While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Gather around the punch bowl, a different kind of water cooler– September 20 is National Punch Day!
You can skip straight to the punchline today. Whether you like it spiked or as innocent as a high school homecoming, punch has been a catch-all beverage since the 1600s.
Originally, punch, known as "panch" in Hindi, "panj" in Persian or "panchan" in Sanskrit (all words meaning "five"), was made with alcohol, sugar, lemon juice, water and tea or spices. The British developed their popular Wassail, created around a wine or brandy base, but once Jamaican rum dropped on the scene circa 1655, modern punch was born. Naturally, today is also National Rum Punch Day.
Fruit punch was developed by soft drink manufacturers, although it doesn't have much to do with fruit in the first place. Different regions and cultures are famous for their own takes on punch, so try one of these 600 or one of the dozen vintage recipe in the gallery above.
We dare you to attempt Chatham Artillery Punch. According to Joe Odom, it's "seven parts liquor, three parts juice, whatever you have on hand on both counts." Drink up, and try to remember us in the morning.
Click through for 12 vintage punch recipes
On National Rum Day, enjoy the rummiest classic recipe we could find. From our 1941 edition of W.C. Whitfield's drink mixing masterpiece 'Here's How' - a Zombie cocktail that calls for no fewer than five (5) different varieties of rum.
And if we had any braaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiinssssssss, we'd recall where we'd last seen our Zombie glass...
When folks are using sidewalks as griddles and baking biscuits in their cars, you know you've got a heat wave on your (sweaty) hands. Take a tip from the folks at Knox who published "Dainty Desserts for Dainty People" way back in 1915. They didn't need any newfangled plug-in freezers or schmancy ice cream gizmos to keep cool in the middle of a blistering summer - just a block of ice in a chest, or crushed ice mixed with rock salt.
Where'd the ice come from without a home freezer? Let's not get too hung up on the details (a strapping delivery gent would come around with a wagon full of blocks and some tongs) when there are brains to be frozen and tongues to be tantalized.
Here's your assignment, should you choose to accept it.
We know, this sounds suspiciously like an internet ad that tells you how to make money by selling prescription drugs online. No, this might be even easier. Some cookbooks that you just might have sitting on your shelves are going for quite a bit of money on Amazon.
We’re not talking about super-specialized books like Modernist Cuisine, the recently released, $625, 46-pound compendium by Nathan Myhrvold, nor a first-edition copy of Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food, which went for $1583. (Although if you have either of those books on hand, you’re lucky, and potentially rich.) We’re talking specifically about The Last Course, by pastry goddess Claudia Fleming.
Published in 2001, the book ranks just above the 783,000 mark on Amazon’s best-seller list and originally cost $40. Now, a first edition of The Last Course is on sale for $800 on Amazon, with used copies going for $142.
There are places in this very country where - and I'm not saying this is right or wrong - people think it's a fine idea to put raisins or pineapple in their cole slaw. There are other places where - and I'm not saying this is right or wrong (though it's totally right) - that such behavior would be met with public shunnings and possibly legal action, were they to inflict such an abomination upon the unsuspecting public.
After all, there is only one acceptable way to make cole slaw: the way you ate it growing up.
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Amen, Mr. Price. Amen.
A reading from the works of noted gourmands Vincent and Mary Price, from their 1965 cookbook "A Treasury of Great Recipes":
Folks all over the globe are getting wacky with the Royal Wedding watching plans, and we were busy being all impressed with ourselves for not much giving a hoot. Until, that is, we got a gander at the Bazooka Candy Limited Edition Royal Ring Pop that, for reasons incomprehensible even to our royal therapist, released our inner tchotchke Gollum.
We're not made of stone, folks (and, uh, neither is the ring, which is not edible, but rather Swarovski-blinged) and suddenly, we're all commemorative press-nails this and creepy cheese William and Kate pizza that. But most of all? Scones.
The Vintage Cookbook Vault highlights recipes from my insane stash of books and pamphlets from the early 20th century onward. It's a semi-regular thing.
The Easter bunny's come and gone, the kids are crashed out in a post-candy coma and you - you just might dig a little pick-me-up. Or a chill-me-out. Whichever - you're of legal drinking age, Lent's come to an end and you might have a few extra unboiled eggs hanging out in the fridge.