“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it”
Though this poem, along with Valentine’s Day, focuses on romantic love, these words have always resonated with me as a parent. Our children have matured and left our nest to explore their paths, yet the chambers of my heart carry their hopes and dreams, echoes of their laughter, memories of their scrapes – the essence of them.
In the face of our geographical distance, I consciously and shamelessly take advantage of any opportunity possible to reach out, share a thought, send a treat, discuss a topic, create more memories and continuously nourish the connection with them as adults.
Valentine’s day, though commercialized and NOT Jewish at all, is such an opportunity for me. For some reason, I love putting together a cute Valentine’s care package of home-baked treats, a fun item or two and of course – a card!
If, like me, you are sending Valentines’ Care Packages this year, here are some basic tips to follow.
Consider before shipping baked items:
- Eliminate any item that requires refrigeration (duh!)
- Will the item travel well? No fragile cookies or messy frosting!
- How will you pack the items so it does not damage during its journey and will still look pretty?
- Weight – the cost of delivery?
- What does your Valentine like?
- Any allergies to consider?
I like to send a variety of items:
- Brownies: baked in a heart shaped pan and topped with a chocolate candy: use your favorite brownie recipe and bake it in a heart-shaped brownie pan (Nordic Ware makes a couple of great ones that perform beautifully every time). Unwrap chocolate candy and press it in the center of the still warm brownie heart and let cool in the pan.
- Dressed up Cookies: Dress up your everyday sugar cookie by replacing ½ cup flour with ½ cup cocoa powder and cutting them into heart shapes. Use royal icing (Recipe here) that will dry completely, or a chocolate icing (Recipe here) and use some Valentine’s themed sprinkles.
- Crafts: Great ideas abound on the Internet. I have sent crochet heart chains (Pattern here), homemade cards and one of my favorites – heartfelt sachets. (Pattern here).
- Card: But of course! Purchased, hand made or scribbled – a personal, loving note is the final touch!
Hope you find this helpful and happy Valentine’s Day to you and all your loved ones – near and far!