Valentines Day Menu



A “heart” luncheon is  a unique affair for Valentine’s Day. Elaborate as the menu sounds, it is really inexpensive and an easy meal to prepare, because a number of the dishes can be fixed the day before. The invitations can be written or engraved on heart-shaped cards and, if possible, the floral decorations should be red tulips (two lips) to carry through the romantic theme.



One can of "love apples" (the old name for tomatoes), four cups of stock or strained beef broth with a slice of onion, two sprigs of parsley, and one stalk of celery, stewed together until the tomatoes fall apart. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dash of red pepper, and strain.  Serve boiling hot poured over a heart for each person cut from a thick slice of navel orange.  The flavor of orange blends particularly well with the tomato.


The olives for this occasion should be those with the stuffed red centers, and of the celery only the tender white hearts should be sent to the table.


Hugged oysters make a more substantial dish that the name implies, as particularly large fine oysters are required and each one is wrapped in a thin buttered and seasoned square of veal cutlet.  After being rolled tightly and tied to preserve the shape, they are browned quickly in a covered frying pan with butter, and a couple of sprigs of parsley and a few cubes of celery.  Serve on bread cut heart-shaped and toasted a delicate brown, with a spoonful of gravy over the top.


For stuffed potatoes select large and perfect ones.  Scrub with a brush, but do not break the skin.  When thoroughly baked, cut a two-inch opening in the top side, remove the contents with a spoon, and mash fine.  To every three potatoes add one teaspoonful of butter, one-fourth cup rich milk, salt, pepper, and, lastly, one egg, the yolk and white beaten separately.  Stir up well together, refill the skins, pile up lightly but not smoothly, and bake in the oven until the potato puffs up and browns.  Garnish with parsley.


Take French peas, as they are the best for winter use, heat in their own liquor, then drain, season, and add to a thick white sauce made as follows: melt two tablespoons of butter, stir in two tablespoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper, with one cup of milk added slowly enough to prevent lumps forming during the five minutes, stirring while the flour cooks.  Serve in hot heart-shaped pate-shells.  Small tin heart-cake pans, about three inches wide, can be used, which will be just what is needed in making individual pate-cases or gelatin puddings.


For cherry sherbet strain the syrup from a quart jar of preserved cherries, which will make about a pint.  Add juice of one lemon, two cups of water, and sugar enough to make quite sweet.  Or, take the liquor from one large bottle of Maraschino cherries, add an equal amount of water, the juice of half a lemon, and a scant cup of sugar.  Allow to stand until the sugar melts, and then if desired a still stronger flavor, put in a few of the cherries chopped very fine.  Freeze and serve in cups.


The salad course can be made a substantial part of the luncheon by serving thick slices of beet, cut heart shape, in the center of crisp lettuce hearts, decorated with spoonfuls of thick mayonnaise.  Or it can be made for fun by serving lettuce leaves of crumpled pale green tissue-paper, piled up daintily, and containing in the center the particular favor intended for each guest. 


Angelica cream is delicious and novel.  Whip half a pint of cream quite thick, sweeten with two tablespoonfuls of confectioners sugar, add one stiffly beaten egg white, one-quarter pound of fresh marshmallows cut in halves, two tablespoons of chopped English walnuts, about two inches of angelica stem cut very thin, and half a teaspoon of vanilla.  Mix lightly and pile-up on white hearts of thin slices of angel cake cut in heart shapes. Place a maraschino cherry in the very center, pierce with a candy (or gilt paper) arrow, and at the last moment before serving surround with the cherry liquid boiled down with enough sugar to make a thick syrup.


Dip small heart-shaped cakes - made by baking any simple chocolate cake recipe in small heart-shaped pans - into melted sweet chocolate. Before the chocolate dries, carefully pipe a small white fondant heart in the center of each cake and fill with raspberry or cranberry jelly.


Should the hostess prefer a single large cake, to be cut at the table as a source of amusement, she can add a small gold ring, a silver thimble, and a new penny to the batter, and bake in a large heart pan, then decorate later with tiny cupids, doves, or orange blossoms.  Of course the person getting the ring will be the next married, the one the thimble will remain a spinster, while the penny typifies riches.