When I a little girl I LOVED Valentine’s Day; not because I dreamt of a knight-in-shining-armor or had a hope chest (neither of these are true), but because it is a totally mundane Hallmark holiday that my gifted and generous mother made magical by infusing it with the appropriate amount of paganism and Victorian tradition.
Valentine’s Day morning meant a special breakfast. It usually consisted of Swedish pancakes (my mother didn’t make any other kind) with powdered sugar and lingonberry jam. There was always beautiful fresh fruit too, often strawberries and whipped cream (by hand, not something that comes out of a nozzle). The table was specially set and varied from year to year. Lace table cloths would have been removed from linen drawers the night before and ironed. White and gold china was used. Perhaps there was red silk underneath the antique lace one year. Each place setting had a handmade Valentine (sometimes more than one if we had spent the preceding week crafting together). And this was all usually around six AM, before we had to put on our uniforms (with a red sweater, or maybe a pink bow in my hair to denote the holiday) and go to school.
With all the hullabaloo around Valentine’s day from the couples (he better get the right reservation!) and singles (damn all the coupled people!) I miss the good old days of sugary breakfasts and familial love. It was romantic, just not in a sexy way. To celebrate Valentine’s Day here are some gorgeous images of antique and vintage Valentines and some tips for making your own sugary breakfast. Enjoy!
While I wasn’t one for knight-in-shining-armor I did have a thing for a nice, big pink sash. Love it! Source
The sailboat! The garlands of forget-me-nots! Source
Unbelievable. So gorgeous. Really worth clicking on the link to see more details. The ribbon alone! Source
The gesturing hand is so Victorian. And the dove with the envelope! The purple and white lilacs really put me over the top on this one. Source
The Swedish pancake mix that was always on hand in our pantry:
Lunds and lingonberry jam can be found at specialty grocers or online here.