I like February for a number of reasons....chocolate involves one of reason and love the other. In fact my wedding anniversary is in February on the 28th. We will be married 34 years!
So what do you know about February....here are some facts:
- The Romans and Christians believed it was the start of spring. (guess they disliked winter as much as me!)
- The early Roman calendar was once only 10 months long. February (and January) were added by Numa Pompilius.
- It comes from the word Februa which means cleansing which was a ritual before spring.
- Anglo Saxtons called it Sol Monath which means Cake Month because cakes were offered to the Gods during that month (Thank GOD someone got smart & changed that to Chocolate to your loved one)
- During Shakespeare's time it was called Feverell and 100 yrs later during Issac Newton's time it was Februeer.
- Valentine's Day was not celebrated in England until the 15th century and not until the Civil War in the USA.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
-- 1 Corinthians 13:13
About St. Valentine. The Golden Legend, a medieval book of stories about saints, says that Valentine, a priest, was imprisioned by the emperor Claudius II for leading people to Christ. While Valentine was being interrogated by a Roman officer, the priest preached Christ as the "one and only Light". The officer, who had a blind daughter, challenged Valentine to pray to Christ for her cure. The girl was cured, and the entire family were converted to Christianity. According to legend, while awaiting execution, he wrote notes of instruction, affection and encouragement to the Christian community in Rome, which were secretly delivered by a boy who visited him in prison.
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, You gave Saint Valentine the courage to witness to the gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it. Help us to endure all suffering for love of you, and to seek you with all our hearts; for you alone are the source of life and love. Grant that we may have the courage and love to be strong witnesses of your truth to our friends and family and to the whole world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Recipe - Love Knots
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
a few drops yellow food coloring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Yellow sugar sprinkles
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract and yellow food coloring (to make the dough more "golden"). Sift and stir in the flour; add the lemon rind.
Chill the dough for several hours and only remove it from the refrigerator a little at a time: this will make it easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Shape the dough into ropes about 1/2 inch in diameter and 12 inches long, and twist these into figure 8s. Place the twists on a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. About halfway through the cooking, "gild" with yellow sprinkles.
Yield: 12 to 14 "love knots".