Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
There are several reasons Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25. The date is nine months after March 25, a day recognized by Christians as Annunciation. It was the day Mary was told she would was having a baby. The nine months that follow are an approximation of Jesus’ birth. Dec. 25 also coincides with pagan Winter Solstice celebrations like Saturnalia' and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Since they were historically celebrated around that time of year there was precedent for holiday festivities during this time of year.
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Next: What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
Christmas is a shortened from the words “Christ’s mass.” It’s derived from the Middle English word "Cristemasse" which has Greek, Hebrew and Latin origins. Christmas is an annual holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians around the world and is regarded as an important religious and cultural holiday.
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How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in many ways and celebrations vary across cultures. In the days leading up to Christmas, people usually put up special decorations including colorful lights and evergreen trees. Gifts are often placed under the tree and exchanged on Christmas day among loved ones. Large meals are also typically served as part of the celebration as well.
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Pork fares best in the freezer if packaged with freezer-friendly materials like waxed paper, aluminum foil, or heavy-duty plastic bags.
Wrap any meat tightly so that air does not escape and freeze at 0°F. Generally, fresh cuts of pork can last up to six months, while ground pork can last up to three.
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Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.
It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.
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Sealed pork products can typically last in the fridge for two to four days, with ground pork having a slightly shorter shelf life at one to three. Ham or other smoked pork products like bacon can be stored for up to a week, though this only applies to products that aren’t vacuum sealed or prepared with preservatives. The latter can obviously last a lot longer.
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Next: How to Store Fresh Sausage
How to Store Fresh Sausage
Fresh sausage must be consumed or frozen within one to two days of purchase. They can be stored in their original packaging, but refrain from opening the package until you’re ready to cook. The easiest way to tell if a sausage has gone bad is its smell. Discard of anything that smells foul.
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How to Freeze Fresh Sausage
Sausage can be kept in its original packaging, but re-wrapped in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. A frozen fresh sausage’s optimal flavor will last one to two months beyond its initial freeze date, though properly packaged sausage can last significantly longer.
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Next: How to Cook Fresh Sausage
How to Cook Fresh Sausage
To cook sausage in its traditional form (whole and with casing), spray a skillet with cooking spray and set the heat to medium-high. Add the sausages and allow their sides to brown. Continuously flip the sausages with tongs until they are browned evenly. Lower heat to medium-low and carefully had half a cup of water to the skillet. Cover the sausages and allow to simmer in the water for 12 minutes or until the they are cooked through.
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Porchetta is a boneless Italian pork roast in which the skin, meat, fat, and stuffing are rolled together and cooked over a wood-burning fire. This Thanksgiving, channel your inner guido and consider making a turchetta: Skin and debone your turkey, marinate the meat in herbs and spices, then roll the skin, meat, and some sausage stuffing into a giant roulade. Warning: This is not for the faint of heart. You will become one with turkey slime.
What to buy: The large flakes of kosher salt are best for marinating meat. Because kosher salts vary in weight and salinity, we give you the quantity needed for two popular brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton.
Special equipment: You will need a large piece of ultrafine woven cheesecloth, about 22 inches square, to help secure the roulade for cooking. It can be purchased at cooking supply stores or online.
A very long piece of butcher’s twine, about 162 inches or 4 1/2 yards, is needed to keep the roulade together. Twine can be purchased at most cooking supply or hardware stores.
Game plan: This recipe takes two days. The first day you skin and debone the turkey, marinate the meat in the herbs and spices, and make the stuffing. The second day you roll the meat up and roast it.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes, Traditional to Trippy.