Keep romance of Valentine’s Day |

Keep romance of Valentine’s Day

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

When I was a kid, I loved holidays, all of them. I loved the anticipation and excitement of something unknown, but known, waiting around the calendar corner. My mom always made them special with her personal creative touch.

When I was raising my kids, I still loved holidays, all of them. I still loved the anticipation and excitement, and I enjoyed creating it for my children in my own personal and creative ways. Holidays felt like the little rewards that gave pause for celebration along life’s sometimes tedious and rutted path. But as time went on, I became disillusioned with them.

Our culture of commercial saturation dulls the senses. A holiday is no longer a “day” but rather months of opportunistic marketing seasons. The Christmas season begins in October competing with Halloween and negating Thanksgiving. The Valentine season starts the day after Christmas, but all things pink and red are already marked half off before the day actually arrives, to make room on the shelves for green shamrocks. Easter competes along side the two, and makes way for Memorial Day paraphernalia. You’ve got to be kidding.

Our country is in an economic crisis all right, but it has been for years. It is the crisis of spending our precious lives overworking to make more and more money to buy more and more things that NO ONE needs. And the painful consequence of this mindless gluttony is apathy. There is so much of everything that nothing is special. But take heart, we have the power to change this.

Within the human spirit lives the ability to think, change, create, and make beautiful and special our lives and the lives of others. We do this in little thoughtful moments. Sometimes, they take our time. We have to actually pause and think about being thoughtful. Sometimes, it just takes mindfulness. Being present and open to opportunities that exist around us everywhere. Sometimes, it takes a holiday. They are the little alarms on the Blackberry of life, reminding us to take a breath, to pause and unwind, to celebrate life, friends, family and love. Don’t let all the bling, bling, blind you to the “spirit of a holiday.”

Here comes Valentine’s Day. Resist the commercial pressures and expectations. Slip a handwritten love note in your wife’s purse, husband wallet, or kid’s backpack. Bake cookies together. Make handmade valentines. Bring candy hearts to co-workers. If you don’t have a valentine, be one! Instead of buying the stereotypical red rose at the grocery store along with all the others who feel the guilt of obligation and expectation surrounding this commercialized event; embrace the day as an opportunity to spread love to everyone you meet with a smile, a kind word, or simple gesture of thoughtfulness. The spirit of a holiday should last months, not the preparation and expense of it. Oh, what a wonderful world it could be.

– June Joplin is the owner of Comma Coffee.

CrepE recipe:

(Makes 20-25 crepes)

1 cup flour

1 cup Krusteaz Pancake Mix or Bisquick

4 tablespoon melted butter

2 cup water

4 eggs lightly beaten

dash of nutmeg

10-12 in. wax paper squares to place between crepes and roll ice cream

1⁄2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream (or flavor of choice)

Cut ice cream into 1-inch logs. Wrap in wax sheets, place in pan and put in freezer.

In medium bowl mix flour and baking mix. Add water and eggs mixing briskly with a whisk. Blend in melted butter and nutmeg.

Heat 10-inch rounded skillet to medium high. Grease pan with butter. (Hint: peel the end of the paper off the butter stick leaving the rest to hold on to.) Use the butter stick to coat the pan before each crepe.

When pan is hot, coat with butter, and lift off of heat. With your other hand ladle a small amount of batter into pan and swirl around until it makes an even circle covering the bottom of pan. Place on heat and cook. Cook only until top is not runny, then flip over and cook second side for approximately 10 seconds. Remove and place on waxed paper, and cover with another waxed sheet. Repeat.

Cook all the crepes, and store extras in the fridge or freezer in a Ziploc bag. Make sure they are separated with wax sheets. Or cook up a few, and save batter in a sealed container for breakfast crepes in the morning. Batter lasts 1-2 days. My family loves them for breakfast with maple syrup, butter and powdered sugar. There is no end to what you can roll up in a crepe. Yum!

Strawberry topping:

2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1⁄2 cup sugar

Wash, drain, and stem strawberries. Quarter them and place in a medium bowl. Pour in sugar and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until slightly liquefied.

Roll up each ice cream log into a fresh crepe. Place on a chocolate drizzled dessert plate. Spoon strawberry glaze over crepe from end to end. Drizzle with chocolate, and dust with powdered sugar.

Remember presentation is everything. Make it pretty, and dress it up with a Hershey kiss, chocolate chips, whipped cream ” use your imagination. They are yummy. Enjoy!