Christmas is just 30 days away. So, now is the time to collect recipes and learn the methods to prepare sweet treats and delicacies like a confectioner. Why not make Chocolate Fudge for the festive season using your microwave to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth?
Here is an amazingly quick and easy method to make Chocolate Fudge from Greg’s Kitchen.
It requires only four ingredients plus salt (optional) and just 10 minutes to make this delicacy.
Ingredients 500 grams of Brown Sugar
250 grams of chocolate melts (cooking chocolate)
150 grams of butter
1 tin (approx. 395 ml) Sweetened condensed milk
and 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
January 1 is probably the world’s most celebrated public holiday. In each time zone, as the new year starts at the stroke of midnight, it is invariably greeted with fireworks.
The first month of the year, January, is named after Janus, the Roman god who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions.
The Julian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 BC, as well as the Gregorian calendar also called the Western calendar and the Christian calendar that refined the Julian calendar in 1582 have January 1 as the first day of the year.
Later on, January 1, the New Year’s Day, was liturgically marked the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom. The Anglican and Lutheran churches celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus on January 1, based on the belief that if Jesus was born on December 25, then according to Jewish tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (January 1).
The Roman Catholic Church considers New Year’s Day as a Holy Day of Obligation and celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on this day.
I came across the above fabulous photo on the internet. Do you like it? What message does it convey?
Here are some photographs I came across while surfing the net.
The vow of Hindu-Muslim unity
Talking about communal harmony on April 8, 1919, Mahatma Gandhi said:
“If the Hindu-Muslim communities could be united in one bond of mutual friendship and if each could act towards the other as children of the same mother, it would be a consummation devoutly to be wished. But before this unity becomes a reality, both the communities will have to give up a good deal, and will have to make radical changes in ideas held herefore. Members of one community when talking about those of the other at times indulge in terms so vulgar that they but acerbate the relations between the two. In Hindu society, we do not hesitate to indulge in unbecoming language when talking of the Mohammedans and vice-versa. Many believe that an ingrained and ineradicable animosity exists between the Hindus and
“When both are inspired by the spirit of sacrifice, when both try to do their duty towards one another instead of pressing their rights, then and then only would the long-standing differences between the two communities cease. Each must respect the other’s religion, must refrain from even secretly thinking ill of the other. We must politely dissuade members of both communities from indulging in bad language against one another. Only a serious endeavour in this direction can remove the estrangement between us.” (25:201-202)
He made the members present take a vow as under:
“With God as the witness, we Hindus and Mohammedans declare that we shall behave towards one another as children of the same parents, that we shall have no differences, that the sorrows of each shall be the sorrows of the other and that each shall help the other in removing them. We shall respect each other’s religion and religious feelings and shall not stand in the way of our respective religious practices. We shall always refrain from violence to each other in the name of religion.”
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that–as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.” – Charles Dickens
Here is the preface written by Charles Dickens for the memorable Christmas story of all time, “A Christmas Carol” published on December 17, 1843:
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D.
Through this novella, Charles Dickens was the first person to introduce the phrase “Merry Christmas” to English. This masterpiece also added the name “Scrooge” and the exclamation “Bah! Humbug!” to the English vernacular.
Charles Dickens (born Charles John Huffam Dickens, February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870), an English writer and social critic rose from a downtrodden family background. His early experience of a life of poverty and deprivation helped him create some of the most memorable characters of all time.
During his later life, Charles Dickens enjoyed unprecedented fame through his works, and by the twentieth century, he was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars as a literary genius. Even now, readers consider Dickens as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Period. His novels and short stories are still widely popular. His works include A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, and many more.
Charles Dickens concerned about poor children wanted to publish a pamphlet titled “An Appeal to the People of England, on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child,” to draw the attention of workers and employers to the plight of poor children. Instead, he wrote A Christmas Carol, for he thought that an irresistible Christmas story with a plot that highlighted the struggles of the poor would have a better and broader appeal.
