With cherubs, hearts and candy of all flavors presented in red and pink; Valentines Day breaks up the monotony of a long winter. While snow piles up outside many a northern window sill, February 14th is a welcome diversion rather than an overly sentimental holiday.
Chocolate lovers delight at the unabashed fervor for the national holiday that has become synonymous with cocoa beans. There seems to be an unending contest among confectioners to develop ever more unusual concoctions than the previous year. Cartoon characters, skyscrapers and autos have all been depicted in chocolate. Many candy stores have zeroed in on chocolate covered strawberries as the perfect, if perishable, confection for the mid-winter celebration.
This is just the right touch of course since many southern zones do have ripe strawberries in February. For those in the north who are still trudging through slush for a couple of months, this is a suitably exotic import. Of course, these can be easily prepared at home but most people still buy them out at a rather high price point.
If trying this for the first time in a home kitchen there are really only two pointers to remember. First, don’t over cook the chocolate it will crystallize. Second, pat dry the strawberries before use and make sure there is no moisture at all left on them. The chocolate won’t adhere otherwise. A double boiler isn’t really necessary since ordinary chocolate baking chips can be melted in the microwave. Just use repeated 30 second and then stir, cooking intervals.
These and other Valentines Day treats can be colorfully displayed with paper party goods. A themed table cloth used with solid white, red and pink plates, napkins and plates make the occasion special while preserving the delicate budget. Favorite entrees or humble fare are welcome here.