Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6: Fresh Tomato Day, National Caramel Popcorn Day, Hot Cross Bun Day

Fresh Tomato Day

First, no "National" because this doesn't appear to be a Congressional recognized food observance.  Second, this day seems so wrong.  Why?  I really don't associate fresh tomatoes with the first week of April, especially when we're having a frost advisory tonight.  Fresh tomatoes are part of summer, not spring.  The tomatoes you can get in stores right now are rather flavorless.  I suppose in some parts of the country, you might consider planting your tomatoes now, but you're still risking frost.

National Caramel Popcorn Day

My caramel from yesterday was a disaster.  The sugar had crystallized, giving it a grainy texture and it was basically like eating clumpy brown sugar.  (The Chewy Raisin and Spice Bars were a hit at work, though!  Whoo!)  As far as I'm aware, there is no way to save traditionally made caramel or fudge if you didn't get it right the first time, but tossing out the grainy caramel seemed like such a waste.  So I reheated it, added some more cream, and added some butter until it reached soft ball stage.  In honor of today, I drizzled the hot sugary concoction over some popcorn and peanuts.  Voila!  Caramel popcorn!

I didn't expect to save the caramel since I don't believe you can save it when it's ruined, but drizzling it over the popcorn made the grainy texture seem like such a little problem.  The caramel popcorn with peanuts came out pretty darn tasty.

If you want to make some caramel popcorn of your own, and not have the less than perfect results I had, I suggest trying this recipe from All Recipes.  It seems to be very popular and successful.  Looking for something easier?  I suggest buying a caramel sauce and drizzling that on your popcorn.  Looking for something even easier?  Buy Cracker Jack or Moose Munch.

Hot Cross Bun Day

If you are of the Christian faith, today is Good Friday, the Friday before Easter.  Well, every Good Friday is also known as Hot Cross Bun Day.  My biggest exposure to hot cross buns is the song that everyone learns when learning a new instrument.  (For the longest time, I thought hot cross buns was another name for pretzels.)  Hot cross buns are sweet rolls with currants (or raisins if you have no currants) that are decorated with an icing cross on top.  Epicurious has a recipe that seems like it would be successful.  Joy of Baking has a lot of information about hot cross buns and a video to boot.

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