Valentines in Times of Covid

by grace on February 17, 2021

Bev sent me this cute photo on Valentine’s Day – she’d been going through a box she’d taken home from work when she retired five years ago, and came across this card I’d given her. Funny, I have no memory of the card.

Because the Coronavirus has really brought out the hermit in me I didn’t sent any Christmas cards and haven’t been in touch with many people. But on Valentine’s Day I was inspired to make a whole bunch of heart-shaped sugar cookies and on Valentine’s eve I was lying in bed and suddenly thought of a design I wanted to try.

I’d made about five dozen rich butter sugar cookies on the 13th and that night I got out my cake-decorating stuff. I use plastic piping bags and was horrified to see that there were only two left. It was a box of 100 bags and I bet I’ve had the box for at least 15 years. But now what?! I had a yellowed piece of paper from the cake-decorating class I’d taken…close to 30 years ago, I think? That cake-decorating class was one of the most useful classes I’ve ever taken. On the paper was a frosting recipe and a list of equipment necessary for decorating, and I remembered that I used to make piping bags out of waxed paper and scotch tape.

I decided to use parchment paper because it’s sturdier, but the tape wouldn’t stick to it, so instead I made five bags out of waxed paper. I thought that by doing all this stuff the day before I’d cut down on the time it would take to decorate. Even though it’s been a while since I’ve decorated a cake I knew that decorating always took quite a while.

At about 10:30 in the morning on Valentine’s Day I started the piping creations. I figured it might take an hour and a half, but I spent over an hour making the frosting, dividing it into bowls and tinting it. Then I started to fill the bags…and one of the waxed paper bags split open. Uh oh. I filled another bag and the same thing happened.

So, either waxed paper isn’t as sturdy as it was when I used to make the piping bags 30 years ago, or maybe they ripped because i was using generic waxed paper? I’d made up my mind that I wouldn’t buy plastic bags again because they’re not environmentally-friendly. But when the waxed paper started tearing I realized I’m going to have to buy some more plastic bags.

But what to do in the meantime? Most of the colors I’d mixed were different versions of pink and red, so I decided i could use my two plastic bags, one for green and one for everything else.

I started making roses, which have to be individually created on a short metal spike with a flat circle on top of it. I had a lot of little squares of waxed paper that I’d cut out who knows how long ago, which I placed on top of the spike to made a rose. I laid the finished roses on plates so they’d harden enough so I could place them on the cookies.

In the process I got mountains of powdered sugar all over the place, but I was pleased with how it went.

It ended up taking about four hours. Here are the cookies with pink flowers. I also made some with a darker pink frosting and pale pink roses, and I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of them. They weren’t quite as lovely as these. I think I must have made about 150 roses or so? No wonder it took so long! But I enjoyed the process.

After I finished, Mom and I got in the car and made cookie deliveries all over town. It was only to five people but they all lived far apart. I actually saw and said hi to a couple of the people who I gave them to, and it was good to see them after so much time.

When we got off on the exit off I-55 ,I noticed that Motorheads restaurant has a fancy new sign. I know we’ll get back there someday…

And that’s my exciting Covid Valentine’s tale.

ok then,

Mrs. H.

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