Traditionally this is the weekend that most Canadians look forward to: Victoria Day, celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria, our first sovereign queen. She was born on May 24, 1819. She reigned for 63 years. May 24th marks her official birthday, but the holiday falls on the last Monday before May 25.
While still proud of our English heritage, this holiday takes on a special meaning marking the changing of the seasons. The fear of frost has almost passed so many will be planting their gardens–which is what I will be doing, an enjoyable and stress releasing activity in 2020 as most of us are still confined to our local communities during COVID-19. Also known as the May Two-Four, the Canadian slang for a case of twenty-four beers (a “two-four”), a drink popular during the long weekend.
Celebrated since 1845
Victoria Day was declared a Canadian holiday by the federal government in 1845. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Canada’s parliament officially named the holiday Victoria Day. At that time, it was celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting tournaments, fireworks and cannon salutes.
This year there will no fireworks allowed but we can still raise a toast in her honour and enjoy the weekend with our family outside.
I can’t think of a more appropriate dish to make this holiday than the Victoria Sandwich. The unfrosted cake was served at tea in Queen Victoria’s court, and quickly became a favourite of the Queen, and named after her.
It is also now Rhubarb Season
I never met my Mother-in-Law as she passed before my husband and I married, so rhubarb is very precious to me. They start producing stalks early in the season and continue until fall.
Here are some of my favorite rhubarb recipes and the meals to enjoy them. It really is a versatile vegetable.