With the end of January drawing to a close I am pondering how introspective January can be. We set goals for ourselves to achieve and we think about how to improve ourselves through diet, new fitness regimes or giving up booze for dry January. Some will achieve their goals and some will not. However, as February, particularly Valentine’s Day rolls around our thoughts turn to others, especially those close to us. These fortunate people might be your kids, your partner, or really good friends & family members.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are murky, but one story is that it replaced the pagan festival Lupercalia which celebrated the roman God Faunus (God of Agriculture). Women and crops were touched with sacrificial blood for fertility, and a great feast with meat, wine, herbs and honey was celebrated. Relationship matches between the young men and women were made for one year and often ended in marriage, and I expect children.
The other legend is of a Roman priest called Valentine, who was treating a blind girl with herbs, wine and honey and he fell in love with her. At the time marriage was forbidden for young men as the emperor thought men fought better in battle when they were celibate. The priest was performing illegal weddings anyway and was goaled. The legend goes that he sent messages to his loved one signed ‘Your Valentine’.
For many, February is about nurturing your loved ones and food plays a huge part in giving and receiving love. When I was young Valentine’s Day wasn’t the commercial beast it is today, overcrowded expensive restaurants, triple priced roses and Valentines cards for every taste. I remember making chocolates, peppermint creams and coconut ice with my grandmother and giving them to my family. Nowadays, I do the same with my children and avoid restaurants like the plague preferring to spend a bit extra on a lovely meal for two at home.
Here are some alternative Valentine’s Day Ideas:
Cook a fabulous meal at home – Nothing says I love you more than spending some time, energy and money on a home cooked dinner for two. As I believe in the 80/20 rule, my healthy eating is put on hold! That doesn’t mean that I don’t buy the best quality ingredients that I can afford though – this is what I traditionally cook on Valentines:
Smoked Eel with Watercress Blood Oranges and Horseradish Cream
Rare Breed Steak with Béarnaise Sauce, Thrice Cooked Goose Fat Chips, Steamed Tenderstem Broccoli
Hot Molten Chocolate Pudding with Crème Fraiche and Berry Compote
Have a group date with your closest friends – Host a dinner party yourself, you can get a fancy takeout, spend your money of good wine and champagne or even hire a private chef for the evening. You can eat what you want, when you want and have everything done for you!
Book a luxurious cooking experience – how about something really different. Learning how to cook great, healthy food together! Nurturing and looking after each other is what love is all about? Eat like a Celeb, cook like a pro helps you choose your five fabulously healthy signature dishes and teaches you to nail these in super quick time! Check it out here.