Apparently October 21 (my birthday) is a pretty popular food celebration day! My birthday is also International Day of the Nacho, National Apple Day, National Caramel Apple Day & National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day – Happy Birthday to ME!!! Looks like I will be eating nachos, apples and pumpkin cheesecake to celebrate!
However, The Peachtree Roadies rarely need an occasion to celebrate (remember chocolate martini Tuesday?). BUT, every once in a while it’s fun to have an excuse to celebrate something with a special meal or beverage! We try to keep on top of these celebrations for you all, including National Margarita Day, National Kale Day, and even National Drink Wine Day, but there are too many out there to count! Thank goodness for the fabulous new book by Steff Deschenes, Eat the Year: 366 Fun and Fabulous Food Holidays to Celebrate Every Day, which brings you each and every food or drink holiday for every day of the year!
The book includes 366 food-related quotes from pop culture (one for each day of the year – even Leap Day), fun food facts and trivia, cute commentary, a little bit of food history, 50 recipes, and whimsical two-color line drawings all packed into one fascinating culinary journey. We got a sneak peek at the book – it just hit shelves last month – and got to ask some questions of the lovely author/blogger/foodie Steff! We think you’ll love her responses just as much as we do 🙂 Go pick up your copy of Eat the Year today and you’ll never need an excuse to celebrate again!
Q: What is your hands-down favorite meal of all time?
A: This isn’t a fair question for a foodie! My favorite meal of all time today, at this very hour (cheap red wine and seven layer Mexican dip) isn’t the same as it was a year ago (which I believe was arugula topped with roasted beets, goat cheese, and candied walnuts)… or even yesterday at this time (cinnamon buns and tea). So let’s not go with “favorite” meal. Let’s go with… as of today what would your last meal on Earth be? The answer, for now, is eggs Benedict with fried green tomatoes instead of Canadian bacon, extra crispy home fries topped with ketchup and sriracha, a side of fruit, a cup of coffee, a spicy bloody Mary, and a mason jar of ginger kombucha. Hello, yum! I call it my “sin food.” It’s my go-to weekend brunch meal, and I think I love it so much because it’s not something I would ever make for myself!
Q: What is your favorite recipe in the book and why?
A: I actually have several – how could I not, right? Some of them include:
- National Tortellini Day (February 13th): This dish is composed of tortellini, tomatoes, olives, crushed red chili pepper flakes, and parmesan that my mom started making a couple of years ago. What I LOVE about it is that it’s a super accessible recipe to folks of all budgets. I’ve eaten it with ingredients purchased at my local Dollar Tree; I’ve eaten it with higher-end ingredients I purchased at an Italian import store. Both ways, hot or cold, are just as delicious if you ask me! And – you can use the recipe for multiple food holidays (National Pasta Day, National Hot and Spicy Foods Day, etc.). Talk about versatility!
- National Cabbage Day (February 17th): It’s basically deconstructed cabbage rolls, and it comes from my younger sister who knows I LOATHE foods that make my house smell. She helped me develop a food that wasn’t high on the stink factor, tasted amazing vegan, and froze well.
- National French Bread Day (March 21st): French bread baked with double-crème brie and a homemade tart cranberry sauce. I mean, seriously, it’s just bread, cheese, and fruit. It’s a combination that’s centuries upon centuries old… and yet it never actually gets old. It also reminds me of my time living in England!
- National Pancake Day (September 26th): This recipe usually causes people to sneer in disgust when I explain it, so brace yourselves! It’s pancakes layered with peanut butter and cream cheese, drowned in maple syrup. Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you try it! It’s one of the heartiest cold weather foods you’re ever going to eat!
Q: What is your favorite food holiday in the book and why?
A: At the risk of sounding entirely unhealthy (I fully admit: I started running a lot more during this project), any days I get to celebrate pizza or doughnuts pretty much make me the happiest girl in the world. When it comes right down to it, though, I think National Apple Dumpling Day (September 17th) is one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure I’ve been celebrating it near or on the actual food holiday my entire life. I love apples so much that I have a tattoo of the fruit in blossom with the longitude/latitude of a local orchard – one that makes the most unbelievably divine dumplings smothered in vanilla sauce that I’ve ever had in my life.
Q: This is a VERY important one for the Roadies….What is your favorite drink holiday in the book and why?
A: Anytime I get to celebrate beer! But if I had to pick just one? National Red Wine Day on October 15th. I love red wine. Like a lot. I also – as I mentioned above – like cheap red wine. So I bought a bottle of Trader Joe’s Green Fin Cabernet Sauvignon for $3.99. Went home, tried to open it… it broke my corkscrew. Tried to open it with a Leatherman – A LEATHERMAN (y’know, that indestructible tool that everyone should have on them especially if stranded on a desert island or when the zombie apocalypse happens) – and it broke that, too. Tried to jam a screw in the cork and pry it all out with a pair of pliers. The screw broke. So, we just chiseled away at the cork with a knife (note: really, truly… don’t try this at home) until the neck of the bottle itself just snapped off. We drained the wine through a colander into glasses and called it good. There’s actually a video on YouTube during the screw portion (I’m the giggle in the background)!
Q: What’s next for Steff?
A: Currently I’m working on Eat The State, where I’m celebrating the official state food symbols of the U.S.A. It’s been a great way to immerse myself in the different cultures our own country has. After that? Who knows… maybe Eat The Feeling where I explore the foods people turn to when they’re emoting a certain way. I’m kidding… I think (which makes me wonder what food for thought would actually be).