Friday, January 9, 2015

Eat the Year




Last October I was browsing through my local Barnes and Noble when I happened across this fun little book, written by Steff Deschenes.  Knowing that I was about to begin a long-term substitute teaching position in a middle school life skills classroom for students with developmental disabilities, I decided to purchase the book and use some of the included recipes as cooking activities with the students. November 10th was National Vanilla Cupcake Day so one of the students whose IEP required her to independently follow a 4-step recipe baked vanilla cupcakes for her classmates. On National Apple Cider Day (November 18th), we used apple cider to make Crock-Pot Applesauce -- warm and cinnamon-y deliciousness. Kids with disabilities often are finicky eaters, but they ALL loved this applesauce.
When my assignment was completed, I took the book home and, alas, promptly forgot about it. Fortunately, as I was packing away my Christmas decorations, I found the book and discovered that today, January 9, is National Apricot Day. Who in his right mind would select a day in the middle of winter to celebrate apricots. According to Ms Deschenes, the word apricot derives from the Latin word meaning "precious." Scientists have found evidence that indicates apricot trees have been producing fruit since prehistoric times.
Fresh apricots are not available in Texas markets in January; dried apricots, however, are. So here's a recipe to celebrate National Apricot Day. I've made this recipe several times. I'm not a huge fan of Spanish chorizo, but the pasta is not bad. I hope you give it a try.

 Happy National Apricot Day, y'all!

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