Not Just for Kids
How Long Will Your Valentine Last?
A number of stories suggest the origins of Valentine Day. One legend says that a third-century priest named Valentine was imprisoned for defying Roman Emperor Claudius II, who declared that all soldiers in the Roman army should remain unmarried. That Valentine didnt last long. After sending a note to the jailers daughter, which he signed From Your Valentine, he was beheaded.
Another Valentine had a longer shelf life. In 1415, Charles, the Duke of Orleans, sent a Valentine to his wife from his prison cell in the Tower of London. This Valentine still exists as part of the manuscript collection of the British Library. It lasted nearly 600 years and is still expressing romantic notions today.
The first Valentine cards printed by press and mass-produced were made in the late 1700s. Now Valentines, whether made by hand or by Hallmark, jam the postal service more than any holiday cards except Christmas.
This Valentine Day, give the post office a break. If you make heart-healthy Valentine snacks that moms and dads and other favorite people will love, their shelf life will be short. But the love they express will last forever. Here are some easy recipes to try. The first requires baking; the second does not.
- Refrigerated biscuit dough
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Low-fat cream cheese
- Rolling pin
- Red jam
Roll out the refrigerated biscuit dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out heart-shaped biscuits and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake according to directions on the biscuit package. Serve these hot with strawberry or raspberry jam and cream cheese.
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Multi-grain bread
- Red ingredients like strawberries, tomatoes, radishes
- White ingredients like low-fat cream cheese or another favorite cheese
Cut large heart-shapes out of the bread. Spread it with cream cheese and top with sliced strawberries. Or top the bread with heart-shaped cheese slices and tomato or radish.
Serve your edible Valentines on a pretty plate along with a homemade card or a letter telling your special people how much they mean to you.
This weeks kids stuff
Kids ages 5-8 try your hand at catching oysters, visit a working skipjack, raise a sail and see what its like to live down below. 10am-noon @ Chesapeake Maritime Museum, St. Michaels Rd., St., Michaels. $12 w/member discount; rsvp: 410/745-2916 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do animals go and what do they do in winter? Kids of all ages be a Jug Bay Detective and search for clues like animal tracks and scat to learn which animals are active during the winter. 1-3pm @ Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, off Rts. 2 and 258, Lothian. $1.50; rsvp: 410/741-9330 www.jugbay.org.
Dont be afraid. Kids 6-10 w/parent learn more about carnivorous plants. Surprisingly, many of these grow in the area. Take home a Venus fly trap. 11am @ Homestead Gardens, Davidsonville. $10; rsvp: 410/798-5000 www.homesteadgardens.com.
February 15 & 16
Kids of all ages join the hero John Cobbler on his quest to free the mermaid and escape the wicked Lord Fish. Showtimes 2pm, 4pm & 7pm Feb. 15; 1pm, 3pm & 5pm Feb. 16 @ Calvert Marine Museum, off Rt. 2/4, Solomons. $7 w/member and age discount: 410/326-2042 www.calvertmarinemuseum.com.
Kids of all ages create a one-of-a-kind puppet character out of socks and paper bags. 2:30-3:30pm @ Chesapeake Childrens Museum, Silopanna Rd., Annapolis. $6 per child w/member discount: 410/990-1993.
Kids n Critters: A Peep at the Bluebird
Kids ages 3-5 w/parent, join a ranger and discover how bluebirds prepare for the upcoming nesting season. 10:30am @ Kings Landing Park, Kings Landing Rd., Huntingtown. $3 w/discounts; RSVP: 410/535-5327.