The big, lovey-dovey, Hallmark holiday is coming! How do you celebrate?
I used to like Valentine's day when I was a kid. There were valentines for the class, maybe a treat and some hearts from our teacher. Pretty low key and kind of fun after a month of snow with no break in sight. Then I got to Jr. High and High school. Oh, how things change! There was the drama of wanting to have a Valentine. There were flower sales and candy-grams and balloon deliveries and sometimes even the occasional huge bouquet from the professional florist in town delivered to the office. This brought about the endless longing to be one of the people getting all of these things. Or anyone of these deliveries. Or just some acknowledgement by someone that you were special!
My friends and I tended to send things to each other, but we often spent the day dressed in black to protest all the red. Mature it wasn't, but when you have no boyfriend it is a way to get through it all. College was pretty much the same deal. Unless you had a guy who was into the spoiling you factor Valentine's day became a day to spend with your best girlfriends. We complained, we whined, we protested and we longed...call us crazy.
Now I'm married and I enjoy the thought behind the holiday (really I always have), but I do not want it to be about huge amounts of money or overly showy expressions of feelings that should be expressed everyday. Luckily my hubby and I set things up well when we were dating. Our first Valentine's day was the first time Mike cooked for me. He was going to cook dinner, but I ended up helping him along. Cooking dinner for a girl may not be a big deal to some men, but at the time my husband was living at home. His mom always did all the cooking and Mike had never made anything other than a bowl of cereal. Really, he had never cooked at all. That week he had his mom teach him how to make mac 'n cheese (the kind in a box) for the first time.
So, our valentines day menu consisted of mac 'n cheese, some boxed garlic bread, a salad, root beer, and he brought me a frosted big cookie. Fancy it was not, but sweet and meaningful it was! We've made it our tradition to have almost the same menu every year. Now I do the cooking and it is all homemade. I love the fact that it is pretty simple (although I have made some pretty awesome mac 'n cheese and salad) and that it is frugal and that it is meaningful to us. It is a meal that will be fun to share with our kids every year and they'll probably hate hearing the story over and over again, but that is just too bad! Family stories are what make holidays fun :)
This year I think I'm going to make Pioneer Woman's Fancy Macaroni. Mike LOVES bacon and this dish will probably become a new favorite for him. I still need to get some salad ingredients and make some fresh bread, but the A&W is already in the fridge, the mugs are in the freezer and I've got the ingredients to make a hot fudge cake which he really loves. We don't really do gifts, but I did get a big Hershey's kiss (a red one) after Christmas for 75% off and that will be waiting at his place come breakfast time. I'm thinking that lunch may even be a heart shaped homemade pizza. We love our pizza and lots of places are advertising heart shaped ones...if they can do it so can I!
What are your traditions? Any fun gifts happening this year? Any other great food ideas for me for Sunday? And last, but most importantly, does anyone have Mrs. Field's Original Cookie recipe? It is Mike's favorite bought dessert and they do not make them like they used to...it would blow his mind if I made one of those sometime!
Happy Valentine's Day,