Valentine’s Day just around the corner

Valentine’s Day is still two weeks away but already the thoughts of doing something special for my wife are bouncing around in my head.
As a romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day often includes gifts of roses, chocolates, and perfume. La Place Rendez-Vous and La Flambée each have created their own special romantic menu.
We have seldom ventured away from home on the day, and I usually stumble about the kitchen on the weekend preceding the day and try to create something unique and with a special chocolate dessert.
I’ll scour the Internet looking for a meal with romantic overtones. Asparagus, chocolate, fresh figs, oysters, raspberries, strawberries, and a glass or two of wine all may be woven into the menu.
St. Valentine actually was a Roman priest who was arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples during the reign of Claudius II. Helping Christians at the time was considered a crime and he became a martyr for marrying lovers.
Today the crime is probably not trying to be romantic with your spouse.
One of my biggest shocks on Valentine’s Day was having a single red rose delivered to me at work. I guess a guy getting a rose from his wife is really uncommon—and I proudly displayed it on my desk for almost a week.
It put a spring in my step that year, but it was the surprise of the moment that made it so special.
Perhaps that is what can be fun about Valentine’s Day—the surprise, the unexpected night away from home, or discovering a card on the seat of your car as you leave for work early in the morning.
One of the legends of Valentine’s Day goes back to an old English belief that birds began mating around Feb. 14. That popular notion helped strengthen the belief that Valentine’s Day should be a celebration of love and romance.
The idea grew and lovers began exchanging love notes and flowers. Today, we write fewer love notes but replace those with romantic cards that are displayed in stores.
It wasn’t until the late 18th century that manufactured cards were available. Back then, they all were delivered by hand. It was in the 19th century that mail was used to deliver romantic cards for Valentine’s Day. And then the recipient had to pay for the postage.
In the modern era, those cards are being replaced with electronic ones delivered via the Internet.
Oh, how sending a card has become so much simpler.
Still, nothing has replaced that romantic candlelight supper away from the kids and the confusion of the household. That intimate supper, soft music in the background, with just the two of you is what romance is all about.
Alone, with great food, the romance of the relationship can blossom once again.
Perhaps that is what Valentine’s Day is all about: rediscovering your partner and making the time to say to someone, “I love you.”

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