The good thing about celebrating your dog’s birthday on Valentine’s Day is that everyone in the household get a little treat.
I have to confess here — I’ve never been moved much by the romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day.
Call me a cynic, but I’ve had too many iffy ones during my single years that even these days while I’m happily married, I just can’t shake the uneasy feelings around the holiday. I’ve seen too many forced romantic displays, too high-expectations unmet and the straightjacket of having to celebrate something very personal and intimate on a certain day.
Bah humbug, right?
But a day that celebrates colorful ornamentation, spreading love and enjoying sweet indulgences is something that I can readily wrap my mind around.
And so first, a little Valentine’s Day cheer for the house.
I don’t have a huge Valentine Day collection but I do have a couple dozen vintage cards I’ve collected over the years and like to display throughout the house.
I love looking out my French doors off the kitchen into the garden– especially at this time of the year when each panel holds a different Valentines card.
Notice how this one has the crossed out mark behind it? I guess “Scott” got this Valentine but the sender decided against revealing his/her identity.
Here’s another sweet one.
I love this one, too.
And this one.
Most teachers these days seem to discourage Valentine card sending in school, especially after kindergarden. If your kid is in a classroom that does participate, you’re most likely to see offerings with Sponge Bob or My Little Pony — and certainly not these adorable ones with cute puns, lovely fonts and sweet images.
What a shame — whole generations have never seen (much less received) something like this.
Because I’d done some prep the day before, I was ready to disperse all kinds of Valentine goodness on Tuesday.
I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise that morning.
It reminded me of pulled taffy — gossamer-like ribbons of tropical-colored fruit.
I’d made some cookie dough the night before and refrigerated it, so I was able to start baking right away.
I made giant butter almond cookies — otherwise known around here as the Ultimate Sugar Cookie (the recipe can be found here).
The cookie is somewhere between a butter cookie and a sugar cookie but a healthy dose of almond paste (I doubled the recipe, using a full 10 ounces of paste here) gives it an unexpected almond-y richness to it.
I made a glaze with some tangerine juice and powdered sugar and then they were ready to make their way in the world.
White non-pareils were added because they just make me happy.
My little crafty daughter had made homemade tags for all the giant cookies going to teachers, finding images and puns she liked online and drawing them freehand.
Teachers, friends, neighbors — so many people got a treat I’ve lost count.
And here’s another reason why Valentines is fun around here; it’s also the day we celebrate Bailey’s birthday each year.
Because he was a rescue we don’t know his exact birthday but we’ve adopted Valentine’s as the day to celebrate him, and each year we try to do especially nice things for him on that day.
Like feed him extra terrific meals — like egg sandwiches (I don’t know if he appreciated the good salt and spices but why not?).
And we delivered other treats throughout the day in a pizza box.
Back story… Bailey once saw a delivery guy deliver a pizza to our house and sensing how excited the kids were by the treat, he became obsessed with the box. To this day he reacts to a similar box with equal enthusiasm, and so I now save the boxes from pizza slices for special Bailey deliveries.
I put some tidbits or snacks in the box and then kids go to the door, ring the bell and announce that they “have a delivery for Bailey Kline” — and our pup goes insane with excitement.
For his late birthday lunch I picked him up a small dry cheeseburger from McDonald’s and had Oliver come to the door to deliver it.
Bailey went nuts!
Afterwards we took him to 1,000 Acres Dog Park — a place about 15 miles from here that canines love.
It was freezing cold and crazy windy but Mt. Hood was gorgeous (all glimmery, shimmery white) and Bailey found a few other dogs– and a giant stick– to occupy his attention.
Dinner at home later was a simple affair– flat-iron steak, truffled steak fries, Caesar salad and to-die-for garlic bread.
So lots of card-sending, sweets-making and steak-inhaling goodness around here.
And wherever you are, single or in a relationship, I hope your V-Day too was one of love, friendship and debauched delicacies.
(Me, I realized that day my love and obsession with ripe avocado knows no limits).
Happy Weekend, all!