Ah, National Sloppy Joe Day, that magical day when our American friends celebrate the wonder that is the sloppy joe. For those unfamiliar with this culinary delight, a sloppy joe is a sandwich made from ground beef, tomato sauce, and various seasonings, all piled onto a soft hamburger bun. It's messy, it's delicious, and it's a staple of American cuisine.
If you're a Brit reading this, you might be scratching your head at the idea of a sloppy joe. After all, isn't a sandwich supposed to be neat and tidy? Pass the tea and scones won't you? Well sometimes it's okay to let loose and embrace the mess. In fact, there's something almost cathartic about sinking your teeth into a juicy, saucy sandwich and feeling the tomato sauce drip down your chin. It's a reminder that life doesn't always have to be prim and proper. Sometimes it's good to get a little sloppy.
And let's not forget the practicality of the sloppy joe. It's the perfect meal for those busy days when you don't have time to sit down for a formal dinner. Just grab a sloppy joe, and you're good to go. Plus, it's an easy meal to make for a crowd, which makes it ideal for parties and other social gatherings.
So, on this National Sloppy Joe Day, let's all take a moment to appreciate the messy, delicious, and uniquely American sandwich that is the sloppy joe. And if we can't convince you to try one, maybe we could tempt you with the Sloppy Joe cocktail. It's rather less messy to consume, but just as delicious.
The folk behind the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico claim that their secret recipe dates back to a hermit monk named Fra Angelico in 18th-century Piedmont, Italy.
But the Fra Angelico who died in a Roman convent on this day in 1455 is rather better attested: one of the true stars of early Italian Renaissance art, this humble, devout monk was known as "Blessed One" during his lifetime, and would not even pick up a brush without praying first. Today he is beatified - halfway to sainthood - and is the official patron of Catholic artists.
We are toasting him with an Italian-inspired cocktail, a take on the northern Italian aperitif Spritz: the Biscotti Spritz includes not only hazelnut liqueur (that's what Frangelico is) but butterscotch, too.
Crime and punishment has mercifully moved on over the decades. Britain got rid of the death penalty in the 1960s; we formally abolished hanging, drawing and quartering in the 1870s; we stopped hanging pickpockets in the early 1800s; and we last burned someone at the stake over 230 years ago today. Her name was Catherine Murphy and she had been forging coins, a crime that counted as high treason. Her male conspirators were killed by hanging; as a woman, she had to be burned at the stake.
When we last checked, at least 54 countries around the world still used the death penalty with the USA the last of the G7 countries to maintain the death penalty.
Today, the longest sentence you can serve for forging money is ten years. And we're toasting this more merciful world with The Money Penny, a deliciously grapefruity drink we discovered at the Blue Owl, NYC.
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