A week ago, I was invited to a radio interview focused on Valentine's Day.
I welcomed the change of topic, went into a headspace, started researching the history behind this day, built my upcoming (Feb 12th) online cooking class around it, and am now blogging about it!
Let me start with a brief history: St. Valentine was a real person martyred in the 3rd century and recognized by the Catholic Church as the patron saint (1) of lovers, people with epilepsy, and beekeepers. Several stories associate him with romantic legends, but scholarly accounts say that there is little truth in that.
All the same, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in his poem "Parliament of Fowls" (the title sounds anything but romantic), associated Saint Valentine with romantic love (2), and since then, he (Valentine) has been stuck with it!
Whether you love this day or hate it, here is my take on it.
Despite the insane commercialization, being a sucker for romance, I have a soft spot for it! Having said that, my sweetheart and I have been married now for 33 years, and not once have we exchanged Valentine's day cards nor bought gifts for each other on this day.
So how then do we celebrate?
*If our work permits, we try to take off the day and hang out with each other
*We cook each other's favorite dish
*Cuddle up as much as we can throughout the day.
*We make it a point to recall the very first time we met & how we fell in love with each other.
In my case, the overwhelming feeling of love was accompanied by guilt as well, as my sweetheart was a bald monk when I first laid eyes on him. And he was my first love.
Well, I will admit I have had my share of school-girl crushes, but the feeling of romantic love that took over me was new, thrilling, and intoxicating.
You might say that I was head over heels in love. Ooh, I didn't mean to reveal so much, but you know now :)
Now the question is must you celebrate Valentine's Day? Of course, I would encourage you to do so, in your way, nevertheless make it special.
Who does not want to love and be loved? It is a tremendous force in the Universe and crucial for our well-being.
And what if you are single? I believe that this day can be your day to celebrate as well. It is the perfect day to indulge in self-love and self-care!
This year Valentine's Day happens to be on a Monday, and most of us may be working, so it is the best excuse to start preparing for your romantic dinner on Sunday itself.
Then, even if you have to work on Monday, you can enjoy hanging out in the evening with a romantic meal from the comfort of your home.
Of course, it does not have to be complicated at all.
This coming Sunday, the day before Valentine's Day, I plan to do precisely that. I am excited because I will be cooking not only with my sweetheart but with several of my online cooking class students who are all across the country, and some living outside the US.
Here are a few tips to make your Valentine's day extra special at home:
* Bring out you're fine china,
* Light candles, play your special song
*Make sure you dress up by wearing your best outfit that makes you feel gorgeous / handsome
*Create a beautiful table setting with linen table cloth / napkins
* Sprinkle fragrant-smelling flowers like fresh rose petals
* And if weather permits, have it outdoors on your patio or balcony.
Check out the radio interview below for recipe suggestions.
I believe you will agree that the idea is to create an atmosphere that feels sensual and pleasurable. Make it memorable!
I would love to hear some of your suggestions to make this day significant. So now, don't be shy, and please leave your suggestions and comments below...
Join me on Facebook