Mixing Valentine's and Pancake Day shouldn't be too tricky, seeing as they are only two days apart this year! Pancake Day falls on the 12th of February, just two days before Valentine's Day.
This should be grabbed as an ultimate opportunity for fun and indulgence, with whoever is close to your heart. Try out any number of these ideas to merge food and love in a perfect embrace.
I don't mean flour, eggs, milk etc so they can make their own pancakes, that's harsh. Pancakes do keep pretty well, so you can make a batch up the day before and package them up ready for the 14th. There is plenty of time until Pancake Day so you can buy your own boxes and packaging to make them look pretty. Roll each pancake individually in plastic. Then, with tissue paper, tie with a ribbon and place carefully in a nice looking box. Next, add a small tub of melting chocolate to the box, along with anything else yummy like marshmallows. A handmade instruction card with how long each pancake needs in the microwave to heat is the finishing touch.
This really is inspired. Even if you're hopeless at cooking, making pancakes is as easy peasy as it gets. You get to impress your partner/whoever you're wooing with some homemade delights that no one can turn their nose up at. Spruce up the experience with a beautiful array of toppings, from fresh fruit in little bowls, to chocolate sauce, ice cream and maple syrup. Remember caster sugar and lemons too, in case they prefer the traditional way of eating pancakes.
This one's for all you hardcore cooks and artists out there. For an extra special touch, you could create flower shaped pancakes. Whatever the favorite flower is, you can cut out the outline from the pancake to start, and then use chocolate sauce or jam (anything dark-colored) to fill to 'draw' on the pancake to complete the effect. Arrange on a large plate for the full effect. As I said, probably quite intensive, and most likely to have the proper impact when you've spent enough time to practice beforehand.
In a great twist on the usual cards or letters, create a set of beautifully presented, laminated recipe cards. They could all be different pancake recipes , or you could mix them up so there are lots of different types of sweet treats from cupcakes to fudge to brownies. A thoughtful gift that's practical and inspiring; it's sure to go down well with that special person.
Cookery courses are gaining in popularity fast, and now there are plenty available. There are specific baking ones, or those for cooking up sweets, deserts or cakes. You can just opt for a one-off if you prefer, and if you choose the week with Pancake Day, it's likely you'll be tossing a few pancakes together with your date - a perfect celebration of Valentine's and Shrove Tuesday. This is a wonderful idea even if you've been together for a while and haven't yet had an opportunity to cook together.
So, there are many ways in which you can enjoy the perfect symphony of Valentine's paired with Pancake Day, and you shouldn't let this opportunity pass you by. It's an exciting way of making Valentine's a little bit different and extra special.
Julie works at florist suppliers Inspirations Wholesale , where preparations for Valentines Day are well under way.