Every Day’s a Holiday

Recently, Bill and I decided to have breakfast out. Pancakes sounded good to me. We had some errands to run, so we began talking about where to have our breakfast. There was an IHOP in the vicinity of our errands, and since I love their double blueberry pancakes, we decided that would be our breakfast destination.

That particular IHOP – and really, all breakfast places in east Mesa – are quite busy on weekends what with people wanting breakfast after church or families with working parents enjoying a relatively low-cost meal out on a weekend morning. Sometimes you can wait up to an hour at even mediocre restaurants. But this was a random Tuesday and it was a little after 9 o’clock in the morning. We decided that all the seniors will have eaten and men and women conducting business over breakfast will be long gone.

When we pulled into the IHOP parking lot, it looked busier than I had anticipated. Still, ever optimistic, we parked behind the restaurant and headed towards the front door. When we turned the corner, much to our surprise, there were people everywhere. Waiting outside; waiting inside; milling about in the parking lot. Lots of folks.

I made my way to the front counter to put our name onto the list, jockeying past wheelchairs and walkers and little kids running here and there. The wait was longer than we expected, and since we had those aforementioned errands, we decided to go elsewhere. As we turned to go, we began wondering aloud just why the restaurant was so busy on a random weekday morning.  Suddenly I saw the sign on the window. NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY. A FREE STACK OF PANCAKES FOR EVERY DINER.

In the words of my favorite fictional Episcopalian priest of Mitford fame, Father Tim, “Aha.” Seniors in our part of the East Valley are not ones to turn down a free stack of pancakes. As for Bill and me, we would pay cash money for our pancakes and go somewhere with a shorter wait. Village Inn’s pancakes sufficed just fine, though they were not free…..

Did you know that every day of the year is National Some-Kind-of-Food-Or-Another Day? For example, today is National Cheese Doodle Day. Since I had to look up what a cheese doodle was, I am not going to feature a recipe…..

Turns out I eat cheese doodles all the time (though admittedly I prefer the crunchy kind). I’m not sure one can actually make one’s own cheese doodles. It appears a corporation had enough money to buy itself a food day. They look like Cheetos to me, but whoever makes Cheetos wasn’t foresighted enough to get itself a “day.” I wonder if IHOP is giving away a free bowl of Cheese Doodles today.

I was marginally aware that there was such a thing as food holidays, but it still caught me off-guard when Bill dropped this hint this past January 26: Hey Kris, did you know that tomorrow is National Chocolate Cake Day? Just sayin’.

As it happened, I had inadvertently purchased a box of Ghirardelli Chocolate Cake Mix a couple of weeks previously when I thought I was purchasing Ghirardelli Brownie Mix. Bill is a fan of the chocolate brownie. Oddly, the cake mix only made one layer, but I knew that if I added a chocolate ganache, it would make him smile…..

…..and it did. He was caught off guard since he had no preconceived notions that his hint would actually be heard by his loving wife. How he knew that January 27 was National Chocolate Cake Day remains a mystery. Perhaps he has every National Something-Chocolate Day marked on his calendar.

If I forget to tell you tomorrow, Happy National Oreo Day (another holiday about which Bill can get excited).