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Today is March 25

The Medal of Honor is the highest award a member of the armed services can receive for valor in combat, given to those who went above and beyond the call of duty on the battlefield. In 1990, Congress designated March 25th of each year as National Medal of Honor Day and it was signed into law by President George HW Bush as a day to honor the heroism and sacrifice of Medal of Honor recipients for the United States.

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National Pecan Day

The pecan’s storied past predates the founding of our country; yet, pecans have become embedded into American traditions, culture and, of course, cuisine. Today, pecans are one of the few indigenous plants to have evolved into a highly coveted and internationally traded crop, with American growers producing over 80% of the world’s pecan supply.

Wild pecans were a staple in the diets of Native Americans, who originally referred to them as pecanes and relied on their nourishing kernels as a major food source in the fall months. They also created what could be considered the original nut milk calledpowcohicora by fermenting pecan powder into a drink.

After centuries foraging wild pecans, Native Americans began planting pecan trees and trading their harvest to European explorers, who quickly became enamored and helped spread the lore—and seed—of this local delicacy.

Today, American Pecans™ are the product of well-nourished soil, warm climate, strong sun, an adequate water supply, and the nurturing of passionate growers. It also requires immense patience – considering that it takes nearly 10 years before a pecan tree is in full production of nuts. Fortunately, the stately pecan tree – the largest member of the hickory family – can produce nuts for 100 years or more.

Pecan growers recognize they’re taking care of something special. Numerous American families have proudly passed down the traditions of the trade for multiple generations. Pecans not only have a treasured place in the history of America, they’ve given their distinctive flavor to many uniquely American dishes, including everyone’s favorite, pecan pie.

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Chunky Chocolate Chip Pecan Breakfast Cookies

Submitted by: Holley Grainger, MS, RD

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup raw pecan pieces

3/4 cups very ripe mashed banana about 2 medium

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. (Note that the mixture will appear slightly crumbly.)

Evenly scoop cookie dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet using hands to shape if necessary. Press down with the bottom of a glass to flatten, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cook on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe notes:

Freezer instructions: Once cookies have cooled completely, store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Reheating instructions: Wrap cookie in a paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds. Repeat by 10 second intervals if not warm all the way through.

For a cakier cookie: Add one egg to the mixture for a cookie that has a more cake-like texture.

For more recipes and information visit https://americanpecan.com/

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Old New Years Day

In accordance with a 1750 act of Parliament, England and its colonies changed calendars in 1752. By that time, the discrepancy between a solar year and the Julian Calendar had grown by an additional day, so that the calendar used in England and its colonies was 11 days out-of-sync with the Gregorian Calendar in use in most other parts of Europe.

England’s calendar change included three major components. The Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar, changing the formula for calculating leap years.  The beginning of the legal new year was moved from March 25 to January 1.  Finally, 11 days were dropped from the month of September 1752.

The changeover involved a series of steps:

  • December 31, 1750 was followed by January 1, 1750 (under the “Old Style” calendar, December was the 10th month and January the 11th)
  • March 24, 1750 was followed by March 25, 1751 (March 25 was the first day of the “Old Style” year)
  • December 31, 1751 was followed by January 1, 1752 (the switch from March 25 to January 1 as the first day of the year)
  • September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, 1752 (drop of 11 days to conform to the Gregorian calendar)

For more information visit https://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/hg/colonialresearch/calendar

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Waffle Day

Oatmeal Pecan Waffles

Ingredients
Waffles

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted pecans, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1½ cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

 Fruit Topping

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

All berries may be substituted with frozen, thawed

 Directions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and pecans in a large bowl.
  3. Combine egg yolks, milk, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl, and mix well.
  4. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together. Do not overmix; mixture should be a bit lumpy.
  5. Whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  6. Pour batter into preheated waffle iron, and cook until the waffle iron light signals it’s done or steam stops coming out of the iron. A waffle is perfect when it is crisp and well-browned on the outside with a moist, light, airy and fluffy inside. (Or make pancakes.)
  7. Add fresh fruit and a light dusting of powdered sugar to each waffle, and serve.

Tip: For pancakes, do not separate eggs. Mix whole eggs with milk and oil, and eliminate steps 4 and 5.

Yield: 4 servings
For more recipes visit https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/fun-family-recipes.htm