything and I'll eat it.)  Plus, since it's a very easy and quick way to make pineapple upside down cake, I'll still make pineapple upside down cake like that.

This recipe makes it clear my family isn't the only one that makes pineapple upside down cake like that, but if you're looking to make it from scratch, try this recipe from Betty Crocker or this one from Smitten Kitchen.  As for the history of pineapple upside down cake, I turn to Trinigourmet to teach me about the cake.

Lima Bean Respect (or Appreciation) Day

I really can't find any information about this day, other than a bunch of bloggers going, "Whoo!  It's Lima Bean Respect Day!" and cracking some Rodney Dangerfield jokes.  (Yes, I'm old enough to know who that is and to have seen some of his works.)

I don't eat very many lima beans; still, I was curious about them.  I eat a fairly plant-based diet so beans are always going to be of interest to me.  This University of Delaware site gives some information about the pollination requirements of lima beans.  (I am fascinated by bees so I found this interesting.  Others may not.)  Both the New York Times and National Public Radio make the argument that lima beans are easy to love.  Just remember to never eat lima beans raw -  as the CDC reminds us, raw lima beans can kill people.  Some beans, including lima beans, contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin that can really make a person sick or even kill them.  This is why dried beans are soaked for many hours and boiled for at least 10 minutes.  Never eat raw kidney or lima beans.  It's okay to eat raw green beans, but, again, never, never eat raw kidney or lima beans.  Also, don't cook them in a slow cooker if they haven't been cooked earlier at a roiling boil for ten minutes.  According to the FDA, the beans will not reach a high enough temperature if cooked in a slow cooker alone.  In fact, cooking dried beans in a slow cooker actually increases the toxicity of the beans

So, yeah.  Respect the lima bean.  Or one day there may be a lima bean uprising.  I mean, we already know they can kill us, so let's not give lima beans any reason to.

No comments:

Post a Comment