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Valentine’s Day ~ Part Deux

 

Today I share a few more tidbits , trivia, and information about Valentine’s Day and another fabulous Valentine’s Day candy recipe.

I am doing so on this Wednesday, the 2nd day of February in the year of 2011 because I am trying to drown out the noise and news about what a certain crazy rodent is telling us about xxxxxx. THAT word is a four letter to me right now!!! I will not utter it from this day forward until Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am even x-ing out the word because not only do I not want to hear it; I don’t even want to see it. Valentines Day is about flowers and flowers are about growing in warmth and sunshine. And that is all I am going to think of for the next few weeks until spring arrives.

So following here are some more interesting and fun facts about Valentines.

How Much Do Americans Spend?

This year Valentines Day is expected to generate $14.1 billion in retail sales  here in the gold ‘ole U.S. of A. This number is down from last year’s $14.7 billion, because a number of consumers are choosing not to spend money on Valentine’s Day this year.

In a similar vein, people will be buying more practical gifts this year such as xxxxxx (I am  still NOT saying THAT word!!!) clothing and accessories.

Going out for dinner and a night out is down 47% over last year.

Well, gee, I wonder what all that is all about.  People are acting like there is a recession or something.

Source: Seattle pi.

Valentine Day Superstitions

If you are a woman the first guy’s name you read in the paper or hear on the TV or radio will be the name of the man you will marry. 

This is so not true. If it was I would be married to George Clooney by now.

I read this in two or three different places. In old England, if she was brave enough, a woman would go to a graveyard at midnight (sounds like Halloween, right?) on Valentine’s Eve and sing a chant while running around the church twelve times.

Weird. Just plain weird.

I like this next custom. It beats a graveyard. In Denmark it is customary to send pressed white flowers called snowdrops to friends.

History

It was King Henry VIII who in 1537 declared Valentine’s Day an official holiday in England.

Why is that not surprising?

Roses

110 million roses, mostly red, will be sold and delivered for Valentine’s Day.

While California produces 60 percent of American roses the vast number  sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.

Some one please explain this to me.

More Valentine Quotes

Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.     Elizabeth Browning

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home. Give love
to your children, to a wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.
Mother Teresa

Featured Recipe    Apricot and Pecan Balls

When I lived in California three of my neighbors and I used to get together every two or three months. Each get together was hosted by one of us. The host or hostess provided appetizers and various drinks and we sat around and talked and laughed, ate and had a grand time.

It was a lovely neighborly ritual.

The recipe I share with you today I first ate at one of these informal get-togethers. I had to have the recipe which my neighbor happily provided. She never told me wheer she got it; and I never asked.

They are so delicious and are just perfect for Valentine’s Day.

This is what you need:

1 cup of dried apricots

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans*

¼ cup condensed milk

¼ cup pecan crumbs (in small blue bowl)

¼ cup powdered sugar

NOTE: Can substitute the less expensive walnuts.

Here is what you do:

First chop the cup of pecans. Do not over process these. You want a rough chop. Place in a bowl and set aside. I am calling this Bowl #1.

Next add the ¼ cup of pecans from the blue bowl into the processor and pulse till pecans are finely crumbled. Place in a bowl and set aside. I will call this bowl Bowl #2.

NOTE: I like to do the nuts first because once you do the apricots, the bowl will be all sticky. Then your nuts will stick to the bowl unless you wash it in between uses. I am too lazy to do that. So this is just easier. Plus we all know how lazy I am!!

Next cut the apricots into slices.

Then add them along with the coconut flakes to the processor.

Process on low until finely chopped and combined.

Add the milk and mix well.

Place the mixture in a bowl. The mixture will be all sticky and clumpy.

Add the chopped nuts from Bowl #1. Since the mixture is sticky and clumpy  I have found it best to mix the nuts by hand. Trying to stir with a spoon is next to impossible. Make sure the nuts are spread through all of the candy mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock………no mouse ran up the clock. I hope. 45 minutes is up. So remove the apricot mixture from the fridge.

Place some wax paper on a baking sheet and set apricot mixture, powdered sugar, and crumbly pecans up in assembly line fashion.

Take a tablespoon size scoop of the  apricot/pecan mixture………

 ………….and shape into a ball.

First roll lightly in powdered sugar. Don’t cover completely with sugar. Leave some spots for the pecan crumbs;  then roll in the crumbly pecans.

Then place each ball on the wax papered sheet.

My friend in California rolled them in either one or the other. [See balls at extreme bottom right in picture above.] I like to roll them in both and double my pleasure per directions above.

NOTE & VARIATION: If I make these for Christmas, I  like to roll the balls in coconut flakes. Makes them look like little snowballs.

Now they are ready to serve.

Store in an airtight can in the refrigerator. That is if you do not eat them all yourself first! LOL

Makes 25 pieces of candy. Recipe can be doubled.

For the eagled eyed among MTTD readers, you probably noticed there are only 24 pieces of candy on the baking sheet.

I fess up! I confess!! OK???? I ate one while making them. 

And I am not sorry!

Yes! They are that good.

Bon Appetit!!!

Cost

1 cup of dried apricots          $3.14

1 cup flaked coconut             $1.39

1 cup chopped pecans           $3.85

¼ cup condensed milk           $0.60

¼ cup pecan crumbs             $0.96

¼ cup powdered sugar          $0.20

Total Cost = $10.14
Cost per piece = $0.41

Quote of the Day

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.  

Casey Kasem

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