March madness at the mad cafe

What a whirlwind these last two weeks have been!  Between tax work, Anna’s swim meets out of town and other stresses, it’s been a heavy load.  The good news is that work is being streamlined relatively well given the amount, Anna has reached three Junior Olympic times and competing in a couple of weeks, and the other stresses have been worked out fairly well.

I haven’t posted anything in nearly two weeks mainly because I find having very little time to myself.  I also haven’t been cooking much and therefore sharing recipes isn’t as inspirational at the moment!  But, having said that, I know this will shift once tax season is over when I’ll be more active in mad cafe!

March has always been a very reflective month for me.  Growing up in Greece, people celebrate namedays much more than birthdays… So, tradition has it that on the day of your nameday you have to take people out to treat them, or you host a party at home to receive friends and family who want to wish you well.  For example, if you know someone who celebrates their nameday as George or John (very common names in Greece), then you better call them to wish them Xronia Polla (“Many Years of Life”).  If you don’t call, or forget you are in big trouble because people literally get offended if you didn’t think of them.  It causes stupid drama that’s unnecessary in my opinion.

I have always always been absolutely horrible with namedays.  First, I’m not religious so I don’t keep track of the Saints Calendar, and unless someone tells me about a nameday I won’t think of calling those who I know are celebrating.  I think my close friends know that about me, because for some reason I remember birthdays.  Those are more important to me than namedays.  It probably doesn’t help that there is no nameday for Aphrodite!  She’s clumped in with other obscure and classical Greek names that celebrate on some made up day of September 1st for “All Other Saints Day.”  It’s the stupidest thing, in my opinion, and thankfully not many people wish me happy nameday, as it would only annoy me!

Now that we’re grown up, more people than I expected will wish me happy birthday, undoubtedly prompted by LinkedIn or Facebook.  But, there’s always a few I can count on to think of me without those reminders.

My father, Anthony, around age 21.. yes, I know, I look a lot like him

So, I think of March as a very transitional month.  It used to be when Daylight savings time would be around my birthday at the end of the month… now it’s closer to the middle of the month.  My father passed away on March 31st 1998, so my birthday has generally been a bittersweet celebration since.  Finally, March generally shows the first signs of spring (well, depending on where you live), which is always a hint of warmer and longer days.

Some of my closest friends from growing up to now… from all over have March birthdays, including: March 1, March 8, March 11, March 13, March 20, and March 29.  I have a unique connection each one of them, I think we all kind of relate and understand each other’s miseries.

In Greece, March is notorious for unpredictable and inconsistent weather… natives say “Μάρτης, γδάρτης και κακός παλουκοκαυτης,” which I really have no clue how to translate.  Basically, it refers to March as bloodsucking cold and dreary, forcing people to burn more logs than they have.

Or something similar to that effect.

Now I need to think of a recipe that will match that!