Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's- Where's the Love?

I have decided Valentine's Day is not for the weak of heart. The wimpy, "lovey dovey" reputation this holiday has been branded with is completely misleading. Pink hearts, lacey doilies, baby cupids, and floral arrangements hide Valentine's dark side. I am not lobbying for single awareness or anything of that sort, but I survived two Valentine parties and the sugar rush aftermath yesterday. Wooohoo.

I feel that there should be a boot camp for mothers and fathers who have to endure classroom parties and the like. You need to build up an endurance for these classroom parties. About fifteen minutes before party time, the parking lot is bombarded with minivans and an assault of mothers armed with balloons, treats, and games who are ready to invade the school. The whole escapade is quite intriguing to watch. What ensues afterward, is an hour of insanity and excitement that only those who have been there can relate to. Games, sugar, and cupcakes mixed with little cards create a formula for one tired momma.

Ethan and I made homemade "Hostess" cupcakes and he was proud to show off his treats. My Grandmother reminded me that all my work will be rewarded when he's older and fondly remembers the year his mother made 60 little cupcakes with filling for his second grade class. I really hope he does! The kitchen was sweltering and the filling was starting to run, but we did finish them. They tasted great, but a few looked a little lopsided. However, I don't think the kids noticed.

Back at home, the chocolate candy in the Valentine containers we had made were melting in the sunlight. I am SO thankful for the heat, that I won't complain. I had to put the cups out of the rays and I hoped that the candy would firm up before I let the little ones get them. Could you imagine that mess?

Needless to say, I have swept up wrappers and half eaten candy hearts several times yesterday and today. The cupcakes are gone and that means no more crumbs to wipe up. Everyone slept good last night and I didn't even finish the whole Conan episode. All I remember is Justin Bieber getting pelted with peeps.

Valentine's Day takes a certain kind of person to be able to pull off all the hoopla for the younger set. I hope one day they have a cupid with some muscle to represent this aspect moms face. Frilly and romantic notions quickly take flight when you have a house full of children and a list of parties to oversee.

Next year, I will work on lobbying for Valentine's Day to be observed on the second Friday of February. Having Valentine's Day parties on a Monday is taxing for the mothers and teachers. I am sure the restraunts and stores would enjoy having a whole weekend to milk all those sweethearts. We'll see... In the meantime, enjoy some cupcakes.

Make small chocolate cupcakes using a box mix or your favorite recipe. Let cool completely before filling.

Hostess Cupcake Filling
1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. evaporated milk or water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Combing sugar, shortening, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat 10 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat 2 more minutes.

Hostess Cupcake Frosting
1 package semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Microwave until chips are melted and butter is blended in. Frost with a spoon and then pipe remaining filling in design over the chocolate.

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