Mar 2, 2013 / 5:00 am
Does this quote strike a chord with you? Perhaps it just rings true because of the gloomy weather recently, but for those of us who remember the tune these words come from Don Maclean’s song, “American Pie”. The song speaks of the many changes and shocking events occurring in the 60s, with February’s contribution being the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash. I simply thought they were fitting for this column as I find that February always makes me shiver.
It seems colder and darker on a gloomy day in February than any other time of year. Perhaps that is why we try so hard with food-driven holidays to cheer ourselves up; first with the chocolate and wine of romantic Valentine’s Day, and then with the gourmandise of Mardi Gras, when historically we feast on goodies like donuts and pancakes and party in full swing before beginning the penance of Lent.
In managing to while away the time before spring truly begins in earnest, we need to have something worthy of extreme concentration. Even here in the beautiful Okanagan, those who have not had a break from winter’s cold clutches are feeling cabin fever by now and they need something special to draw their attention away from yet another cold front. I propose that we create a new festivity on March 1st, to celebrate the end of shivery February and the start of the rest of the year! It is said that March often comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb… well, perhaps we ought to follow that advice heartily and let loose a heartfelt ROAR to get our blood moving!!
So, with this new “Lion’s Day” in mind, I recommend activities indicative of the day’s namesake. Namely, the activities listed below, taken from a research article on lion habits in South Africa:
Lions are active at night, early morning and towards sunset, although they do sometimes hunt during the day. They are generally fairly lethargic: they exert themselves for short periods of time and then spend long periods of slow movement or relaxation. (Despite their apparent obliviousness to their surroundings during resting periods, they can become aggressive quickly if suddenly or unduly disturbed.)
Drinking is a social event and the pride tends to move to water en masse, usually crowding together in the manner similar to that maintained during feeding.
The more I consider this prospect, the more I feel confident that we could emulate this pattern with moderate to full success! I think it is important to note that we would likely adopt the same protective behaviour of becoming aggressive if our relaxation time was interrupted. Additionally, I find it of great interest that drinking – and eating – are social events in lion prides. We seem to have fallen upon just the creature to use as a symbol of the good life, don’t you think?
Now there are a number of ways we can go from here. You could take the Disney approach and begin to hum “Hakuna Matata” (which is by the way a real Swahili expression which means, “no worries!”). Those males in our readership pool may want to find their inner predator and fire up the grill (all you need to do is cook it remember – it is the lioness that does the hunting!). Or perhaps you are more the quiet type and would prefer to lurk in the long grass and contemplate your kingdom?
You see, now that February is over, you need not fret, The worst is behind us. Even those who do not want to celebrate with a chunk of meat on the grill but may prefer fresh veggies can also rejoice at the thought of the markets’ imminent return. We may not have those fresh local items yet, but we could pull something from the freezer or even just revel in the slightly longer days. It all gets better from here on in.
Happy Lion’s Day!
P.S... (from the chef)
OK, I can roll with that new holiday as long as it does not involve roasting a turkey. I have many reasons: first let’s give a break to the poor turkeys who always get slaughtered for every holiday and second I am just not a big turkey fan.
With that said, I think we can’t really celebrate anything with only vegetables, so we do need a piece of meat - or guys won’t embrace this new holiday. I suggest that whatever animal is cooked, it has to be barbecued… the best way to celebrate the not-yet-end of winter blues is to start cooking summer style. I am thinking of grilling a piece of venison on Sunday. (That sounds like something a lion would eat.) Anyway like a good husband, I am supporting my wife in her new endeavour of adding a new holiday! It's also good practice for the BBQ competition coming up in Kelowna this summer - check it out at http://www.bbqforkids.ca/BBQ-for-Kids-Competition.html
Read more Happy Gourmand articles
- Recipes across the miles Apr 13
- Haggis, neeps & tatties Apr 6
- Foolish food Mar 30
- Good food, good friends Mar 23
- One hour extra - make the most of it Mar 16
- 'February made me shiver...' Mar 2
- Holiday brain Feb 23
- Fat Tuesday is fine by me! Feb 9
- Hibernation heebee jeebies Feb 2
- What goes around comes around Jan 26
- The dead of winter Jan 19
- Ooh-Mammy!! Jan 12
(Click for RSS instructions.)