It has long been debated whether Valentine’s Day should even be recognized as a holiday. The naysayers argue that the chocolatiers, greeting card makers and florists are in kahoots with one another to pad their bottom line. Well, if that is in fact the case, I don’t find their efforts offensive one bit. What’s wrong with designating a day for romantic gestures, no matter how grand or small. It was actually during my days teaching elementary school that I learned Valentine’s Day means so much more.
Watching third graders paste red construction paper hearts to crisp white lunch bags with such glee will warm your heart and renew your hope in humanity no matter how tired or glum you might feel by the end of the day. As those tiny Valentine’s cards with messages like “You’re Out of this World Valentine,” or “Valentine, You’re Dino-mite," were carefully dropped into each bag, I knew that Valentine’s Day was more than a reminder on my husband’s phone to pick up a bouquet of flowers with a love note tucked inside (which I still love).
It is a day set aside for us to enjoy the bonds we have formed and show each other we matter to one another. Ultimately, we are honoring a sense of belonging. Over the course of that school year, those third graders, regardless of what made them different from one another, knew they belonged to our classroom. They belonged to each other.
So now, like so many of you, I choose to host my friends to a brunch where I deem the day Galentine’s Day and we laugh, talk, eat and remember we belong to each other. We pause from the Saturday morning chores, workout routines and clear our calendars because it’s time reserved for really being together. Sharing celebrations, being vulnerable, just belonging to each other.
ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY DRIZZLED over FUDGE BROWNIES
ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY TASTING NOTES
COLOR: bright orange amber
AROMA: soft floral and cooked fruit
FLAVOR: bright jasmine and honeysuckle flowers, orange lollipops
FUDGE BROWNIE RECIPE
2 sticks of butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups plain flour
a pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 °
Melt chocolate in butter over low heat and set aside. Beat eggs slightly, add sugar and stir. Add melted butter and chocolate to egg mixture.
Mix flour and salt together and then add to egg mixture. Add vanilla
Pour into a well-buttered 9 X 13 pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
Cool and cut in squares. If cutting heart shapes using a cookie cutter, allow brownies to cool completely.
HONEY TASTING GIFT SET
Three 4 ounce hex jars of orange blossom, lavender and tulip poplar honey and score cards promise good conversation and much fun with your galentines. Try the honey all on its own, yet also pair it with some of your menu items or use in one of your recipes.
MY GALENTINE'S HONEY TASTING BRUNCH MENU