LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, OR BOTH
Valentine’s Day is coming, it is the second busiest day in the restaurant industry, of course the first busiest is Mother’s Day. There is always lots of food, drinks, (mostly wine and champagne), gifts, teddy bears, lingerie, jewels chocolate, flowers and promises.
In Spanish speaking countries it is called “Dia de los Enamorados”, or Lover’s Day, but not in the sense of two lovers living an affair, but two people in love.
In a way friendship is very serious, I would say sometimes it can be considered sacred; however it is not recognized on “Dia de los Enamorados”. I often think it may have something to do with the “machoism” in certain Latin American countries.
Here in America you may see men wishing a Happy Valentine`s Day to other men, women to women, men to women and vice versa and not because there is something going on between these two people. It is because on Valentine’s Day we can celebrate friendship that day as well. I guess what is celebrated on Valentine’s Day in this country can be considered more complete, because it includes friendship and friendship is also love. In many cases they go hand in hand, often times love begins with a simple friendship.
The celebration of love is open to everyone this one day of the year. I think it should be practiced every day of the year because everyone seems to expose there good mood on Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t it be great if we exposed that mood all year?
There are many kinds of love; brothers, grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands wives, and lovers; it’s impossible to remember them all, but all of them are sincere. As long as love comes from within, it is pure.
To me the two most precious types of love there are; is the love a son has for his mother and the love a man to for his wife. I remember listening to a speech given when Richard Nixon was resigning from office. He was talking about his mother when he stated that no one would probably ever write a book about his mother but she was a saint. Ronald Regan was talking about his marriage and he said he learned to never go to bed at night without telling your wife “I love you”. These two things have stuck with me for several years.
Valentine’s Day for most people is casual, simple and unforgettable.
One cup of sweet chocolate chips, if possible 58% cocoa butter or more
One cup of heavy cream
One tablespoon of vanilla
One teaspoon of powder sugar
One teaspoon of cocoa powder
A tray covered with parchment or wax paper
Two ounces of butter (room temperature)
One dozen strawberries
A few leaves of fresh mint
Place the chocolate chips in a bowl (set aside for later). In a sauce pan; poor in the heavy cream and using a medium heat bring it to a boil. As soon as the cream reaches the boiling point; remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl with the chocolate chips. The chips will begin to melt right away; add the vanilla and mix until well blended. Add the butter and stir until it is incorporated into the mixture. This mixture is called “Ganache”
Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Take a strawberry by the stem and dip it into the ganache; place it on the tray that is covered parchment or wax paper. Repeat this process one by one until you have prepared all your strawberries. Now you have the “chocolate covered strawberries”.
When you are done dipping your strawberries there will be some ganache left over. Wait about 5 minutes for the rest of the ganache to harden a just bit. Measure out approximately a teaspoon and ½ of the ganache; with your hands roll the ganache into a little ball. Now you have the truffles; place them on the tray with the strawberries.
Put the tray in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them (at least 30 minutes). After they become more solid, arrange them on the serving plate or platter you are going to use; dust some of them with the powder sugar and remaining ones with cocoa powder. Garnish them with a small sprig fresh mint.
This is sure to bring smiles, even to the most serious faces.
Do not forget to give the first strawberry to the one you love, but be sure he or she sees you taking a small bite first, that moment will not be forgotten.
Have a very happy and delicious Valentine’s Day!