I love that every day of the year, there are unique holidays to celebrate. I hope to have a Year of Celebrations in the future, whenever the Divine says “go for it”. In the meantime, I occasionally choose one of these lesser known special days to enjoy. Today is Cupcake Day, always celebrated the third Monday in August. I passed over this holiday initially, however, an idea bloomed in my head and I went for it. This is my Happy Cupcake Day Vegan Style!
When I was a child, my mom used to make a wacky cake, a delicious chocolate confection made without eggs, hence the “wacky” part. For my purposes, egg free was perfect!
I found a wacky cake recipe that was easy to adapt for a plant based eater such as myself.
Vegan Wacky Cake
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour (I used gluten free oat flour)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop 12 cupcake papers into a cupcake baking pan.
Mix gluten free flour, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Make three wells in the dry mixture. Add olive oil to one well, apple cider vinegar to another, and vanilla to the third. Pour cold water over the top of everything. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, hand mix batter until mixture is smooth and slightly bubbly.
Immediately pour batter into cupcake papers, dividing evenly among the 12 compartments. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. Top with whipped coconut cream, unsweetened dried fruit, fresh fruit or nuts.
The batter visually reminded me so much of Mom’s wacky cake. I sampled it by swiping a finger along the edge of the bowl, and it tasted like her cake. The kitchen smelled wonderful as the cupcakes baked while I cleaned up. I ended up baking my cupcakes for 24 minutes.
Refined sugar is not on my diet. Coconut sugar, which resembles unrefined brown sugar, or pure maple syrup or raw honey are the only sweeteners I use. So no frosting allowed for these wacky cupcakes. Instead, I topped my mini cakes with unsweetened shredded coconut and wild blueberries, thawed.
The cupcakes cooled and the wild blueberries thawed while I dined on a simple veggie meal. Then it was time to sample the wacky cupcakes. They smelled wonderful! But how would they taste?
These little treasures were perfect…tender, full of chocolate flavor, and not too sweet. The shredded coconut and wild blueberries made an excellent topping. Next time I create these I want to try making my own whipped coconut cream for a topping.
Tonight, however, I could not have wished for a better treat to celebrate this special day, in my own way.
When I saw today was National Eat a Peach Day, I knew exactly how to celebrate. I love these quirky little known holidays. I may someday have a Year of Celebration, if I am led to do so. It would be an easy year to blog through! In the meantime, what fun to occasionally pick a unique holiday and find a creative way to honor it.
I finished work too late to stop by the Farmer’s Market in Webb City for peaches from Pate’s Orchard. Instead, I visited the produce section at my neighborhood grocery store and selected several ripe peaches there.
My idea was to make a batch of Banana Nice Dream and top it with sliced peaches. It was a very good idea!
I’ve posted it several times, however, here is the oh so simple recipe for this one ingredient healthy alternative to ice cream.
Banana Nice Dream
Four bananas, sliced and frozen ahead of time. Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Process frozen sliced bananas at high speed in a food processor, stopping as needed to scrape sides and push mixture down. Add vanilla if desired. Continue processing until bananas become smooth and creamy, with a texture similar to soft serve ice cream. Serve immediately or store in freezer.
Before making the nice dream, I peeled and thinly sliced a couple of peaches. In the past, I would have then added sugar and mashed the peaches slightly. I can’t imagine adding sugar now. The thought isn’t appealing at all.
To my bowl of banana nice dream, I added the sliced peaches, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few walnut pieces. Voila! A peach dessert, to celebrate National Eat a Peach Day.
This easy dessert provided a wonderful way to recognize the day while also honoring my intention to eat in a healthy way. Peaches are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C and K, and potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them a beneficial part of a healthy diet. Plus, they are delicious.
Peaches are picked locally between June and the end of August, which is why this holiday is celebrated on the 22nd of this month each year. Pick some peaches, or purchase them at the grocery store or farmer’s market, and create your own luscious dessert or simply eat a peach. Celebrate!
As I moved through my day today, open to where inspiration would lead, the thoughts that kept coming to me centered around using my voice. That is a big area for me, one that I have shifted in. I spent much of my life not using my voice. I often remained silent, even when I had something of value to add to a conversation. I remained silent rather than risk a confrontation or getting into a disagreement with someone. My silence was understood by others to be agreement. It usually wasn't, but I lacked the courage to say otherwise.
I have learned to use my voice more and more the last 10 years. I have discovered that I can speak from my heart and not get into disagreements or confrontations. I've also learned that it is okay if people don't agree with me or I with them. I am not using my voice to berate someone or force them into agreement. I am simply speaking my truth and sharing hope and encouragement where I can. I am still in the process of learning to speak up, rather than choosing to remain silent, when others need a voice to speak for them.
These thoughts swirled in my mind today. I seemed to be on the correct path for me as confirmation came in from several sources, all about using one's voice. Following an intuitive nudge, I checked today's unique holidays. Today is One Voice Day.
Established in 1997, One Voice Day encourages people around the world to use their voices to speak peace into the world, by reading aloud a Universal Peace Covenant.
What a powerful way to use my voice today. I selected my backyard garden, which is my place of peace, to read the covenant. Using my voice, I read aloud.
Universal Peace Covenant
Peace is the breath of our spirit.
It wells up from within the depths of our being to refresh, to heal, to inspire.
Peace is our birthright.
Its eternal presence exists within us as a memory of where we have come from and as a vision of where we yearn to go.
Our world is in the midst of change. For millennia, we have contemplated, reasoned, and practiced the idea of peace. Yet the capacity to sustain peace eludes us. To transcend the limits of our own thinking we must acknowledge that peace is more than the cessation of conflict. For peace to move across the face of the earth we must realize, as the great philosophers and leaders before us, that all people desire peace. We hereby acknowledge this truth that is universal. Now humanity must desire those things that make for peace.
