Today is Presidents Day. I noted in checking through my past posts that my assigned date last year fell also on Presidents Day. In 2020, I wrote about presidential trivia. So rather than repeat, I’ll mention it briefly and move on. The federal holiday began as a commemoration of George Washington’s birthday, February 22, but now we celebrate on the third Monday in the month. The holiday takes place during the birth month of the country’s two most prominent presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and honors both, as well as other presidents. The holiday now never lands on a single president’s birthday.
Although February is a short month, the month contains over 100 National Days. Many have already occurred. Since I can’t cover them all, I’ve chosen a few that caught my fancy. Tomorrow, Feb. 16, is National Do a Grouch a Favor Day, which is a call to kindness. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a grouch is a habitually irritable or complaining person, a grumbler. Everyone knows a grouch, and some of us may even be guilty of being one, maybe not all the time, but on our rough days. During this pandemic, it’s hard not to experience grouchiness. On National Do a Grouch a Favor Day, we can turn frowns upside down with a dose of kindness. Make it a better day for that grouchy friend, relative, co-worker, boss, neighbor or that someone who lives in your house. Visit with them, offer to help with a difficult task, listen to their complaints, just for the day, or take them their favorite cookies. Watch together the movie Grumpy Old Men.
National Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder Day is Feb. 18. Flounder is a flatfish of approximately 100 different species. While there are thousands of species of crabs, only certain ones are edible. In the United States, some of the more popular and tasty ones are the blue crab, stone crab, Dungeness, king, and rock or snow crabs. In Maine, crabmeat generally comes from rock crabs or Jonah crabs. The best way I know to celebrate this holiday is with a meal. Here’s a recipe for 4 servings of Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder I found on The Nibble.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. For the stuffing: 2 tbsp unsalted butter; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 1 celery rib, minced; ¼ cup chopped parsley or dill plus more for garnish; ½ cup plain breadcrumbs; 8 ounces crabmeat, picked over; 1 tbsp lemon juice; and 1/8 tbsp cayenne pepper. Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft. Stir in parsley or dill. Remove skillet from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, crabmeat, lemon juice, and cayenne. For the flounder: 4 8-ounce flounder; paprika; lemon wedges. Divide the crabmeat mixture among fillets and roll up. Hold together with toothpicks. Place seam side down in lightly oiled 9×13-inch ovenproof dish. Sprinkle paprika over fish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with more parsley or dill and lemon before serving. Bon appétit!
Next up on Feb. 20 are National Love Your Pet Day and on Feb. 23 National Dog Biscuit Day. On Love Your Pet Day, we are encouraged to show extra appreciation to our pets and the special relationship they hold in our lives. If yours is a dog, that works for Dog Biscuit Day as well. Whether dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish, or rats, spending time with them will reap extra benefits to both—in humans, stress relief and lower blood pressure. Ideas include a special treat or extra walk, checking that vaccines are up to date, playing with them, a new toy, and more. My dog Sasha, who’s 14 ½ has gained weight lately, possibly because of too many dog biscuits, so my treats for her will be extra walks.
February continues with many days whose origins are sketchy—Tile Day, Toast Day, Chili Day, Tooth Fairy Day, and Tell a Fairy Tale Day are a few. On Feb. 20, it’s National Cherry Pie Day, in honor of George Washington said to have cut down a cherry tree and confessed to it. There’s no mention in history of whether cherry pie was made from the fruit of that tree.
*** On a personal note, the Kindle version of my most recent release, Hidden Obsession, is on sale today. Sorry to say the sale began Feb.11 and ends today, Feb. 15, but there’s time. Here’s a short description of the book and a buy link. Revisiting the past can heal… or lead to murder. Sheri’s reluctant return to Maine coincides with a murder. She finds herself in the killer’s crosshairs and in the arms of determined blue-eyed cop Justin. Can he solve the case before the killer carries out a special plan for Sheri? http://getbook.at/Hidden-Obsession