Most of us think of holidays as one of those few days our employer actually pays us to stay home. We all know the big ones: New Year's, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And yes, some employers are a little more generous but most likely you'll have no more than 7 days a year that you consider a holiday. Depending on your religious beliefs you may add a few more to that annual list, and find that you're up to a dozen or so.
For a day to be considered a "National Holiday" it needs to be declared so by Congress. And then of course we have the "commercial holidays" that we all love, which in effect are simply days that have become popular over the years. We all love them, but for some of us that just isn't enough. Organizations, corporation, and even loosely connected groups of people can "declare" a day for any reason they choose. Some of these days catch on and become popular with the general population, some remain only recognized by their creator, and some fizzle out and become a mere memory after only a year or two.
The point is - Every day, somewhere someone is celebrating something.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 9 ~ Happy Apricot Day

This beautiful artwork is available on a greeting card at Greeting Card by artist Gail Morrison.

Why apricot day falls in the winter I'm not exactly sure, but not to worry because there are still plenty of good things you can do with either canned or dried apricots.

Need some recipes to help make your Apricot Day special?   Try one of these:

Apricot Nut Bread
  • 1 1 pound can apricot halves
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain apricots and reserve liquid.  Sieve apricots and then add reserved liquid to make 1 cup.  Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with apricot mixture.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.  Cool on rack.  This is great sliced with cream cheese...yum!

Apricot Drop Cookies
  • 2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (3 or 4)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and egg whites.  Add walnuts and apricots mixing well.  Drop by teaspoon onto well-greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on rack.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Apricot Liqueur
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 9 ripe apricots
  • 3 cups vodka 
Peel and chop apricots discarding skin and pits.  Add apricots in a large jar with vodka.  Let marinate a few weeks shaking several times during the process.  Strain contents in a wire strainer, pressing liquid from fruit.  Make sugar syrup by boiling sugar and water for several minutes until it is clear and thickened.  Add sugar syrup.  Strain several times to remove any particles.  Let stand for 4 to 6 weeks.

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