Following the diversity-as-star Oscar show last night, it seem appropriate that today offers a diverse, double feature: Leap Year and “Sadie Hawkins Day.” Plus all the calendaring nomenclature describing what and why we need a leap year seems to headline with s-e-x references… Witness: “A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.”
So maybe not a surprise that February 29 is often referred to as “Sadie Hawkins Day,” signifying a gender role reversal, such as a day when a woman propose marriage. In fact, research shows this tradition dates to 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. (Guessing St. Bridget wasn’t a celibate saint from the sounds of this surviving hormonal history.) According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.
The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. Tradition states they also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves. And then there is the research from “A 17th century play: ‘The Maydes Metamorphosis,’ that proposed ‘this is leape year/women wear breeches.’ A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn’t do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat!
The Sadie Hawkins pop culture event really took off after cartoonist Al Capp borrowed the European lore and used it in his Li’l Abner comic strip in November 1937. Capp created Sadie, the “homeliest gal” in Dogpatch (Kentucky) where her father got apoplectic about the fact she was a spinster at 35 years of age, so arranged for a foot race, calling it “Sadie Hawkins Day” in a misguided homage to his daughter. Here, Sadie could race and run down a husband. “When ah fires [my gun], all o’ yo’ kin start a-runnin! When ah fires agin—after givin’ yo’ a fair start—Sadie starts a runnin’. Th’ one she ketches’ll be her husbin.”
Whether running down a mate or getting through an extra day, everyone benefits from some energy boost. No better way to achieve high octane status than with delicious, craft coffee.
Who knows if the popular stars of the Cooking Channel’s stars: Extra Virgin Debi Mazar, wife of Gabriele Corcos – the happy-in-the-kitchen couple chased him to the altar but we do know Gabrielle claims to bring her coffee in bed every morning no matter where they are, rain or shine, even after 15 years of marriage. The super-charged couple are brand ambassadors for the sustainably-grown Lavazza: coffee Lavazza is the number one coffee in Italy (and no less than Slow Food founder and pioneer, Carlo Petrini endorses Lavazza and is a featured Earth Defender on a recent Lavazza calendar.)
Then there is the seasonally, limited-release blends from Counter Culture Coffee to get those engines up and running for the race. Counter Culture Coffee recently debuted its”The Natural,” a high-quality sun-dried coffee from Burundi and Rwanda, available online and in select cafes. The Natural’s juicy, saturated fruit notes that taste like berry cobbler come from being naturally processed, which means the coffee fruit is dried whole on the bean and not washed away.
Being a “coffee snob,” this Examiner buys her beans fresh (usually Organic Fair Trade Dark Peru) to make home-brewed coffee. And when on the run (for stories, not husbands) I love popping into Starbucks. (Love that easy to use App, too.)
If still racing and need a mid-day boost, consider the energy drink V8. While a longtime fan of the classic tomato-based eight vegetable juice, the brand continues to add a variety of flavors to get us to drink our veggies and fruits for better nutrition and health. Recently, this Examiner and her trusted team of tasters: tried a few of the V8 V-Fusion® + Energy energy drinks.
The company claimed “it’s powered naturally by green tea, provides one combined serving of vegetables and fruit, and is made with real juice.” Further, “V8 V-Fusion + Energy® drinks are available in seven great-tasting flavors including 100% Vegetable Juice (NEW) Black Cherry, (NEW) Peach Mango, Orange Pineapple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Diet Cranberry Raspberry and Diet Strawberry Lemonade.” The drinks do indeed taste good, straight from the convenient, packable, small-sized slim cans, or added to a smoothie. Caveat – while the brand claims lots of natural, and no “added” sugar added — the sugar sweetener comes from stevia – but check the drink label as the sugar content seems high at 10 grams per 8 oz. But if a sugar-rush is needed – go for it.
For the most part the 8oz cans are around 50 calories and the diet versions are only 10 calories. According to V-8, “Each can of V8 V-Fusion® + Energy drink provides 1/4 cup of vegetables and 1/4 cup of fruit. Daily recommendation = 2 1/2 cups of a variety of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit for a 2,000-calorie diet.” The V8 +Energy Pomegranate Blueberry Flavor is 50% juice, contains one combined serving of vegetables and fruit with the delicious taste of fruit and is an excellent source of B vitamins. This Examiner liked it in the smoothie and avoided a bit of an aftertaste when drinking it straight away. The Peach Mango and Orange Pineapple are very refreshing. The “crackerjack” team of taste testers: Lindsey Lescrinier, Stephanie Osmer, Christine Shannon and Stephanie Staes, “loved the size and convenience of the aluminum cans!” along with the low-cal varieties and highlighted the V-8 Energy drinks are a great substitute for soda and a are great as a mixer! They were a bit concerned about the need for the “caution” message warning… The tasting group preferred the Diet Strawberry Lemonade, Orange Pineapple best. They liked the Peach Mango but found it a bit thick with a bit of an aftertaste. The Pomegranate Blueberry was rated high – “even the name sounds good” and found it sweet (albeit after getting past the smell, that they claimed was not so sweet…
Most of the V-8 Energy drinks provide 80 mg of caffeine per 8oz that comes from the green tea; that natural energy boost helps all the running around.
So by time cocktail hour hits and the chase has snared you a significant other – get ready for some extra/Leap Year canoodling. Here’s a few special cocktails to celebrate:
Sadie Hawkins Sling:
The One Up
The Sadie Hawkins Fling – found this researching Sadie Hawkins – was created in 2011 by mixologist Jason Littrell, at Dram, Brooklyn.
This Examiner suggests the two, so-named Sadie cocktail confections, most especially because they feature bourbon, a signature spirit from Kentucky – – home of Dogpatch.
Plus, here’s a researched “love potion” Sadie Hawkins cocktail that just might do the trick:
Blind Tiger Cocktail Company said “Romance at the malt shoppe inspired this retro drink, created by San Diego’s Blind Tiger Cocktail company team of Adam Stemmler, Jen Queen and Dustin Haarstad.
The Sadie Hawkins
“Sadie Hawkins Day may have been created in a comic strip, but it instilled in women the courage to ask men’s hands in marriage . . . or just to go out on a date. Based on the Flip, this Love Potion turns the tables for womenfolk in an old-school setting: the malt shoppe. The main ingredient is Marie Brizard Chocolat Royal liqueur, a 34-proof cordial from one of the world’s oldest flavor-makers.
The Sadie Hawkins
½ oz. Marie Brizard Chocolat
1 oz. Sobieski vodka, flash-infused with Penang clove and grapefruit zes
½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur reduction with cognac, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove
½ oz. heavy whipping cream
Simple syrup foam of Branca Menta
Dry shake and serve in a milk shake glass with two (or three) straws.
Cheers to an added day, added energy and added coupling…