Thursday, February 14, 2008
Hearts A'twitter
Years ago we celebrated Valentine's Day by sitting down to a 'fancy' dinner with our three kids. The dining room table was draped with a battenberg lace tablecloth, and covered with china, wine goblets, napkins and lots of silverware. Don had gifts for each of the girls and I had one for our son, Dan. It was good training for all those upcoming proms, wedding receptions, or dinners with the boss at the Country Club. I still have sweet memories of the kids sitting around the table, in their 'Sunday-go-to-meeting' clothes, how grown up and special they felt to be our valentines.

A few years after the nest was emptied I asked DH to add up all the Valentine's Day gifts we had chosen not to exchange and please, oh please buy me a new quilting machine. He did, he's good that way, even though it didn't occur to him to do the same and ask for a bass boat.

This year neither of us was really in for exchanging gifts or even going out to dinner. It's one of those years where we just feel content to have dinner on TV trays, in our pjs, watching whatever's on Tivo. We've been married long enough that, at least for this year, it just feels nice to be together. That's not to say that a few years down the road I won't come up with some contraption that'll make up for the lack of gift exchanges, plus some.

Here's what our celebrating will consist of. Don doesn't share my lack of opinion on chocolate. Actually he likes it in almost any form, and the more often the better. So I made him these:

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups a.p. flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just til moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or til muffins test done.

The recipe calls for filling 12 muffin cups. I do six, and I pour that batter plumb to the top. What comes out is something that looks like it should be behind the counter at Starbucks, costing $2.50 a pop. The zucchini was from the Farmer's Market last August, but you can still get fresh zucchini at the grocery. Just shred it skin and all, and dump it in. It gives the muffins some umph to keep you going through the morning, and makes them nice and moist too.

The chocolate chips and walnuts? Makes you forget you're eating something relatively good for you, and whether we exchange gifts or not, everyone needs a little bit of chocolate on Heart Day.

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  posted at 7:01 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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