Saturday, February 16, 2013

Loving Valentine's Day Again.

Valentines Day is one of those holidays, I'm discovering, that is exponentially more fun when you are a kid, and when you have your own kids.  Actually, it's probably just more fun when you let go of people's expectations and enjoy it the way kids do.

I certainly don't miss the Valentine's Days of my middle school and high school years, when we had non-uniform days and dressed up "fancy" and sat through the seemingly endless presentation of candy grams, rose-grams, poetry-grams in homeroom.  Of course, they all went to two or three people in each class.  I think I secretly wished to hear my name called out for a delivery from a secret admirer, but I was probably more petrified about being the center of attention for two minutes if that actually happened.  I wonder if I was the only one who dreaded non-uniform days.  It was kind of like condensing all the self-consciousness teenagers have about their clothes and appearance into three or four school days a year.  I still remember the crushing blow of a certain boy saying "You always wear that shirt on non-uniform days" in reference to my grey gorilla Body Shop tee shirt.  I don't think I ever wore that shirt in public again.  Oh, the imagined humiliation of teen years!

In my dating and early married years, Valentine's Day was fun, but we usually kept it very low-key.  I always kind of resented the social pressure the next day to produce a good date story or a fantastic gift from my Valentine's date.  My husband posted his status of Facebook before leaving work on Valentine's Day: "Anyone know where to buy cheap flowers in [our town]?"  In the split second before I realized he was joking, I tried to telepathically tell him "Nowhere!  Flowers are too expensive today!  And they'll just wilt in a few days!"  I'm so cheap practical.  Luckily, he gets me!  

I was planning on going to the potluck party at Strong Start with the kids this Valentine's Day until I realized that my endodontist appointment was going to interfere, so I ended up with a boatload of cakes and cupcakes in the house.  I used beet puree to colour the cake and the icing, and even the kids' morning porridge.  Strangely, the bright pink colour of the cake faded during baking.  The cupcakes in the rear of the photo were as bright as the cake batter in the white dish before baking.  

The amateur heart shape is actually pretty easy with two different coloured batters.  You just pour one colour in the pan first, pour the next colour right in the middle on top, and shape it into a heart by running a toothpick or spoon down the middle.
Beet-coloured vegan "cream-cheese" icing.  Actually quite yummy and so much healthier without chemical colours.

Beet-coloured oatmeal with strawberry hearts.

Valentine's Soup: heart shaped carrots, beets, and red peppers.  Tutorial for heart carrots here.

Love buns.

Brotherly tough love: I found O giving T a time out and had to snap a picture before explaining that it's not his job!
Happy belated love day.  I hope you all celebrated the loves in your life in your own way.


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