by Jennifer A. Wickes
February is known as the Month of Love, and as most of us know, Valentine’s Day is on the 14th! Flowers, candy, candlelit dinners for two…
I remember when I was single, being an unromantic romantic, I did not need flowers or candy or romantic dinners, but when there was no “certain someone”, then for some reason, this day can be brutal for the single person!
The history of Valentine’s Day is a bit shaky. The day was indeed named after Saint Valentine, though there were three of them. One story suggests that an ancient Roman Emperor, Claudius II, believed unmarried men made better soldiers, so he banned young men from marrying. Valentine, a priest, felt this was an injustice to young lovers and performed marriages in secret. When Claudius II found out about this, Valentine was ordered to death!
Then, there is Cupid! He was the God of Love in Roman Mythology; his mother was Venus. There is a story where Venus was jealous of the beauty of a mortal, named Psyche. Venus sent Cupid to punish Psyche for her good looks, but Cupid fell in love with her instead.
Colors are often associated with this month. Red has often been associated with sex and passion, and pink with love.
Certain foods have also been known to help stimulate love within us. Some of these food items are:
Other foods have been associated with sex! Some of these items are:
Here are some ideas on what I like to eat on this special day:
Start off your evening with this drink. In Bermuda, there is a wonderful place called the Swizzle Inn that makes the most wonderful Rum Swizzle. Here is a recipe:
6 ounces rum — light brown
2 ounces rum — black
1 ounce apricot brandy
juice of 4 limes — or lemon
1 1/2 ounces honey
4 dashes bitters
Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and add crushed ice. Churn vigorously until a frothing head appears. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Yields: 4 servings
Then, as an appetizer, try these little gems:
Guacamole Stuffed Tomatoes
2 pints cherry tomatoes — stemmed
3 avocado — skinned and pitted
8 ounces cream cheese — room temperature
1 tablespoon sweet onion — very finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic — very finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice — strained
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tomato concasse
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sliced black olives
Slice tops from cherry tomatoes. Hollow-out with a small spoon. Invert onto paper towels to drain. Combine avocados and cream cheese in a food processor. Add onions, garlic, lime juice, crushed red pepper, and salt. Process to a smooth puree. Pipe into tomato shells. Pipe sour cream on top and a black olive slice. Serve slightly chilled.
If you don’t like avocado, try stuffing the tomatoes with pesto for a more Italian-based meal!
Yields: 8 servings
Then for dessert, try these irresistable delights:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate — finely grated
Melt chocolate in the top half of a double boiler, set over boiling water. Beat in butter and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add egg yolks one at a time, beating well between additions. Stir in rum. Turn into a bowl, and cover with waxed paper. Set aside overnight in a cool dry place. Do NOT chill. Shape into balls 1 inch in diameter and roll in grated chocolate.
Roll in grated nuts instead of grated chocolate. For example, walnuts or almonds.
Use brandy OR another alcohol based flavoring, such as vanilla extract, orange extract, or almond essence.
Yields: 24 truffles
Serve with this coffee:
4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups coffee
Put 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup into each cup.
Combine cream, teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg & sugar.
Stir remaining teaspoon cinnamon into hot coffee.
Pour coffee into cups.
Stir to blend with chocolate syrup.
Top with whipped cream.
Yields: 4 servings
Whether you are single, or maybe you have children, a parent or a good friend, don’t run from this holiday, embrace it and make them a meal to celebrate your relationship!