Happy Valentine's Day...

Maybe someday I will feel differently, but as a single person, Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday. Thankfully, this year I had a distraction from my misery in the form of another batch of cookies to decorate, this time for a charity bakesale benefiting the victims of the Haitian earthquake. I mostly stuck to the same patterns as the last batch of heart cookies I made, but I did some additional experimenting with marbling techniques, which I had abandoned after a few unsuccessful attempts with my last batch. I was more pleased with the outcome of my experiments this time, but I consider the marbling to still be a work in progress.

The bakesale is being held at Dad's office, so I decided to go the extra mile and package the cookies attractively in hopes of soliciting maximum donations. I wrapped them in pairs in a piece of cellophane, and tied the parcels with curling ribbon. It took forever, but given the investment of time represented by the project as a whole, the extra effort was a drop in the bucket that elevated the entire enterprise to a higher level.

Topically, Dad chose to write his annual Valentine's Day poem to me on the topic of my baking fixation. His poems are a treasured family tradition, and with his permission, I thought I would share his thoughts with all of you:

Valentine's Day 2010

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
It's that time of year
So here's a verse for you.

How this tradition began,
I really can't say.
But I always come through
On Valentine's Day.

In years gone by
I've offered a reading
That offered my views
On your hobby of beading.

I thought beading was fine,
It presented no harm;
You even won prizes
And the pieces had charm.

But beading is gone
The gear's put away.
There's a new hobby
That fills up your day.

At first I had doubts,
Thought maybe you were faking.
But I can't dodge the fact
Your new love is baking.

Who would have thought
That you'd come to take pleasure
From sifting and mixing
And spices to measure.

Thousands of dollars
For tuition and books...
And what does she do?
She bakes and she cooks.

It could have been law,
But you're chopping and dicing.
It could have been business,
But you're an expert at icing.

It's probably genetic,
This passion to bake --
It could have been mining...
No, that's too much to take.

But it's important in life
To go your own way --
To find what you love,
And do it every day.

So baking it is,
If it makes you feel happy --
Just make some "S" cookies
For your tired old Pappy!