Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.
St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival.
In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
Valentine's Day enthusiasm engulf lovers with euphoria, optimism & energy throughout the globe which manifolds the merriment of the occasion. Lovers express their unparalleled & profound love by gifting each other with love souvenirs such as the exchange of love notes in earlier times called 'Valentines' by lovers. This particular tradition became popular ever since it was initiated by the Duke of Orleans, Charles, in 1415 who had sent the first known Valentine Day card to his wife from prison.
Modern culture sees lovers' expressing their love by gifting innumerable gift forms such as flowers, chocolates to name a few, thus, keeping the essence of Valentine's Day alive. However, going out with one's date still remains the most popular culture one would really like to cherish which includes candle light dinners or long drives.
And yet I do wish Happy Valentines Day to my mom too!! LOL .I think it doesn’t matter to whom , I wish to think that it’s a day to express to those that we love that we appreciate them and are thankful that they are in our life!! Right!!
I have had this recipe Love Bites for quite some time in my collection.Felt that this would indeed be the right sweet to serve for Valentine’s Day .Hope that you guyz try it out too!
250g white chocolate -roughly chopped(I used cooking chocolate ,you can also use the normal white chocolate too)
75ml evaporated milk
100gm unsalted butter
In a heat proof bowl mix in Ingredients A .Melt the ingredients until all dissolve in the double boiler method.Cool slightly before leaving it in fridge for at least 6 hours or preferable overnight.
150g Dark chocolate(roughly chopped)
16-17 jelly beans or cherries
When white chocolate mixture has hardened,scoop a teaspoonful,quickly roll it into a ball then flatten it to wrap a jelly bean or cherry.Roll it up again into a ball and place on a foil lined tray.Repeat process until the mixture is used up.Chill the balls again for 1 hour .
Melt the dark chocolate and coat the white chocolate balls with it.Arrange them in mini foil cups and serve after dinner.
This bites true to its name ,is rather sweet .By using the cooking white chocolate I have lessen the sweetness but yet it was rather sweet.But then , since its Valentine, there shld be something sweet in the menu ,right!!! Enjoy .A very simple recipe .I think cherries would do very well then jelly beans ,I used jelly beans because my son doesn’t like cherries!!!
Thanks for visiting!
The above recipe is sent to the Cooking For Kids-Chocolate event brain child of Sharmis of Neivedyam and at present hosted by Salt To Taste
Other recipes included
Chocolate Fudge with Expresso Sauce
Triple Chocolate Cake and finally
Chocolate Herbal Tea Truffles