This Valentine's Day, take note of all the love around you

features@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 11, 2014 

This Valentine's Day, focus on the love we show for each other -- and perhaps cook up a meal to show your love.

STOCK ART

Valentine's Day is just two days away, and there's just so much candy everywhere. While heart-shaped boxes are pretty, I think Valentine's is the perfect time for us to take note of the things in our life that show our love for each other.

Below are just a few things I've noticed:

  • While shopping at Publix, I could only find one of the items marked "buy one, get one free." The cashier kindly closed his register and walked to the meat department to inquire if the second item was still available.

  • A friend shared a slice of coconut custard pie from her icebox, saying it was so delicious that it would be selfish to eat it all and only tell the story of how good it was.

  • My dear friends know my signature hairstyle and sometimes shop and look for bows for me to wear.

  • Thelma Williams, author of "Our Family Table," invited children to her catering plant just as Mary Cunningham, a teacher at Beaufort High School, incorporated Lowcountry cooking into her lesson plan so her students could experiment with food and share stories of their family meals.

  • Think of all the cards that will be mailed, the flowers that will be purchased, the telephone calls that will be made and the gestures of love and affection people will make to each on Feb. 14.
Well, this has gotten me in the mood to put on an apron, play love songs and cook to my heart's content.

CHICKEN-BROCCOLI SKILLET

Makes: 4 servings

1 10-ounce package frozen cut broccoli 2 8-ounce whole chicken breasts, skinned, split, boned and cut into 1/2-wide strips 1/4 cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 3 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges

Thaw broccoli. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken and onion quickly in hot butter, till just done. Stir in broccoli, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook covered for 6 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes.

Source: "Better Homes and Gardens, Eat and Stay Slim" (1979)

ZIPPY WALDORF SALAD

Makes: 8 servings

3 medium apples, cored and chopped 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup apple yogurt 1/3 cup seeded, halved red grapes 1/4 cup chopped walnuts Romaine lettuce

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours. If desired, turn into a romaine-lined bowl.

Source: "Better Homes and Gardens, Eat and Stay Slim" (1979)

MELT AWAYS

1 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 egg, separated 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup pecans, chopped and divided

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; blend in egg yolk, vanilla and flour. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Spread dough evenly in a lightly greased 15-by-10-by-1 inch pan. Beat egg white until frothy; brush over dough. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly and cut into bars.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal files

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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