August 1st is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day. Raspberries produce more fiber per calorie than any common fruit – even prunes. There are over 200 species of raspberries. And who knew raspberries, as well as strawberries, belong to the rose family?
August 3rd is National Watermelon Day. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Watermelon’s cousins are cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. The only way to greet the first weekend of August is with a big icy pitcher of Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresco and Basil Simple Syrup, and then another and another!
August 5th and Oysters! To the French poet Léon-Paul Fargue, eating one was “like kissing the sea on the lips.” For James Beard, they were simply “one of the supreme delights that nature has bestowed on man.” I concur, and my favorite preparations for cooked and raw are Broiled Oysters with Melted Camembert and a Sesame Ginger Mignonette Sauce. An oyster filters about 50 gallons of water a day. And did you know that Americans eat more oysters than any other country in the world? For centuries, oysters have been one of the best-known aphrodisiacs in the culinary world. I’ll take another dozen, please!
August 11, 2015 was the first official National Panini Day! A ‘pan warmed Italian sandwich’ originated in Lombardy, Italy, in the late 70’s in response to the demand among Milanese office workers for a quick lunch. My favorites are the Cubano Panini Club, Short Rib Horseradish Panini, Mascarpone, Chocolate and Raspberry Panini!
National Lemon Meringue Pie Day and Julia Child’s birthday are on August 15th. Julia inspired me with “Lenore, there are no mistakes in the kitchen,” when she saved our crumbling tarte tatin by dolloping it into a wine glass with vanilla custard. Let’s celebrate this day as a tribute to her genius and kindness with Lemon Meringue and Blueberry Parfait.
A flavorful month is August! So, let’s celebrate! Whether you do the cooking, or I prepare it for you, I can assure you of delicious food, beautiful presentations and smiling service.