Valentine's Celebrations for All Ages
"I hear something. It sounds like balloons!" I overheard an excited little boy exclaim.
The hiss of the helium tank was only a small part of our annual children's Valentine's Day Party, held earlier today. Our in-store storymeister Mr. Steve read from a selection of holiday-appropriate books, including Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda, Lost & Found by Oliver Jeffers, I Love You Always & Forever by Jonathan Emmett with illustrations by Daniel Howarth, and Enemy Pie by Derek Munson with illustrations by Tara Calahan King.
After storytime, kids were invited to enjoy punch and home-baked cookies and cupcakes. Here, Jen refills the punchbowl. Yummy cupcakes, Jen!
Then it was time to make valentines. Kris raided her craft closet at home for all kinds of fabrics, paper, and doodads to help our guests craft some fabulous cards for family and friends. Paper, glitter, and feathers were a-flyin' as kids concocted their masterpieces.
"This is the best party ever!" a little girl remarked to her mother.
Adults looking for a little Valentine's Day excitement of their own might want to check out one of the books we're featuring this week. It's The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge. 2007 marks the 10th anniversary of this gorgeous cookbook, and we're glad it's available again, updated with new recipes and photographs. Each chapter is devoted to a different food rumored to have aphrodisiacal properties. Some, like chocolate, oysters, and honey, are familiar turn-ons; but did you know that asparagus, black beans, avocado, and coffee are foods that may arouse desire as well?
Store manager Allison Hill loves InterCourses and is especially fond of its recipe for Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Fennel Pesto -- sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, toasted pine nuts, and ripe olives enhance the flavorful, herb-laden pesto. I've been making this book's Black Russian Cake for the last decade, a sinfully rich but super-easy deep chocolate cake spiked with coffee, Kahlua, and creme de cacao. It's my husband's favorite dessert and makes an appearance every year on his birthday. Is it an aphrodiasiac? I'll never tell...