5 Ways to Celebrate that February’s Over

Hey everyone!

Guess what we don’t have to talk about any more?  We’ll give you a hint:  It represents a horrible chunk of our recent past!

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Ha ha, no!  We mean, yes — but no.

Think harder!  It’s an emblem of depression and despair!

valentine-ugh

Okay, touché, but not quite.  You are getting closer, though!  C’mon, think about what’s really had you down in the dumps for the last little while!  Something horrible, interminable and frustrating that only superhuman, spiritual endurance could get you through?

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Aside from Top Chef New York, though you are technically correct.  We mean the other thing that took every ounce of will you had to survive without digging out your own teeth with a melon baller?

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Yes!  Correct:  FEBRUARY!  

We don’t know about you folks, but man — screw February.  It’s the shortest month of the year, and feels like it’s the longest.  It isn’t cold, it isn’t warm.  People who are crazy enough to enjoy winter sports can’t do anything, and all the sane people who prefer summer still have months before they can enjoy life.  It is the month that delights no-one, the twenty-eight days when even movie studios don’t try to get you into the theaters (Street Fighter?  Seriously?), when the most we have to look forward to is Hugh Jackman singing at the Oscars and March the God Damned First.  Just thinking about it this much makes us tired and a little bit curious about why we’re still bothering to be alive.

So, isn’t it a wonderful thing that the last day of this god-forsaken month just happens to fall on a Saturday night?  Today, in a gesture to leisure and a grudging concession that this month has nearly wrung the life out of us, we offer you our five most popular posts.  After all, the only thing better than telling February to kiss off once is to tell it five times, using the five most popular ways our readers chose to enjoy life during the year’s crappiest month.

5.  Fix a Drink

Ah, nothing like a depressant to chase the blues away, right?  At least when you trudge home after a long day at work, the kind where it was dark when you left the house and dark when you got back in, you should have full control of just how quickly you become numb, right?

Enter the Pity Party.

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The Pity Party is the sangria for people who don’t have time for “fruit” to “stew” and “blend delicate flavors.”  That’s sissy North American sensibility anyway, intruding into a classic, inexpensive means for the Spanish to get hammered in the late afternoons:  Take the kind of cheap red wine you couldn’t serve in good conscience on its own, toss a bunch of fruit into it that’s of roughly the same quality (you’ll be too busy seeing other spots to notice the ones on the lemons), and shoot in whatever other liquor you have for good measure.

Or, do like we did:  Dump out whatever wine might be hanging around from the night before into a glass, top it up with some fizzy lemonade soft drink, and spike the whole thing with some good old Soviet vodka.  Add lemons to garnish, and you’ll have España in a glass.

4.  Make cookies just for you

And by that we mean, cookies for grown-ups.  Espresso Mole Cookies, to be precise.

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Look, you can always rely on Starbucks or someplace like that to make you fancy desserts out of adult ingredients, but isn’t it time you treated yourself?  Shortbread doesn’t always need to have that slightly-glowing super-sweet white icing on top of it, nor must it forever dwell purely in the domain of Christmastime.  You shouldn’t always have to take your share before anyone else finds them, or keep them on the highest shelf so the rugrats don’t devour them in the first day.

No, we say.  Sometimes, dessert should come in glossy chocolate packages, hinted with dusky cocoa and sharpened with hints of cayenne; sometimes, it should come in a form that would simply appall children, as we were once disgusted by those chocolates with the liqueur inside when we were wee ones.  Sometimes, a dessert should be for nobody but you, and you alone.

Go on, be selfish.  We forgive you:  February’s over, you’ve earned them.

3.  Avoid a terrible snack

Just because they come in a shiny bag, and just because someone put a lot of work into an entertaining commercial, does not mean a snack automatically earns our respect.  The darkness of winter may have nearly extinguished our will to live, but it certainly hasn’t dulled our expectation of what blue cheese should taste like.

And Doritos Collisions:  Hot Wings & Blue Cheese?  Not at all what it should taste like.  Not interesting, not contrasting, not actually a whole lot like anything at all, when we came to think about it.  Sometimes the best days of your life come from what you didn’t end up doing, and we’re happy to help you avoid this particular mistake.

Not to repeat ourselves, but man, THIS SNACK SUCKS.

2.  Eat Poppers

For real.   Eat poppers.  Poppers are the purest expression of decadence.

They’re full of cheese.  If poppers had been available in the time of Caligula, don’t you think he would have eaten them?

They’re made from hot peppers.  Of course he would.  Caligula Poppers, he would have called them.  Because:  Caligula.  That’s how he was, with the orgies and egomania. 

They go so, so well with beer.  And if they’d been available, the poppers.

These ones aren’t fried. Caligula didn’t have a fryer either, so that just makes these all the more authentic.

Genuine Roman Jalapeno Caligula Poppers. Apply dream logic; eat history!

1.  Make bread

Do you know what pre-dates Xanax, Prozac, Valium, psychotherapy, dream analysis and the talking cure?

Bread.

There are days when we will have to take turns kneading the bread dough, just because it seems infinitely capable of absorbing all of our tension, anxiety and frustration.  Better yet, the more that we unleash into it, the more wonderful an end product it becomes.  By the time that the backs of our hands and the top of our wrists have started to pleasantly ache,neither of us really minds that the other has destroyed the kitchen in an orgy of baking.  For a few minutes, there is just no violence left in us; there is just the peaceful, blissed-out afterglow of making bread.

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And when that bread turns out so beautifully, stuffed with warm halloumi and garlic, ready to be pulled apart and gobbled up one little bit at a time?  It’s like a second-stage rocket booster of therapy — from stress relief, blasting off into pride and soaring gracefully through to greedy delight.  There are fewer ways to feel better about a bleak time of year than time well-spent, slightly tired extremities, and a happy full belly.

To hell with you, February!  We found a way to rise above you, but we are not eager to meet the challenge again any time soon.

  • Alison

    Mmmm. Just happen to have purchased all the fixings for those lovely fizzy voddy drinks. However…..I have the stoli, AND the PC diet lemonade, but there’s something not quite the same about the beverages. The one you made me was better. (Granted, I probably didn’t put enough booze in yet). But was there another ingredient in there? A special dash of something? Triple Sec? Real squeezed lemon? Let me know.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      You could say the missing ingredient is… love.

      But that would be way too sexy, since Tina made you those drinks. So instead, it’s actually Malibu. On top of whatever vodka you put in there, add a shot of coconut rum, and you’ll enjoy sweet smoothness on top of the lemonade-vodkatude.

  • Stephanie

    I’m so sick of winter I may do something drastic.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Because I have always lived in California February has never bothered me…but all my East Coast friends hate it! Cheers!

  • http://www.foodforlaughter.blogspot.com Astra Libris

    Such a wonderful post! Thank you for the smiles! I couldn’t agree more – Feb is dreadful! Hooray for March!

  • MtC

    Pop a Poppler in your mouth, when you come to Fishy Joe’s. What they’re made of is a mystery. Where they come from, no one knows. You can lick ’em. You can pick ’em. You can stuff ’em. You can stick ’em. If you promise not to sue us, you can shove one up your nose. Oh, wait, you said ”poppers”… nevermind.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      “The one called ‘Filthy Hippie’ is correct!”