Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day one either loves, or loves to hate.
If you’ve read any of my posts from earlier this week, I’m sure you can guess which side I take. Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorites.
I don’t have any great explanation as to why. I mean, I love all holidays for one reason or another. Any excuse to celebrate, do something a little extra special, and have some fun is a-okay in my book. But for as long as I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday, and Valentine’s Day a close second.
Even though these days would hardly qualify as legitimate holidays had commercialization never gotten involved, I much prefer them to the bigger, more culturally/historically significant holidays.
Let’s take Christmas for example. Or in my case, “the Advent and Christmas Season.” Oh yes, when you work for the Big Man Upstairs, Christmas starts the minute you take your Halloween costume off. It is two solid months of planning, organization, panicking, and tinsel. This might give you an idea of what Christmas as a church music director is like. Have you ever thrown a really large birthday party for someone? Like sent out invites with RSVP’s, rented a facility, had it catered, etc.? It’s like that. Except the birthday party is for Jesus and the entire event is scripted.
Needless to say, I’m a wee bit tired by the end of it all. Although it is stressful, in a way it helps me appreciate Christmas and its true meaning even more. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love Valentine’s Day because the time leading up to it isn’t so much “planning” as it is “anticipation.” There’s little pressure to make the day a big deal, and small, thoughtful gestures are the most memorable. You get to spend the day with (or at least think about) those you love, with no other obligation than to enjoy each other’s company.
As if that weren’t enough to make a person love Valentine’s Day, there’s chocolate and flowers! Not to mention good food and wine! All my favorite things.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I could really take or leave the food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes… I’ll eat it all obviously, but it would never be my first choice dinner. Valentine’s Day on the other hand, that makes me think pasta, shellfish, fine cheeses, filets, things cooked in wine, super decadent chocolate desserts… now that is what I like to eat. I could care less if I’m cooking for just myself or a large group, I always like to make something special on February 14th. This year, that something special happened to take on the form of a cocktail.
Hard year so far, Sara?
This Frozen Strawberry Rose Cosmo might be the girliest beverage I’ve ever drank. When it comes to booze, my go-to’s are lagers, white ales, prosecco, margaritas, and cosmos. Cosmos are inherently Valentine’s Day colored, but by February I am over cranberries, and I wanted something different. Everyone loves a frozen strawberry margarita, so why not swap the tequila for vodka and make it a cosmo?
Into the blender went frozen strawberries, vodka, cointreau, and lime juice. Good, but it still needed something. I added a touch of agave for sweetness. Then. THEN. I spotted a bottle of rosewater in the very back of my topmost shelf. I bought it over two years ago to make a pistachio-rosewater layer cake (oh gosh, I need to make that again soon). I grabbed the bottle, twisted off the cap, and put just a few drops into the blender. After a final blend, what I poured into my glass could be considered the ultimate Valentine’s Day cocktail.
Bright pink, lightly sweet, with the faintest floral finish. Love at first sip. Maybe just skip Valentine’s Day dinner this year and instead do cocktail hour. A Frozen Strawberry Rose Cosmo, a good cheese plate, some chocolate truffles… now that is a great holiday. Maybe I’ll ask Jesus how he would feel about celebrating his birthday next year in a similar way.
Speaking of Jesus, I have to share a joke with you told by one of the old ladies at my church I think is appropriate for Valentine’s Day:
An older man and woman go on their first date. At the end of the night the man drives the woman home, and walks her to her front door. The woman says, “you know, you look a lot like my fourth husband.” He, shocked, says, “how many times have you been married?!” She replies, “three.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Frozen Strawberry Rose Cosmos
Yields 2 drinks
A Cosmopolitan with a frozen, fruity, and floral spin!
- 8oz. frozen strawberries
- 3oz. vodka
- 2oz. Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 3-4 tsp. agave nectar, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. rosewater
- 6-8 large ice cubes (1/2-2/3 cup)
Place all ingredients except the ice cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Add ice to your liking and blend for 15-20 seconds more.
Pour into glasses and enjoy responsibly!