~From the Heart~

It’s all I have to bring to-day

by Emily Dickinson

It’s all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, –
Someone the sum could tell, –
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.

I wish a love–filled day to all, yes even to my fellow singles out there 🙂 I have never shared a Valentine’s Day with someone. I was with my ex for 8 months and we didn’t make it to that particular holiday. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything really, sure I’ve never dressed up, gone out for a special meal with the love of my life, or spent a quiet evening at home with our favorite movie, or even surprise him with a special gift, but am I really missing out on anything? I don’t think I am.

Since my son was two I’ve made sure that holidays such as today were always special for him, in some form or fashion. Be it a sweet little gift, thoughtful meal or just spend the day with him doing what he loves. Currently he’s sitting next to me playing on the Kindle while his favorite cartoons are on 🙂 He’s easy to please, kinda like me! With me being out of commission this week, thanks to this heinous cold, I didn’t plan anything this week for Valentine’s Day…not even for you all. However, I did put some effort into my appearance today. Finally shucked my nightgown and lounger, donned on a red flocked skirt paired with a white tank and sweater. I at least look festive for Valentine’s Day 🙂 When I came down this morning I wished my boy a happy one and he asked where his gift was…smh. Luckily I still had some leftover dum–dums from a gift for my Wednesday night class, found a packet of heart cello bags with matching red twist ties, and stuck in a “Valentine Be Mine” card inside the bag. He was happy! 

valentines day 2014 002     valentines day 2014 005

Again, easy to please!

I don’t think I’m jaded since I’ve never spent this day with someone. I’m an odd cookie, I’m not like most women. I hate diamonds, don’t care for milk or dark chocolate, and I abhor red roses. I don’t want jewelry for occasions such as this. No I prefer gifts that I can use either on a daily basis or regularly. Things for the kitchen(since I love to cook and bake), crafting items(a box of yarn, packets of scrapbook paper or a variety of adhesive dots), or ooo a dremel wood carving tool set! I guess that’s why I like Emily Dickinson’s poem above, it’s simple, honest, and genuine. It may not seem like much but it’s all I have to bring today 🙂 Shouldn’t love be that way? Simple, honest, genuine…never expecting more than what the person can give and accepting all that they have? It would seem so, I’m not a huge fan of the Today Show, or any talk show for that matter, but I did watch the snippet where someone was asking all these men about Valentine’s Day and even I was surprised at their response. It does seem silly to take one day out of the year to express your love to that wonderful person in your life. Is that person not worthy of knowing how you feel every day? In some small way no matter what you do, shouldn’t they know that you love them through out the year and not just on a specific holiday? *crickets chirping*

Who will be my valentine?

I know there are a lot of singles today who loathe this day, seeing all the happy couples loving it up, watching them pile into restaurants for those expensive meals, clogging the roads to get to special shows and other destinations. Why should we despise what they have just because we don’t have it currently in our own lives? Is that really the best attitude? No, and who says we can’t celebrate this day as well? Are we not surrounded by our loved ones? Family, friends, children, pets…don’t they count? Make this day special with them, don’t wallow in self–pity, embrace those that have been with you through thick and thin, who have seen you at your worse and still love you!

To make this day even more special for my son I decided to whip up a batch of fluffy buttermilk pancakes with white chocolate chip morsels. Normally I use his favorite semi-sweet morsels but the change was nice for both of us 🙂 Just another way to make memories with him and for him to look back one day and say “I remember when my Mom would…”. Those are things that matter the most in the end 🙂

Buttermilk Pancakes with White Chocolate Chips

2 cups flour, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 Tblsp sugar

2 1/2 cups buttermilk (shaken, not stirred)

2 eggs, whisked

1/4 cup peanut oil

White Chocolate Chip Morsels

Red Food coloring, optional

Combine all the dry ingredients in one large bowl, set aside. Whisk together eggs in a separate bowl, add in well shaken buttermilk, a few drops of red food coloring and oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Will be lumpy but that’s ok! Heat griddle and spray with non–stick spray. Once hot(drop a bit of water on the skillet, if it dances around your pan is ready), ladle batter on to make two pancakes. I never like to load up the griddle with more than two cakes at one time. Makes it easier to flip. Adjust heat if they are browning too quickly. At this time sprinkle on white chocolate chips and gently push them into the batter with spatula. Once the edges are dry and bubbles form on top, carefully flip the pancakes to finish cooking. Remember, it’s all in the wrist! Serve with a drizzle of your favorite fruit syrup(strawberry is nice), add a light dusting of powdered sugar or serve plain as we did.

Depending on the size you make it will determine how many this recipe will yield. I got a dozen pancakes from it, I did make them a bit large and I didn’t color our pancakes this go around.

valentines day 2014 010

Here I exposed the underside of a pancake so you can see the white chocolate chips and the pancakes were big enough to fill a bowl. My nephew noted that the underside had a slight crunchiness, which he really liked. Could be from the white chocolate chips, he said all it needed were some macadamia nuts to complete it! Not a bad idea actually 🙂

G–Man really liked them, even better than the chocolate chips pancakes I normally make. You could definitely use any chip you prefer, play with the flavors, add different syrups and just have fun making these with your loved ones.

So even though this is a day traditionally meant for lovers, try to show your love to someone else. Volunteer this weekend in a homeless shelter, bake up some goodies and walk around town handing them out to the homeless folks you encounter along with some bottled water and fruit. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the residents, or visit with an elderly neighbor who would appreciate some of these pancakes or other goodies 🙂 Let’s turn this day from a “Single’s Awareness Day” into a “Share the Love Day”. Be blessed!

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