February 14 is a day that some people choose to honor the ones they love. It’s a time to find ways to let the people who make us strong and make this life worth living know that they are special. On Saint Valentine’s Day, a large portion of our world turns pink and red with hearts and doves and teddy bears, chocolates, greeting cards and dinners for two. A Happy St. Valentine’s Day is within your grasp and is even closer … with a plan.
Throughout history, there have been many saints named Valentine or Valentina. And, like any other holiday, the origins are complex. One of the world’s St. Valentines is honored for holding ceremonies for couples who, by tradition, were not allowed to form unions, when the penalty for doing so was death. Someone known for making that kind of sacrifice for the love of another probably knows the value of loving ourselves, our family and others we have chosen to be in our life.
There is evidence that the link between Saint Valentine and the way we celebrate the day came from a poem written in the 14th century. With this tradition in mind, show your loved ones what they mean to you by combining the symbols of the day with what we know is the easiest way to their hearts: FOOD!
For Valentine’s Day dinner, make a pizza and reshape the crust into a heart, then add fun and romantic toppings like barbecued chicken, tempeh or any of your favorite’s favorites. To complete the dining portion of the celebration, make a special pink dessert beverage. The Local Grocer has a selection of natural ice creams that people with most any dietary restriction can enjoy. Combine them with one of our many red and pink beverages to create a seasonally-appropriate ice cream float. (Pureed frozen fruit makes a good substitute for ice cream.) Shave some chocolate on top, and a cherry or some other delicious confection. Bonus points for creative ways to use honey: St. Valentine is also the patron of beekeepers.
Photography by Eric Dutro