A Reason to Celebrate

Posted by Brette in Food | Home and Decorating

valentine dessert genericOnce the holiday decorations are put away, things settle down, and the reality of winter sinks in, things can start to feel a bit glum. I combat this in two ways.

Decorate for Small Holidays

I decorate for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter. Valentine’s Day decorations go up right after the Christmas decorations get put away. I transition from that to St. Pat and then to Easter which carries me through until it really starts to feel like spring. I decorate my tabletop all-occasion tree for all of these holidays and have wreaths as well as a few things to set around the house for each. It helps me feel as if the house is not bare and cold.

Focus on Food Holidays

I look for excuses to cook fun food throughout the winter. These are the holidays that are reasons to celebrate at my house.

Feb 1 SuperBowl: We always have cheese nachos with guacamole for the SuperBowl and I also buy soda, which is generally banned in my house. We all watch the beginning of the game together and then kind of drift off to our separate areas. I usually make brownies as well so we can be as fat as possible.

Feb 14 Valentine’s Day: I always make a heart shaped dessert for this day.

Feb 17 Mardi Gras: I make a king cake for Mardi Gras, which is a sweet bread with frosting and green, gold, and purple sprinkles. You bake a charm or small toy inside and the person who finds it is the king.

Feb 18 Ash Wednesday: We don’t celebrate Ash Wednesday per se, but I usually buy paczki donuts for the gluten eating members of the family the day before and then I buy fastnachts sometime during Lent as well. I may make some gluten free this year because I miss them so much. Lent is also fish fry season here in Buffalo, but that’s another gluten bomb, so I’ve learned how to make my own beer battered fish fry with gluten free flour.

Feb 19 Chinese New Year: I make homemade fried rice, buy some gluten free dumplings, and make a third dish, often chicken lo mein or beef with broccoli. Unfortunately I can’t find gluten free fortune cookies which is the missing piece!

March 17 St. Patrick’s Day: St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal around here. Buffalo has the second largest parade in the country. I always make corned beef with cabbage and carrots and potatoes and cheese soda bread. Then we have reuben soup the next day with the leftovers.

April 5 Easter: I always make a ham for Easter and often serve a carrot dish with it.

What food holidays are on your calendar this winter?

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