Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day is my birthday, but I take the holiday quite seriously when it comes to expressing love through something sweet. And though I could certainly go to a confectioners shop and get my kids their treats, nothing is more appreciated than something homemade from mom. Some may argue that every day is an opportunity to express our love and that Valentine’s day is another excuse by Hallmark to make more cards. But I’m grateful to Hallmark for celebrating the importance of love in life (and of course making a big deal out of my birthday!). Though it’s officially only one day, Valentine’s Day reminds you of the importance of having people to love and to take care of. Plus, it’s not everyday you’re going to make decadent sea salted caramels or beautifully decorated sugar cookies. You need (or at least I do!) that one special day, one that revolves around hearts, chocolate and flowers, for an the ideal excuse.
And then there’s the gratification factor — the love I feel when those people I adore swoon over the best tasting caramels they’ve ever had. It’s immeasurably fulfilling. MY gift — Valentine’s day and my birthday — is the pleasure I bring others through the gift of food. Ok…. now I’m sounding like I work for Hallmark with my sappy sentiments. Hiring?
I have one more gift to mention so brace yourself for some more sap. This priceless gift, one that comes during an incredibly hectic and stressful time in my life, is the time spent with friends creating these delicate treats. This year, I was grateful for the time Christina and I were able to carve out to decorate together. And when I say together, I mean it! My shaky hand wouldn’t have produced nearly the quality in writing on my conversation heart cookies. My dear friend sweetly steadied her hand and wrote on my cookies. We laughed and smiled as we came up with “snap chat me” “text me” and “hug me” sayings for my cookies. We spent two enjoyable hours together, a true escape and respite from an otherwise frenzied existence. Saldy I made my caramels alone since Jackie couldn’t join me this year. But a sneak preview tasting and early review from my kids says they are the best ever. At least I had the memory of making them last year with my friend to keep me company this year.
To learn how to make homemade caramel, just click here for my Featured Valentine Recipe!