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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Feb 10, 2009

Valentine's Day - Ice Cream or Nigella's Coca Cola Ham?

Well, Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I can't believe it's a year already since I wrote my last Valentine's Day Ice Cream blog post.

My suggestion then was to make Valentine's Day extra special by actually making something yourself for your Valentine as opposed to just buying something. Let's face it, showing that you're prepared to put in some personal effort has to be viewed as a genuine token of affection. Last year I suggested making some homemade ice cream based on your Valentine's favorite ice cream flavor such as strawberry ice cream or chocolate ice cream.

Whilst this still rings true as a great idea, for those of you looking for a culinary idea but perhaps a main course rather than a dessert, here's a recipe that a friend of mine, Elaine Rogerson, told me about recently and said was wonderful - Ham In Coca Cola. Sounds a little unusual? Well, that's what I thought but as you can see from the photograph this is a serious dish. (Thanks for the super photo Elaine) I also found other people on the Net raving about it. Elaine tells me it's a recipe by Nigella Lawson who is a British TV cook so I looked it up on the Net and here's the recipe along with some reviews. You can also find it in Nigella's book 'How To Eat, the pleasures and principles of good food'.

Any vegetarians reading this post might be a little disappointed if I didn't also quote a non-meat dish so here's one, again from Nigella Lawson - Double Potato & Halloumi Bake. Like the Coca Cola Ham, I haven't tried it but it sounds delicious. The truth is I have tried other recipes by Nigella and they've been so good that I trust pretty much everything she recommends. The hit of our Christmas Dinner in fact was her recipe for roast parsnips in maple syrup and that was fabulous and as my friend Elaine is a pretty smart, Scottish lady (she's involved with an international security systems company with things like Multisys Security), she knows a good thing when she sees it - so I know better than to ignore her advice about the Coca Cola Ham!

Now back to Valentine's Day ... of course you can still buy your Valentine a great Valentine's Day card. I looked around on the Net for some good Valentine's Day card ideas and here are a few:
Pop-up Valentine's Day Cards
Jumping Cracker Beans Valentine's Cards

One more thought ... never forget just how romantic ice cream can be. Be it on Valentine's Day or any other day, there's something special and very endearing about sharing an ice cream cone with the one you love. (Have to get my plug in for ice cream somewhere in this post!)

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Feb 13, 2008

Thoughts of Love For Valentine's Day

The older I get the more I start to see the funny side of life. Strange really because when I was younger I was often tempted to think that older people were too serious and 'stuffy' - well it must have been the naivety of youth because I was wrong! Which brings me to the point of this blog entry .... as Valentine's Day approaches, I wondered what famous people have thought and said publicly about 'love'. I read up on this and, to be honest, it's the witty quotations that appeal to me most.

Here are some great examples:
  • "Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love."
    Albert Einstein

  • "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known."
    Walt Disney

  • "The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post."
    George Bernard Shaw

The one I like the most is by Baltimore-born satirist Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) and could be a contender for the ultimate Valentine's Day card ....

"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence"

If you're interested in reading more great quotations, here are two top sites:


Looking for ideas of what to give a loved one on Valentine's Day? Fancing making them some great homemade ice cream? Look up my previous Blog article about Valentine's Day ice cream.

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Feb 6, 2008

Valentine's Day Ice Cream

Valentine's Day is not an important day for everyone but, for some, it's very special - a day for romance and the opportunity for lovers to declare their love for one another. So it is that on February 14 every year, millions of Valentine's cards and gifts (flowers, chocolates, candy, rings etc) are exchanged as tokens of affection.

But how's this for an idea .... instead of buying something to give to your loved one, why not make something yourself?

It could be anything from a homemade Valentine's card to a photo that you've taken, printed and had specially framed, or, better still why not make your loved one's favorite ice cream and serve it as a surprise!

With an ice cream maker and a little forethought you can come up with a great Valentine's Day treat. Here's what to do ...
  1. If you don't already know, then find out your Valentine's favorite ice cream flavor.

  2. Also find out how they like it served - simple scoops or a sundae, what toppings, what sauce and whether they like wafers or not.

  3. Search on the Net for a homemade ice cream recipe for that flavor and print/download the recipe so you know what ingredients to use.

  4. Go shopping for all the ingredients you are going to need including toppings etc if you're going to present your homemade ice cream as a Valentine's sundae.

Don't worry if what you make doesn't turn out as perfect as you would like - the fact that you have gone to such trouble plus the fact that you've done it out of love will be far more important and hopefully have the impact you're looking for!

In need of ideas for ice cream recipes? 2 great favorites are strawberry ice cream and chocolate ice cream - both these recipes are made with a custard or cream base giving you a rich and creamy homemade ice cream.

Interested in history? Read about the history of Valentine's Day

Want to know if you're a true romantic? Take an online Romantic Personality Test

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