March 14 is Pi Day — a day to celebrate the mathematical constant Π, not to be confused with National Pie Day, Jan. 23, a day to celebrate delicious fillings baked in a pastry crust. Nevertheless, many people are delighted to express their appreciation for pi with pie, and plenty of local establishments are ready to serve up scratch-made slices of heaven to hungry Pi Day observers.
If you miss Pi Day, not to worry. There are many other food-related holidays that you might not know about, like National Tater Tot Day (Feb. 2), National Chicken Fried Steak Day (Oct. 26), National Candied Orange Peel Day (May 4), and Melba Toast Day (March 23). On July 4, while deciding where to watch fireworks, you can take advantage of sizzling summer temperatures and celebrate Sidewalk Egg Frying Day. Get in the mood for Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 with Eat a Cranberry Day (just one will do, apparently). Dress up your ‘dogs on the first Saturday in August, National Mustard Day — because why should ketchup get all the love?
Here are other little-known holidays that are no less worthy of attention — with inventive ways to celebrate each of them, Clark County-style.
March 24 is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day. Nibble these sweet treats while watching a movie at Liberty Theatre in Camas, or drop in and buy a bag (or two) for the road. Kiggins Theatre sells chocolate-covered raisins at its concessions counter (along with beer and wine, if you’d like to enjoy a “pairing”). Don’t like raisins? Bypass the dried fruit altogether and get your pure chocolate fix at downtown Vancouver’s high-end chocolatier, Fleur Chocolatte, or order a box of small-batch artisan chocolates from Battle Ground-based Whimsy Chocolates.
- Liberty Theatre, 315 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas. 360- 859-9555 or www.camasliberty.com
- Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St., Vancouver. 360-816-0352 or www.kigginstheatre.com
- Fleur Chocolatte, 1304 Main St., Vancouver. 360-609-9029 or fleur-chocolatte.com
- Whimsy Chocolates, www.whimsychocolates.com
The third Tuesday in March is National Tea for Two Tuesday. Clark County is packed with artisan coffeehouses, but for those who eschew the bean-brew, tea is always on the menu. Kafiex Coffee Lab offers creamy, not-too-sweet green or blue matcha lattes made with a finely ground powder of tea leaves. Di Tazza Gourmet Coffee and Cafe serves a wide selection of hot or iced teas along with scratch-made pastries and cookies, while Java House adorns its counter with big glass jars full of loose-leaf teas and tisanes (fruit or flower-based teas) with enchanting names like “Star of Persia,” “Snow Monkey Plum” and “Apricot Arabesque.” River Maiden Coffee concocts a delicious London Fog, made with Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla syrup, which pairs perfectly with its lemon-blueberry muffin. If nothing will do but the full English tea experience, Sweet Pea’s English Tea Room in Battle Ground will ply you with hot pots of tea, finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and other tea-friendly goodies.
- Kafiex Coffee Lab, 720 Esther St., Vancouver. www.facebook.com/kafiex/
- Di Tazza Gourmet Coffee and Cafe, 2011 S.E. 192nd Ave., Camas. 360-210-7087 or www.ditazza.com
- Java House, 210 W. Evergreen Blvd. No. 400, Vancouver. 360-737-2925 or www.facebook.com/Java-House-149731701726259/
- River Maiden Coffee, 5301 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver. 360-694-7500 or www.facebook.com/RiverMaiden/
- Sweet Peas Tea Room, 619 S.E. First St., Battle Ground. 360-984-6422 or www.sweetpeasflowers.org
April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day, a day to indulge your love of the inspired combination of Canadian bacon on toasty English muffins, topped with poached eggs and buttery hollandaise sauce. If you’re a traditionalist, try Christine’s Restaurant, Hockinson Cafe and Breakfast at Valerie’s, all of which offer straight-up, don’t-mess-with-perfection versions of this classic brunch dish. If you enjoy variations on a theme, try Bleu Door Bakery’s Crab Cake Benedict or Bacon Benedict with housemade English muffins. Eatery at The Grant House gives a nod to regional history with Gen. Bonneville’s Eggs Benedict, featuring smoked trout cakes, farm greens and roasted red pepper bravas.
- Christine’s Restaurant, 2626 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver. 360-694-1750
- Hockinson Cafe, 219 N.W. 20th Ave., Battle Ground. 360-687-2700 or hockinsonkountrycafe.com
- Breakfast at Valerie’s, 516 S.E. Chkalov Drive, Vancouver. 360-828-5805 or www.facebook.com/breakfastatvaleries/
- Bleu Door Bakery, 2411 Main St., Vancouver. 360-693-2538 or bleudoorbakery.com
- Eatery at the Grant House, 1101 Officers Row, Vancouver. 360-906-1101 or eateryatthegranthouse.com
Aug. 8 is Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. If your garden does not produce a bumper crop of zucchini this year, buy plenty of locally grown zukes at Joe’s Place Farms or Bi-Zi Farms, ready for clandestine delivery to lucky recipients. Another excellent way to ensure a steady supply of this versatile green squash is to sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription and support your local farmers by getting weekly deliveries of farm-fresh produce; find local growers at Clark County Grown, www.facebook.com/clarkcountygrown/. Velvet Acres Farms offers a U-pick option, if you’d like the pleasure of plucking your own veggies straight from the field. If zucchini isn’t your thing, visit Majestic Farms Blueberries on July 10 to celebrate National Blueberry Picking Day. And whatever’s in season, find it at the Vancouver Farmers Market, opening on March 21.
- Joe’s Place Farms, 701 N.E. 112th Ave., Vancouver. 360-892-3974 or www.joesplacefarms.com
- Bi-Zi Farms, 9504 N.E. 119th St., Vancouver. 360-574-9119 or www.bi-zifarms.com
- Velvet Acres Farms, 18905 N.E. 83rd St., Vancouver. 360-892-0434 or www.velvetacresgardens.com
- Clark County Grown, www.facebook.com/clarkcountygrown
- Majestic Farms Blueberries, 18500 N.E. 182nd Ave., Brush Prairie. 360-883-1388 or www.majesticfarmsblueberries.com
- Vancouver Farmers Market, 605 Esther St., Vancouver. 360-737-8298 or www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com
If these food holidays are too specific, then May 11, National Eat What You Want Day, was created for you. Don’t want to celebrate any of these holidays? That’s just fine, because March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.