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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Next: How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
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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Next: How to Store Shrimp
Shrimp like to breathe, otherwise they start to get smelly. To avoid foul seafood, you’ll first want to store your shrimp in the coldest part of your fridge. If the shrimp was purchased in a bag, open the bag and place a paper towel over the top. Proceed to transfer the bag to a bowl of ice. The shrimp should be okay to use for up to two days.
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Next: How to Freeze Shrimp
For maximum shelf life, freeze raw shrimp with their heads removed, but shells still intact. Package the shrimp in freezer bags leaving about a quarter of an inch of space at the top. Frozen shrimp can last from three to six months before needing to be discarded.
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Like fish, frozen shrimp should either be left in the refrigerator overnight or thawed in a bowl of cold water. Never re-freeze shrimp. Most seafood is usually frozen prior to arriving at the grocery store and you don’t want to freeze it for a second time.
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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 Chicken
Raw or cooked chicken can be stored in a refrigerator for a few days, though it’s important to prevent raw chicken juices from leaking and contaminating other foods. Ensure that chicken remains in its original packaging (which should be vacuum-sealed or tightly-wrapped) until it is ready to be cooked.
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Next: How to Freeze Chicken
While freezing will make your chicken less tender and juicy, it is the perfect way to store the family-sized pack you bought at Costco last weekend. Remove the chicken from its original packaging and rewrap it tightly using aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Double wrap if you are planning to store the chicken for more than two months. Ground chicken can last up to three months in the freezer, while chicken pieces can last up to nine.
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Next: How to Thaw Chicken
You should never thaw chicken at room temperature, as it is highly susceptible to bacteria growth. Frozen chicken should either be thawed in the microwave, in the refrigerator, or in cold water (which should be changed every 30 minutes).
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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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Next: How to Freeze Fresh Sausage
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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Next: Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
This rustic one-pot meal keeps the spicy Cajun flavors and signature sausage, shrimp, and pepper combo of traditional jambalaya but substitutes nutty, savory wild rice for the usual long-grain white rice. It’s plenty piquant as is, but if you can’t get enough heat, feel free to be even more liberal with the hot sauce.
Discover more wild rice recipes.