Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day memories

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and it always puts a smile on my face!  I know some people feel it's too commercial or that it comes with undue pressure to celebrate in a spectacular way but, for me, it's not about pressure but about celebrating love in its many forms and having a really good reason to indulge in chocolate!  Plus, I'm just a sucker for all the hearts and pink-everything around Valentine's Day.  To me, it's just a happy day.
When I was "little" (i.e., in High School), us girls used to look forward to Valentine's Day with excitement as well as a little bit of dread to see if our boyfriend or perhaps some secret admirer (anyone!) had sent us a rose.  I guess it was part of some fundraiser at school but you'd order the roses in advance and they'd be delivered to the recipient's homeroom.  As nonchalant as we all acted, it was a point of pride to walk around all day holding a certain number of roses. 

My boyfriend (now husband) would not only send me a few of those but there'd also be a big bouquet waiting for me back home.  It was really sweet!  As I got older, my taste ran more toward tulips and mixed arrangements but I'll never forget those huge bouquets of red or pink roses he used to bring me every now and then from a florist near our homes in Brooklyn.  Very often, there'd be a box of Guylian chocolate seashells to go with it too because they were one of my favorites back then. 
When I graduated college and started working, my husband would send me big, tall bouquets of French tulips at the office for Valentine's Day.  It was a little over the top but so beautiful.  Nowadays, I think I might've lost some of the romantic in me because I always find myself telling my husband not to bring me flowers since it seems such an unnecessary extravagance. 

I guess maybe it's not so much about being less romantic than maybe being a little wiser in knowing that it's not about the flowers or gifts (I'm not giving up the chocolate though) but about just being together and enjoying another occasion to celebrate.  I love to stay in and share a quiet dinner and a good long chat.  I feel very lucky and grateful to have that.
I've always loved to read and write so I loved receiving letters.  My husband and I exchanged plenty of cards and little notes through the years.  I haven't kept everything but  there's a good slash in my closet.  I love that huge heart envelop, by the way.  We were in a Hallmark store in the World Trade Center long, long ago when I spotted it and hinted ever so obviously that I had to have it!  Needless to say, I got it and I still have it.  I was very silly back then and still a bit that way now...

Now I have a funny story about lollipops.  One year when we were in our late teens, I made a bunch of them for my husband (then boyfriend) for Valentine's Day.  I must've made nearly 30 of them that time - some plain, some in white and pink using not even chocolate but those candy melts that come in a bag.  I was very proud of my homemade gift!

I dug up the very same molds I used then and made a few for fun. 
Back then, I wrapped my lollipops in plastic and ribbon and put them all in a gift bag for V-Day.  The sweetest thing is my husband held on to those "chocolate" lollipops and ate them for well over a month!  When I finally told him to throw them out, he refused to and I remember taking a taste of one towards the end and nearly spewing it out because it tasted like plastic!  I think it was a combination of the candy melts and plastic wrapping hanging out together for too long.  I looked at him and couldn't believe he'd been eating it when it tasted that bad!  It's a story my husband and I laugh over still - and to this day, he still says it wasn't bad but I tell you, it tasted like plastic! 

And that is the reason I don't like to use candy melts anymore.  The few I made recently that you see above were done with real dark chocolate.  It may not look shiny since I didn't temper the chocolate but they actually taste good this time.
I devoured these chocolates last Valentine's; I love how the box looks like a little book.
I love Valentine's Day because it just brings back all these good and funny memories.  I remember class parties we had back in grade school, the Valentine crafts we'd make and cards we'd exchange.  That was back when treats like cupcakes and chocolates were allowed in the classroom - those were the days!  At least we still have bake sales.  But whether or not there are sugar cookies or cupcakes lying around, I'm glad that we still have the tradition of celebrating love, in all its many forms. 

I couldn't resist making a batch of heart-shape sugar cookies for Valentine's Day.

I used this recipe for the cookies.  I like to roll them out close to 1/8-inch because I like the crunch from a thinner cookie. 


Happy Valentine's Day!




   

6 comments:

  1. those teddy bear chocolate molds aer completely adorable! I've a huge sucker for Valentine's Day and it brings back so many memories for me too. :)

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Sally! Glad you love V-Day as much as I do...hope you had a great one! :)

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  3. We had the flowers at school, too, but ours were delivered at the end of the day which was perfect for me. I would order some for myself so that I could take them home for my mom. :)

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  4. That was a great idea! I'm sure your mom enjoyed the flowers. : )

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  5. Yum! Totally adorable cookies, love them! :)

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  6. Thanks, Sara! Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. : )

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