Wacky Wednesday

A day to celebrate those not so popular Holiday that fall on Jan 8th –

Argyle Socks Day :

Argyle—people seem to either love it or hate it. Argyle Day was created as a way for people to brighten up winter by wearing argyle, the more the better. Some people just wear argyle socks on the day, but some are known to wear argyle hats, sweaters, dresses, and pants as well.

Argyle is a diamond pattern with overlapping diagonal lines. The design came from the tartan of Clan Campbell, a clan from Argyll, a county that was in western Scotland. They used it in their kilts and plaids. By the seventeenth century, the Scottish were wearing “tartan hose,” which look similar to the argyle socks of today.

Following World War I, argyle became popular in Great Britain and then the United States. Pringle of Scotland was at the forefront of argyle fashion. Argyle’s popularity was spurred in part by Prince Edward, who would later become the Duke of Windsor; in the 1920s, he began wearing argyle when he went golfing. Today, the design continues to be associated with golf. Recently it has been used in the uniforms of other sports, such as cycling, curling, and soccer. It is even included on the side of the University of North Carolina’s basketball jerseys.

Argyle became part of preppy clothing attire in the 1980s. Besides clothing, argyle is common on wallpaper, blankets, throw pillows, and even on thermoses. Today, socks may be the most popular place to find argyle, followed by sweaters.

Observed annually on January 8th

English Toffee Day

English toffee is a buttery toffee that is often made with almonds. It is not actually from England, and is different from the toffee that is produced there. But it can be found there, bearing the name “buttercrunch.” The core of Heath candy bars is English toffee. Toffee in general is made by caramelizing sugar or molasses with butter, and sometimes flour. It is heated to the hard crack stage, and is sometimes mixed with raisins or nuts. Then it is usually poured into a shallow tray, where it cools into a slab, and can then be broken into pieces and eaten. Depending on exactly how it is made, it varies in hardness. English toffee is celebrated today, and the day is recognized by the National Confectioners Association.

Recipe :

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Get all of your ingredients measured and set out before you start the recipe. Then place your almonds on a plate and microwave them for 2-3 minutes on high to toast them. Line a baking sheet (preferable a 9×13 pan) with foil and place the almonds in a single layer on the foil – space them out as best you can.
  • Add sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt to a large sauce pan (at least 2-quarts and it needs to have a thick bottom – not a thin metal one or your toffee will burn!) and melt over medium heat, stirring throughout.
  • When ingredients are completely melted, continuously stir and gradually increase heat to medium-high. Keep stirring, stirring, stirring for 9-15 minutes until the toffee is a golden brown color (similar to the color of the raw almonds). As soon as it reaches that color, quickly pour over almonds in your prepared pan.
  • Allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow to sit for another couple of minutes so the chocolate chips will melt, then spread over the toffee. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and allow to cool completely. (If you put the pan in the fridge it will speed up the process a bit).
  • After toffee and chocolate and completely cooled, use a butter knife to break apart the toffee. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Bubble Bath Day !

Bubble baths are relaxing, and are thought to cleanse the skin and open pores. There also is a belief that the bubbles help to insulate bath water, keeping it warm longer. Bubble baths are fun for adults, and especially are popular with children, who many times are convinced to take their baths because of the bubbles. So, it is only natural that bubble baths would get their own day. Bubble baths are created by a layer of surfactant foam on top of water. Surfactants themselves are called “bubble bath,” as well as “bath foam” and “foaming bath.” Besides making bubbles, some bubble bath products may be used to wash skin and hair as well. Originally bubble baths were made with soap. Today the substances used to make bubble baths may be liquid, gel, powder, grains, or tablets. By the 1960s, surfactants were mass marketed, and bubble baths were the norm for children. Bub and Matey was an early bubble bath that was marketed shortly before 1960. Sometimes aerated bathtubs, such as whirlpools with jets, or carbonated baths such as those that use bath bombs, are also called bubble baths. Surfactants usually are not added to these, as the bubbles may get out of hand.

Homemade Bubble Bath :

  • 1/2 C warm distilled Water
  • 1/2 C liquid Ca stile soap
  • ¼ cup vegetable glycerin
  • (optional) essential oils of your choice

 Gathered the homemade bubble bath ingredients, all you have to do is pour and mix them together. The water and castile soap will mix well, but the glycerin may settle at the bottom of your container. That’s normal!

To Use

To use your homemade bubble bath, first give your jar a gentle shake, just enough to mix in the glycerin. (Don’t over-shake – it’ll get foamy and too bubbly.) When it looks less separated, simply pour an eighth of a cup of the liquid bubble bath into warm, running bath water. If you find that’s not enough, keep adding in small amounts until you’ve reached your desired bubble level.

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