Thursday, August 21, 2008

Old School Thursday: Really All Over the Place Edition

Italiaphiles (is that a word?) should be all over things today: it’s both National Spumoni Day and St. Bernard Tolomeo's Day. He’s the patron of olive growers.

Beyond that, we’re all over the place and I’m having a hard time seeing any common threads that define the day. In 1814, Count von Rumford, aka Benjamin Thompson, died. Despite the Dracula-esque name, he was actually an American doctor, and the inventor of several helpful kitchen items, like the percolator, the pressure cooker…and the stove. Apparently he wasn’t busy enough, so he also invented baked Alaska, otherwise known as the dessert my dad always jokingly asks my mom if she’s made. She never has.

The rest of today’s news occurred in more recent history. Today in 1988, UK pubs were finally allowed to stay open for a full 12 hours a day (except Sundays). The distinctions between different types of British drinking establishments and their respective closing times is one aspect of London life I think I’d have a hard time getting used to.Finally, today in 1997, Hudson Foods recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef (and closed its Nebraska plant) in response to E. coli concerns. I actually remember that pretty clearly.

And that’s it. Italian celebrations, kitchen tools, pub laws and bacteria-related catastrophes. Well, at least today’s not boring.

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