Joanna from Southern Ontario is hungry for something to celebrate

As you know, we love to share other women’s stories here at Annabel & Grace, so thanks to Joanna Meilleur who lives in Ontario, Canada for this piece about a few special days that are coming up that she will be celebrating despite still being in lockdown.

Hungry for something to celebrate? Here in Southern Ontario, we are languishing in the very dark depths of winter, with spring nowhere on the horizon. On top of that, we are (at the time of writing) still under a second stay-at-home order that’s been in effect since Boxing Day.

It’s particularly hard to keep spirits up during these endlessly cold and bleak days, but there are a few bright spots on the horizon that are worth celebrating here in Canada. The best part is, that many of these fun days of observance are based around food and have me (at any rate) thinking about and planning for the many ways I’m going to indulge! Cooking and eating seem to be the constant that keeps my creative (and stomach) juices flowing.

It’s mid-February already – halfway through Black History Month. Many cities have a directory of black owned businesses. A great opportunity for all of us to discover and support some wonderful products, services and take-out options if we haven’t already done so. 

We all know that Feb 14th is Valentine’s Day (otherwise known as chocolate day) but personally, I’m looking more forward to Shrove Tuesday arriving on February 16th. Every year, my OH griddles up a feast of delicious pancakes smothered in real maple syrup with lots of crispy bacon on the side. It’s pretty hard to beat! If you’re looking to change things up a bit, there are some different pancake suggestions under the recipe tab on this site.

Also at the top of my list is National Margarita Day. On February 22nd, my plan is whizz up a pitcher full and enjoy them with a dip in the hot tub. Although they may well turn into the frozen version! And to keep the Mexican theme going strong, National Tortilla Chip day is on February 24th!  A great excuse to indulge in some zesty guacamole and chances are that pitcher of Margarita’s will make another appearance.

National Chilli Day is certainly worth celebrating on the 4th Thursday of every February. Several years ago, I tried this Chocolate Chilli Con Carne recipe and honestly haven’t looked back since. The addition of chocolate makes it totally irresistible. Give it a try!

And if all of these little perks still leave you longing for something more, the first day of spring will finally arrive on March 20th. There’s a good chance there’ll still be snow on the ground and frosty temps here in Ontario.

Soon though, the air will soften and carry that unmistakable subtle scent of thawing earth. Out of the tired and muddy ground, the first snowdrops will suddenly appear, despite the crusty melting shelves of snow that stubbornly persevere on the shaded areas of our lawns.  Memories of winter stews and soups will quickly give way to thoughts of roast lamb and fresh asparagus and hopefully, many more (warmer) days to celebrate. I for one, can hardly wait!

ABOUT JOANNA: Joanna lives in London, Ontario in a cosy heritage cottage with her musician husband. She’s consumed by dreams of travel, her backyard oasis and eventual retirement but is frequently brought back to earth by her work, her lovely grown children and elderly parents.

This Quinoa chilli with Avocado recipe is also delicious – you don’t have to be Canadian to enjoy National Chilli Day! It’s just one of almost 800 tried and tasted recipes on this website.