Kage Baker was very fond of holidays. Her general feeling was, any excuse for a party was a good one. But she was really rather irritated by made-up modern ones.
Things like Executive Assistants Day, and National Puppy Day, and the Anniversary of the first Steam-Powered Reaper just annoyed her. I think they are at least anthropologically amusing, and often worth a bit of cheering, but for Kage this sort of thing just interrupted her writing. One of my personal favourites – March 15th, The Day The Buzzards Return to Hinckley, OH – especially ticked her off.
Maybe because it made me laugh inordinately. I always made a point of leaping around the house praising the buzzards for a few minutes every March 15th, and trying to figure out a way to make a dinner that looked like road kill. Despite the undeniable fact that Kage, with her creative mind, could probably have come up with such a meal, she refused to help. I think Kage felt it was unpatriotic to diminish the California glory of the Swallows Returning To Capistrano.
Not that she celebrated that. Nor did she care for such fun festivals as Winston Churchill Day, Tweed Day or National Eraser Day. She was respectful of serious memorial months, like Black History and Breast Cancer; but Kage saved her holiday energy for classics like Extreme Christmas; which, for us, lasted 6 weekends …
A few of the silly culinary celebrations won Kage’s approval. She’d break down and eat a few cookies for National Oreo Day – especially since, in the years when we all worked at the same insurance companies, Kimberly (an enormous fan of outre holidays) would go about with a basket of Oreos, being the Oreo Fairy. She liked Psi Day, traditionally celebrated with (what else?) a pie. Doughnut Day – on June 6th, conveniently close to her birthday on the 10th – was always welcome.
Lately, my family has been enhancing the daily menu with a perusal of the available faux holidays. This has given us Chili Dog Day, Pancake Day, Artichoke Day, Homemade Soup Day … all ways to come up with dinner without using up too many brain cells, and still maintain variety. Calendar events like Puppy Dog Day and Fairy Day are usually observed in the breech, since appropriate recipes are hard to come by. It’s an amusing and often delicious way to liven up the day’s meal, too. It’s hard to be grumpy at dinner when it’s Food Onna Stick Day.
Part of the point of this whole calendrical exercise is to fall in with the tenor of the day, so this morning I was manic. I went out early and got tomato plants at the Tapia Brothers Farm in the San Fernando Valley – it’s TomatoMania Day, you see, when we traditionally acquire our summer vegetable stock. We’ve got Early Girl Cherry Tomatoes, several kinds of plum tomatoes (sovereign for sauces), many sandwich tomatoes with manly names like Brandywine and Beefheart. Exotics like Pineapple and Potato Leaf Red. We’ve also got one that is supposed to be hollow when it’s ripe, for the express purpose of being stuffed!
However, it’s also Goof Off Day, or so the one source I have consulted says; I’ve been too lazy to check any other references. It’s been a soft, grey and lavender day, with clouds floating about sleepily; yarn winding seemed like a strenuous activity. Slicing strawberries for shortcake required a lot of thought and care. Actually making biscuits for shortcake proved too much to accomplish – so I think we’re going out for fried chicken and someone else’s biscuits.
That should cover the day just about right. Happy Goof Off Day, Dear Readers.