Happy April everyone, and in particular, April Fool’s!
I can’t resist the opportunity to serve fool on fool’s day, but before I do, allow me to offer some seasonal folly to inaugurate a new month.
For whatever reason (procrastination, perhaps?) I went on a mid-morning quest today, looking for April holidays pertaining to food and drink. Could April be national strawberry month? Might it include international asparagus day? I Googled with baited breath; I'm thrilled to report the results. First, the food:
April Food Observances
National Soy Month ( hoo -ha! you know I’ll be doing some things with this one)
National Pecan Month
Fresh Florida Tomatoes Month
April 17 th -April 23rd: National Egg Salad Week
April 21st-26 th : National Fish Fry Week
April 5 th : National Raisin & Spice Bar Day (huh?)
April 6 th : Three notable anniversaries: (1) Teflon was invented by Roy Plunkett on April 6, 1938; (2) The TV Dinner was introduced by Swanson on April 6, 1954; (3) The Hostess Twinkie was sold for the first time in the US on April 6, 1931.
April 12 th : National Licorice Day
April 19 th : National Garlic Day
April 20 th : Pineapple Upside Down Day
April 21st: National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
April 22 nd : National Jelly Bean Day (I can’t wait! Regular readers know of my passion for jelly bellies in particular; I’m heading to the store today to stock up)
April 25 th: National Zucchini Bread Day
April 26 th : National Pretzel Day
More April Folly
As random as the above list is, the following April observances are the treasures. Apparently April is a busy month for observing and celebrating, and these are some of my favorites. They may not be causes célèbres , but they are unquestionably celebratory causes; I’m marking one and all on my calendar. (Note: ‘ tis April Fool’s Day, but the items in the following list are all real, dear food friends—I do not kid!)
Camilla’s Preferred List of April Observances
International Twit Award Month (are nominations accepted?)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Month (really? a whole month?)
Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month
Southern Belles Month
April 3rd: National Tweed Day (tally-ho!)
April 3rd-6 th : National Mule Days
April 4 th : World Rat Day
April 5 th : Tangible Karma Day
April 7 th : No Housework Day (only 1 day???!!!)
April 12 th : World Baby Massage Day
April 16 th : National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day
April 17 th : National Blah! Blah! Blah! Day
April 19 th : World Cow Chip Day
April 20 th -26 th : National Cowboy Poetry Week
April 28 th : Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
And last, but certainly not least:
April 29 th : National Hairball Day
Food as Fool
Oh me and my digressions. I am glad I now have a place to record and share them.
Now, for another form of foolishness, I offer one of the foods of my people: fool.
The Brits do know more than a thing or two about food, so I get testy whenever blanket remarks are made about dreadful English cooking. One of my boyfriends of yore made such statements on a regular basis; each slur caused me to experience an intense hiccup, making me flail my hands and tell him off, even though it was when I was alone again in my dorm room, days later. I knew from experience how delicious traditional English food can be, having eaten my fair share of my Gran’s roast beef, ethereal Yorkshire puddings, and perfectly seared lamb chops with fresh mint sauce.
And for a taste of dessert brilliance, there's British fool, a centuries-old dessert preparation made from cooked or raw fruit and heavy cream. The recipe is a breeze: puree or mash the fruit with a touch of sugar, then fold into stiffly beaten whipped cream (there should be streaks of the white cream showing where the fruit has not been completely folded into the cream). While I would like to think that the name is a whimsical moniker bestowed by a cheeky English cook, the more accepted etymology is that fool is a derivative of the French word "fouler" which means "to mash" or "to press".
Heavy whipped cream is not exactly enlightened fare, so I’m offering my healthy fool (surprise; that's also my nickname), made with thick yogurt, lemon curd and raspberries. The yogurt base means I can eat it morning, noon, or night, too—that’s my kind of dessert.
The inspiration for the lemon curd comes from two consecutive weekends spent stirring the stuff, first for an Easter lemon curd cheesecake, and then for a lemon meringue pie (a birthday gift). You can make the lemon curd from scratch, or spoon it straight from a jar (it’s typically shelved with the jams and jellies).
To a day of foolishness!
Enlightened Lemon Fool with Fresh Berries
If you want to make the lemon curd from scratch, I recommend the lemon curd recipe from Cooking Light, which is lighter, but still has the essential eggs and butter to make it real lemon curd.
1 cup lemon curd (jarred or homemade)
2 cups nonfat yogurt (the thicker, the better; if you can buy Greek yogurt, do)
1 pint basket of fresh raspberries (or you can use frozen, thawed, undrained raspberries)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Place the lemon curd and yogurt in a large bowl. Fold together for a rippled effect (do not stir, you want there to be streaks). Divide the mixture between four glasses and chill.
Just before serving, gently crush the raspberries and powdered sugar together in a small bowl, then spoon with their juices over the chilled fool and serve. Makes 4 servings.