Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine's Month

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

~ Lao Tse

February is one of my favorite months. Not just because of Valentine’s Day, but that’s part of it. I first “fell in love” with love in 1972, at the tender age of twelve. My brother took me to see Camelot. Shortly after that I saw Romeo and Juliet. Oh, the heartache! The agony of bearing witness to such ill-fateful love was almost more than I could stand. But, I was hooked. Then came Love Story, The Way We Were, and Ghost. The list goes on.
Perhaps the best love story I have ever seen is Shadowlands (watch trailer below) with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. It is based on the real-life story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. I watched it with one of my sisters 15 years ago. When it was over we both agreed to never watch it again. We just couldn’t take the sorrow. Beautiful, poignant, gut wrenching. Years later at the mere mention of that movie, my sister and I would just look at each other and shake our heads.
So, I’m a hopeless (hopeful) romantic. Paul and I have been in love since we were 14 and 15 and will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary in June. But Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love. Celebrate universal love this month! Tell someone special in your life how much they mean to you. Tell your parents, your children, your partner, your friends, your neighbors, and your co-workers. Write a love letter, call an old friend, invite someone who’s alone over for dinner, bake some chocolate truffles to share, take that special someone to a romantic B&B for the weekend (hint, hint) but especially be good to yourself.
Happy Valentine’s Month!
Chocolate Truffles
¼ cup heavy cream
2 Tb. Grand Marnier (see note below)
6 oz. German sweet chocolate
4 TB. Softened butter
Powdered unsweetened cocoa
1. Boil cream in a small heavy pan until reduced to 2 Tb. Remove from heat; stir in Grand Marnier and chocolate and return to low heat. Stir until chocolate melts.
2. Whisk in softened butter. When mixture is smooth, pour into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 40 minutes.
3. Scoop chocolate up with a teaspoon and shape into 1” balls. Roll the truffles in unsweetened cocoa.
4. Store truffles, covered, in the refrigerator. Let truffles stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 24 truffles.
Note: Substitute dark rum, Cognac, Kahlua, Framboise, Amaretto or other liqueur for the Grand Marnier.