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National Pastry Day!

Today we celebrate a day for pastry, baked products that are made of flour, shortening, eggs, and other ingredients to make a variety of baked goods.  This day is observed annually on December 9th.

Pastry dough is the based of most baked goodies.  The word “pastries” suggests many kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, eggs. You can bake pies, quiches, croissants, or pasties.

During the holidays, the most used pastry is the Puff pastry because it has many layers that cause it to puff when baked and one of the famous baked sweet goodies made with puff pastry is the Baklava.  Another popular pastry that uses flaky pastry is the Apple Turnovers.

The best pasty for me is the Croissant, a bread having a higher content of fat which contributes to a flaky or crumbly texture.  Their buttery soft and can be served plain or with your favorite holiday fillings like Chicken salad.  They are difficult to make homemade but nowadays, you can buy them in your local supermarket like the Pillsbury brand.

Often times, you can just head to your famous big box store and just buy a ready-made Croissants to bring home and be ready for the dinner with the hassle of baking.  So, to celebrate this day just grab your favorite pasty goodies for the holidays for everybody to enjoy.  Share on social media your favorite pastry using #PastryDay.

1979 Smallpox is officially declared eradicated

On December 9, 1979, a commission of scientists declares that smallpox has been eradicated. The disease, which carries around a 30 percent chance of death for those who contract it, is the only infectious disease afflicting humans that have officially been eradicated.

Something similar to smallpox had ravaged humanity for thousands of years, with the earliest known description appearing in Indian accounts from the 2 Century BCE. It was believed that the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses V died of smallpox in 1145 BCE; however, recent research indicates that the actual smallpox virus may have evolved as late as 1580 CE. A type of inoculation—introducing a small amount of the disease in order to bring on a mild case that results in immunity—was widespread in China by the 16th century.

There is no record of a smallpox-like illness in the Americas before European contact, and the fact that Europeans brought pox with them was a major factor in their conquest and near-eradication of many of the indigenous peoples of North, South and Central America. Smallpox was the leading cause of death in 18th century Europe, leading to many experiments with inoculation. In 1796 the English scientist Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine. Unlike other types of inoculation, Jenner’s vaccine, made from a closely-related disease that affects cows, carried zero risks of transmission.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/smallpox-officially-declared-eradicated)

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