Darling friends, I know, I know, Valentines Day has been and gone.....contrary to all appearances, I am not caught in some kind of time machine....... blunt truth of it is, I have been just too busy to have posted this on the day itself, or even around the time.....and it's not even still February.......but let me tell you what I did on Valentines Day just the same.....
On Valentines Day this year, as I am deviod of any type of personal love interest of my own, I decided within myself that Valentines Day is simply NOT just for lovers. Look at the world and tell me that it does not require lashings of love spread around everywhere, to all people, every day of the year! So, I decided that I would invite my adorable next door neighbours, Max and Denise, over for a Valentines day afternoon tea - to tell them how much I appreciate and love having them for my neighbours, and to also show my 3 little bundles of energy that it is vital to show care and love to those around us. I did attempt to also teach them the value of table manners and having a dignified afternoon tea, but I think that was expecting just a little too much !!!!
We started by baking a lovely heart shaped chocolate sponge (recipe below), filling it with cream and jam, icing it with choccy icing and crumbled up cherry ripe. It may never have graced the TV program Choccy Woccy Do Dah, but it sure looked good to us none the less ! We got out the 'good china' (which should be used all the time !!!), table cloth and a vase of red geraniums from the pots outside the window, and made a pot of tea....then, when everyone arrived we sat down and devoured it all....It was busy. It was hectic. It was yummy. It was a celebration.
The more I work in the placemaking field, the more I believe that it is celebration that gives life it's zing and magic. We need to make time, make room, make the effort to celebrate - people, moments, good times and honour even the bad times being over. It is celebration that will colour our life with memories to be treasured, that will fill our lives with people who are special. It doesnt matter that Valentines Day is over commercialised, celebrate it and use it as a vehicle to create something special in your life - a memory, a moment, the treasuring of people you love - we can never have too much of such things in our lives.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
4 eggs seperated
3/4 cup cornflour
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Beat egg whites with a dash of salt.
Add sugar slowly as you go.
Add egg yolks one at a time.
Sift dry ingredients then fold in with a wooden spoon.
Bake in moderate oven (180degrees) for 20-25 minutes.
Decorate and fill as desired.