Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

As Valentine’s Day, approaches, ( Monday- February 14th ) I thought it would be fun to know some facts and traditions that we hold dear to our hearts on this day of Love.

Approximately one billion Valentine cards are exchanged each year...the largest seasonal card-selling occasion of the year next to Christmas.

Most Valentine's Day cards (83%) are purchased by women. However, the number of cards purchased by men (currently 17%) is gradually rising, thought by some sources to be due to the fact that men often purchase two cards for their significant amusing one and the obligatory romantic one which they believe is expected of them.

Half of all consumers prefer to receive a humorous Valentine, followed by a romantic greeting (31%) and then a more risqué form of card (8.2%). More than one-third of women (36%) and 26% of males prefer to receive a romantic Valentine. 13% of males prefer a more sexy Valentine, whereas only 3.5% of women prefer this variety of card.

February 14 is the most important holiday for florists, accounting for 32% of annual sales. 73% of people who buy flowers to send on Valentine's Day are male...only 27% are female. California produces 60% of American roses, but the vast majority sold on Valentine's Day in the United States are imported...mostly from South America.
Approximately 110 million roses...the majority of them being red...will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period during the Valentine's Day celebrations.

36% of males and 28% of females put off their Valentine's Day shopping until February 14 or the day before...64% of consumers will plan to do their shopping a week or more prior to the date.

Males tend to spend more money on Valentine's Day gifts than do females and are more likely to buy big-ticket items...the average amount spent being $95.00.

Approximately 3% of pet owners will give a Valentine's Day gift to their pet.

Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on Valentine's Day in 1876.

The rose, undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world, speaks of love and has been the traditional choice of sweethearts during every century. Precisely how it came to be the universal symbol of love and beauty is unclear. However, the rose was a sacred flower of Venus, Roman Goddess of Love, and the color red is associated with strong emotions. The rose is symbolic of both peace and war...both love and forgiveness. The letters of "rose" when rearranged, form the word "Eros"...God of Love. In terms of the sentiments expressed by the different colors of the rose, the commonly accepted meanings are: Coral -- Desire
Lavender -- Enchantment and Uniqueness
Orange -- Fascination
Peach -- Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) -- Grace, Joy and Happiness
Pink (Dark) -- Thankfulness, Friendship and Admiration
Red -- Love, Respect and Courage
Deep Red -- Beauty and Passion
White -- Innocence, Purity, Secrecy, Silence, Reverence, Humility, True Love
Yellow -- Joy, Friendship, Jealousy, Hope and Freedom
Black -- Farewell

Red/White -- Unity or Engagement
Yellow/Orange -- Passionate Thoughts
Yellow/Red -- Congratulations

Rosebud -- Beauty, Youth and a Heart Innocent of Love
Red Rosebud -- Purity and Loveliness
White Rosebud -- Girlhood

Single Red Rose in Full Bloom -- "I Love You"
One Dozen Red Roses -- "I Love You"
Tea Roses -- "I'll Remember Always"

Another flower particularly associated with Valentine's Day is the violet, which has a special connotation since legend states that violets grew outside the window of the jail where Saint Valentine was imprisoned. In the language of flowers, the violet is symbolic of faithfulness while a violet stone...the also considered lucky for sweethearts.

I hope that you enjoyed some fun facts and you have a wonderful
Happy Valentine’s Day” with your loved ones.
Here is a recipe for a delicious
cookie which you may want to bake for your special Valentine.
Enjoy !!!!

Linzer Tarts
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined in an electric mixer. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Place dough onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a heart or circle shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an un-greased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread your favorite preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.
Yields:25-30 cookies depending on the size of your cutouts

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