Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine's Special Dinner

We started our Valentines' Dinner (on Thursday, because that was the day that worked for us) dressed in pink and red . . .
Baby A has got some serious balancing skills.

. . . and really red.
J-son is getting ready for his big match this weekend.
I hauled out my printer paper box of supplies,

and this allowed us to decorated super quickly, yet very festively.

There were hearts everywhere:  the tablecloth (that lived a previous life as a fitted bed sheet), hot mats (sewed together from of an old polo shirt and towels), and even the applesauce bowls.

I seem to have given away my heart-shaped cookie cutters over the years, so our red-and-white reuben sandwiches weren't heart shaped.   But they were indeed red and white!

And this year, we added a recipe my sister gave me for spinach-artichoke dip (because artichoke hearts, right)?

Also a new keeper for the meal is strawberry-rhubarb pie. Definitely better than red jello.

Following upon the heels of our Black History Month dinner, this makes two Special Dinners in one month.  I love how much my family looks forward to these, and what a great way it is to gather together again.

It's one of the great (frugal) things about tradition.  Aside from maybe the artichoke hearts, nothing on this menu was particularly pricey.   I got the strawberries in bulk last summer and the rhubarb in my CSA box, and I set them aside (actually, canned them) to use for this dinner.  Red bread is just flour, water, yeast, salt, and a bit of red food dye.  Corned beef and swiss cheese are a bit of a splurge, but they're certainly not filet mignon or lobster.

But in spite of the frugal input, the fact that this was the beloved Valentines' Dinner made the whole evening super special.  K-daughter snapped photos, saying "I keep telling everyone that my family is the best family, and they're all so jealous".  I-daughter agreed.  The boys asked for seconds, and thirds, and . . . and it was a great evening.

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