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It’s Almost Valentine’s Day

 

Well first comes Groundhog Day. But then soon after is Valentine’s Day.

History of Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day is a bit murky, but most likely had its roots in ancient Rome, and may have originally begun when the Romans banned marriage. If you are interested in the history you can get more information at these two links: Wikipedia or The Holiday Spot. These were the two I thought gave the best and most concise information.

According to Wikipedia, “The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th-century rondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife, which begins:

 Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…

As translated by Wikipedia:

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine

Not exactly the kind of Valentine we expect today, is it?

But you have to keep in mind that at the time, the Duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

I might tire of love if I was imprisoned in the Tower of London too.

Interesting Valentine’s Day Trivia

Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.

Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.

Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.

The first televised tour of the White House aired on February 14 in 1962. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy hosted the tour.

Source: www.corsinet.com – Brain Candy

Valentine Day and Love Quotes

Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.
Hawkeye, M*A*S*H.

Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein

Featured Recipe    Cherry Almond Clusters

I found this recipe in a free booklet Meijer’s Grocery Store passed out last Christmas to customers. It had all sorts of neat recipes for cookies, candies, side dishes and entrees. When I read this one it met most of my criteria for recipes I like and will try: easy, inexpensive, and chocolate. And I knew it would be one of my Valentine goodies this year.

This is what you will need:

1 cup slivered almonds

8 ounces baking chocolate semi-sweet or dark

1 cup dried tart cherries

NOTE: I did not use baking chocolate which is usually in large squares. I prefer using chips. I used semisweet because the dark chocolate was way too expensive.

Here is what you do:

Spread the almonds on an ungreased baking sheet.

Toast them in a preheated 350 degree oven 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Line a baking pan with waxed paper.

Remove the almonds from oven and allow then to cool completely.

If using chocolate squares break them up into pieces. (This is another reason I use chips. I am too lazy to break up the squares.) If not, just dump the chips into a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for about 1 minute.

Check the chips. They should have started to melt.

Stir the chips. This will help a few more of the chips to melt.

Microwave again for about 30-40 seconds…….

…………….until most of the bits melt.

At this point the chocolate will be very hot. So by simply stirring the chips, you should be able to get all of them melt. Stir until smooth.

Add the toasted almonds and the cherries.

Mix until the almonds and cherries are completely coated with chocolate.

Drop by teaspoons full onto the waxed paper.

I was able to make 23 pieces of candy.

GLORIOUS, FANTABULOUS, DELICIOUS, & DECADENT NOTE: You will get a lot of melted chocolate on your fingers during this last step. This means you can lick your fingers clean once the candy is in the refrigerator firming up. This is a perk of cooking. Enjoy!!!

Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Bon Appetit!!!

Cost

1 cup slivered almonds                    $1.59

8 ounces baking chocolate               $1.78

1 cup dried tart cherries                  $3.99

Total cost = $7.36
Cost per piece = $0.32

Quote of the Day

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

David Brinkley

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