Today is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day – totally appropriate and totally seasonal! Rhubarb is all over the grocery store lately. I haven’t bought any of it because I don’t like to bake and I’m not really sure what else to do with rhubarb…so I just ignore it. But I like the idea!
Today is also about inventions – American food inventions. Today in 1869, Charles Elmer Hires started selling his root beer in Philadelphia. It’s still for sale today.
A generation later, in 1902, the fast food concept was born. Today marks the 109th anniversary of the opening of the first Automat. It was at 818 Chestnut Street and opened by Frank Hardart and Joe Horn. The last Automat closed in 1991, but the concept lives on all over the place, in every fast food place around the world.
A few years later, in 1911, Carrie Nation passed away. Nation was a key figure in the women’s temperance movement, and was known for bashing in saloons with a hatchet. I’m sure she felt that she was doing very important work…but I’m also pretty sure she and I could never have been friends.
Finally, today in 1953, John Kraft received a patent for the manufacture of soft surface cured cheese. Mmm…soft, processed cheese. So gross, but kind of good at the same time. And so very American.
So there it is: root beer, fast food, processed cheese and temperance. To celebrate it all, I’d stick with a nice rhubarb pie.