April Fool's Day
         (April 1)  




In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true. In France today, April first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)

Today Americans play small tricks on friends and strangers alike on the first of April. One common trick on April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is pointing down to a friend's shoe and saying, "Your shoelace is untied." Teachers in the nineteenth century used to say to pupils, "Look! A flock of geese!" and point up. School children might tell a classmate that school has been canceled. Whatever the trick, if the innocent victim falls for the joke the prankster yells, "April Fool! "

The "fools' errands" we play on people are practical jokes. Putting salt in the sugar bowl for the next person is not a nice trick to play on a stranger. College students set their clocks an hour behind, so their roommates show up to the wrong class - or not at all. Some practical jokes are kept up the whole day before the victim realizes what day it is. Most April Fool jokes are in good fun and not meant to harm anyone. The most clever April Fool joke is the one where everyone laughs, especially the person upon whom the joke is played.

See:   http://www.usembassy.at/en/us/april_fool.htm

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. "
- American humorist Mark Twain


An April Fools' recipe from FamilyFun magazine
by Cindy A. Littlefield


If you really want to dupe your kids on April Fools'Day, you need a prank that won't leave egg on your face. Here's a sweet trick that fits the bowl!

Ice cream
Marshmallow fluff
Lemon pudding/pie filling (an instant mix works fine)

Scoop ice cream into a dish, then spoon on a generous blob of marshmallow fluff (it will smooth out and resemble an egg white as the air escapes).

For a yolk, add a rounded blob of lemon pudding. Makes one sundae.



Originally published in FamilyFun magazine.



Surprise dessert from FamilyFun



Tired of being outpranked by your kids on April Fools' Day?

Turn the  tables this year with a surprise dessert that will both fool and delight them. Served on a dinner plate, it looks just like mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets and vegetables. But look again....

For the chicken nuggets and vegetables, you'll need to purchase some peanut butter logs and peas-and-carrots candy mix. (Both candies are sold by the pound at most candy stores.)

On each dinner plate, arrange four or five peanut butter logs and a small handful of the candy mix. Right before serving, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to each plate. Top with gravy--a spoonful of caramel sauce or butterscotch topping.

The last laugh is sure to be yours when your kids try sipping this colorful beverage. It's actually flavored gelatin, so you'll need to prepare it ahead of time.

Dissolve a package of dessert gelatin according to the directions on the box (orange to look like iced tea; raspberry, strawberry or lemon to resemble fruit punch).

Pour the liquid gelatin into drinking glasses, then place a plastic straw in each. Set the glasses on a tray in the refrigerator until the gelatin firms up.

Originally published in FamilyFun magazine.


April Fools' Recipe: The Shamburger

April Fools' The Shamburger

Sure, it looks like the real thing. But when your kids take a bite, their taste buds will be pleasantly deceived by the no-beef patties, special sauce, and sesame cookie buns. And while they're not exactly fast food, these fake burgers are easy to make.

Step 1
To make the cookie "hamburger buns," heat the oven to 375°. Use an electric mixer to cream the margarine and the sugar until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add 2 eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl. Then, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.

Step 2
For large "buns," drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart (for medium-size buns, drop the dough by rounded teaspoons). Next, use the bottom of a floured glass to lightly press the dough into a circle. Then beat the remaining egg and use a pastry brush to "paint" it on top of each cookie. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the tops. Bake the large cookies for 10 minutes and the medium ones for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.

Step 3
While the cookies are cooling on a rack, make the "lettuce." Place the shredded coconut into a plastic bag. Add a few drops of green food coloring, close the bag, and shake until the coconut has turned a light green.

Step 4
To assemble the burgers, choose two cookies that are about the same size and shape. Spread icing ketchup or mustard on the bottom bun, add an appropriately sized peppermint patty, and sprinkle with coconut lettuce. Add a squirt of icing ketchup or mustard to hold the top bun in place.Arrange the hamburgers on a platter or wrap in foil. Makes approximately 12 large or 36 medium burgers.


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