The Thing About Today – September 3

September 3, 2020
Day 247 of 366

 

September 3rd is the 247th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Qatar, commemorating the second independence from the United Kingdom in 1971.

 

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Welsh Rarebit Day and U.S. Bowling League Day.

 

Historical items of note:

  • In 301, San Marino was founded by Saint Marinus. One of the smallest nations in the world, it is the world’s oldest republic still in existence.
  • In 1651, the Battle of Worcester was fought. It was the last significant action in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
  • In 1777, during the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in the American Revolutionary War, the Flag of the United States was flown in battle for the first time.
  • In 1783, The American Revolutionary War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • In 1838, future abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery.
  • In 1875, the first official game of polo was played in Argentina after being introduced by British ranchers.
  • Also in 1875, Ferdinand Porsche was born. He was the Austrian-German engineer and businessman who founded Porsche.
  • In 1923, cartoonist Mort Walker was born. He created Beetle Bailey.
  • Also in 1923, Glen Bell was born. He was the businessman who founded Taco Bell.
  • In 1935, Sir Malcolm Campbell reached a speed of 304.331 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, becoming the first person to drive an automobile over 300 miles per hour.
  • In 1943, actress Valerie Perrine was born.
  • In 1959, actor Merritt Butrick was born.
  • In 1974, actress, producer, and screenwriter Clare Kramer was born.
  • In 1976, the Viking 2 spacecraft landed at Utopia Planitia on Mars.
  • In 1981, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international bill of rights for women, was instituted by the United Nations.

 

Since this project is partially a quest to learn new things each day, I took a look at Welsh Rarebit. Also known as Welsh Rabbit, it is a traditional British dish often associated with Welsh cuisine. It consists of a savory sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients, served hot, after being poured over slices of toasted bread. The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Britain, but the dish itself contains no rabbit meat.

I grew up with something similar consisting of gravy (sometimes with meat chunks) poured over toasted bread. We called it S.O.S., short for Shit on a Shingle.

Variants of the Welsh Rarebit may include ale, mustard, ground cayenne pepper, paprika, wine,  and/or Worcestershire sauce. The sauce may also blend cheese and mustard into a Béchamel sauce.

Other variants include the Scotch Rabbit…

Toast the bread very nicely on both sides, butter it, cut a slice of cheese about as big as the bread, toast it on both sides, and lay it on the bread.

…the English rabbit…

Toast the bread brown on both sides, lay it in a plate before the fire, pour a glass of red wine over it, and let it soak the wine up. Then cut some cheese very thin and lay it very thick over the bread, put it in a tin oven before the fire, and it will be toasted and browned presently. Serve it always hot.

Alternatively, toast the bread and soak it in the wine, set it before the fire, rub butter over the bottom of a plate, lay the cheese on, pour in two or three spoonfuls of white wine, cover it with another plate, set it over a chafing-dish of hot coals for two or three minutes, then stir it till it is done and well mixed. You may stir in a little mustard; when it enough lays it on the bread, just brown it with a hot shovel.

…the Buck rarebit, also known as the Golden Buck…

It’s a Welsh Rarebit with an egg served on top.

…and the Blushing Bunny.

Welsh rarebit blended with a tomato or with tomato soup.

The first recorded reference to the dish was “Welsh rabbit” in 1725, in an English context, but the origin of the term is unknown.

 

The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

 

 

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