….And would be a darn sight less expensive.
Well it would appear that you have medieval England and Chaucer no less to thank for that expensive bunch of flowers and card that it appears the date February 14th warrants. Although there is a link with an ancient and somewhat permissive Roman feast and certainly St. Valentine himself it seems to be more an invention of courtly love, endorsed by the Duc d’Orleans, pounced upon by the Victorians and commercialised by Hallmark in America.
All this has produced the Monster industry in the Western world particularly of a frenzy of card giving present buying and magazine envy of expensive Valentine’s bling.
So as not to be seen as a kill joy or worse still a miserly lover we succumb to the insidious charm of overpriced flowers and gifts.
There is however a fun side – as to all feasts and festivals (and yes Valentine’s Day is an ecclesiastical feast, though it falls upon the decreed first day of fasting and lent this day – so the Roman Church decree of Feastday relaxation has to be invoked right on As Wednesday this year – any good intentions might have to be postponed until the following day!)
So to join in with the spirit of things, at least, perhaps it might be fun to have a rose inspired romantic supper theme with rose lemonade, a main dish with roses and saffron such as simple good quality sole or plaice served with delicately flavoured rice. And to finish a rose petal ice cream. Here is a recipe I found on the internet which seems quite enchanting:
I offer you here a raw(ish) vegan and lactose free alternative (I am not vegan but I am lactose intolerant).
First freeze four peeled Bananas broken into chunks.
If you have a juicer use the mincing/ice cream attachment.
- Fairtrade organic Roses and Organic Rosewater
- Local Raw Honey
- Pistachios or slivered Almonds
- Mint leaves
- Raw Sugar (stocked by Aldi)
- First, wash and dry the rose petals and place in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
- Blanch them with a tiny amount of boiling water and simmer for 10 mins to release the flavour. Set aside to cool and then combine with the honey and rose water.
- Put the bananas in the food processor or juicer and process whilst still very cold until a smooth consistency. Stir in the rose petals and honey and nuts.
- Put into a freezer friendly bowl (I use little metal ones) and freeze together.
- Take out 15 minutes before serving.
- Just before serving, making sure it is not too defrosted and still firm, run very hot water over the outside of the bowl and tip out onto a plate.
- Decorate with the set aside rose petals and mint leaves.
- Decorate the plate with a single rose.
Here we have one of our offerings for Valentine’s Day which we can assure you will cost no more than on any other day of the year and, yes, it will smell just as sweet, with our Rose Hydrolat spray!