Valentine’s day is always a fun event in our home.
We have unique food, small special gifts, handmade valentines, desserts to die for and a fair amount of giving and taking in this celebration.
It is not just mom-sided. Or driven by our kids. My husband always has a gift for me! One year I was hoping to get a beautiful potted orchid that is full of blooms. This year…hum, I am not sure.
Sometimes I feel something is missing. At first, I thought it was the hole in my heart where Jackie is missing. Or a hole in my heart where Grant is missing. I tell you when those kids go off to college or start full-time work; it is a new feeling for many of us. If you have not yet heard about Tina Quick’s Book “The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition“ on Amazon and you are an Expat with a high school student, you should!
Yes, it is true I miss Jackie and Grant, but we are connected by electronic ways so we can support each other and be a part of each other’s life. It is more than that.
When we lived in Bangkok, I headed out on a staycation. My driver gave me a beautiful potted orchid from his garden. He had gone orchid shopping with my husband over the weekend to get me the special valentine day gift. He said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, you never have enough orchids.”
Staycation is when an International School Teacher has a vacation, and she/he elects to stay in the host country to enjoy an at “home” time.
Then it hit me, and I got it. Living in Bangkok has taken out the need to give my friends any gifts of love. We are all in the position to buy or get anything that we need. I was not pushing the gratitude button for my friends. I have so many friends to be thankful for, and so many people fill my life with love. But living in the USA, you might forget this.
I feel when you live in places that are remote or without the finer things in life, you are often more compassionate. Imagine a chocolate martini “drop and run” event.
Many years ago we lived in Duri, Indonesia and it was hard to get good food, exciting ingredients, and unique things, so I made an afternoon run to the homes of my teacher friends. I convinced the maid in each household that I had permission to put two sizeable full martini glasses in the owner’s freezer and that they would understand and “get” them after school or dinner. Then I left a cute little valentine day card on their kitchen table and went off in my Kajang to the next friend’s home location.
Things I learned that Valentine’s day.
It is easier to carry all the ingredients in an ice cold jug of chocolate martini‘s, chocolate fudge to rim the glasses, chocolate kisses to drop in the middle the glass and strawberries rimmed in chocolate to garnish the drink.
The first friend’s house I went to was a disaster. I had made their martinis in my home and put their martini glasses on a tray ready to go in the freezer. Yikes, I had forgotten about the Sumatran heat in February! I had to drink one of the “gifts” because the chocolate rim was dripping in the heat and I was dripping. I made their valentine note contain a cute comment about “love is sharing.” There was no need for them to know that they were missing one gift!
The rest of the home drops were more successful because I mixed up the concoctions at their kitchen table. The maids watched me and just looked, they trusted me. I had a good feeling about giving something that was impossible to get in the jungles of Sumatra. All of the ingredients had come back with me from an orthodontic trip with the kids to Singapore. This was when you could carry good stuff on the airplanes.
For you see, I was a serial expat. We lived on Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. I had lived 1/2+ as long in Indonesia as I have in my place that I still call “home.” Ten years in Indonesia and 18 years in Kansas.
Now, I just need to give more thought to my friends here on Roatan to see how I can show them “love or that I care” . . . hum
Perhaps when I perfect the heart wine pour, I will scoot around the island and share my talent!
Ingredients for Chocolate Martinis
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup clear chocolate vodka
- 2 cups clear Creme de Cacao
- 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- mint sprigs for garnish
- Directions for Mix:
- Measure the vodkas and Creme de Cacao and combine them into a clean glass bottle with a cap. Gently shake to mix and Then place the container in the freezer for at least one hour to chill.
- Directions for the glasses:
- Heat the chocolate in a double boiler until it melts. Dip the rims of four martini glasses into the chocolate to coat, and then into a bowl of granulated sugar. Place glasses in the freezer to set up the chocolate.
- To serve:
- Straight from the freezer, pour the desired amount of vodka mixture into a martini shaker and shake with ice to mix. Remove glasses from the freezer, pour chilled and shaken martini mix into each glass, garnish with a sprig of mint or chocolate covered strawberry, and get ready to make a make a toast. Cheers!