We’re kind of nutty for April Fool’s Day around here. We’re a silly family in the first place (see here). My Dear Husband is the truly funny one, but the rest of us take on April Fool’s with something of a mission, as our one day of the year to make him laugh. We start talks around January or February, planning in secret, because brainstorming and pulling off a really spectacular April Fool’s Day joke takes time. Here are some favorites from our Pranks and Monkeyshines archives.
In 1997, my agency in Tokyo left a message on our answering machine. (I had been working doing things like Disney-style dancing in toilet bowl cleaner commercials and overly dramatic roles in cheesy medical dramas for Japanese television.) They wanted my Dear Husband’s measurements and to know whether or not he would consider being featured in an upcoming underwear spread. Yes, underwear. We went whole hog. Circa 1999, our church music director left a message inquiring about him taking on the role of Shambleshanks the Railway Cat in the church production of Cats. (No, they weren’t really doing any productions of anything.) He hates musicals, and church + musical was too hard to resist. In 2002, he was the Member of the Month at his gym, and, after telling his colleagues about it, he visited a puzzled staff member in the gift shop to claim his prizes, and an equally confused employee in the membership office to ask about having his picture taken for the lobby display. I think the best part of that joke was returning to the office to tell everyone that, no, he was not the Member of the Month. Around 2005, he received a letter, postmarked from the correct post office, from an acquaintance who waxed poetic about the mystical connection between them. Weird can apparently be very, very funny, too. And our best prank was in 2007, the year that I washed an entire set of white undershirts every week for three months, carefully pulling them from the rest of the laundry and hiding them. They were one size smaller than my Dear Husband’s actual size, and, as predicted, on the morning that we made the swap, he emerged in one of the appropriately aged t-shirts to announce that he thought he was bulking up. There was some mock flexing involved. Oh, we howled that year.
We’re starting a new April Fool’s tradition now. Our April Fool’s tomfoolery hasn’t been quite the same without our Honey Girl here, now that she’s away at college. So we’re making a fool for April Fool’s, a creamy blend of whipped and sour creams, stewed berries, and crushed biscuits, for dessert.
I read some time ago, in an Irish cookbook I think, about the bilberry, or fraughan as it is called in Ireland. It’s a member of the same botanical family as the wild blueberry and the huckleberry. I haven’t gotten myself to Ireland yet, so I’ve never had a bilberry, but I thought stewing some wild blueberries and some blackberries might approximate the flavor. And I folded them into a bilberry fool. If getting up to April Fool’s high jinx isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps celebrate with this.
Yield: four servings
1 c. frozen wild blueberries
1 c. frozen blackberries
¼ c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. sour cream
4 Rich Tea biscuits, or similar plain cookies such as Nilla Wafers
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the berries and the sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream and the sugar until it is lofty.
- Gently fold in the sour cream.
- Gently fold in ½ of the stewed berries until the mixture is beautifully streaked with the fruit.
- Place a spoonful or two of the stewed berries into four dessert glasses or dishes. Top them with ¼ of the berried whipped cream. Add another spoonful or two of the berries on top.
- Crush the biscuits and scatter them over the top.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.