We affirm that peace is an idea whose time has come. We call upon humanity to stand united, responding to the need for peace. We call upon each individual to create and foster a personal vision for peace. We call upon each family to generate and nurture peace within the home. We call upon each nation to encourage and support peace among its citizens. We call upon each leader, be they in the private home, house of worship or place of labor, to be a living example of peace for only in this way can we expect peace to move across the face of the earth.
World Peace begins within ourselves. Arising from the spirit peace seeks expression through the mind, heart, and body of each individual. Government and laws cannot heal the heart. We must transcend whatever separates us. Through giving love and respect, dignity and comfort, we come to know peace. We learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves bringing peace into the world. We hereby commit ourselves to this noble endeavor.
Peace is first a state of mind. Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness. Self-direction promotes inner peace and therefore leads to outer peace. We vow to heal ourselves through forgiveness, gratitude, and prayer. We commit to causing each and every day to be a fulfillment of our potential, both human and divine.
Peace is active, the motion of silence, of faith, of accord, of service. It is not made in documents but in the minds and hearts of men and women. Peace is built through communication. The open exchange of ideas is necessary for discovery, for well-being, for growth, for progress whether within one person or among many. We vow to speak with sagacity, listen with equanimity, both free of prejudice, thus we will come to know that peace is liberty in tranquility.
Peace is achieved by those who fulfill their part of a greater plan. Peace and security are attained by those societies where the individuals work closely to serve the common good of the whole. Peaceful coexistence between nations is the reflection of man’s inner tranquility magnified. Enlightened service to our fellowman brings peace to the one serving, and to the one receiving. We vow to live in peace by embracing truths that apply to us all.
Living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully. We stand on the threshold of peace-filled understanding. We come together, all of humanity, young and old of all cultures from all nations. We vow to stand together as citizens of the Earth knowing that every question has an answer, every issue a resolution. As we stand, united in common purpose, we hereby commit ourselves in thought and action so we might know the power of peace in our lifetimes.
Peace be with us all ways. May Peace Prevail On Earth.
I read through the words slowly, and with my heart fully engaged. Tears came to my eyes. I appreciated the truth of the words, that peace begins with me. It moves from my heart, my mind, and my soul, outward. I cannot offer peace to the world if I do not live in peace myself. Before the world can know it, my corner of the world must.
I am grateful for the opportunity that presented itself today, reminding me how importance my voice is. And when my voice joins with the voices of many others, then peace is spoken around the world. I felt so inspired by the covenant that I sent it to my grandson Dayan, who at 18 years of age is already using his voice to bring change into his world and then the world beyond. He too read the words of peace. I knew he would.
Using my voice today, combining it with others using theirs, has inspired deeper thought about ways I can surround myself with peace and offer it to the world. I will do a follow up post soon, with a list of peace inducing activities.
Malala Yousafzai wrote, "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." I am beyond being silent. My voice can make a difference. May I speak peace and hope and love into the world, and may I speak truth.
In 2014, during my Year of Firsts, I discovered a handy website that listed unique holidays for each day. While I didn’t choose one to celebrate every day…that would have become a Year of Celebrations…I often checked out the list and enjoyed firsts such as Face Your Fear Day. I still refer frequently to the list.
There were so many unique holidays listed for today’s date that I decided to see how many I could celebrate on this beautiful Saturday. Many of the events were connected, and seemed to flow into one another, which is perfect for one who is surrendered and living in that flow.
Impossible Astronaut Day is a Doctor Who related holiday, so of course I wanted to celebrate this one. On April 23rd, 2011, the Doctor Who episode The Impossible Astronaut premiered, starting off series 6 with mind-blowing plot twists and new monsters, the Silence. The Silence are creatures that you can’t remember seeing the second you look away from them. To combat this unusual type of warfare, The Doctor and his companions draw tally marks on their skin to remind them that they’ve had an encounter.
Connected to Doctor Who, today the new companion for the Twelfth Doctor was announced. Pearl Mackie joins Peter Capaldi when the new season begins.
Doctor Who is a British production and many of today’s holidays are English inspired. English Language Day is a United Nations initiative, recognizing English, one of six official UN languages. The other five are celebrated on different days throughout the year.
St. George’s Day recognizes the patron saint of England, who supposedly slew a dragon. Which explains why today is also Slay a Dragon Day. I have English heritage as well as Scottish and Irish and I enjoyed reading about St. George. I did not, however, cross paths with any dragons today.
Talk Like Shakespeare Day falls on the date recognized as the bard’s birthday. According to my research, this date also marks Shakespeare’s death anniversary as well. As this is also Lover’s Day, who better than Will to share a few words appropriate for the day.
Other celebrations that I worked into my day included:
Take a Chance Day, observed as I dug up 20-25 year old creeping phlox at the Arkansas house, to transplant into my garden. I truly hope it survives.
And National Lost Dog Awareness Day happened spontaneously as a stray dog appeared in my backyard while I was gardening. Fortunately his owner lives nearby and there was a happy reunion.
There were holidays I couldn’t get to, much as I would have enjoyed them, such as Movie Theater Day and National Picnic Day. And there were celebrations I chose to pass on, such as these three:
Who? I had to look him up.
At the end of this joy-filled and gorgeous day, I am enjoying National Cherry Cheesecake Day and World Book Night, curled up with a tiny piece of dessert, a cup of hot tea, and the newest Dean Koontz book, Ashley Bell.
Truthfully every day is full of moments to celebrate, recognized holidays or not. But what a fun, and full, day as I was especially mindful of today’s unique opportunities. Who knows, perhaps I will have a Year of Celebrations in the not so distant future.