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December 29th is National Pepper Pot Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then grab yourself a bowl because it's National Pepper Pot Day!  Grab a spoon too, while you're at it!  And let's get right on into celebrating National Pepper Pot Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Because this is the day way back in 1777 when George Washington is said to have asked his army's chef to cook up a special meal for the troops. He really only wanted the meal to do two things: warm up the troops and boost their spirits. And even though they really didn't have too many good ingredients, the chef created a good soup that was said to be so good that they called it "the soup that won the war". Now that sounds like a soup worth celebrating, doesn't it?  But what are the mysterious ingredients in this soup? Well, it appears that farmers in those days were selling all their good food to the British for pounds, because they didn't really want the continental money that George Washington's soldiers had. So they had to get by on this magical stew, made by Christopher Ludwick, which contained pepper, vegetables, beef tripe and whatever else they could find. Do any of those ingredients stand out to you?  Is there perhaps one ingredient that you're not too sure about? Beef tripe? Oh, that's just parts of a cow's stomach; no big deal! I mean, if you were at war, in the freezing cold, you'd probably welcome any type of food you could get your hands on. But this soup had to taste pretty good, because people continued to make it, after the war. In fact, there's an awards ceremony, held by Philadelphia's chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, named after the soup. It might be named that in a joking manner but the soup lives on in jest, or ingested and in art.  Yes... there is actually a painting called "Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market", which shows a woman serving this soup, in the streets of Philadelphia.

HOW TO CELEBRATE
So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, aren't you a little curious as to why people liked this soup so much? It doesn't really seem like a soup that would taste too amazing, does it? But there's really only one way for you to find out... and that is to taste it yourself! But it might be a good idea to try to find a restaurant that makes it, because you might not like it enough to eat a whole pot of it and you might not make it the right way.  But if you think you can handle it, and you can find all the ingredients, then go ahead and make it yourself. I'm really not sure how tripe tastes or where to get it, but if you want to be authentic then you better start looking for some. And, of course, you need to have an ample amount of pepper or peppercorns in your soup. Other than that, just pop in whatever vegetables and seasonings you like, and go from there.  But if you want to skip the tripe, then I don't blame you, but I have a better option for you. Grab a pot, some pepper or peppercorns and look at the food you have in your house right now. Imagine that you've been outside for quite some time, you're tired, hungry and you don't care what you eat right now, you just want something warm inside you. Now... go look around your house and find a handful of different ingredients that you can include in your stew. It can be basic soup ingredients that you know you'll love, or it can be wacky things that probably shouldn't be added into a soup. It's up to you and hopefully your soup will help you win the war on hunger.  Have a great day and enjoy your soup!





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