The other day it was ‘national pasta day’. This month is ‘International Pizza Month”. 2016 is “the year of the pulse” (as in the food version, not the medical version). When did this become a thing? Lately every time I go onto social media it’s a different ‘national <insert obscure food or activity> day’. I can deal with the classics like Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day and maybe even National Siblings’ Day (although I don’t see any National Only Child Day, it’s not my fault I was a shitty enough baby to put mum off having another), and it’s nice that we feel the need to celebrate the everyday, but I feel we might have taken it too far with ‘national sauntering day’ and ‘national chocolate covered raisins day’ – they’re June 19th and March 24th respectively, for future reference.
Is there some kind of conspiracy behind this? It feels to me like the kind of thing North Korea would do – I bet Kim Jong Un wakes up in the morning and decides “I would like to eat gnocci today. Therefore everyone shall eat gnocci today. Today shall be National Gnocci Day.” and by the power of social media the message of the International celebration of gnocci is spread round the world, inspiring people to make it for dinner everywhere because “oh my god I completely didn’t realise it’s International Gnocci Day!”. Mystery solved. MI6 feel free to contact me, I’m available for employment as of 2017.
In case you’re new to the phenomenon of the obscure ‘national’ day, here’s a little list of some more of my favourite ‘national’ days that have popped up on my Instagram feed over the past couple of weeks, and a couple I saw whilst perusing the internet:
- January 24th – International Beer Can/Bottle Appreciation Day
- February 9th – International Toothache Day
- March 6th – National Frozen Foods Day (American, date may very for UK)
- April 2nd – National Tweed Day (definitely UK)
- July 27th – International Take Your Plant For a Walk Day (was this a piss-take, Kim Jong?)
- July 30th – International Cheesecake Day (should not every day be international cheesecake day?)
- September 15th – International Felt Hat Day
- October 14th – International Be Bald and Be Free Day
And finally, after specifically searching for it, I was delighted to find that there are in fact 2 International Cheese Days – January 20th AND June 4th. At least that one makes sense.
So unfortunately I found out about International Pasta Day too late to change my dinner plans, but luckily it was International Taco Day only a couple of weeks ago (October 4th), so I’ll give the recipe for my latest taco creation instead. It’s gluten free and could be made vegan, if it weren’t for the half a block of cheese and dollop of yoghurt I added. Adapt to your own needs, just prepare for much mess down your arms as you eat it.
Mushroom and Garlic Sautéed Spring Green Tacos for 1
1-2 portobello mushrooms, or a handful of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 banana shallot, halved and sliced into half moons
1 clove of garlic, crushed
A handful of spring greens, shredded finely
A couple of corn tortillas
1/2 an avocado, mashed
Chilli flakes (chipotle work nicely but any will do), or half a chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
Juice of half a lemon
Yoghurt, grated cheddar, coriander to serve
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. To the mashed avocado, add a sprinkle of chilli flakes or the chopped chilli, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add some chopped jalapeños to if you fancy.
- Massage the garlic paste, mixed with a little olive oil, into the spring greens until coated in the garlicky mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a frying pan on medium/high and add a drizzle of oil. Throw in the shallot and fry until crispy. Set aside.
- Into the frying pan, add the chopped mushrooms with some salt and pepper, frying until soft and beginning to crisp a bit.
- Whilst cooking the mushrooms, heat another pan on medium and add the spring greens, tossing until slightly wilted. Put the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes until warm.
- Stuff your tortillas with a bedding of spring greens, a spoonful of the mushrooms, the crispy shallot, avocado, yoghurt and cheese.
- The best way to approach the taco is side on, with gusto.