Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Friendship Day!

Happy Friendship Day!

In 1935, the US Congress proclaimed the first Sunday in August as National Friendship Day. The History of Friendship Day has helped the popularity spread and today oodles of people in countries all over the world commemorate the day by dedicating the day to their friends.

You might be surprised to discover, Friendship Day has an Ambassador who holds the honorary title of "Ambassador of Friendship." In August of 1997, at a Friendship Day event co-sponsored by Disney, Winnie-the-Pooh was decreed the Ambassador of Friendship. A year later, on August 3, 1998, the United Nations observed "Pooh's Friendship Day" by holding a concert and inviting 50 pairs of friends--25 pairs of kids and 25 pairs of adults with the participation of Kathie Lee Gifford, then co-host of the ABC talk show "LIVE with Regis & Kathie Lee." Disney characters Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore were there too! Performers sang family-oriented songs in front of the Global Pooh Friendship Flag, which was made up of winning entries in an art contest open to children and adults in the United States and six other countries. Entrants were invited to submit original pieces depicting friendship, and the special role played in their friendship by Winnie the Pooh. Sponsored by Disney, each of the winners, who ranged in age from 4 to 75 years old and came from Australia, Japan, Mexico and the United States, received a trip to New York City with his or her best friend including a visit to the United Nations. Although these events are no longer sponsored by Disney, Winnie still is the guest of honor at his Hometown Festival held the 3rd week in August each year.

"Let's go and see everybody," said Pooh. "Because when you have been walking in the wind for miles, and you suddenly go into somebody's house, and he says, "Hallo, Pooh, you're just in time for a little smackerel of something," and you are, then it's what I call a Friendly Day."(The House at Pooh Corner)

Words of Friendship

What words come to mind when you think of friendship? Caring, sharing, acceptance, unconditional, encouragement, laughter, tears, trust, and honesty, are a few of the expressions I associate with friends and friendship. When I was a young girl, I had a Pen Pal. We faithfully corresponded for 7 years. We never met. Later in life I was introduced to a 97 page book titled 84 Charing Crossing Road (1970) by Helene Hanff. Have you heard of it? There's a detailed review about it at Waterstones, an online London bookshop. There are also a few excerpts cited in a New York Times article published in April of 1997.

In summary, 84 Charing Cross Road is the heartwarming story of a long distant friendship which endures for twenty years between Helene Hanff, the author and book lover from New York and Frank Doel as well as the other staff members at Marks & Co, a second-hand bookshop in London. Through their twenty-year relationship, the two strangers become in some ways like family. They exchange both Christmas and birthday gifts. Their letters included discussions about topics as diverse as the sermons of John Donne, how to make Yorkshire Pudding, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It is an engaging book worthy of a trip to the library.

I mention this book today dear visitor, because I am touched by the kind sentiments of all of you who remind me of the cordial delight found in 84 Charing Crossing Road. From you I have received encouraging words of wisdom, delightful tales, engaging recipes, and fascinating stories. Because of you, I have gone on picturesque journeys, learned of cultural intimacies, and enlightening foods and remedies. I have been consoled by your messages, energized by your creativity, and gladdened by your reinforcements and random acts of kindness. (RAK, yes you taught me that acronym too:) You have emailed me winsome birthday cards, and even sent me treasured books from places I have never been and may never visit. You have offered me dinner when you had an inkling I may be alone on a family holiday while gingerly scolding those around me who bark at my time spent blogging. With delicate words of honesty you have accepted my misspelled words, horrendous punctuation, lack of vocabulary insight and somewhat wordy posts. All of these things and so many more and yet, you have never seen my face or looked into my eyes. Happy Friendship Day and thank you.

Gifts in a Jar

On this very special day, I would like to offer you a collection of friendship day jar recipe links as a token of the many friendships shared throughout the blogosphere. Your friends will be delighted with these thoughtful gifts straight from your kitchen and I am happy to be sharing them with you. They are fun to make, easy to decorate, thrifty, and only limited by your imagination. Once you discover the ease of creating formulas there's no telling what you adventurous food bloggers will come up with. By the time you read this post, I will be on my way to PA. Enjoy!

A man must eat a peck of salt with his friend, before he knows him.
~Miguel De Cervantes~

Friendship Day Recipes

1. Recipe for Friendship (poem) @ BellyBytes
2. Brownie Mix Recipes (It's Brownie Month remember:)
3. Instant Cappuccino Jar Mix (Don't wait til the holidays)
4. Cake in a Mug Mix (With a cake mix and a microwave, you can make a single cake that bakes right in its own coffee mug. How cool is that!)
5. Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar (safe to store)
6. Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar (great for restricted diets)
7. Long List of Gift in a jar recipes
8. Peaches & Cream Bath Salts in a Jar (for fussy friends:)
9. Food Gifts in a Jar or Bag Recipes
10. Easter Bunny S'Mores in a Jar
11. Orange Slice Cake Mix in a Can
12. Orange Slice Cookie Mix in a Jar

Who comes to eat with you,
Gets many a lump of sweetness too.
A Friendship Cook Book
Mary Hammond Shaw (1939)

1. Famous Quotes about Friends & Friendship
2. News article archives 8/4/98
3. United Nations Daily Highlights August 3, 1998
4. Some notes from Science Blog.com
5. 84 Charing Cross Road (revisited)
6. The Literate Housewife 84 Charing Crossing Road review
7. Recipe for Pooh's Honey Cookies on a Stick (image recipe not google picasa album)
8. Happy Winnie the Pooh Day (previous post)