This week, blogger Kelly Radi talks about Valentine’s Day tradition.
It’s that time of year…HEARTS, CHOCOLATES, ROSES and GLITTER!
I have always been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure if it is the romantic in me or if it is the years I spent working at my aunt’s Floral Shop and Hallmark store. I still love a mushy-gushy card and the smell of a big bouquet of roses.
In the years b.k. (yes, before kids), Marty and I would go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. You know, waiting in line for a table because you couldn’t get reservations, and eating “OK” overpriced food, while feeling rushed to move on so the next couple could have your table. Yep, a romantic dinner for two!
Like many other new parents, when the kids arrived, we revised our romantic expectations. Instead of hiring a sitter and ditching them on Valentine’s night, we decided to celebrate with them. After all, those little sweeties were our Valentine’s, too! At the time, I was an at-home-mom and always looking for creative activities to do with the girls. The idea of the “Sweetheart Dinner” was born.
As soon as Marty left for work on Valentine’s morning, “Operation Sweetheart Dinner” preparations commenced. Usually with red and pink construction paper and LOTS AND LOTS of glitter. It simply isn’t romantic without the bling! The girls would decorate the kitchen (floor!) and dining room. They’d create homemade Valentines and place-mats. They’d stick cut-out hearts on every available surface and fill vases with tissue paper flowers. We’d get out my grandma’s china, crystal goblets and the good silverware. There’s nothing like cut crystal mixed with tissue paper flowers and Crayola-colored place cards to set up a memorable table.
2003 Sweetheart Valentine’s Dinner!
After nap time, we’d put on our chef’s hats and begin the culinary masterpiece of a meal. The girls would plan the menu. Some years, it was meatballs and spaghetti. Others, it was lobster…and spaghetti. No matter what the entree, the meal always ended with a heart-shaped cake, frosted and decorated (with love) by Marty’s little sweethearts.
Before Daddy would get home, the girls would go dress for dinner. They’d usually pick out their fanciest dresses (you know…the ones the spaghetti sauce stains would ruin) and wait by the window to “surprise” him. He’d always walk in with a vase of roses and little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. And, of course, a look of absolute shock on his face at his SURPRISE Sweetheart Dinner.
Well, the years have passed and those little sweethearts are no longer little girls. But, the tradition of the Sweetheart Dinner continues. We may have to do it a night earlier or a night later, depending on speech and sport (and, gulp, boyfriend) schedules. We may not use quite as much glue or glitter. But, we still get out the good silver and make a nice meal, though not always spaghetti. Marty still brings home little boxes of chocolates. We still eat heart-shaped cake and exchange homemade Valentine cards. I cannot think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with the ones I love.
Kelly’s ingredients for a great Sweetheart Dinner:
- Food Club Marinara Sauce – NuVal score of 54
- Ronzoni Whole-Grain Spaghetti – NuVal score of 91
- Cherries and Almond Dark Chocolate Bar – NuVal score of 18
- Heart-Shaped Cake Pan
- Glitter (of course!)
This blog is used with permission from our friends at BLEND.
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