Roses are red, Violets are blue……
Sugar is sweet but not as sweet as you!
Today was a wonderful day of one little surprise after another! The first surprise was that we were all super-early – dressed and ready for school , well ahead of schedule despite it being a Monday! We all forgot it was Valentine’s Day until we piled into the car and heard Hector talking about it on the radio. (The kids all love Breakfast with Hector – he must be a school-drive-time national hero at this stage).
After doing my school drop-offs, I came home to find this wonderful delight……
Then, at 3pm came this from Lily………….
And then this from Matt……
So to reciprocate the wonderful things the children made for me, we baked a batch of cupcakes to celebrate. We had some ready made edible heart icing shapes (thanks to the Cookware Company) and also had some bling hearts to stick on top – one for everyone in the audience.
The recipe is so easy – it is a one bowl wonder, so even the smallest ones can get involved with the mixing. Simply add in 8oz (200g) soft butter, 8oz sugar, 8oz self raising flour, 4 eggs, 2 level teaspoons of baking powder and mix it all together. Preheat the oven to Gas 6 ( about 200C) and then spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers. Bake for 15 minutes in the centre of the oven. Completely flop-proof and tasty too.
The inevitable question of “who was valentine” came up and this is what we found out –
Valentine , a practising priest in Rome at the time, used to aid and abet persecuted martyrs. Eventually he was caught and sentenced to be stoned and beaten to death with clubs. When Valentine survived the attack, the prefect of Rome ordered that he be be-headed. He was executed on the 14 February 270 AD. The Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin, holds the remains of St. Valentine which was exhumed in Rome (from the church of St. Praxedes) and was given to Fr. John Spratt in 1836. Fr Spratt duly brought the remains back to Ireland where they are still venerated today, especially at this time of year.
The Feast of Valentine is also linked with the belief that birds pair up for the summer on the 14th February, and the crocus, which starts to bloom in February, is called St. Valentine’s flower.