Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5: National Graham Cracker Day and National Apple Turnover Day

National Graham Cracker Day

Hey, another food named after a person!  Graham crackers are named for Sylvester Graham, the inventor.  He was a Presbytarian minister that believed that carnal urges could be controlled by following the Graham Diet, a strict vegetarian diet which included his "Graham bread."  (I think that's the first time I've linked to Snopes since I started this blog.)  Graham made a few enemies with his diet - bakers were mad that he espoused whole wheats, tobacco and alcochol companies were mad that he was against both tobacco and alcohol. While the original "graham cracker" was made using graham flour, today's graham crackers are made with unbleached enriched flour.

Graham crackers are very versatile.  You can have them lone as a snack or paired with a glass of milk.  They're essential to'mores'mores and s'mores cookies.  You can make pie crusts with graham crackers.  You can make toffee bars with them or easy Christmas bar cookies.

Want to make your own?  Smitten Kitchen and Alton Brown offer up recipes.  You could also try this gluten-free graham cracker recipe.

National Apple Turnover Day

Why apple (a autumn fruit) instead of a berries (summer fruit) I don't know, but today's National Apple Turnoever Day.  It's still too hot across most of the nation to turn on an oven, but maybe you could build a solar oven and bake an apple turnover in that.

There are plenty of recipes for apple turnovers.  Ina Garten has a recipe that is pretty popular- 5 stars after nearly 100 reviews.  Apple turnovers are best when they're flakey and filled with delicious apples.  You can use store-bought puff pastry or you can make your own.  Since apple turnovers are basically portable pies, you can even use pie crust.

Once again, the Food Timeline gives us a little bit of history on turnovers.  Apple turnovers are also apparently "essentially English."  And I still can't figure out what the difference between English apple turnovers and Dutch apple turnovers is.

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