Round and round the Sun we go. And round and round the calendar we go at the same time. Valentine’s Day is once again looming, and the brows of anxious husbands and sweethearts are beading with the sweat of wondering what will please their true love. Ok, guys, listen up: We want CHOCOLATE! Oh, and roses and some romantic dinner with candles and tea and something you cooked yourself.
Well, maybe not too simple. Let’s take it a step at a time, starting with the chocolates. (The most important things first, of course!) There are many to choose from, but go for the best. True love is rare and special. Cadbury’s (the kind still made in the U.K.) has a reputation for being rich and flavorful, reflecting the richness of your feelings. Of course, the “bad boy” image has appeal, so some Ghirardelli chocolates with a “Bad to the Bone” bear will get the message across.
Even a more economical version of a chocolate-centered gifts will say “I love you!” loud and clear! The same goes for roses. You can go full out with the traditional dozen long stemmed red beauties, or keep it simple with a gift that includes a single silken rose.
Of course, I fully recognize that we females like to give our special fellas tokens of our affections, too. Planning a special tea time for him can be a pleasure that could lead to “other” things. Heh heh! Be sure chocolate is on the menu, too, since it tends to make you feel a bit “glowing” inside.
A possible 3-course menu for your special “Valentine, Sweet Valentine!” Tea Time:
- First course: A cheese appetizer (brie or camembert) with crackers and Dragonwell tea
- Main course: Roasted chicken, new potatoes boiled and lightly buttered with a sprinkle of dill, braised green beans, and an assortment of raw vegetables (cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, etc.) served with a nice of Ceylon or Assam tea
- Third Course (Dessert): Strawberry shortcake served with some Darjeeling or even Tie Guan Yin.
Why do we go all through this every year? One story says that around 270 A.D. as the Roman Empire was crumbling, Emperor Claudius II banned marriage, thinking bachelorhood would make young men more willing to serve in his army, sorely needed since the empire was under siege from all sides. A cleric named Valentine at the local church, however, would secretly marry young couples who would come to him. For this disobedience, he was executed on February 14th. (Sorry, that’s not very romantic.) In the 14th century the date became associated with love. Greeting card companies took up the cause in the 1840s, issuing greeting cards that seem quite innocent and simple by today’s standards. You can still find some of these older designs on sites like Birdhouse Books.
One final thought here from Helen Keller:
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
Here’s wishing you a fabulous Valentine tea time and beyond!
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