Today is both National Stuffed Mushroom Day and National Homemade Soup Day and those are both things that I really like. My favorite stuffed mushrooms (my mom’s) are super easy to make – just brush mushroom caps with melted butter, stuff them with a bit of pre-made crab cake (I buy mine at Ikan Seafood in Belvedere Market, but the ones from Annapolis Seafood are just as good), brush with a little more butter, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 or 375. They are very good.
My favorite homemade soup – that’s a toss-up between my mom's version of Julia Child's crab soup (which I made last week) and my version of Jacques Pepin's onion soup (which I’m planning to make this weekend, to help us make it through the coming snowpacolypse). Either way, hosting “National Homemade Soup Day” in early February is a pretty good call.
In other news today, it’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexis Benoit Soyer, a prolific French cookery book author and inventor of several stoves and kitchen utensils, who might not enjoy as much fame as some of his French counterparts thanks to his spending much of his actual cooking career outside of France. He was chef of the London Reform Club, advised the British army on food during the Crimean War, and opened low cost kitchens to sell food during the Irish Potato Famine. All the way around, he sounds like an awfully good guy.
Many years later, in 1930, another good guy – Frank Mars – introduced that American candy icon, the Snickers bar. This occurred during a golden age for candy in the United States – coinciding, not coincidentally, with Prohibition.
And finally, today in 1941, inventor Roy J. Plunkett received a patent for Teflon, which he’d discovered by accident. And without which, a lot more would stick today. (Side note: I only own one non-stick pan and I actually rarely use it. I’m kind of a fan of the can-stick stuff.)
So to celebrate today? Well, if you’re on the East Coast, I’d definitely suggest some soup, for one thing. Potato soup with French influences, maybe? With a Snickers for dessert, obvs.