Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that is as annoying as it is cute. I might claw my eyes out if, just one more time, I see that commercial where the guy surprises the girl with the necklace in that blasted photobooth. But I also think that red and pink are fun colours that are pretty good at brightening up the mid-winter blues.
There's something about the excessively kitschy heart decorations that make my own heart a little happier. Probably because they encourage a little nostalgia. Memories of construction paper-clad brown paper bags taped to elementary school desks.
I hate how Valentine's Day makes people feel bad about themselves, but I also think that any excuse to tell someone you care about them is worthwhile, even if it is forced upon you by some card manufacturer. I don't buy into the "Valentine's Day is stupid because you should tell people you love them everyday" argument not because it's not true, it is so very true, but because I think in addition to telling people you care about them all the time, it can be fun to have an extra special day to do so, too.
In our house, Valentine's Day is a supremely simple affair. No gifts. Lots of delicious food. This year, February 14th falls on a Tuesday. I work longer hours on Tuesdays and by the time I get home I just want to be in my pajamas watching New Girl and not battling the throngs of young lovebirds in the city's restaurants on the busiest night of the year. So we decided to go out to dinner on Saturday night instead, and hit up our beloved Zen Gardens in Cambridge for lots of vegan ham and chick'n balls. They even had vegan fudge for dessert!
I thought the Sunday morning before Valentine's Day was also the perfect opportunity to fit in February's Breakfast-of-the-Month. Especially since I had my eye on an amazing looking recipe for Strawberry Cream Cheeze French Toast in the Spork-Fed cookbook. Paying $9.00 for a small handful of strawberries in the middle of winter is one of the more idiotic things that I've done, but it just doesn't feel like Valentine's Day without them.
There are two things we pretty much never have in our house: White bread and vegan cream cheeze. In honour of cupid, we treated ourselves to both. The white bread is an organic, unbleached loaf - a special order we placed with Grainharvest Breadhouse and picked up on Saturday. The cream cheeze is Tofutti.
The bread is thickly sliced and then sliced halfway through the middle, to form a little pocket in which you stuff the strawberry/cream cheeze deliciousness!
Into the batter and onto the frying pan. Six minutes later you have yourself a fancy and festive take on French toast. Top with maple syrup or powdered sugar, if you have it, which I did not, and serve to your beloved!
In addition to Spork-Fed, you can also find a digital copy of this recipe here. Valentine's Day isn't until tomorrow, so you've still got time to put something together - might I suggest a romantic breakfast-for-dinner feast?