Miscellaneous

Valentine’s Day Hand Made Chocolates and Dipped Strawberries

 

Supplies for Melting Chocolate Wafers

Hand Dipped Strawberries

 

Valentine's Day is all about Love…..the Love of Chocolate.

You can add a little Romance without spending a lot of money. You can make Hand Made Chocolates as a way of making someone you love feel special on this special day.

SUPPLIES:
* Chocolate Wafers or Pieces
* A Glass Dish
* A Broad Knife used for spreading Icing
* A Microwave Oven

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MELTING THE CHOCOLATE WAFERS:
1) I purchased my Chocolate Wafers at the Bulk Barn. You should pay the extra money and purchase the more expensive Chocolate Wafers. I used Dark Chocolate Wafers. Put your Chocolate Wafers in a Glass Dish. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the Microwave and stir with the Broad Knife.
2) Return the Glass Dish to the Microwave and microwave on high for 30 Seconds. Remove from the Microwave and stir with the Broad Knife. Return the Glass Dish to the Microwave and microwave for another 30 Seconds. Repeat this process until the Chocolate Wafers are fully melted.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR HAND DIPPED STRAWBERRIES:
1) Thoroughly wash the Strawberries and pat them dry with Paper Towel. DO NOT remove the green leaves and DO NOT use any Strawberries that have bruises or rotten spots.
2) Holding the Strawberries by the Green Leaves, dip them into the melted Chocolate and place them on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.
3) Place them in the refrigerator until the Chocolate is set. If you can wait that long.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE CHOCOLATE MOLDS:
1) Spoon the melted Chocolate into the Mold of your choice. Fill it up to the top, but don't over fill them.
2) Once you have filled all of the Molds, lift the Mold about an inch off of the table and drop it. Repeat this process a couple of times until there are no Air Bubbles coming to the surface.
3) Place the mold into the refrigerator until the Chocolate is set.

Check out the post on Sat Feb 5, 2011 for an idea to put your molded Chocolates in.

Enjoy!! Happy Valentine's Day!

The History of Greeting Cards

 The History of Greeting Cards
(from the Postcard and Greeting Card Museum – www.emotionscards.com)

Sending greeting cards to friends and family is a tradition that goes back about 200 years. They were mostly sent by the elite and wealthy in the early to mid 1800's. Most of the early greeting cards were hand delivered and many were quite expensive, but they soon gained mass popularity with the introduction of the world's first postage stamp issued in 1840 and a few ambitious printer's and manufacturer's perfecting printing methods, hiring artists and designed both elaborate expensive cards as well as simple affordable ones by the 1850's.

As you visit our galleries you will see that cards of the past were fine pieces of art. Manufacturer's used quality artists and many of the large manufacturer's held "art" competitions to generate interest and to get new ideas for cards. Some of these competitions awarded as much as $1,000.00 to the winner!

The oldest known greeting card in existence is a Valentine made in the 1400's and is in the British Museum. New Year's cards can be dated back to this period as well, but the New Year greeting didn't gain popularity until the late 1700's. The Valentine and Christmas Card were the most popular cards, with Valentine's offering us the most "mechanical", "pop-up" and filigree cards, followed by Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Cards gained their highest popularity in the late 1800's and early 1900's offering us cards with some of the most unusual art. The Victorian age give us the most prolific cards.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, when lovers said or sang their Valentines. Written Valentines began to appear after 1400. Paper Valentines were exchanged in Europe where they were given in place of Valentine gifts. Handmade paper Valentines were especially popular in England. In the mid to early 1800's, Valentines began to be assembled in factories. Early manufactured Valentines were black and white pictures painted by workers in a factory. Esther Howland (see below) known as the Mother of the Valentine made fancy Valentines with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap". She introduced the Paper Lace Valentine in the mid 1800's. By the end of the 1800's, Valentines were being made entirely by machine.

Christmas cards were introduced and popularized by John Calcott Horsley, the artist of what is known as the world's first Christmas Card and Louis Prang, known as the Father of the American Christmas Card.

The rest is History. With the exchange of New Year's, Valentine's, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthday Cards, just to name a few, there is probably no occasion that doesn't have its own greeting card!