April Fool’s!

No, don’t worry, there really is a post.

April Fool’s Day is the kind of holiday that ends up dividing people – is it funny to play pranks on people? What about hoaxes? Nevertheless, many continue to celebrate it as an unofficial holiday of mischief. But where did it begin?

There are a few examples throughout history of festivities held around this time that had some element of mischief or trickery involved. The Romans celebrated Hilaria on the 25th of March, a holiday on which no one could express sorrow, and everyone was able to play games with each other regardless of stature, gender or age.

holi-671899_1920The Hindu calendar has a similar celebration of joy with Holi, commonly known as the Festival of Colours, which is well known for being a time when coloured powders and paints are thrown around. Much like Hilaria, social class means little, and everyone out in the public is fair game.

Around the same time is Purim, a celebration of the saving of Jewish people from Hamman, who intended to kill them all. Celebrations include eating great meals, donating to the less fortunate, public celebrations and carnivals with masks and costumes, and the exchange of food and drink.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nwongpr/8737430680In France, the victim of an April Fool prank is known as a Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish; children will tape pictures of fish to each others’ backs and then declare them to be April Fish. In Spain, where the equivalent day is usually the 28th December, the pranker shouts ¡Inocente! which means innocent, and gullible, at their victim.

In many countries, the tradition is that pranking should end by midday. Any pranks after that time make the pranker the Fool instead.

 

Last Year

There have been so many excellent April Fools over the years that it’s difficult to narrow down just a few; that’s why we’re just going to look at some of the best from 2015.

The state of Victoria announced that they would be starting up a wombat cheese industry. A herd of 30 wombats would be milked in their “wombatary”, making the speiciality Wombrie and Womblue cheeses. Somehow it’s hard to imagine anyone falling for that one!

http://www.ausbt.com.au/australia-s-best-april-fools-day-aviation-pranks-for-2015Vegemite have done several great pranks; last year they announced the release of a  Vegemite energy drink, allowing you to have that Vegemite hit on the go. It’s probably for the best that this isn’t real.

Qantas made waves by claiming they would finally be changing their name to what many would consider the correct spelling – Quantas. That just looks rather strange.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/04/01/fashion-april-fools-pranks_n_6983776.htmlVirgin Australia meanwhile announced the arrival of a dedicated airport departure lounge for pets, complete with grooming and speciality cuisine for cats and dogs.

The Australian Science Media Centre claimed that climate change could wake up sleeping dragons; another group of scientists suggested that the equator is shifting, and that we could end up in the Northern Hemisphere by 2055.

And finally, ASOS brought the world to its knees with the introduction of a clip-on man bun. No thank you ASOS!

 

The Recipes

It’s time to channel your inner Heston Blumenthal with these tricksy recipes.

 

Pork ‘n’ Beans Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can baked beans with pork
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8055/pork-n-beans-cake/?internalSource=staff%20pick&referringId=1513&referringContentType=recipe%20hubBegin by preheating your oven to 165 C or 325 F, and grease and flour two loaf pans

Mix together the sugar, oil, eggs and beans in a large bowl until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the flour with cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda, then add it to the bean mixture.

Stir until just combined, then stir in the vanilla extract.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test it just like you would with a cake – so that a knife put into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely before taking the bread out of the pans, and then serve!

 

So that’s something that looks sweet but is actually savoury…how about the opposite?

 

Grilled “Cheese” Sandwich

You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound cake in ½ inch slices
  • 6 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 cup white frosting
  • ½ tsp yellow food colour
  • 1/8 tsp red food colouring

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/241640/april-fools-grilled-cheese-sandwich/Begin by spreading butter on both sides of the slices of cake.

Pop the griddle onto a medium heat, grilling the cake slices until brown on each side, around 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Stir the frosting and food colouring together. You might need more or less of each colour, but you’re aiming for the rich golden orange that American cheese is.

Spread the frosting on one side of a slice, then top with another slice.

Serve, and watch their confusion!

 

Enjoy your April Fool’s Day, and keep an eye out for any great pranks!