Dickens started writing A Christmas Carol in October 1843 and finished it by the end of November, in time to be published for Christmas. The book was illustrated by John Leech.
It was published in early Victorian Era Britain, a period when people longed for the old nostalgic Christmas traditions. It was at this time that new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards were introduced.
Dickens’ sources for the powerful, impressive, and enduring tale appear to be many and varied. He leaned on Washington Irving’s essays on Christmas published in his Sketch Book in 1820, describing the traditional old English Christmas; various Christmas stories, fairy tales and nursery stories; as well as satirical essays and religious tracts. However, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, impelled him to write the book.
The book’s first run of 6,000 copies sold out before Christmas Eve, and by the following May seven editions sold out. However, it did not produce a windfall for Dickens, who paid the original production costs due to a dispute with his publisher.
A Christmas Carol tells the story of the bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Past, Present, and Yet to Come Christmases. The novella was an instant success and received wide critical acclaim. It became the most popular Christmas tale ever to be written. Dickens never anticipated that his characterization of Tiny Tim, the embodiment of England’s poor children, and the personification of Scrooge modeled after his estranged father, would receive such an accolade from his readers.
Many have credited A Christmas Carol with reviving the spirit of Christmas celebration, after a period of sobriety and sombreness, as one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America.
A Christmas Carol has been adapted in numerous plays, operas, ballets and films. It is in its 24th edition. It is estimated that about five billion copies have been sold to date.
Black Friday, considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season has come and gone. Traditionally Black Friday, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year for the brick and mortar retailers who attract customers by providing huge discounts. On that day people in the United States frantically shop for things they do not really need, (Read my article “Black Friday and the United Stupids of America (USA)!“)
Did you miss physical shopping on Black Friday because you are one of those people who tend to stay away from stores to avoid crowds?
Don’t worry. Cyber Monday, considered the biggest and busiest online shopping day of the year in the US is here. This day was created to allow customers like you to shop online from the comfort of their offices and homes. Many online retailers offer deals and large discounts to customers on this day.
According to the newly formed shopping tradition in the United States, Cyber Monday falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day.
In 2003. Tony Valado, while working at 1800Flowers.com, coined the term “White Wednesday” to be the day before Thanksgiving, for online retailers to offer bargains to online shoppers. However, this suggestion it did not take effect.
According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined in 2004 after a research found the Monday after Thanksgiving was “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.”
During the 2005 holiday shopping season, the term was first used by the ecommerce community.
Do a Google search on “Cyber Monday,” and you get as many as 779,000 results. Not a bad haul for a term that was created just a week and a half ago to describe the jump in online shopping activity following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. While Black Friday is the official kickoff of the traditional retail season, the story goes, online retail really takes off the following Monday.
The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.
2010 Holiday Season vs. 2009 Holiday Season* Non-Travel (Retail) Spending Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore, Inc.
November 1 – December 31
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25)
Black Friday (Nov. 26)
Cyber Monday (Nov. 29)
Green Monday (Dec. 13)
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 17)
*Full season comparison based on calendar days; individual day comparisons based on corresponding shopping days in 2009
Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2010 Holiday Season Non-Travel (Retail) Spending Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore, Inc.
Spending in Millions ($)
Monday, Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday)
Monday, Dec. 13 (Green Monday)
Monday, Dec. 6
Friday, Dec. 17 (Free Shipping Day)
Thursday, Dec. 16
Tuesday, Dec. 14
Tuesday, Nov. 30
Wednesday, Dec. 8
Thursday, Dec. 9
Tuesday, Dec. 7
Cyber Monday is not a public holiday in the United States. Online retailers offer deals, several weeks and days ahead on online forums and websites. A large percentage of the online shopping on this day is done during work hours and many retailers offer extra lunchtime discounts to their customers.
In recent years many online businesses have decided to extend their deals, events, and promotions for at least 5 full business days following Cyber Monday thus creating a “Cyber Week.”
Now, “Cyber Monday” has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, and Japan.