Deacon Porter's Hat (Mount Holyoke food traditions)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 23 21:15:41 UTC 2001

   My niece's Bat Mitzvah is over.  I've just recovered.
   The Westchester Bat Mitzvah was a huge affair.  An Arsenio Hall-wannabe said, "Let's give it up for the Hamotzi blessing!"  Four identical uber-blondes seemingly took the wrong turn from NY Knicks cheerleader practice and led the dances.  This is for a 13-year-old girl!  Shouldn't "I'm a Slave 4 U" be banned?  Anyway....
   Three of my cousins went to Mount Holyoke College (the first women's college).  I said that I recently took a brief trip to Vassar College for "Vassar fudge," and that Smith College and Mount Holyoke College would be next month.  She told me about three food traditions at her college:

DEACON PORTER'S HAT:  Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA has e brief note, but see the web site  What does Fred Shapiro have for "eat my hat"?  This is not in DARE, but it absolutely should be.  OED, too.

MARY LYONS' BIRTHDAY:  My cousin said it's a tradition to eat ice cream at 6 a.m. every year on her birthday (founders' day).  Http:// mentions cake and Deacon Porter's hat for Mary Lyons' birthday, but my cousin said that everyone eats ice cream.

MILK & CRACKERS:  Every night at about 10 p.m. at Mount Holyoke, they have "milk and crackers."  The "crackers" were originally Graham crackers, but now they're cookies.  My cousin looked into the tradition, and she read that it was believed that milk and Graham crackers satisfied the sexual urges that Mount Holyoke students would sometimes have, especially at that hour.  I'll check it out--in a scholarly way, I mean.
   Meanwhile, the Bat Mitzvah dancers are gone, and I'm left with just these Bat Mitzvah chocolates....

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