January 18th

National Winnie the Pooh Day

National Thesaurus day

Lewis and Clark Expedition Commissioned Anniversary

 National Peking Duck Day!

Pooh Day is celebrated on January 18th of each year  in remembrance of Alan Alexander Milne’s birthday.

Alan Alexander Milne (pronounced /ˈmɪln/) (18 January 1882 –31 January 1956) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work. Milne was almost always credited as A. A. Milne.

Winnie-the-Pooh, also called Pooh Bear, is a fictional anthropomorphic bear created by A. A. Milne.  The first of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926, and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin.

Christopher’s toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit, as well as the Gopher character, who was added in the Disney version.

Christopher Milne had named his toy bear after Winnie, a Canadian black bear which he often saw at London Zoo, and “Pooh”, a swan they had met while on holiday.

The Pooh Stories have been loved by many and I myself read them not only to my children who thoroughly enjoyed them but to school age children. I have thoroughly found enjoyment in the wonderful characters, adventures and emotions of these stories.

Take time to read a Winnie the Pooh Story today. My favorite is “The Blustery Day!”

Of course we couldn’t have books without a Thesaurus to make it more interesting so let’s also remember Thesaurus Day.

Thesaurus Day

Roget was an English doctor, writer and inventor, but today is best known for his ‘thesaurus’.

Peter Mark Roget was born on 18 January 1779 in London.He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1798. He published works on tuberculosis and the effects of nitrous oxide, known as ‘laughing gas’,  used as an anaesthetic.

In 1814, he invented a slide rule to calculate the roots and powers of numbers.  He was also interested in optics and a paper on how the kaleidoscope could be improved. Later in his life, he attempted to construct a calculating machine.

He also wrote on a wide range of topics, contributing to encyclopaedias of the day. Retiring from medicine in 1840, he then spent the rest of his life on the project that has made his name, ‘Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases’, which was a dictionary of synonyms. As early as 1805 he had compiled, for his own personal use, a small indexed catalogue of words which he used to enhance his prolific writing. His thesaurus was published in 1852 and has never been out of print.

Roget died on 12 September 1869.

Life must be full of many adventures as both Winnie the Pooh and  Peter Roget have shown so let’s move on to the next adventure :

Lewis and Clark Expedition Commissioned Anniversary

President Thomas Jefferson wondered what could be found in the west. He was ready On Jan. 18, 1803. He asked Congress for money to fund an expedition. Lt. William Clark and Capt. Meriwether Lewis left for the expedition on May 14, with a new goal: to explore and map new American land.

Now that all of these adventures have made us hungry let’s go to

January 18 is National Peking Duck Day!

Today one of China’s (best) national foods is all yours, and you can delight in the fact that it is a favorite of presidents and diplomats alike!

Duck has long been roasted in China, and the first written mention of the Emperor of China’s favorite dish can be found in “The Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages” manual from 1330. Once Peking duck evolved to its current glory, it became a mainstay on the imperial court menu during the Ming Dynasty.

Because of the special cooking method used for Peking Duck, a “hung oven” was invented to roast the ducks. Once finished cooking, the duck is carved in front of a diner and served three ways. First with the thin, crispy skin usually with a sugar-and-garlic sauce. Second the meat is served with steamed pancakes, spring onions and sweet bean sauce. Third the remaining meat is chopped up and stir fried with the bean sauce, or served as is.

No matter what, you always get to take what’s left of the duck home with you.

Beijing’s most famous dish, Peking Duck is traditionally served with Mandarin pancakes, and green onions for brushing on the hoisin sauce. Note: If you don’t live near a cool, windy place another option is to dry the duck in an unheated room with a fan blowing on it.Cooking Peking Duck

Prep Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 11 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One 5 to 6 pound duck
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 1 scallion, cut into halves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
  • Scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.
(This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes. Garnish with scallion flowerets. Serves 4 to 6.

Enjoy your meal today . If you aren’t up to cooking go to a Chinese restaurant.

Whatever you do today there is plenty to enjoy. YOu have adventure, reading, and eating. So get comfortable and have a wonderful meal while you share a good book.

Until next time 🙂

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