Monday, February 14, 2011
Before I go on, if you're reading this on Valentine's Day before 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, please don't tell my wife about this as she hasn't seen what I've been up to today! She'll be surprised later!
This all started when my wife and I decided that we would not buy Valentine's gifts for each other this year.
When you have love, what else do you need?
Maybe you need a card, and if you didn't order yours from Wendy out in California, like the one pictured here, maybe you could contact her (see her website by clicking on her name in the "Paul's Friends" column on the right) and perhaps she can make you a "Belated Valentine's Day" card...hmmmmm...."I forgot you were my Valentine?" Maybe not exactly that line...we'll think some more on that.
In the meantime, if you're a guy and you're married, or in any relationship for that matter, you need to pay attention to the "no exchange" agreement when it comes up. I guarantee you'll hear it during your lifetime.
Whatever you do, don't follow through with this commitment to saving a few bucks. It's a trap!
While you're thinking, "Great, can save some money and time," she's thinking, "Let's see what he really thinks of me!"
And, it doesn't apply just to Valentine's Day...you may hear this offer at other times of the year, but do not, I repeat, do not sit back and do nothing. If you have to weave grass blades together, do something.
Today, I found myself in the position of not being able to get to the store (my son had to borrow my car and, as you remember, we live hours away from any sort of civilization). My heart was pounding.
Yes, part celebratory due to the love holiday, but mostly fear of not having anything on hand when "My Valentine" hits the doorway after work.
I count on the universe for answers, a lot, and it came to me.
I could make something and for some strange reason (maybe too much Merlot last night) I thought meringue.
Weird? Yes. Successful? Well, the process is simple and I think I turned out a good gift...we'll see what happens when my wife sees these later.
I took a simple meringue recipe, sugar and egg whites with vanilla, mixed it up, put the mix in a pastry bag and squeezed out heart shaped cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
While they were baking, I made a chocolate glaze that would harden over them and found a tube of red icing in the back of the cupboard to add color to the finished goods.
About two hours later, I ended up with enough to gift everyone in the house!
The part about not having anything for each other?
This morning, guess what was waiting for me on the kitchen table? A card from my wife!
See, the set up!
I pressed on.
Part of the process was fun for me, too.
As an artist, I get to "paint" things and did that by drizzling the melted chocolate mixture over the baking sheets holding the cookies.
While the chocolate was setting, I took that tube of red icing and just made some heart-like designs to finish them off.
What will be waiting for her when she returns from work...a card and a gift!
I'll probably rack up about 50 points for this one (you get more points if you do this stuff and it's not a holiday)!
She'll see that I do care and I do remember.
Then, she'll ask me why my sweatshirt sleeves are all messy and crumby.
I can tell her that because of her I am wearing my heart on my sleeve for her.
Actually, she'll know that the crumbs are from the half dozen heart cookies that I ate during the day.
Hey, you know what they say! You can't truly love anyone else unless you love yourself.
Happy Valentine's Day to my wife, to everyone else, and to me!