Celebrating has been a part of human behavior throughout history. Early pictographs show grand celebrations, and earliest manuscripts speak of them as well. The Bible is full of feasts and holidays as are other religious manuscripts. Commemorations of battle victories, births, weddings, and Holy days have continued throughout the ages. There are stories of marking accomplishments – the building of a great ship or a humble dwelling place. Marking the coming of age of both girls and boys. Returning home after long journeys. People have celebrated since time began. That desire seems to be a part of our internal make-up.
Every nation and every people group has its own special days, as well as its own traditions. Not only is celebrating a worldwide affair, but it transcends class. The rich and the poor make merry. Royalty may do it with much fan fair, but we common people show equal enthusiasm. And various cultural groups have specific occasions that warrant feasting when perhaps the rest of the world would not consider it. On the other hand, celebrations in one country often find their way to other countries. Why? Because we all want an excuse to enjoy life. Not all who take part in St. Patrick’s Day are Irish. Not all who put on a Cinco de Mayo party speak Spanish. Or even understand the true roots of the holiday. They just love eating Mexican food, playing maracas, and hanging “papel picado.”
Celebrating With Food
No matter the era and no matter the geography – celebrating almost always involves food. In fact most cultures have specific dishes that bring to mind certain celebration.
Some families only make specific foods on holidays, and look forward with anticipation to the preparation….and the eating! From pasteles to barbecue. From Latkes to tamales. Cookies to chestnuts. Haggis to pigeon. What seems strange to one group is delightful to another.
Celebrating With Recipes Using Eggs
We of course, are always glad when recipes contain eggs. Because that’s our business. Deviled eggs are welcome at the most casual picnic, like these Barbeque Ranch Deviled Eggs. Or our Tex Mex ones which fit in at anything that says “Fiesta.” Our Shrimp Scampi Stuffed Eggs are perfect for even your fanciest gala.
Speaking of eggs, in our family birthdays often begin with Eggs Benedict. This one adds avocado! Sometimes with crab or lobster! Nothing says holiday like a hollandaisse, or at least that’s what we think!
Celebrating often calls for appetizers, and our Apple Gouda Rosettes are beautiful and elegant. Our Artichoke Bites will make you a star. And our Baked Ricotta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil will make people ask, “Who catered this affair?”
Celebrating Our Sweet Side
All around the world and all throughout history, people have indulged their sweet tooth at celebrations. Confectioners, or candy makers, range from older tribal grandmas, to fifth generation artisinal culinary champions. Don’t get me started on chocolatiers! And what town or village doesn’t have a local baker? But mostly, the recipes for our celebratory sweets are handed down from our moms and their moms. Trifles are on the center of the table in England. Birthday and wedding cakes are seen in many countries.
Not everyone, however, follows the birthday cake tradition. Growing up in Florida, I celebrated my birthday each year with a Key Lime Baked Alaska from Marker 88 in Islamorado. Later we came up with our own recipe much like this one.
Celebrating With Friends and Family
We all have different ideas about celebrating, from the most spontaneous and casual gatherings to the most elaborate balls. But most of the world can agree on this one piece of advice: However you choose to observe those days that have meaning for you – do it with family or friends. There is something about a feast – humble or extravagant – that is wonderful when you are surrounded by those you love.