I wonder who first celebrated a birthday, an anniversary or some other annual “big day?” It could have been some knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, but I doubt it. They were too absorbed in keeping the sabre tooth tigers away so they could live another day. After all, a year’s a long time to hold a thought.
Was the first long-ago celebrant someone who remembered his own special day, his wife’s or a child’s, a day for someone no longer alive? Whoever it was, he or she really started something. Imagine life without Hallmark!
It’s fun to celebrate someone else’s special day. You get to anticipate what you’re going to do for a person about whom you care, which makes you as happy as it does the recipient of your attention. Maybe it’s even better than being remembered yourself.
If you have kids and/or grandchildren, it can be a little celebration every time you’re with them, to watch their sports, or their performances, or just play a board game, play cards or have a conversation.
Just call me Pollyanna. (If you’re too young to recognize the name, look it up.) I make it a point to celebrate if and when there’s a reason, no matter how little (or lame) it might seem to someone else. After all, if you think about it, there’s always something to celebrate. How about the feeling you get when you see the first tulip start to show color? How about the fact that you’re alive, healthy enough to be outside, or even to look outside.
Then, while you’re outside amongst the tulips, there are birds. Birds might be just going about their avian business, flying around, chirping to each other, pecking at some bug on the ground, but I always find the sight and sound of them lifts my spirits.
And dogs — now, there is a creature that has it together. To a dog, every treat, every pat, every sideways hug, is a joyous occasion. I agree with that! When you hug a dog, both the hugger and the huggee get the best part of the deal!
Why not look for something to celebrate every day? Why wait for the big stuff? Why wait for the special occasion that’s just the right time to wear the beautiful dress, or the piece of jewelry that means so much and gives you a lift every time you look at it? That moment in time you’ve so eagerly anticipated might never come; but while you wait for it, there are lots of others that you can grab, hold for a second or two, and just enjoy the heck out of.
Every day, there are things and people that can bring you joy. All you have to do is look for them.
Did you ever buy something yummy to eat and save it for a special time, only to find when the time seemed right to enjoy it that it was past its prime? Freezer-kissed lobster tails, anyone?
Tonight I’m serving lobster tails, for no reason at all. And they’ll be followed by strawberry shortcake — just because it’s good. The Bisquick recipe tastes very good and is easy to follow, and strawberries are plentiful.
QUICK AND EASY STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
4 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
2/3 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed or whipped cream
Mix strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir baking mix, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar and the butter until a soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes. Fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream or whipped topping.
Makes six shortcakes.
In answer to several readers who contacted me after having read my April Fool column last week to ask, “What the heck is Kirsch?” Kirsch is a clear, cherry-flavored liqueur often enjoyed in a small glass as an after-dinner sipping drink. If you prefer, concentrated cherry juice can be substituted in the recipe for Berry Fool.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at email@example.com.