February is the shortest month of the year, which makes sense because the weather is miserable, the winter has dragged on too long, and we just want to get through it. We also managed to squeeze more holidays into it to make the month seem special. The next seven days brings us Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and Valentines Day. All have traditional foods associated with them.
Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year in other countries, is Saturday, February 10, when we welcome the Year of the Dragon. It is only appropriate to enjoy some Dragon’s Beard Candy for the occasion, IF you can find it. The delicacy is not easy to make, and masters of the craft are mainly found in large cities. Read about this sweet indulgence here. You can make your dessert at home by trying Tang Yuan, or rice balls with black sesame filling. For your main course, there are number of foods to eat for good luck in the new year that you'll find linked here.
Super Bowl Sunday is often more about the party than the game itself. Traditional foods for such a party include hot wings, chili, fancy dips that justify themselves by containing vegetables, stuffed jalapeños, and anything wrapped in bacon. You'll find recipes for all those and more at Eat This, Not That. And don't neglect to try out Taylor Swift's favorite cocktail.
Shrove Tuesday, February 13 this year, is the last day before Lent, a day to use up all the food that will be forbidden during the fasting season. Many places celebrate this as Pancake Day, with community pancake breakfasts that raise money for charities. It's tradition in the UK to make thin, crepe-like pancakes garnished with lemon juice and powdered sugar. Or you can make them any way you like- check out these 28 fancy pancakes. Click the title for each to go to the recipe. Or you can skip cooking and get a free short stack at IHOP.
The more celebratory name for the date is Mardi Gras, for which you may want to make your own King Cake and the kind of cocktails they serve in New Orleans.
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a period of fasting and self-deprivation in preparation for Easter. The rules for Lenten fasting have changed over time and by faith, and yours may have nothing to do with food. However, the most common observance is to avoid meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent. You might want to check out a batch of nutritious and filling meatless meals to get you through.
Valentine's Day is on the 14th, so if you have a romantic evening planned with your sweetheart, here are 38 desserts made for two that you can use to impress your significant other. If you're feeling generous, make a batch -or many batches- of cookies to spread the love around. If you're feeling spicy about Valentine's Day, you might want to make an Anti Valentine's Day Cocktail.
Happy holiday eating!