Friday, July 25, 2008

Chocolate milk, lasagna and cheesecake - but not together

I love to check those wacky calendars of obscure holidays that are a mere google away. You find out when Take your Pants for a Walk day is and that you forgot to observe Barbershop Appreciation Day (July 13, for those who missed it). But in the spirit of keeping everyone informed, you'll want to be sure to celebrate the next three holidays coming up on July 28, 29th and 30th. Now that sounds like a lollapalooza of celebratoriness, but I think you'll agree that chocolate milk, lasagna and cheesecake deserve the respect.

Monday, you can start off your half-week of excitement by pouring a big tall glass of the "chocky mulk" as my son used to say, made with your favorite source of chocolate (I'd have to go with Hershey's syrup on this one). You could always upgrade to a Black Cow later in the day (chocolate milk with a scoop of chocolate ice cream - see my upcoming post on diner lingo) but you might want to pace yourself.

Tuesday, the big dish is lasagna. Meaty or veggie, red sauce or bechamel, whatever floats your Italian boat, go for it. I'll be making up a big dish of it, likely with mild sausage and plenty of mozzarella. This will bake your noodle: lasagna appeared in the first cookbook ever written in England (that we know of) - from the 14th century. It was a layered pasta dish with cheese called loseyns. So offensive is the idea that lasagna is British and not Italian, the Italian embassy in London had to weigh in on the topic. Uh, couldn't the Romans have brought this little gem with them when they invaded Britain? Anychew, let's move on to our third day of feasting.

Wednesday rounds off our festival with cheesecake. Much like Donkey from Shrek and his observations on parfait, I don't know anyone who doesn't like cheesecake. Perhaps that is because there are so many variations that it really can be just about anything - chocolatey, covered in berries, topped with caramel, crunchy with coconut, smeared in lemon curd - whatever rings your cheesebell. Or, you can go very purist and eat it plain, which is just lovely too. For fans of the tv show The View, there was a taste-off recently between a plain cheesecake and a vanilla bean and lemon curd version (from chef Bobby Flay). You can have your own taste off with the recipes (listed under July 17).

Are you full? Stuffed to the gills, perhaps? Well, what else can you expect from such a dairy-filled trifecta. Grab your lactaid and gear up for National Raspberry Ice Cream day on August 1 and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on the 2nd. Just kidding. Like those two things deserve holidays.

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