Valentine’s Day

“Sweets for the Sweet”
~ our Saint Valentine’s goodies  ~

Chocolate Heart Cake
(to feed 2 or even 3 lovers)

  Heart-shaped Fresh Berry Tart
(with butter puff pastry)

Pink Blush Red Velvet Cake

Chocolate-dipped Long-stemmed Strawberries

Individual Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Mousse, individual 004

Hot Lips Iced Cookie
Linzer Heart Cookie (with raspberry preserves)

History of Valentine’s Day

Before Valentine’s Day, the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia was celebrated as a purification and fertility rite. Priests called Luperci sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.Then the Luperci, ran naked about the area, lashing everyone they met with strips of skin from the sacrificed goats. Young wives were particularly eager to receive these blows, because it was believed that the ritual promoted fertility and easy childbirth. These ceremonies were accompanied by much revelry and drinking.The fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then stay together for the duration of the festival – or longer.

Lupercalia was so popular that in 494 AD Pope Gelasius named the feast the Purification of the Virgin Mary. The lottery was changed so that both men and women drew the names of saints whom they would then emulate for the year. The patron of the festival became Valentine (one of three Catholic saints named St. Valentine). The day continued to be an occasion to seek the affections of women (although in a different manner) and a tradition grew up to give out handwritten messages of admiration that included St. Valentine’s name. This was aided by a belief in the Middle Ages that birds choose their partners in the middle of February. Thus Valentine’s Day was dedicated to love, observed by writing love letters and sending small gifts to the beloved. (Legend has it that Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent the first Valentine card to his wife in 1415, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.)

Even the famous Chaucer wrote about it in Parliament of Foules : “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate