Let’s Cook: The Valentine Box
Sometime do you need both a joy and a challenge? The two can come from the same activity this month, and that activity is making a Valentine box. It has been many years since my school days but hardly a year passes that I do not take the time to make a Valentine Box.
Last year’s Valentine box was a kitchen stove and created from a discarded small heater box. With the help of red, white and pink construction paper, glue, buttons, pipe cleaners and scissors, she was soon heated up to receive valentines through the oven door.
Having been raised in a house with four brothers, I watched my mom assist us all with making these quite priceless treasures. When push came to shove and we needed a Valentine box, her go-to friend was an empty cereal box. It was often wrapped in a plain colored paper, and like it or not, as a boy it was adorned with a lacey beautiful heart.
I did the math recently and figured out with five sons she assisted us in creating 30 plus Valentine boxes! She was always willing to help, and her one rule was that we come to the table with some sort of ideas that could be created with a reasonable effort. She loved how we pasted on each heart, flower or creative element. She also reminded us that throughout the year, boxes and containers should be saved that could possibly be made into butterflies, trains, or little store fronts.
Then came the long-awaited morning to take our colorful paper treasures to our classrooms and placing them on the shelf. This was one morning that we were given a ride to school; after all, we didn’t want to mess up our masterpiece. There upon the shelf each unique box was filled up with greetings from fellow classmates. Those days are long gone by, but I still recall the excitement of opening each valentine and then rereading all of them at home.
This week I will have the pleasure of creating at least of couple of Valentine boxes. First on the list will be a washing machine with just a few garment-sporting valentine words and puns. Next will be the recreation of my butterfly Valentine box from fourth grade, made with the saved oatmeal box and the wings will have hearts.
On this Valentine’s Day, take the time to do something kind for someone. Perhaps it will be sending a card, making a cheerful telephone call, or stopping by with a plate of cookies. If you really want to go all out, create that Valentine box you always wanted to do and take it to work surrounded by treats. Why not–it is not often we can step back in time and repeat a childhood joy but on Valentine’s Day, we can.
Do not fuss over which cookies to create. After all, most of your time is going to spent creating that unique cell phone Valentine box with apps that feature “friends forever” or “I love you always.” Featured below is an easy sugar cookies recipe that can be dressed up or down. The best part of these gems is that they taste delicious and keep well.
This recipe comes from the “Our Daily Bread” cookbook complied by the ladies of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Underwood. This recipe was submitted by Mrs. Walter Beck and Mrs. Emil Wilke.
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon each of almond and vanilla flavorings
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
Beat eggs and cream with butter and shortening when well blended add sugars and flavorings.
Add flour mixture a little at a time until completely blended. Roll in small balls; press down with a glass dipped in white or colored sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly tan.