Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from everyone under the Tulip tree!  Gear up with these love quotes:

"Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time." - Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) English Poet

"Love in its essence is spiritual fire." - Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) Swedish Naturalist, Mathematician, Scientist, Theologian

"Love conquers all things; let us surrender to Love." - Virgil (70-19BC) [Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil] Roman Epic Poet

"A heart that loves is always young." - Greek Proverb

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." - Peter Ustinov (1921-2004) English Actor, Author, Director

"Love is the greatest refreshment in life." - Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish Painter, Sculptor

“Love was divine madness.” Plato

Rose petals lie all around the Tulip tree today, so I have to ask.  Is Valentine's Day madness?

Scientific neurotransmiters are at work when two people fall in love.  Dopamine creates that euphoric feeling when you do something nice for someone, like buy gifts. Norepinephrine stimulates the body and energizes it for nights of love-making, the reason why most women are given silky, sexy lingerie. Seratonin lulls lovers into a sense of calm, which leads to Oxytocin's ability to forge bonds of trust and committment between lovers.  These invisible transmiters work in unison when we least expect it and sometimes between two people who couldn't be more different.  (The old opposites attract rule applies here.)

Senses are magnified with love.  Pheromones are natural aphrodisiacs.  Sense of smell, especially during ovulation, is a great factor in why people love.  Sense of touch and sound enhance love.  But on Valentine's Day a lot of emphasis is focused on taste, sweetening your lover for a night of delight.  And so it is that chocolate is the #1 gift on Valentine's Day.  (Oh chocolate, how I love thee, especially chocolate chip cookies!)

Chocolate has taken the world by storm.  Columbus received his first drink of xocoatl (chocolate) on his fourth visit to Central America in 1502.  Oh, what an elixir that must have been to a man who'd traveled vast oceans and never tasted its like before!  Can you imagine what Christopher Columbus must have thought?  "This discovery is going to rock the world as we know it!"  Centuries later, chocolate is reknowned as the aphrodisiac of lovers.  Movies like Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Chocolat with my favorite actor, Johnny Depp, entertained with chocolate.  Chocolate found its way into Fondu pans, cookbooks and the hearts of millions.

Check out Russell Stover's Chocolate Hall of Fame.

  • Francois-Louis Callier built the first chocolate factory in Switzerland, 1819.
  • Daniel Peter discovered how to combine milk and cocoa powder to start his company in 1867, not as a chocolate manufacturer — but as a maker of infant formula. Peter developed condensed milk in 1878 and created his first candy bar in 1894.
  • Amedee-Charles Kohler produced his own chocolate and developed hazelnut chocolate in 1830.
  • Phillipe Suchard produced solid chocolate candies in 1826 in Switzerland.
  • Jean Tobler began production of hand-made confections in Bern, Switzerland in 1864.
  • Rudolf Lindt invented "conching" in 1879, the process of stirring liquid chocolate to break down remaining clumps, making the chocolate smooth for the first time.
  • M.S. Hershey established Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894. He built a candy company in Tacoma, WA, which would become Mars, Inc. in 1941.
  • Stephen F. Whitman opened his first candy store on the Philadelphia wharf in 1842. The first Whitman's Sampler was produced in 1912.
  • Russell Stover sold candies out of his house in Denver, CO as "Mrs. Stover's Bungalow Candies" in 1923. The company would later become Russell; Stover Candies, America's largest manufacturer of boxed chocolates.
Yes, chocolate, rich, decadent, hollow, stuffed or solid, has woven its spell over the world.  Chocolate, my friends, is a Valentine's Day delight.

Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."  Love is like that too.

If you were a box of chocolates, what flavors would we find inside?


    1. Egad, I don't like chocolate that much. I know, I shall be sent to the tree to stand in the corner, my head hung in shame. I just am not that crazy about it. But, if I were a piece of chocolate, my center would be caramel - soft and buttery. Despite my outward hardness, I am a sap inside.

      I don't really do Valentine's Day, never have. I don't like roses because they will die. I don't like chocolate. I hardly send cards. I do like love but that is something we all need to celebrate year round. Guess I am a Valentine Scrooge. However, I do like sparklies. I will never turn down a diamond. LOL

    2. Oh Cheryl, diamonds are a girl's best friend! And as for your inner caramel buttery goodness, I can attest that your warm and fuzzy insides make you very special. ;)

    3. Kathy you ask hard questions. I don't know. Peanut butter? I love peanut butter. I like it better sans chocolate, though. Can I be white chocolate with peanut butter? But I want to be good white chocolate. Not white coating.

      1. Girardeli white chocolate for you with only the best peanut butter in the world, Jean!

        I would be a Dark Chocolate candy with Rum filling. (Pirate!)

    4. Me? Hmm.....I think I would be a chocolate filled with Drambui. Yum! And if there really is such a thing, please for the love of God, do not tell me!!! But I could be a turtle too....all that caramel and pecan and chocolate goodness! Mmm! Delicious!

      But if I'm the one opening the box, I'd much rather find emeralds ; )

      1. Lesia, it's your box so you can choose whatever you want! Emeralds it is!!

    5. I'd be a truffle. Or a turtle. Not sure why, except those are my favorite chocolate. Great post, Kathy. Love the history behind my favorite food!

      1. I love truffles, Pat, especially with the chocolate centers. Thanks for stopping by! We'll make sure our box of chocolates includes truffles in your honor. ;)

    6. If I were a box of chocolates you would find all flavors inside because I can't commit to be just one. Life is too short!

      1. Oh, that sounds exactly like you, Stephanie! But you'd get a surprise in every bite too. ;)

    7. Hmmm... if I were a box of chocolates what flavors would you find inside? Uh, orange for tart energy, cherry for sweetness, lemon for more tartness, dark rich chocolate for deep emotional flavor, raspberry for more sweetness with yes, a hint of tart.

      Basically, you'd find SWEETTART chocolates in dark chocolate!!

      1. Oooh! Christine, you're always so full of pep! I can so see you bringing on the fruity goodness mixed with antioxidant-covered chocolate!

        Or would that be SWEETHEART! ;)