Feb 13, 2010

Valentine's Day History, Romance & Ice Cream

Valentine's Day is celebrated in numerous countries around the world - the United States, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia and France for example. Despite its popularity, however, if you ask anyone about the history of Valentine's Day, few people will be able to give you an answer. An interesting fact really, especially given the fact that it's the second largest card-sending day of the year (after Christmas). Yes, around 1 billion cards will be sent for Valentine's Day this year with a staggering 85% being sent by women!

So what is the history? Well, as with many things that have been handed down over centuries, there is a degree of mystery about the subject, so rather than delve into that I'll give you a link to a great web page that goes into serious and fascinating detail on the history of Valentine's Day.

Let's move on to what Valentine's Day is all about - romance. This photo was kindly furnished by Sarah who works in an English castle, popular for romantic weddings. It's a special cheesecake dessert made for a wedding breakfast. She told me that many people choose Valentine's Day not only to offer/accept a marriage proposal but as their actual wedding day and the castle has seen many happy couples 'tie the knot' within its walls on February 14. Who said romance was dead?!

So what about a special dessert for Valentine's Day? Well, having talked about cheesecake it seems appropriate to suggest a cheesecake ice cream recipe. Smooth, rich and toally indulgent ... it sounds the perfect dessert to end a romantic dinner for two. (The grated chocolate in the recipe is optional by the way - it's just a topping for the ice cream)

My Valentine's Day ice cream blog post in 2009
My Valentine's Day ice cream blog post in 2008

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May 25, 2009

Britain's First National Ice Cream Week

Celebrating ice cream is done by many people every day all over the world - just eating an ice cream cone whilst walking in the park is a great example. Recognising the importance of ice cream is, I believe, very important; after all, it's a part of our cultural heritage and for many people is a great 'escapist' food - I've yet to see anyone with an ice cream cone that doesn't smile at some point in the experience!

Imagine a world without ice cream? No thanks, that would be incredibly dull!

Q: So how do we recognise the importance of ice cream?
Q: How do we say: "Thank you ice cream for making life that little bit extra special" ?
A: We have special ice cream days!

In the USA of course there's been a tradition of National Ice Cream Month (July) and National Ice Cream Day (3rd Sunday in July) since Ronald Reagan was in office - back in 1984 he proclaimed National Ice Cream Month an official, annual celebration. Nice one Mr. President! But what about other countries?

Well, although it's not been endorsed (as yet!) by the British Government or HM The Queen, 2009 sees a "National Ice Cream Week" for the first time in Britain. Admittedly, it's the brainchild of a British ice cream manufacturer who undoubtedly is looking to see their sales increase, but hopefully during the week of 1 June people all over Britain will enter the spirit of the idea and enjoy some of the fun that ice cream offers. I shall watch with interest how the British react to this new idea. Hopefully, they will embrace it and demand that we celebrate with an even more special week in the summer of 2010.

As one of my favorite singers James Taylor occasionally sings:

"If you're down and troubled and you need a helpin' hand .... and nothing is going right ...."

My advice? Go get some ice cream!
Moreover, make your own ice cream if you can, it's not that difficult. Here are some of my easy ice cream recipes.

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